New Year/New Music!

Argento New Music Project, New York, USA

The focus of Argento’s current season is a new performance series called New Year/New Music!, which showcased the music of young and emerging composers, as well as it celebrated the profound influence that eminent French composer Tristan Murail had on a generation of younger musicians during his tenure at Columbia University in New York City. To achieve the latter, in particular, concerts in the series, that again was supported by Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, featured many works by Murail’s students. The presented young and emerging composers were Adam Roberts, James Falconi, Jon Forshee, Aaron Cassidy, Erin Gee, Kathryn Alexander, Clint McCallum, Aaron Einbond, Hannah Lash, Oliver Schneller, Alexandre Lunsqui, Andile Kumalo, Mahir Cetiz, and Yoshi Onishi.

Argento produced the series in January and February of 2014. Each weekend in January, the ensemble performed a different program of music by emerging composers and students of Murail. It performed each of these programs twice: once on Friday and once on Sunday. Then, in the first two weekends of February, the series culminated with two final programs presenting works by Murail himself. The series was held at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, and featured several world premieres, and, as with all Argento’s concert series, featured post-concert discussions with composers and performers.

The programs for the concerts were created by Argento’s artistic director, Michel Galante, and by its soloists, including violinist David Fulmer, clarinetist Carol McGonnell, flutist Erin Lesser, and violist Stephanie Griffin. The composers have been working closely with Argento soloists, with some composers writing especially for the Argento musicians, and notably not on the basis of a commission – indeed which is why we see the series as being a genuine collaboration between Argento and the composers. The unique format of the series – that it presented the same program twice in a weekend, separated by one day – offered several advantages over more typical series formats. The most important advantage is that it allowed Argento to present and promote the work of the composers and performers as effectively as possible. Allowing a day to pass before the encore performance created time for audiences, press, and social media to respond to what they saw and heard, and to share that response with others.  

January 3–February 9, 2014, each Friday and Sunday
Austrian Cultural Forum New York, USA

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