World Premieres by Curtis Student Composers

Performance on stage at Curtis

A program of world premieres by Curtis student composers. Their program:

Riho Esko Maimets: unusta
Ensemble39
Toronto-born Riho Maimets moved to Tallinn, Estonia following his graduation from Curtis, where he studied with David Ludwig and Richard Danielpour. Riho encourages listeners to embrace spirituality through his music, which finds inspiration in everything from Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine chant to the “holy minimalism” of composers such as Arvo Part.

Andrew Hsu : “…floating clouds, wandering thoughts…”
Nian Wang, mezzo-soprano; Timotheos Petrin, cello; Ted Babcock, Won Suk Lee and Neil Rao, percussion
Andrew is a triple threat musician: pianist, budding conductor, and composer. He is currently studying composition at Curtis with David Ludwig. The piece we hear tonight is scored for voice and ensemble, setting verses by the Chinese poet Li Bai (701-762). In so doing, Andrew confronts the conflicting influences of a first-generation Chinese-American.

Read Andrew Hsu’s poetry.

Alyssa Weinberg: zoomOrphia
Ensemble39
Dix Hills, New York native Alyssa Weinberg also studies with David Ludwig at Curtis. The title of this new work is a play on “zoomorphism,” the use of animal forms in art and religion, and employs extended techniques in the instrumentation. Fittingly, Alyssa dedicated zoomOrphia to her pet dog.

Rene Orth: “You Shattered My Deafness”
Johnathan McCullough, baritone; Shannon Lee & Laura Park, violins; Ren Martin-Doike, viola; Andres Sanchez, cello
Rene hails from Garland, Texas, and is a student of David Ludwig. Her interest in opera is reflected in this vocal work. Rene is inspired by the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, and alternates violence and calm in this new piece.

Read Rene Orth’s poetry.

(Tonight’s players in ensemble39 include oboist Alexandra von der Embse, clarinetist, Stanislav Chernyshev, violinist, Eunice Kim, violist Born Lau, and double bassist Nathaniel West)

Music Word of the Week: Minimalism
“A term, borrowed from the visual art movement of the same name, applied to a style of composition that originated in the USA in the 1960s. It came about as a reaction to the prevailing modernist climate of the 1950s, with its dominant trends of indeterminacy (as represented by Cage) and total serialism (Stockhausen and Boulez)….In the 1990s a number of European composers, notably Gorecki, Part and Tavener, exploited its qualities of timelessness to create what became dubbed ‘spiritual minimalism.'” (from the Oxford Dictionary of Music)

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