Maya Beiser Premieres New Cello Concerto by Mohammed Fairouz with Detroit Symphony
Led by Music Director Leonard Slatkin
LIVE FROM ORCHESTRA HALL WEBCAST:
Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 8pm ET
Watch Online: www.dso.org/live
Maya Beiser Online: www.mayabeiser.com
“Maya Beiser, the reigning queen of the avant-garde cello, has been pushing out the boundaries of her instrument for years, but [it’s] clear she’s now aiming at almost transcendental heights.” – The Washington Post
Detroit, MI — Maya Beiser will give the world premiere of composer Mohammed Fairouz’s new cello concerto, Desert Sorrows, with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra led by Music Director Leonard Slatkin, in a concert that will be live webcast as part of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series at www.dso.org/live on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 8pm Eastern. The concert also includes Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings, Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 “Prague.”
Desert Sorrows is commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for Maya Beiser, and made possible through the generous support of Peter D. Cummings. Maya, who grew up in a progressive Kibbutz in the Galilee mountain of Israel, often talks about the impact of her multi-cultural upbringing – surrounded by the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying Western classical cello repertoire.
She says of working with Mohammed Fairouz, “Mohammed, a Muslim Arab-American and I, a Jewish Israeli-American, share a vision: We believe in the power of music to heal and unite. We believe that what connects us as humans is far greater than what tears us apart.” Fairouz has previously written a solo cello work for Maya – a new Kol Nidrei in which Maya sings the text in Aramaic and engages echoes of ancient cantorial styles – that is part of her latest multimedia production All Vows.
Desert Sorrows is inspired by Fairouz’s fascination with angels. He writes about the piece, “The cello soloist in this concerto represents, at different moments, the four main angels shared in all three major Middle Eastern monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.” The three movements explore The Day of Reckoning or apocalypse, The Graves (not as final resting spots, but as temporary places visited between death and resurrection), and finally joyful resurrection.
Cellist Maya Beiser defies categories. Passionately forging a career path through uncharted territories, she has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. The Boston Globe declares, “With virtuoso chops, rock-star charisma, and an appetite for pushing her instrument to the edge of avant-garde adventurousness, Maya Beiser is the post-modern diva of the cello.”
Maya has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical arena. A featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, London’s South Bank Centre, Sydney Opera House, and the Beijing Festival, she has collaborated with a wide range of artists across many disciplines, including Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Shirin Neshat, Steve Reich, David Lang, Tan Dun, Robert Woodruff, Bill Morrison, Evan Ziporyn and Osvaldo Golijov, among many others.
Maya’s 2012 production, Elsewhere: A CelloOpera, premiered at Carolina Performing Arts followed by a sold-out run at the BAM Next Wave Festival. Her latest project All Vows explores the dichotomy between the physical, external world and the inner landscape of our secret selves and premiered at the Yerba Buena Center in 2014. Beiser is currently touring All Vows worldwide. Recent and upcoming performances include the BAM 2015 Next Wave Festival, London’s Barbican Hall, and the Ojai Music Festival.
Maya Beiser is a United States Artists (USA) Distinguished Fellow in Music for 2015. Invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach, CA, Maya’s 2011 TEDtalk has been watched by close to one million people and translated to 32 languages. In 2013, she was a featured guest alongside such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović, and Isabella Rossellini at ICASTICA, a festival celebrating women working in artistic fields in Arezzo, Italy.
Maya is a graduate of Yale University and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Her vast discography includes eight solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her 2010 album Provenance topped the classical and world music charts on both Amazon and iTunes, and her album Time Loops was selected among NPR’s top 10 recordings of 2012. Her latest album Uncovered, a collection of re-imagined and re-contextualized classic rock masterpieces, was in the top 10 on the Billboard Classical Chart upon release in August 2014 and has been garnering rave reviews. www.mayabeiser.com
About Mohammed Fairouz:
Mohammed Fairouz, born in 1985, is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers today. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice” and by BBC World News as “one of the most talented composers of his generation,” his large-scale symphonies, operas and oratorios all engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purpose. Fairouz recently became the youngest composer in the 115-year history of the Deutsche Grammophon label to have an album dedicated to his works with the spring 2015 release of Follow, Poet. The album, which launched the label’s Return to Language series, includes two works that exalt the transformative power of language: his elegiac song cycle Audenesque and the ballet Sadat. The album has met with broad critical acclaim and received “highbrow and brilliant” distinctions in New York Magazine’s taste-making Approval Matrix. Fairouz’s solo and chamber music attains an “intoxicating intimacy,” according to New York’s WQXR. A composer who describes himself as “obsessed with text,” he has been recognized by New Yorker magazine as an “expert in vocal writing” and described by Gramophone as “a post-millennial Schubert.” His principal teachers in composition include György Ligeti, Gunther Schuller, and Richard Danielpour, with studies at the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory. Fairouz’s works are published by Peermusic Classical. He lives in New York City. www.mohammedfairouz.com
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