Argento Chamber Ensemble and French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) present second concert of Spectralism in America Featuring the music of Tristan Murail, Michel Galante, Huck Hodge, and Joshua Fineberg; Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm FIAF • Florence Gould Hall; 55 East 59th Street, NYC

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Argento Chamber Ensemble and French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

present second concert of

Spectralism in America

Featuring the music of

Tristan Murail, Michel Galante, Huck Hodge, and Joshua Fineberg  

Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm

FIAF • Florence Gould Hall; 55 East 59th Street, NYC

New York, NY, May 11, 2016The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center and Argento Chamber Ensemble are thrilled to present the second concert of the two-part series Spectralism in America, showcasing prominent French composer Tristan Murail alongside music of his American protégés who have built on and extended his work in powerful new directions. The concert will take place Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall.


From 1997 to 2011, Murail taught at Columbia University and engaged in intense collaborations with young emerging artists. This concert is a shining example of the fruit of those fourteen years and celebrates the new music hybrid that directly resulted from Tristan Murail’s period in New York City.


The concert features two important works by Tristan Murail. During his radical and game-changing early years, Murail wrote Ethers as a concerto for flute, strings ensemble, and trombone in which the ensemble is surrounded by a chorus of maraca players that are spatialized around the hall. Argento joins forces with flutist Erin Lesser and Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music, the country’s only youth new music ensemble, to create a spectacular performance of Ethers. This piece holds a special place in Argento’s repertoire, as the ensemble was the recipient of the 2010 Geijutsu Record Academy Award for its recording of Ethers.  The culminating concert of Argento’s 2015–2016 season also features a collaboration with New Chamber Ballet on Murail’s piano work La Mandragore, set to choreography by Miro Magloire.


Works by three American composers who worked closely with Murail continue the theme of the program. Joshua Fineberg’s Objets Trouvés is a massive narrative for extended percussion and ensemble, centered around a hyper-rhythmic piano part performed by Argento’s pianist Joanna Chao. Michel Galante’s Leaves of Absence and Watercolors are both mixed-ensemble timbral studies based on poetic images from nature. Transfigured Etudes, by Rome Prize winner Huck Hodge, is a solo work that explores timbre through virtuosity, in the tradition of many of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards or Liszt’s Harmonies du soir.


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Argento Chamber Ensemble

Michel Galante, Conductor


Huck Hodge

Phantasie (2006)

Alex Waterman, cello


Michel Galante

Leaves of Absence (2005)


Tristan Murail

Ethers (1978)

Featuring maracas, choir by Face the Music

Erin Lesser, flute


Michel Galante

Watercolors  (2003)


Tristan Murail

La Mandragore (1993)

featuring dancers from New Chamber Ballet

Melody Fader, piano

Miro Magloire, choreography


Joshua Fineberg

Objets Trouvés (2008–2009)


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About Tristan Murail

Tristan Murail was born on March 11, 1947 in Le Havre. He entered Olivier Messiaen’s class at the Paris Conservatory in 1967 and in 1971 received a first prize in composition. The same year, he was awarded the Rome Prize and spent two years at the Villa Médicis. During his formative years, he emulated aesthetics concerned with creating comprehensive movement of masses, volumes or sonic textures: electronic music, works by Iannis Xenakis, Giacinto Scelsi, and above all György Ligeti. In 1980, the composers from l’Itinéraire took part in a computer music workshop at IRCAM. This experience would have a decisive impact on the evolution of Tristan Murail’s music, as he had begun using computers to increase his understanding of acoustical phenomena. Between 1991 and 1997, he collaborated with IRCAM, teaching composition and participating in the development of “Patchwork” computer software as a compositional aid. He also taught at numerous festivals and institutions, in particular the summer courses at Darmstadt, the Abbaye de Royaumont and the Centre Acanthes. In 1997, Tristan Murail moved to the United States where he was professor of composition at Columbia University until 2011.


Tristan Murail has described spectral music as an aesthetic rather than a style, not so much a set of techniques as an attitude – that “music is ultimately sound evolving in time.” Spectral music prioritizes timbre and color as important elements of musical structure. The past forty years have noted prominent spectral movements in Romania and Germany, with the emphasis on music technology being based in France. Both Oliver Schneller and Tristan Murail worked extensively at Paris’ computer music center, IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique).


About Huck Hodge

Huck Hodge’s first musical training took place in Oregon. In 1999, he began a course of study in Germany at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart with funding from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. Between 2002 and 2008 he was an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow at Columbia University, where he studied composition under the instruction of Tristan Murail and Fred Lerdahl. Hodge is the winner of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2010–2011 Rome Prize, the 2008 Gaudeamus Prize, and the Aaron Copland Award from the Bogliasco Foundation. He is an assistant professor of composition at the University of Washington, Seattle.


About Joshua Fineberg

American composer Joshua Fineberg completed his undergraduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory with Morris Moshe Cotel where he won first prize in the biannual Virginia Carty de Lillo Composition Competition. In 1991, he moved to Paris and studied with Tristan Murail. The following year he was selected by the IRCAM/Ensemble InterContemporain reading panel for the course in composition and musical technologies. He worked for several years as a freelance composer in Europe and as a consultant researcher at IRCAM. In the fall of 1997, he returned to the U.S. to pursue a doctorate in musical composition at Columbia University which he completed in 1999. After teaching at Columbia University for a year, Joshua Fineberg went to Harvard University where he taught for seven years and was the John L. Loeb Associate Professor for the Humanities. In September 2007, he left Harvard University to assume a professorship in composition and the directorship of the electronic music studios at Boston University. In 2012, he became the founding director of the Boston University Center for New Music. He has won numerous national and international prizes and scholarships and is published by Editions Max Eschig and Gérard Billaudot Editeur. Joshua Fineberg’s music has been described as a music of paradoxes: at once turbulent and contemplative, simultaneously active and reflective. The sound world is colorful and seemingly decorative, yet rigorously constructed and the consequence of careful acoustic observation and research. Fineberg belongs to the second generation of composers influenced by the ‘spectral’ school of French composers Gerard Grisey and Tristan Murail.


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About Michel Galante

The New York Times praised composer/conductor Michel Galante for giving “tour de force” performances that are “dynamic and charged.” He has led the Janáček Philharmonic, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Collegium Musicum, the Ensemble Courage of Dresden, the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, TACTUS, the Desoff Choir, ICE (the International Contemporary Ensemble), and the Ensemble Modern. He directs the Argento Chamber Ensemble, one of the most important cutting-edge new music ensembles in the United States. He holds a doctorate in composition from Columbia University, where he studied composition and electronic music with Tristan Murail, and his composition awards include Fulbright, Hertz, and Mellon fellowships, and prizes from ASCAP and the Composer’s Guild. His recent commissions include a ballet for the Kate Weare Dance Company, and chamber works for Ensemble Court-Circuit, the New York New Music Ensemble, and violinist Viviane Hagner, who recently premiered his work at the Berlin Konzerthaus and at Wigmore Hall in London. In 2013, his European engagements included conducting at the Salzburg Biennale and the premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s new opera “Thomas” at the Schwetzingen Festival, Germany. He has curated the Moving Sounds Festival with a team of distinguished artists and scholars since 2009, when he co-founded it with the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.


About Miro Magloire

Lauded as “refreshingly original” by Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times, choreographer Miro Magloire is the founder and artistic director of New Chamber Ballet. Magloire has created over 60 ballets in his signature style for his company, all distinguished by sweeping elegance, a striking theatricality, and bold musical choices. “It’s heartening to see work so focused on the meeting of dance and music,” Macaulay wrote in his Times review, “always you’re aware of an intelligence at work that resists romantic cliché.”  Known for his visionary collaborations with musicians – singers, violinists, pianists and large ensembles – Miro Magloire has a special affinity for cutting-edge contemporary music, which has led him to work with many of today’s leading composers.  Magloire, the subject of a 2008 full-page profile in the Sunday New York Times, recently received an O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation Grant. His works have been performed at Joyce SoHo, the Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Stage, Roulette, Ailey/Citigroup Theater, the Center for Performance Research and the Museum of Art and Design, among other venues. He has collaborated with the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, Ensemble Sospeso and, in addition, has created ballets for the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the State Academy of Dance in Cologne, Germany.


Born in Munich, Germany, Miro Magloire started his career as a composer. At age 17 he won the “Forum of Young Composers Award” in North Rhine-Westphalia, and went on to study with Mauricio Kagel at the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, Germany.  After relocating to New York to study Modern Dance at the Ailey and Martha Graham Schools, where his teachers included Yung-Yung Tsuai and Kazuko Hirabayashi, and ballet with Wilhelm Burmann and Peff Modelski among others, he turned his attention to choreography and in 2004 founded New Chamber Ballet.


About Alex Waterman

Alex Waterman is a cellist, composer, and musicologist. He studied cello with Andor Toth Jr. and Frances Marie Uitti and composition with Konrad Boehmer and Richard Barrett. He was a founding member of the Plus Minus Ensemble, based in Brussels and London and has performed with Champs d’Action, Q-O2, Either/Or Ensemble and Argento Ensemble. His duo with choreographer and improviser Michael Schumacher was featured in the Lyons Biennale, Holland Dance Festival, and recently in the Strut Festival in Perth, Australia. As a sound artist his installation works have been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Serpentine Gallery, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, and the Bonnefantenmuseum. He has produced three books with Will Holder: Agape, Between Thought and Sound, and most recently their book on Robert Ashley: Yes, But is it Edible? (New Documents, 2014). Alex has scored and co-directed several award winning films including A Necessary Music, which won the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2009. He has also written soundtracks for the films/videos of Shannon Ebner, Cameron Gainer, Ricardo Valentim, and Allen S. Weiss. Waterman was an artist in the 2014 Whitney Biennial where he directed three operas by Robert Ashley. He received his PhD in musicology in 2015, and has taught at New York University, the Bard College MFA program, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. This year he is a Visiting Professor of Music at Wesleyan University.


About Erin Lesser

As a soloist, and chamber musician Erin Lesser has been described as “superb,” “excellent,” and “elegant” by the New York Times. She has travelled to prestigious venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ (Amsterdam) and Alice Tully Hall, where she performed the American premiere of Morton Feldman’s Flute and Orchestra with the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra. She has worked with some of the most prominent classical and popular artists today including Steve Reich, Beat Furrer, Helmut Lachenmann, Pierre Boulez, John Luther Adams, Charles Wuorinen, and David Lang, and experimental groups like Medeski Martin and Wood, and the Dirty Projectors. As a recording artist, Erin can be heard on Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Carrier, Hat[now] Art, New Focus, Aeon, New Amsterdam, Albany and Capstone Record labels.


Lesser completed a two-year fellowship with The Academy, a program run by Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute. She is now a member of Decoda, an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, whose work often takes them beyond the concert hall and into the broader community.


A graduate of the University of Ottawa and the Manhattan School of Music, Erin is proud to serve on the faculty at Lawrence University. Through a partnership between Lawrence University and Decoda, Erin is co-founder of Music for All, a program which brings music into new and/or underserved venues throughout the Fox Valley community in Wisconsin. Ms. Lesser is a Pearl Flute Performing Artist.


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About Argento Chamber Ensemble

Argento is New York City’s premiere virtuoso chamber ensemble dedicated to innovative musical performance and the discovery of daring artistic paths. Championing contemporary cutting edge composers and framing classical repertoire in new contexts, Argento inspires musical inquiry through artistic collaboration and education. Argento has built an international reputation since its founding in 2000. With a firm commitment to intellectually rigorous interpretations, the nine-member ensemble regularly expands to thirty musicians to deliver technically demanding performances. The ensemble collaborates with leading and emerging composers, produces internationally acclaimed recordings, and brings pressing concerns of contemporary music to the forefront. Argento has forged long-term artistic relationships with groundbreaking composers such as Pierre Boulez, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Lang, and Fabien Lévy. The fruits of these collaborations include recording music of Philippe Hurel, Fred Lerdahl, Katerina Rosenberg, and Alexandre Lunsqui. Argento’s debut album Winter Fragments with music of Tristan Murail was awarded Japan’s Record Geijutsu Academy Award in 2010.


About Face the Music

The only youth ensemble in the U.S. dedicated to studying and performing music by living composers, Kaufman Music Center’s 200+ member Face the Music has taken its place as a full-fledged player in New York City’s vibrant contemporary classical scene, rapidly becoming what The New York Times has called “a force in the New York new-music world.” NYC’s favorite youth new music ensemble performs at venues across the city and beyond, including Merkin Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, BAMcafé, Queens Museum, Roulette and WNYC’s The Greene Space. Face the Music is the only youth group among the Legacy Partners for Kronos Quartet’s exciting new commissioning initiative “Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire.” The recipient of an ASCAP Aaron Copland Award, Face the Music has been featured in Chamber Music Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily News and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”


About FIAF

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF’s mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression.



Spring Season Sponsors: Air France and Delta Air Lines, the official airlines of FIAF; Altour; BNP Paribas; Cultural Services of the French Embassy; The American Society of French Legion of Honor; Office Tourisme de Boulogne-Billancourt; Enoch Foundation; Florence Gould Foundation; FACE (French American Cultural Exchange); Howard Gilman Foundation, Institut français; New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts; and New York State Regional Economic Development Council.


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What: Spectralism in America
When: Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm
Where: FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street

(between Park and Madison Avenue)

Admission: FIAF Members $20; Non-Members $25

Students with ID $15; Seniors (65+) $15

Tickets: 800 982 2787 |
Information: 212 355 6160 |
Subway: 4, 5, 6, N, R and Q to 59th Street & Lexington Avenue
  F to 63rd Street & Lexington Avenue; E to 53rd Street & 5th Avenue
  Bus – M1, M2, M3, M4, Q31 to 59th Street; M5 to 58th Street


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