AXIOM, CONDUCTED BY JEFFREY MILARSKY, CONCLUDES ITS THREE-CONCERT SERIES
WITH A PORTRAIT OF HUNGARIAN COMPOSER GYӦRGY LIGETI
Juilliard Cellist Jay Campbell is Soloist in the Concerto for Cello
Free Concert on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. in Alice Tully Hall
NEW YORK –– AXIOM, the acclaimed contemporary music ensemble led by Jeffrey Milarsky, concludes its three-concert series on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. in Alice Tully Hall with a portrait of the groundbreaking Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006). AXIOM performs Ligeti’s Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel (With Pipes, Drums, Fiddles) (2000) with countertenor Eric Jurenas and percussion ensemble; Six Bagatelles for wind quintet; Concerto for Cello (1966) with Juilliard cellist Jay Campbell, an Artist Diploma student; and Kammerkonzert (Chamber Concerto) (1970). Free tickets are available at events.juilliard.edu.
About György Ligeti
György Ligeti was born on May 28, 1923 as the son of Hungarian-Jewish parents in Dicsőszentmárton (now known as Târnǎveni, in Transylvania/Romania). He studied at the Conservatory in Klausenburg with Ferenc Farkas from 1941 to 1943 and from 1945 to 1949 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. He left his native country in December 1956 for both political and artistic reasons. During his time as freelancer in the West German Radio studio for electronic music in Cologne (1957-58), he undertook an intense study of the music of
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel and Pierre Boulez. In the 1960s, Ligeti was associate professor at the Summer School for Contemporary Music in Darmstadt and guest professor at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm. He received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD) in Berlin for 1969-70 and was composer in residence at the Stanford University in California in 1972 before being appointed as professor for composition at the Hamburg Musikhochschule the following year. Ligeti made a substantial impact on international contemporary music both as a university professor and as an active member of the music scene and became the musical aesthetic benchmark for a whole generation. György Ligeti died in Vienna on June 12, 2006.
About the Program
The program opens with Ligeti’s Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel (With Pipes, Drums, Fiddles) (2000), which was the composer’s last major work; it was commissioned by the Commande de la ville de Metz and had its premiere on November 10, 2000 in Metz with mezzo-soprano
Katalin Károlyi and the Amadinda Percussion Ensemble. The title when translated means ‘with pipes, drums, and fiddles’ and refers to a popular Hungarian nursery rhyme.
The Six Bagatelles come from Ligeti’s famous piano cycle, Musica ricercata, and are arranged for wind quintet. They were composed in 1953.
The second half of the program features “two classics that are total masterpieces of the European avant-garde genre,” remarked Jeffrey Milarsky. The Concerto for Cello was composed in 1966. The Kammerkonzert (Chamber Concerto) follows. “The chamber concerto and the cello concerto are very similar, but seldom heard together, Mr. Milarsky added. The Kammerkonzert (Chamber Concerto) had its premiere on April 5, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland with conductor Friedrich Cerha and ensemble Die Reihe. The work is extremely complex, and Ligeti treats each instrument like a soloist, ensuring that each individual musician in the ensemble has an interesting part to play. The composer’s concept and implementation is ingenious: the parallelism of different tempi which are combined with ‘super fast soloist actions’ (Ligeti) produces the unique and breathtaking ‘Ligeti sound,’ soaring and iridescent, for which the composer continues to be admired and revered up to the present day.
AXIOM, led by music director Jeffrey Milarsky, is dedicated to performing the masterworks of the 20th– and 21st-century repertoire. Since its debut in Avery Fisher Hall in February 2006, the group has rapidly established itself as a leading ensemble in New York City’s contemporary music scene with performances throughout Lincoln Center, in addition to frequent appearances at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre and (Le) Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village.
AXIOM is grounded in Juilliard’s curriculum. Students receive a credit in chamber music for performing in the ensemble, and during any four-year period, AXIOM members will have the opportunity to perform works by Adams, Birtwistle, Druckman, Lindberg, and Schoenberg, among other composers. Guest conductors of AXIOM have included Alan Gilbert, Susanna Mälkki and David Robertson.
This past season, AXIOM collaborated with Carnegie Hall on Vienna: City of Dreams, presenting a work by Austrian composer George Friedrich Haas; performed a program of works by Juilliard alumnus Jacob Druckman and Morton Subotnick’s Jacob’s Room (world premiere version 2013) with singer Joan La Barbara; and performed a program of Boulez and Stockhausen, as well as the critically-praised NY PHIL BIENNIAL production of HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pig Tale, May 29 – June 1 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Highlights from the 2012-13 season included a concert featuring Oliver Knussen’s Coursing, Charles Wuorinen’s Cyclops 2000, and Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1; a concert with Toru Takemitsu’s Archipelago S and John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music; and a collaboration with the Sibelius Academy, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, featuring works by American and Finnish composers, including works by Elliott Carter, Anthony Cheung, Vali-Matti Puumala, Sean Shepherd, and Jukka Tiensuu.
In previous seasons, AXIOM performed the world premiere of American composer Elliott Carter’s Three Explorations (2011) drawn from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets; Wolfgang Rihm’s rarely-heard Jagden und Formen (Hunts and Forms); Morton Feldman’s monumental Rothko Chapel – his take on abstract expressionist painting that’s also a eulogy to his friend Mark Rothko, which was presented by Lincoln Center as part of their inaugural Tully Scope festival; and works by Adams, Babbitt, Birtwistle, Boulez, Davidovsky, Grisey, Ligeti, Lindberg, Reich, and Saariaho.
About Jeffrey Milarsky
American conductor Jeffrey Milarsky is music director of AXIOM. Known for his innovative programming and a command of wide-ranging repertoire, spanning from Bach to Xenakis, In recent seasons he has worked with accomplished groups such as the San Francisco Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, MET Chamber Ensemble, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New World Symphony, Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic chamber music series. In the United States and abroad, he has premiered and recorded works by many groundbreaking contemporary composers, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and at IRCAM in Paris.
In 2015, Mr. Milarsky will make his New York Philharmonic debut conducting the CONTACT! series, a Japanese-based program including music of Takemitsu, Messiaen, Fujikura, and Mochizuki. Additionally, he will be returning to the Milwaukee Symphony to conduct in the 2014-15 season.
Mr. Milarsky has a long history of premiering, recording, and performing American composers, and in keeping with that he was recently presented the prestigious Ditson Conductor’s Award. Established in 1945, it is the oldest award honoring conductors for their commitment to the performance of American music. Past honorees have included Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, and James Levine. His interest and dedication has brought forth collaborations with esteemed composers such as Adams, Babbitt, Cage, Carter, Corigliano, Crumb, Davidovsky, Druckman, Gordon, Lang, Mackey, Rouse, Shapey, Subotnick, Wuorinen, and an entire generation of young and developing composers.
A dedicated pedagogue, Mr. Milarsky is a senior lecturer in music at Columbia University, where he is the music director and conductor of the Columbia University Orchestra. In addition to conducting the Juilliard Orchestra, he is the music director of AXIOM, The Juilliard School’s critically-acclaimed contemporary music ensemble, and serves on the conducting faculty at Juilliard.
A much-in-demand timpanist and percussionist, Mr. Milarsky has been the principal timpanist for the Santa Fe Opera since 2005. In addition, he has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. He has recorded extensively for Angel, Bridge, Teldec, Telarc, New World, CRI, MusicMasters, EMI, Koch, and London records.
Mr. Milarsky received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Peter Mennin Prize for outstanding leadership and achievement in the arts.
About Jay Campbell
American cellist Jay Campbell is the First Prize Winner of the 2012 CAG Victor Elmaleh International Competition. This spellbinding artist combines eclectic musical interests and a diverse spectrum of repertoire, which has led to collaborations with musicians ranging from Elliott Carter and Pierre Boulez to David Lang and John Zorn to members of Radiohead and Einstürzende Neubauten.
For the 2014-15 season, featured concerto appearances include a return to Alice Tully Hall to perform the Ligeti Cello Concerto with AXIOM and conductor Jeffrey Milarsky, and debut performances with the Alabama Symphony, Ohio Valley Symphony, and Wartburg Symphony. Mr. Campbell’s solo recitals this season include his Kennedy Center debut on the Washington Performing Arts series, featuring a world premiere by David Fulmer, and an appearance on CAG’s series at SubCulture in Manhattan.
Recent concerto highlights include his New York Philharmonic debut performing Tan Dun’s “Silk Road Encounters” from Crouching Tiger Concerto on a Young People’s Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, and his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony at Stern Auditorium, as well as Lucerne Festival Academy, Oakland East-Bay Symphony, The Juilliard Orchestra and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. Among the conductors with whom he has collaborated are Pierre Boulez, Matthias Pintscher, Michael Morgan, Jeffrey Milarsky, Joshua Weilerstein and Ryan McAdams. Recent recitals include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Italian Academy at Columbia University, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and the Mondavi Center at UC Davis, all with pianist Conor Hanick.
Jay Campbell has premiered nearly one hundred works to date, including concerti by Chris Rogerson and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. In 2013-14, Jay premiered a new recital piece written for him by John Zorn called occam’s razor, and for the 2015-16 season, a new cello concerto will be commissioned for Mr. Campbell from American composer David Fulmer, which is entitled Genus and Species and co-commissioned by the Human Rights Foundation. He has had the privilege of working with leading new music groups including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), Ensemble InterContemporain, Da Capo Chamber Players, and the Argento Ensemble. A further testament to his dedication to the music of our time comes from the ASCAP Foundation which honored him with the Lieber & Stoller Award.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Campbell has worked with members of the Arditti, Takacs, Kronos, and Afiara String Quartets. Festival appearances include Marlboro Music, Moab Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and Festival Heidelberger Frühling in Germany, and he has enjoyed residencies at Vermont’s Yellow Barn Music Festival and at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Texas.
Born in Berkeley, CA, Jay Campbell studied at The Juilliard School where he received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees while studying with celebrated cellist Fred Sherry. He currently is in Juilliard’s Artist Diploma program.
About Eric Jurenas
Countertenor Eric Jurenas, from Annandale, Virginia, is a Master of Music student at The Juilliard School, where he studies with Robert C. White Jr. Mr Jurenas has performed as featured soloist with several groups, including the Santa Fe Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Philadelphia, Wolf Trap Opera, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and the Colorado Bach Ensemble.
This season’s highlights include performances with the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, American Bach Soloists, Juilliard415, Juilliard Songfest, AXIOM, New Juilliard Ensemble, Burlington Choral Society, Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital, and Artist-in-Residence at the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, the oldest American collegiate festival. A frequent performer of new music, he has covered David Daniels in the title role of Theodore Morrison’s Oscar, commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera, and will do so again for Opera Philadelphia’s 2015 production of the work.
Mr. Jurenas is a recipient of the Teplitsky Memorial Fund Scholarship. Please visit www.ericjurenas.com for updates. Mr. Jurenas receives support from a Johnny Desmond Scholarship in Voice, a John S. Zinsser Jr. Scholarship, and a Phyllis Joan Hoyland Memorial Scholarship in Voice.
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Composer’s Portrait of György Ligeti (1923-2006)
AXIOM, Led by Jeffrey Milarsky
Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall
Jeffrey Milarsky, conductor
Jay Campbell, cellist
Eric Jurenas, countertenor
Percussion ensemble: Andrew Funcheon, Tony Guarino, Brandon Ilaw, Christian Lundqvist
Woodwind quintet: Andreas Lamo (flute), Lauren Williams (oboe), Anton Rist (clarinet), David Nagy (bassoon), Kaitlyn Resler (horn)
Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel (With Pipes, Drums, Fiddles) (2000)
Six Bagatelles for wind quintet (1953)
Concerto for Cello (1966)
Kammerkonzert (Chamber Concerto) (1970)
Free tickets are available at events.juilliard.edu.