Apr. 2, 2020 at 7:30pm The Natural Order at Carnegie Hall

Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 7:30 PM
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
57th St. and 7th Ave., NYC

ABOUT

A concert inspired by extreme landscapes and human exploration begins with the New York premiere of John Luther Adams’ Become River, a companion piece to his 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning orchestral work, Become Ocean. This program also features world premieres of two ACO commissions: Mark Adamo’s Last Year: Concerto for Cello and String Orchestra featuring cellist Jeffrey Zeigler; and Nina C. Young’s Out of whose womb came the ice, a sonic and visual portrait of famed explorer Ernest Shackelton’s Antarctic journey (1914-17) featuring baritone David Tinervia.

TICKETS

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Single tickets available August 20, 2019. 

FEATURED ARTISTS
American Composers Orchestra
George Manahan, music director and conductor
Jeffrey Zeigler, cello
David Tinervia, baritone
R. Luke DuBois, projection designer

 

THE WORKS

BECOME RIVER (2010, New York City Premiere)
A companion piece to John Luther Adams’ 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning orchestral work, Become Ocean.

<<IN THE COMPOSER'S OWN WORDS>>

“Steven Schick [Percussionist and conductor] and I were having dinner together. I was just beginning work on a large-scale piece for the Seattle Symphony. So, when Steve asked me if I might be interested in composing a new piece for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, I must have hesitated. Deftly, Steve asked me to tell him a little about the Seattle piece. I went on at length about the music I’d begun to imagine, finally concluding: “It’s called Become Ocean. The title comes from a poem that John Cage wrote in honor of Lou Harrison.” Cage observes that the breadth and variety of Harrison’s music make it ‘resemble a river in delta.’ He concludes that:  

 LiStening to it
we becOme
oceaN.  

‘So you’re already composing a symphonic ocean,’ Steve said.’Maybe for a smaller orchestra you could go ahead and compose that river in delta.’ Steve had me, and I knew it. Within a week I’d begun work on Become River. From a single high descending line, this music gradually expands into a delta of melodic streams flowing toward the depths. I now imagine this river and its related ocean, as part of a larger series of pieces encompassing desert, mountain, tundra and perhaps other landscapes and waterscapes.
-John Luther Adams

LAST YEAR (World Premiere; ACO Commission)
Cello Concerto by Mark Adamo, written for Jeffrey Zeigler and ACO.

<<IN THE COMPOSER'S OWN WORDS>>

I was brainstorming with the protean cellist Jeff Zeigler about our long-dreamt concerto right about the time I listened—for the first time in a while—to a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in which my spouse’s father – as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic – played the solo part under Leonard Bernstein. I was struck, not only by the beauty of the playing, but by the vigor and color of the composition—and by the innocence of its portraits. As soon as I finished listening to the concerti, I watched on the news how Hurricane Harvey—yet another in a series of once-in-a-lifetime storms that now seem to arrive every year—had just inundated the city of Houston. I turned to my spouse and, thinking of the Vivaldi, I thought, “there’s no way you could compose that piece today, could you?” 

Last Year is my attempt to answer that question: not in four separate concerti, but in a single four-movement concerto for cello and an orchestra of strings, harp, piano and percussion not dissimilar in forces from Vivaldi’s own. While the score has no overt program, certain events and images shadow it. The nervous, fugitive scherzo of my Autumn is haunted by the memory of Eunice Foote, the first scientist to present proof of greenhouse gases, and first scientist to be dismissed and denied for such proof. Winter stands in awe before Le Triangle Noir,  three municipalities in Canada rendered glittering and lethal by an ice-storm of historic dimension that killed 35 people in 1998. Spring: Zephaniah 1:15-16  signals here a rebirth not of hope, but alarm: two ancient musical tropes are joined in contrapuntal battle in the emotional nadir of the concerto. And Summer: for Julia, b. 2046 imagines whatwe could say to someone born into a world of danger—and, perhaps, hope—that now we can only imagine.
-Mark Adamo

OUT OF WHOSE WOMB CAME THE ICE (World Premiere of expanded version; ACO Commission)
A sonic and visual glimpse of a segment of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17) by composer Nina C. Young with original text by Young and David Tinervia.

<<READ MORE ABOUT THE WORK>>

In August 1914, polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton gathered a crew of 27 men and set sail for the South Atlantic. They were in pursuit of the last unclaimed prize of the Heroic Age of Exploration: to be the first to cross the Antarctic continent by foot. Upon entering the Weddell Sea, they encountered unusually foul weather. Weaving south, their ship, the Endurance, became trapped only 85 miles from their destination. After months of waiting for the ice to break, the ship was crushed and sank, leaving the crew stranded upon the ice floes. In pursuit of survival, Shackleton and his crew endured 22 months traversing ice floes up the Antarctic Peninsula. The final leg included a deadly 800-mile open boat journey in their lifeboat, in hopes of reaching South Georgia Island. The crew was rescued on August 30, 1916; everyone survived. Though the expedition failed, it remains one of the most miraculous stories of polar exploration and human survival.  

Out of whose womb came the ice looks at the expedition from the time they enter the Weddell Sea to the sinking of the Endurance. The visuals and electronics offer narrative elements drawn directly from documents of the journey: journal entries of the crew and images by expedition’s official photographer Frank Hurley.

Original Text written by Nina C. Young and David Tinervia – for the full text, visit bit.ly/ACOParables

 

FEATURED ARTISTS

Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most innovative and versatile cellists of our time. He has been described as “fiery”, and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” by the New York Times. Acclaimed for his independent streak, Zeigler has commissioned over three dozen works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. Mr. Zeigler has released dozens of recordings for Nonesuch Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Cantaloupe and Smithsonian Folkways and has appeared with Norah Jones on her album Not Too Late on Blue Note Records. Zeigler can also be heard on the film soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino’s Academy Award winning film, La Grande Bellezza, as well as Clint Mansell’s Golden Globe nominated soundtrack to the Darren Aronofsky film, The Fountain. Zeigler can also be seen making an onscreen cameo in Season 4 of the Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe Award winning series Mozart in the Jungle.
<<KEEP READING>>

Zeigler’s multifaceted career has led to collaborations and tours with a wide array of artists from Yo-Yo Ma and Roomful of Teeth to Tanya Tagaq and Hauschka, and from Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson to John Zorn.  

When he is not performing new works for cello, Zeigler is the Label Director of National Sawdust Tracks, the non-profit, in-house record label and recording studio of National Sawdust, an artist-led, multidisciplinary new music venue in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Jeffrey Zeigler was the cellist of the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet for eight seasons. During his tenure, Zeigler had the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of luminaries from Henryk Gorecki and Noam Chomsky to Steve Reich and Tom Waits. Zeigler is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts, the Chamber Music America Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award and The Asia Society’s Cultural Achievement Award. Zeigler is the Co-Chair of the String Department and on the Cello Faculty at Mannes School for Music.

 

Baritone David Tinervia has performed as a soloist throughout the United States and Canada. He made his American Composers Orchestra debut in 2017 singing the world premiere of Nina C. Young’s Out of Whose Womb Came the Ice (Part I), noted by The New York Times in “This Week’s 8 Best Classical Music Moments.” Since then he has deepened his commitment to contemporary vocal repertoire working closely with composer John Harbison in Boston, most recently as the baritone soloist in Harbison’s Fifth Symphony with Emmanuel Music. Later this season at Emmanuel Music, Mr. Tinervia will sing as a soloist in Harbison’s Supper at Eammaus, conducted by the composer himself, as well as a world premiere with Harbison at the piano in honor of his 80th birthday. Mr. Tinervia is also a featured soloist on the commercial recording of James Kallembach’s The Most Sacred Body with Music at Marsh Chapel.
<<KEEP READING>>

A two-time fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, Mr. Tinervia made his debut as The Traveler in Britten’s Curlew River in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Since then, he has sung a wide variety of early, contemporary and operatic repertoire with many of the region’s finest ensembles, including Boston’s Handel + Haydn Society, Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, Arcadia Players, Music at Marsh Chapel, Ballet Opera Pantomime in Montreal and Ensemble Caprice. In 2016, he became a winner of the Boston District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Mr. Tinervia holds bachelor and master’s degrees in music from McGill University in Montreal where he studied under the late Sanford Sylvan. He currently studies with Benjamin Luxon in Western Massachusetts. While committed to his career in music, he is also actively pursuing studies in premedical science at the Harvard Extension School.

 

R. Luke DuBois is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural and personal ephemera. He holds a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University, and has lectured and taught worldwide on interactive sound and video performance. He has collaborated on interactive performance, installation, and music production work with many artists and organizations including Toni Dove, Todd Reynolds, Chris Mann, Bora Yoon, Michael Joaquin Grey, Matthew Ritchie, Elliott Sharp, Michael Gordon, Maya Lin, Bang on a Can, Engine 27, Harvestworks, and LEMUR, and was the director of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra for its 2007 season. Stemming from his investigations of “time-lapse phonography,” his work is a sonic and encyclopedic relative to time-lapse photography. Just as a long camera exposure fuses motion into a single image, his projects reveal the average sonority, visual language, and vocabulary in music, film, text, or cultural information.

<<KEEP READING>>

An active visual and musical collaborator, DuBois is the co-author of Jitter, a software suite for the real-time manipulation of matrix data developed by San Francisco-based software company Cycling’74. He appears on nearly twenty-five albums both individually and as part of the avant-garde electronic group The Freight Elevator Quartet. He currently performs as part of Bioluminescence, a duo with vocalist Lesley Flanigan that explores the modality of the human voice, and in Fair Use, a trio with Zach Layton and Matthew Ostrowski, that looks at our accelerating culture through electronic performance and remixing of cinema. DuBois has lived for the last twenty-five years in New York City. He is the director of the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and is on the Board of Directors of the ISSUE Project Room and Eyebeam. His records are available on Caipirinha/Sire, Liquid Sky, C74, and Cantaloupe Music. His artwork is represented by bitforms gallery in New York City.

 

THE COMPOSERS

John Luther Adams is a composer whose life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world. Adams was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his symphonic work Become Ocean, as well as a Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” (2014). Inuksuit, his work for up to 99 percussionists, is regularly performed all over the world. Columbia University has honored Adams with the William Schuman Award “to recognize the lifetime achievement of an American composer whose works have been widely performed and generally acknowledged to be of lasting significance.” A recipient of the Heinz Award for his contributions to raising environmental awareness, JLA has also been honored with the Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University “for melding the physical and musical worlds into a unique artistic vision that transcends stylistic boundaries.”
<<KEEP READING>>

Born in 1953, JLA grew up in the South and in the suburbs of New York City. He studied composition with James Tenney at the California Institute of the Arts, where he was in the first graduating class (in 1973). In the mid-1970s he became active in the campaign for the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and subsequently served as executive director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. Adams has taught at Harvard University, the Oberlin Conservatory, Bennington College, and the University of Alaska. He has also served as composer in residence with the Anchorage Symphony, Anchorage Opera, Fairbanks Symphony, Arctic Chamber Orchestra, and the Alaska Public Radio Network. The music of John Luther Adams is recorded on Cantaloupe, Cold Blue, New World, Mode, and New Albion, and his books are published by Wesleyan University Press.

 

American composer-librettist Mark Adamo first attracted national attention with the libretto and score to his uniquely successful début opera, Little Women, after the novel by Louisa May Alcott. Introduced by Houston Grand Opera in 1998 and revived there in 2000, Little Women has since enjoyed over 100 national and international engagements in cities ranging from New York to Minneapolis, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, Adelaide, Mexico City, Tokyo, and the recent European premiere in Belgium (2009) and Canadian premiere in 2010 in Calgary and Banff. It is one of the most frequently performed North American operas of the last two decades. Comparable acclaim greeted the premiere of Lysistrata, or the Nude Goddess, adapted from Aristophanes’ comedy but including elements from Sophocles’ Antigone.. His third full-length opera, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene was commissioned and introduced by San Francisco Opera in June 2013.
<<KEEP READING>>

His latest opera, Becoming Santa Claus, was released on DVD/Blu-Ray in September 2017. It was commissioned and introduced by Dallas Opera in December 2015. Adamo’s first concerto, Four Angels: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and introduced in June 2007. It was subsequently performed by Utah Symphony in 2011 and the Thailand International Contemporary Music Festival in July 2016. Naxos released Adamo’s dramatic orchestral song cycle Late Victorians in 2009 on an all-Adamo CD which also features Alcott Music, from Little Women, for strings, harp, celesta, and percussion; Regina Coeli, an arrangement of the slow movement of Four Angels for harp and strings alone; and the four-minute Overture to Lysistrata for medium orchestra, performed by Eclipse Chamber Orchestra.

 

The music of New York-based composer Nina C. Young (b.1984) is characterized by an acute sensitivity to tone color, manifested in aural images of vibrant, arresting immediacy. Her experience in the electronic music studio informs her acoustic work, which takes as its given not melody and harmony, but sound itself, continuously metamorphosing from one state to another. Her musical voice draws from elements of the classical canon, modernism, spectralism, American experimentalism, minimalism, electronic music, and popular idioms. Her projects strive to create unique sonic environments that can be appreciated by a wide variety of audiences while challenging stylistic boundaries, auditory perception, and notions of temporality. Young’s works have been presented by the National Gallery, the Whitney Museum, LA Phil’s Next on Grand, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series. Her music has garnered international acclaim through performances by American Composers Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Either/Or, the JACK Quartet, mise-en, wild Up, and Yarn/Wire.
<<KEEP READING>>

Winner of the 2015-16 Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, Young has also received a Koussevitzky Commission, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Award, Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize, and honors from BMI, IAWM, and ASCAP/SEAMUS. Recent commissions include a violin concerto for Jennifer Koh from the Philadelphia Orchestra and a new work for the American Brass Quintet and EMPAC’s wavefield synthesis audio system. A graduate of McGill University and MIT, Young completed her DMA at Columbia University. She is an Assistant Professor of Composition at USC, and Co-Artistic Director of New York’s Ensemble Échappé.

The commission and world premiere performance of Mark Adamo’s Last Year is made possible with lead funding from Susan W. Rose Fund for Music, with additional support from ACO’s 2020 Commission Club.

The commission and world premiere of Nina C. Young’s Out of whose womb came the ice is generously supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.