Release (2004/03/10)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004 at 8:00pm
Carnegie Hall

Fanfares and Fire

Steven Sloane, conductor
eighth blackbird, guest ensemble

DAVID SCHOBER: Split Horizon Concerto for Sextet and Orchestra
(World Premiere, Commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation)
DARON HAGEN: Fire Music (New York Premiere)
NED ROREM: Lions (A Dream)
NICHOLAS MAW: The World in the Evening (New York Premiere)

Pre-concert discussion, moderated by ACO Artistic Director Robert Beaser, is free to all ticket holders and begins at 7:00pm

Tickets: $15, $34, and $42
Call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800

“Fanfares and Fire”
Heat Up Carnegie Hall March 10

eighth blackbird in world premiere by David Schober; High-energy blasts from Rorem & Hagen, coupled with Nicholas Maw’s reflective The World in the Evening

ACO takes the Carnegie Hall stage on March 10, 2004 at 8pm with a program featuring the flawless energy of the young chamber ensemble eighth blackbird in the world premiere of David Schober’s Split Horizon, a concerto for sextet and orchestra. Also on tap are New York premieres from Daron Hagen, as well as Ned Rorem’s evocativeLions (A Dream). Nicholas Maw’s panoramic The World in the Evening, also in its New York premiere, rounds out a program of powerful originality.

The concert contrasts fiery, high-powered intensity with reflective and intimate exploration, and showcases the striking diversity of a formidable chamber-ensemble-as-soloist, dream-based introspection, energetic fanfare, and architecturally oriented musical portraits. This is new music that, through both forceful display of virtuosity and quiet, ever-evolving journeys, allows an experience of delightful unpredictability.

eighth blackbird and Schober’s Split Horizon

eighth blackbird has been called “fiendishly good,” by The New Yorker, “a superb contemporary ensemble,” by The New York Times, and praised for its “unremitting intensity,” by The Los Angeles Times. With a growing reputation for flawless and engaging performances, often with the players performing difficult music from memory while traversing the stage, eighth blackbird has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 92nd Street Y, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. The group has been honored with the 2000 Naumburg Chamber Music Award, a two-time winner of the CMA/ASCAP awards for adventurous programming, and as the first contemporary ensemble to win first prize in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition. With instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, eighth blackbird has premiered works by composers Frederic Rzewski, George Perle, Michael Torke, George Crumb, Aaron Jay Kernis, Paul Moravec, Joan Tower, and David Lang, among others.

Opening the concert is David Schober’s Split Horizon, Concerto for Sextet and Orchestra. The work draws obliquely on the Baroque concerto grosso tradition, with eighth blackbird playing throughout most of the piece. Split Horizon, according to the composer, is “a reflection on the paradox of the border between earth and sky—a border that in truth has no location, visible but never reachable, always retreating further into the distance.” David Schober is a 29-year-old composer, now completing doctoral studies at the University of Michigan, where he has studied with Bright Sheng, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty and William Albright. A winner of BMI Student Composer and ASCAP Young Composer Awards, Schober was recently awarded the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Lions and Fire Music

Ned Rorem celebrated his 80th birthday this fall. His Lions (A Dream) dates from 1963, and combines the composer’s obsessions with poetry and zoology. The music is based on a poem Rorem penned one morning after a dream combining sounds of his musical past—from Ravel and Stravinsky to the blues of Billie Holiday—with visions of lion cubs, and ultimately the composer’s own death at the hands of a great lion. Rorem’s music displays the graceful, evocative traits that have remained his hallmarks.

Daron Hagen’s music has been described as “utterly brilliant” by The New York Times, and “of considerable artistic achievement and of uncompromising seriousness,” by The Times of London. Written in 1991, Fire Music is “…a big, bold, glittery affair built on multifaceted techniques… lush melodic string lines… moments of clever counterpoint and complex manipulation of harmonies against a kaleidoscope of muted figurations,” according to The Los Angeles Times. The piece, which receives its New York premiere, is a symphonic portrait of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the devastating effect that fire had on his life, particularly the destruction of his home in Taliesin and resulting deaths of his lover and her children. According to Mr. Hagen, “The first gesture of the piece may as well be an igniting spark and the rest of the it the roaring of the flames.”

Reflective Music from Nicholas Maw

Amid the pyrotechnics of the other works on this program, Nicholas Maw’s The World in the Evening stands apart as contemplative, with a rich and expansive darkness. The composer has described the work as a “lullaby for orchestra” not in the sense of a children’s song, but as an evocation of evening in different contexts: a time of day, a time of life, a state of mind, and a state of the world. Maw draws on the traditions of his English upbringing while revealing an intimate and personal voice. Nicholas Maw has made his home in Washington, DC for more than a decade.

Steven Sloane, music director & conductor

Music Director Steven Sloane (Photo Credit: Stas Rzeznik)Steven Sloane is one of the most adventurous and innovative conductors to have emerged in recent years. Through his work with orchestras, festivals, choruses, and opera companies across Europe and in America, Mr. Sloane has won acclaim for his compelling programming, theatrical flair, and impressive technique. His passion for unusual repertoire, interest in eclectic juxtapositions of music of divergent eras and styles, commitment to contemporary works, and willingness to challenge convention have established Mr. Sloane as a bold champion of the future of concert music. [find out more…]

Tickets & Information

“Fanfares and Fire” is March 10, 2004 at 8pm in Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $15, $34 and $42, and may be purchased through CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, by visiting Carnegie Hall’s website at, or at the Carnegie Hall box office, 57th Street at 7th Ave. The concert is preceded by a discussion (free to ticket holders) with the composers featured on the program, moderated by ACO’s Artistic Director Robert Beaser, at 7:00pm.

About ACO

Founded in 1977, American Composers Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation of music by American composers. [find out more…]

Major support of American Composers Orchestra is from Alliance Capital Management L.P., Amphion Foundation, ASCAP, The Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Bodman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, BMI Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Citigroup Foundation, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Consolidated Edison, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Eleanor Naylor Dana Charitable Trust, Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, The Estate of Francis Goelet, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, The Hauser Foundation, Henfield Foundation, Victor Herbert Foundation, Geoffrey Hughes Foundation, Christian Humann Foundation, Jephson Educational Trust, The Jerome Foundation, Helen Sperry Lea Foundation, Koussevitzky Foundation, Meet the Composer, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JPMorganChase, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Foundation, The New York Times Co. Foundation, Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, Oakleigh L. Thorne Foundation, and The Helen F. Whitaker Fund. ACO programs are also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.