AMERICAN BRASS QUINTET RETURNS TO ASPEN MUSIC SCHOOL AND FESTIVAL THIS SUMMER AS ENSEMBLE-IN-RESIDENCE
Performs Two World Premieres on July 27
July 11, 2016
New York, NY – Hailed by Newsweek as “the high priests of brass,” the American Brass Quintet is internationally recognized as one of the premier chamber music ensembles of our time, celebrated for peerless leadership in the brass world. This summer, the Quintet returns as Ensemble-in-Residence of the Aspen Music Festival and School for their 46th consecutive year, and performs a recital at Harris Concert Hall on Wednesday, July 27 at 8:30PM. Their program spans several centuries and features two World Premieres written specifically for them: Kenneth Fuchs’s Brass Quintet No. 2, “American” and Eric Nathan’s Missing Words II.
“Missing Words II” (2016) is the second in an ongoing series of compositions written in homage to Ben Schott’s book Schottenfreude (Blue Rider Press/Penguin Group), a collection of newly-created German words for contemporary life. Commissioned by the Aspen festival, “Missing Words II” playfully explores three new words: Leertretung (defined as “stepping down heavily on a stair that isn’t there”), Kraftfahrzeugsinnenausstattungsneugeruchsgenuss (“New Car Smell”) and Brillenbrillanz (“the sudden, innervating clarity afforded by new glasses”).
According to Kenneth Fuchs, his ABQ-commissioned Brass Quintet No. 2, “American” is “cast in a single continuous movement of several variations on a theme.” Fuchs was a student at The Juilliard School during the beginning of the American Brass Quintet’s tenure as Ensemble-in-Residence, and is a faculty colleague of the Quintet’s trumpetist Louis Hanzlik at the University of Connecticut. Clint Needham’s Brass Quintet No. 1, “Circus,” has made numerous appearances on the ABQ’s concert programs, in addition to the ensemble’s 2007 album Jewels. In Needham’s words: “I drew inspiration for my brass quintet from not-so-fond memories of a circus I was forced to attend when I was younger.”
The July 27th recital closes with a set of Venetian canzoni, during which the Quintet’s students will join the ensemble onstage.
This season continues the American Brass Quintet’s vibrant residency with the Aspen Music Festival, which began in 1970 when Gordon Hardy (then president of the Festival) invited the outstanding Quintet to perform and teach in Aspen for the summer. Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the residency proved so successful that the Festival decided to continue the relationship on its own. Nearly every season in Aspen thereafter has featured a work premiered by the ABQ, including Elliott Carter’s Brass Quintet which was written over the duration of the nine-week festival in 1974. New compositions, new programs and new members have invigorated the Quintet and kept their relevance and standards of excellence high throughout the years.
Eric Reed, the American Brass Quintet’s horn player, remarks: “We are excited to build on our relationship with the Aspen Music Festival and School as it continues to develop and expand. We believe we have only scratched the surface of what’s possible in this residency. As we mentor and prepare our brass students for careers in music, we hope to increase the emphasis on community engagement and arts advocacy. We also have plans to bolster our relationship with the composition department, continuing to expand the repertoire for brass. We’re very excited to implement these new ideas, both at the festival and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.”
As 2013 recipient of Chamber Music America’s highest honor, the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award for significant and lasting contributions to the field, the American Brass Quintet’s rich history includes performances in Asia, Australia, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Canada and the United States; a discography of nearly 60 recordings; and the premieres of over 150 contemporary brass works. Committed to the development of brass chamber music through higher education, the American Brass Quintet has served as Ensemble-in-Residence at The Juilliard School since 1987 and the Aspen Music Festival since 1970.
Wednesday, July 27 at 8:30PM
Harris Concert Hall
CLINT NEEDHAM: Brass Quintet No. 1, “Circus”
KENNETH FUCHS: Brass Quintet No. 2, “American” (World Premiere)
ERIC NATHAN: Missing Words II (World Premiere)
I. Leertretung (Void-Stepping)
(Automobile-Interior-Furnishing-New-Aroma-Pleasure) – “New Car Smell”
III. Brillenbrillanz (Spectacles-Luminosity)
STOLTZER: Three Fantasias in Church Modes
ED. RAYMOND MASE/MICHAEL POWELL: Venetian Canzoni
American Brass Quintet website
For more information, please visit Aspen Music School and Festival’s website
About the Music Festival and School
The Aspen Music Festival and School is the United States’ premier classical music festival, presenting more than 400 musical events during its eight-week summer season in Aspen. The institution draws top classical musicians from around the world to this Colorado mountain retreat for an unparalleled combination of performances and music education. Many events are free and seating on the David Karetsky Music Lawn and in the Music Garden is always free.
More than 630 music students from more than 40 U.S. states and more than 40 countries come each summer to play in five orchestras, sing, conduct, compose and study with approximately 130 renowned artist-faculty members. Students represent the field’s best talent; many have already begun their professional careers, and others are on the cusp.
Renowned alumni include violinists Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Cho-Liang Lin, Robert McDuffie, Midori, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Gil Shaham; pianists Ingrid Fliter, Orli Shaham, Conrad Tao, Yuja Wang, Wu Han and Joyce Yang; conductors Marin Alsop, James Conlon, James Levine, Leonard Slatkin and Joshua Weilerstein; composers William Bolcom, Philip Glass, David Lang, Augusta Read Thomas, Bright Sheng and Joan Tower; vocalists Jamie Barton, Danielle de Niese, Sasha Cooke, Renée Fleming, and Dawn Upshaw; cellists Lynn Harrell and Alisa Weilerstein; guitarist Sharon Isbin; performer Peter Schickele and bassist Edgar Meyer.