home
calendar
about CONTINUUM
about the directors
quotes
contact us

retrospective concerts
recordings

united states tours
performances abroad
adventures

calendar

 

Continuum’s 45th New York Series
2010-2011

Cheryl Seltzer & Joel Sachs, Directors

CONTINUUM IS 45!

Celebrating with five premieres and a classic

Sunday, May 1, 7 PM
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center
129 West 67th Street
merkinconcerthall.org
 
Internationally-acclaimed Continuum - New York’s oldest contemporary music organization - celebrates its 45th New York season.  Premieres of major new works written for Continuum by Ursula Mamlok, Wang Jie, Carman Moore, Ileana Perez Velázquez, Roberto Sierra, and a piece by Elliott Schwartz honoring his 75th year.
 
Tickets $20, students/seniors $10.  Tickets, info: 212-501-3330,  merkinconcerthall.org
Please note 7 PM time.
 

This flyer can be downloaded as can the press release for this concert.s

CONTINUUM, directed by Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, completes its landmark 45th New York Series with a special concert Sunday, May 1, 7 PM, at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street. This celebration concert will feature recent major works composed for Continuum: World Premieres by Ursula Mamlok and Wang Jie, and New York Premieres by Carman Moore, Ileana Perez Velázquez, and Roberto Sierra. A work by Elliott Schwartz will honor his 75th birthday year.

Continuum is honored to premiere works from this distinguished group of American composers, representing a variety of styles and cultural backgrounds. Of the two works receiving World Premieres URSULA MAMLOK has written her first major work for piano 4-hands, Mosaics (2011), for co-directors Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, at an energetic age 88. Mamlok, who spent most of her career in New York, recently returned to her native Berlin, in part because of rapidly increasing performance of her music in Europe. Her music unifies classical serial procedures and spontaneous, vivid emotional characterization. Also in its World Premiere is WANG JIE's A Longing for Spring, A Multi-language Song Cycle (2011) for soprano, clarinet, violin, and piano. Language and music form a close bond in this work, on a well-known poem expressing the personal impact of war by the great 8th-century Chinese poet Tu Fu. Born in China in 1980 and in New York since 2000, Wang Jie sets three forms of the poem: the original Chinese, a word-for-word literal English translation, and last, a poetic English interpretation. Heightening awareness of the language Wang Jie will project the Chinese characters and English forms as super-titles.

Receiving their New York Premieres are two other works for voice and ensemble: Idolos del sueño (Dream eidolons - 2010) for soprano, clarinet, violin, cello, piano by ILEANA PEREZ VELÁZQUEZ (b. 1964, Cuba) and SHE (An Appreciation) (2010) for soprano, clarinet, violin, piano by CARMAN MOORE (b. 1936). Perez Velázquez, recognized as one of Cuba's most promising young composers, moved to the U.S. in 1993 and teaches at Williams College. This ecstatic work sets texts of the eminent Cuban-American poet Carlos Pintado. She was inspired by these poems: "they contain profound metaphors on life, time, love, and poetic reflections on our brief but also highly emotional and pervasive existence." Moore, an internationally active composer and multi-talented musical figure well-known in New York, creates the stages of a woman's life cycle with his own texts intermingled with quotations from Lord Byron, Lucretius, Sun Bu-Er, and Basho. Continuum gave the World Premiere at San Paulo, Brazil's Festival Música Nova last Fall.

Continuum has performed and recorded many compositions of the brilliant Puerto Rico-born ROBERTO SIERRA. Born in 1953 and educated in Puerto Rico, Sierra undertook further composition studies in Europe, and for three years was a pupil of György Ligeti. After prominent positions in both Puerto Rico and the U.S., he is now professor of composition at Cornell University. The music of Sierra's Afro-Cuban heritage underlies many of his compositions, the Caribbean popular music treated with utmost sophistication, vitality, and color. The Sonata para violin y piano (2010) seems to bow to tradition in the soaring songful melodies, accompanying figurations, and formal structure, but the abundant spice of complex contrapuntal and rhythmic transformations give it a completely new sensibility. The concert will also include a work in honor of an old friend of Continuum, ELLIOTT SCHWARTZ, in his 75th year. Retired now from Bowdoin College and with long service as leader of several composers' organizations, Schwartz continues his internationally-active career. His 1998 Vienna Dreams for viola, clarinet, and piano is a nostalgic homage to a glorious past age, evoking fragments of familiar Viennese chamber music by Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms, as filtered through Mahler - a virtual musical seance.

Artists are Mary Mackenzie, soprano; Moran Katz, clarinet; Renée Jolles, violin; Stephanie Griffin, viola; Christopher Gross, cello; Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, piano.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a hallmark of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been especially valued for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later have achieved worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, China, and Korea. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and support from the Aaron Copland Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors. The works by Carman Moore and Wang Jie were commissioned for Continuum with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.

Tickets $20, seniors, students $10, are available at the box office, 129 West 67th Street (212-501-3330), www.merkinconcerthall.org. Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

 

Recent Concert

Sunday, February 13 at 7pm

MUSIC AT THE CROSSROADS
Composers of Central Asia, featuring Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center
129 West 67th Street

Spectacular fusions of ancient and modern by composers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan - along the legendary Silk Road. "Some of the most striking voices in today's classical composition are not coming out of the West but from far-flung outposts on the other side of the world. Such a voice is that of Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky. . ." (Chicago Tribune after Yo-Yo Ma's premiere of the composer's Cello Concerto with the Chicago Symphony).

Tickets $20, students/seniors $10. Tickets, info: 212-501-3330, merkinconcerthall.org
Please note 7 PM time.


This flyer can be downloaded as can the press release for this concert.

MUSIC AT THE CROSSROADS

Composers of Central Asia, featuring Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the second concert of its landmark 45th New York season. The concert is Sunday, February 13, 7 PM, at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street.

Continuum has been acclaimed throughout its long history for introducing little-known, extraordinary composers from around the world to New York and the country as a whole. Continuum's discoveries often are the rewards of its travels in remote parts of the globe. In the case of its forthcoming concert, the ensemble has been fortunate to have toured several times to Central Asia, most particularly to Uzbekistan, but also to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The strong musical traditions and the creativity of composers there left an indelible impression, all the more remarkable considering the difficulties for progressive composers working in repressive and turbulent environments.

Continuum will feature DMITRI YANOV-YANOVSKY, from Uzbekistan, who will join us for the concert. Yanov-Yanovsky has worked tirelessly on behalf of his country's cultural life as professor of composition and founder/director of the Ilkhom Festival, an innovative annual international event which he heroically sustained for ten years. Highly regarded in Europe and the former Soviet Union, he recently spent two years at Harvard University on a special fellowship invitation and currently is teaching in the Chicago area. Yo-Yo Ma's premiere of his Cello Concerto with the Chicago Symphony last season prompted the Chicago Tribune to write "Some of the most striking voices in today's classical composition are not coming out of the West but from far-flung outposts on the other side of the world. Such a voice is that of Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky." Continuum will perform three of his works: Chang-Music IV (1991), a work for string quartet which emulates the Central Asian cimbalom; A-S-C-H (Hommage to Alfred Schnittke for ensemble - 2004); and Five Limericks by Edward Lear (2005 - New York Premiere), for mezzo-soprano and piano trio. Another work from Uzbekistan, Music for Chamber Ensemble(2004) was composed by Yanov-Yanovsky's former student JAKHONGIR SHUKUROV. Continuum's program will include both music composed in a contemporary international language, with, at most, subtle ethnic qualities, as well as music clearly inspired by the region's ancient music. The Kazakh composer AKTOTY RAIMKULOVA's Alatau, for ensemble (2011) and written for the concert, reflects her country's folk music. The title refers to the majestic mountains hovering over Almaty, her city. The country of Tajikistan, while currently desperately poor and underdeveloped after a long civil war, has a rich musical heritage. Central Asian colorations will be heard in the works of Tajikistan-born FARANGIS NURULLA-KHOJA - Blind Flower for mezzo-soprano and ensemble (2008), and BENJAMIN YUSUPOV - Haqqoni (Crossroads 4 - 2007), both written for and premiered previously by Continuum. Nurulla-Khoja now lives in Montreal, and Yusupov, a masterful conductor and pianist as well, immigrated to Israel during Tajikistan's civil war. Haqqonicombines a live ensemble with vintage recordings of ritualistic chanting and singing from his family's Bukharian tradition.

Artists are Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano; Tanya Dusevic Witek, flute; Moran Katz, clarinet; Renée Jolles, Airi Yoshioka, violin; Eva Gerard, viola; Claire Bryant, Chris Gross, cello; Jared Soldiviero, percussion; Cheryl Seltzer, piano; Joel Sachs, conductor.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a hallmark of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been especially valued for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and support from the Aaron Copland Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors. Benjamin Yusupov's Haqqoni was commissioned for Continuum by Edward Yagudaev in memory of Eduard Nektalov.

Tickets $20, seniors, students $10, are available at the box office, 129 West 67th Street (212-501-3330), www.merkinconcerthall.org. Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

Continuum's final concert of its New York season is Sunday, May 1, 7 PM - CONTINUUM IS 45! Celebrating with works written for Continuum - world premieres by Ursula Mamlok, Ileana Perez Velázquez, and Wang Jie; New York premieres by Carman Moore and Roberto Sierra, and a work by Elliott Schwartz in honor of his 75th year.

Opening Concert

Monday, December 13 at 7pm

NORTHERN EXPOSURES II
Canadian New Music - The Trailblazers

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th Street

Brilliant music - scarcely heard across the border. After last season's exploration of Canada's amazing younger composers, Continuum focuses on their extraordinary mentors - the pioneering progressives. Solo tours-de-force by Schafer and Tremblay - an evocation of the Inuit landscape by McIntosh - a transcendent masterpiece by Southam - absurdist music-theater of Weinzweig -reflections on Bali by the tragically short-lived Vivier.

Admission Free. Please note 7PM concert time.
Reservations required, accepted from December 6: online at www.musicoftheamericas.org or (212)277-8379.


(this flyer can be downloaded)


(this flyer can be downloaded)

NORTHERN EXPOSURES II
Canadian New Music - The Trailblazers

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the first concert of its landmark 45th New York season. The concert is Monday, December 13, 7 PM, at Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue at 68th Street.

Continuum has been acclaimed throughout its long history for its discoveries of exceptional composers worldwide, virtually unheard in this country. Continuum's explorations are usually far afield, but this concert calls attention to the goldmine of creative composition just across our border.

Last season, Continuum focused on Canada's amazing younger generation. Now Continuum presents their mentors, pioneers of the previous generations, who with their progressive view broke away from the prevailing conservative tendency of 20th-century Canadian music. As Continuum demonstrated last year, Canadian composers tend to be individualists, bucking the trends and following their own fascinating pathways. Composers in Canada also have flourished under a government that historically has provided an outstanding higher musical education and support system. While a truly representative view would occupy many programs, Continuum has selected a wide variety of personalities and distinctive approaches.

JOHN WEINZWEIG (1913-2006) and BARBARA PENTLAND (1912-2000) were composers born early in the 20th Century, who were strongly influenced by Berg and Webern, respectively, and introduced Schoenberg's 12-tone technique in Canada, to initial dismay of the musical establishment. Both composers worked in a variety of styles, and will be represented by Pentland's Caprice (1965/77) for piano and an absurdist theatre work of Weinzweig, Trialogue (1971) for soprano, flute, piano. French-Canadian GILLES TREMBLAY (b. 1932) studied in Paris with Messaien and had formative contacts with the European avant-garde. Meeting Varèse in 1952 stimulated his extensive work in electronic music, and he created soundscapes for the Quebec Pavillion at Expo 67. His powerful work for solo cello Cèdres en voiles - Thrène pour le liban (1989), a lament for Lebanon, written during the country's civil war will be heard. Another virtuoso work for solo player is selections from The Crown of Ariadne (1978) a work for harpist in the unusual task of doubling on percussion. This pace-setting work in harp repertory is by R. MURRAY SCHAFER (b. 1933), an amazing figure in Canada music known as a Renaissance man for his achievements as composer in the widest range of genres, educator, environmentalist, literary scholar, and visual artist.

Canada's great hope, CLAUDE VIVIER (1948-1983), had his life cut tragically short when he was murdered in Paris. Vivier, studied in Europe with Stockhausen and was influenced by French Spectralists Grisey and Murail. A trip to Bali and its Gamelan music had great impact on his music, exemplified by Pulau dewata (1977), a work in which the actual instrumentation is left open. Continuum will perform a new version for violin, cello, and piano by Henry Kucharzyk, a Canadian pianist who premiered the work in 1978. Of other composers heard on December 13, ANN SOUTHAM (b. 1937) is perhaps the most connected to music in this country, in her admiration for American minimalists Terry Riley and Steve Reich. She developed her own 12-Tone procedures, and has been strongly involved with electronic music and creating scores for modern dance. Her Quintet for piano and string quartet (1986) is a deeply affecting monumental, contemplative work. DIANA McINTOSH (b. 1937) wears many musical hats - active concert pianist, who has premiered many Canadian works; irrepressible actress-performance artist; tireless new music promoter; highly productive composer in many genres. Also an avid mountain climber, many of her compositions have settings in nature. Continuum will perform Nanuk (1991) for viola and piano, an evocation of the Inuit landscape.

Artists are Mary Mackenzie, soprano; Bridget Kibbey, harp; Fiona Kelly, flute; Rene Jolles and David Fulmer, violins; Stephanie Griffin, viola; Claire Bryant, cello; Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, piano.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a hallmark of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been especially valued for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensembles travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, China, and Korea. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and support from the Aaron Copland Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors. http://www.jccmanhattan.org

Continuum’s 44th New York Series 2009-2010

Cheryl Seltzer & Joel Sachs, Directors

Sunday May 9, 2010 at 7pm

SPOTLIGHT ON GEORGIA
New Music from an Ancient Tradition

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center

Continuum presents five remarkable composers rooted in the Georgian Republic's unique musical heritage. From progressive pioneer Sulkhan Tsintsadze's exquisite quartet settings of Georgian melodies to compelling works by younger composers Zurab Nadareishvili and Hana Ajiashvili.

Featuring Josef Bardanashvili, who joins us from his adopted homeland Israel for the World Premiere of a monumental work written in memory of his parents. Continuum also pays homage to an old friend, the internationally-revered Giya Kancheli in his 75th-birthday year with a performance of his transcendent Psalm 23.

$20, students/seniors $10.
Tickets & information: (212)501-3330
or www.merkinconcerthall.org.


(This flyer can be downloaded)

Press Release
(This press release can be downloaded.)

SPOTLIGHT ON GEORGIA
New Music from an Ancient Tradition

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the third concert of its 44th New York season on Sunday, May 9, 7 PM, at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street.

A few years ago Continuum had the good fortune to perform in the Georgian Republic. The players were struck, not only by the beauty of this mountainous country and its imposing religious sites from antiquity, but also by the unusual musicality of the populace. In particular, a strong vocal-choral tradition had been passed down some 2000 years, permeating both religious and secular life. Georgian-born contemporary composers have been nurtured in that heritage and have created extraordinary music.

Continuum’s program opens with exquisite settings of Georgian melodies for string quartet, Quartet Miniatures (1951-1978), composed over his career by pioneering progressive SULKHAN TSINTSADZE (1925-1992). In contrast, works of younger composers ZURAB NADAREISHVILI, represented by Cadenza for Viola (2007) , and HANA AJIASHVILI, by her vocal chamber work My God, The Soul You Placed Within Me, on poems of Yehuda Amichai (2007), have a strong melodic thrust but in an international contemporary language. Nadareishvili (b. 1957), who teaches composition and works in film in Tbilisi, has had highly-acclaimed performances previously in the U.S. Ajiashvili (b. 1972) immigrated to Israel in 2001 and has won important awards in her new country.

Continuum will feature JOSEF BARDANASHVILI (b. 1948), who joins us from Israel, where he immigrated in 1995, for the World Premiere of a monumental work Farewell Song - In Memory of My Parents, a double concerto for clarinet, cello, and string orchestra (2008). Also to be performed is his “Sola” for Guitar (2006). Bardanashvili, a celebrated composer in Georgia, has had great success in Israel, including a recent major production of his opera, A Journey to the End of the Millennium by Israeli Opera. Continuum also pays homage to an old friend, the internationally-revered GIYA KANCHELI in his 75th-birthday year. Continuum gave a Kancheli retrospective at Alice Tully Hall in 1995. The work on the forthcoming concert is his transcendent Psalm 23 from Exil, for soprano, ensemble and tape, given its U.S. Premiere by Continuum in 1994. Aside from this work and the World Premiere of Bardanashvili, compositions will be heard in their U.S. premieres.

Soloists are Mary Mackenzie, soprano; Moran Katz, clarinet; Oren Fader, guitar; Renée Jolles, violin; Stephanie Griffin, viola; Kristina Reiko Cooper, cello; Cheryl Seltzer, piano; Joel Sachs, conductor; with String Orchestra.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a key part of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been praised for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. In May, Continuum will perform at the Beijing Modern Music Festival. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, the Amphion Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund, Meet The Composer’s Cary New Music Performance Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors.

Tickets, $20, seniors, students $10, are available at the box office, 129 West 67th Street (212-501-3330), www.merkinconcerthall.org. Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 8 pm

CELEBRATING URSULA MAMLOK
A portrait of the Berlin-born American master

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center
Goodman House - 129 West 67th Street

Favorite chamber works and World Premieres. A recent work for guests Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima and newly-published miniatures spanning the composer's career.
 
"Vibrant musical materials. . . striking clarity."
—Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

"The vintage qualities of a long-loved favorite and the freshness of a new encounter."
—Don Mager, "Making Time"
 
$20, students/seniors $10.
Tickets & information: (212)501-3330
or http://www.merkinconcerthall.org


(this flyer can be downloaded)


(this flyer can be downloaded)

Press Release
(This press release can be downloaded.)

CELEBRATING URSULA MAMLOK
A portrait of the Berlin-born American master

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the second concert of its 44th New York season on Wednesday, January 13, 8 PM, at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street.

Continuum has enjoyed a long association with Ursula Mamlok, performing her music regularly in the U.S. and abroad -- as far afield as Mongolia and Kazakhstan! Born in Berlin in 1923 she started composing as a youngster. The catastrophe of Hitler forced her family to seek refuge in Ecuador. As a very enterprising teenager, she made contact with Mannes College and still during wartime traveled on her own to New York to accept their offer of a scholarship. She subsequently earned degrees from Manhattan School of Music. Her earlier compositions were in the prevailing traditional mode of the conservatories, but she felt a need to explore more progressive currents. She pursued studies with several pioneers of the day; most influential were Stefan Wolpe, and especially Ralph Shapey, and became an important part of New York's contemporary music scene from the 1960s onward. Her music of the 60s and 70s boldly employs the new spatial concepts and liberated tonal language of the post-Schoenberg/Webern era. In recent decades she has developed a highly personal, creative use of the 12-tone technique. Attention is focused on melodic elements, intricate contrapuntal inter-weavings, and vivid juxtaposition of contrasting musical characterizations.

Ursula Mamlok has written symphonic works (including for the San Francisco Symphony), but most of her music is chamber music. Continuum will perform some of their favorite chamber works: Variations for Solo Flute (1961), From My Garden for viola (1983), Rhapsody for clarinet, viola, piano (1989), Sonata for Violin and Piano (1989), Girasol for ensemble (1991), String Quartet No. 2 (1998), and Confluences for clarinet, violin, cello, piano (2001), a work commissioned by Continuum. Featured will be Ursula Mamlok's most recent work Aphorisms II (2009), written for clarinetists Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima, who will present the World Premiere. Two recently published miniatures, Arabesque for solo flute (1960) and Love Song of Two Pigeons (1991) will also be heard in their World Premieres.

Soloists are Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima, clarinetists; Ulla Suokko, flute; Renée Jolles, violin; Stephanie Griffin, viola; and Joel Sachs, piano, conductor.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a key part of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been praised for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. In May, Continuum will perform at the Beijing Modern Music Festival. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

The third concert of Continuum's 2009-10 New York series will be SPOTLIGHT ON GEORGIA -New Music from an Ancient Tradition - Sunday, May 9 7 PM at Merkin Concert Hall.

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, the Amphion Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund, Meet The Composer's Cary New Music Performance Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors.

Tickets, $20, seniors, students $10, are available at the box office, 129 West 67th Street (212-501-3330), www.merkinconcerthall.org. Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 7pm

NORTHERN EXPOSURES
Canadian Music - The New Individualists

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
 
A wild, irrepressible trio for three pianists at one keyboard -- a quirky accordion solo echoing archaic folkmusic - a haunting Asian-inspired meditation - a striking ensemble for voice and unearthly instrumental sounds. Younger Canadians buck the trends and follow their own fascinating paths. Featuring astonishing music scarcely heard across the border, with seven U.S. and New York Premieres.
 
Admission Free. Please note 7PM concert time.
Reservations required, accepted from December 1: online at http://www.musicoftheamericas.org, culture@americas-society.org, or (212)277-8359, ext.2.


This flyer can be downloaded.

Press Release

NORTHERN EXPOSURES
Canadian Music - The New Individualists
 
CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the first concert of its 44th New York season. The concert is Tuesday, December 8, 7 PM, at Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue at 68th Street.
 
Continuum has been acclaimed throughout its long history for its discoveries of exceptional composers worldwide, virtually unheard in New York City as well as the country as a whole. The goldmine of creative composition across our border is one of these areas waiting to be explored.
 
Canadian composers tend to be individualists, bucking the trends and following their own fascinating pathways. They have flourished under a government that provides an unusual degree of support services, and the country's special hospitality to immigrants has had a great impact as well, with composers bringing their own distinctive cultural traditions.
 
Continuum's concert will focus on the younger generations, with a wide variety of styles. Heard in their U.S. Premieres will be PAUL FREHNER's Slowdown (2004), a wild, irrepressible trio for three pianists at one keyboard; JOCELYN MORLOCK's Curvilinear (2003), an accordion solo inspired by archaic folkmusic; ANA SOKOLOVIC's portrait parle (2006) for piano trio, a fantasy interpreting the physiognomy of the face; and MICHAEL OESTERLE's Sunspot Letters (2006), a high energy evocation of writings of Galileo. New York Premieres are Tajikistan-born FARANGIS NURULLA-KHOJA's Blind Flower (2008), a striking ensemble for voice and unearthly instrumental sounds written for Continuum; MELISSA HUI's Wish You Were Here (2003) an Asian-inspired meditation for flute, cello, percussion, and piano; and LINDA CATLIN SMITH's Mois qui tremblais (1999), a haunting work for violin, bass drum, and piano in which the musicians perform from an annotated text of Rimbaud. ANDREW STANILAND's Blue (2008), on a moving poem of Walt Whitman, was actually premiered in New York by Continuum's mezzo-soprano, Abigail Fischer.

Artists are Abigail Fischer, mezzo-soprano; William Schimmel, accordion; Ulla Suokko, flute; ToniMarie Marchioni, oboe; Moran Katz, clarinet; Renée Jolles, violin, Stephanie Griffin, viola; Karen Ouzounian, cello; Jared Soldiviero, percussion; Sahan Arzruni, Cheryl Seltzer, piano, and Joel Sachs, piano, conductor.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a hallmark of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been especially valued for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and support from the Amphion Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund, Meet The Composer's Cary New Music Performance Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors. The MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas concert series at Americas Society is presented with the generous support of MetLife Foundation.
 
Americas Society concerts are admission free, but reservations are required and accepted beginning December 1: online at www.musicoftheamericas.org, culture@americas-society.org, or at (212)277-8359, ext.2.

 

Continuum’s 43rd New York Series 2008-2009

Cheryl Seltzer & Joel Sachs, Directors

Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 8 pm

CHINA IN AMERICA

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center
129 West 67th Street
 
World Premieres of Bun-Ching Lam and Huang Ruo Music of Kui Dong, Du Yun, Lei Liang, Jing Jing Luo, Wang Jie

Tickets, $20, seniors, students $10, are available at the box office, 129 West 67th Street (212-501-3330), www.merkinconcerthall.org. Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

This flyer can be downloaded.

Press Release

This press release can be downloaded.

CHINA IN AMERICA
Striking works - and two world premieres -
from the adventurous younger generations of Chinese-born composers in the U.S.

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the final concert of its 43rd New York season on Saturday, April 18, 8 PM, at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street. CHINA IN AMERICA focuses on brilliant Chinese-born composers who have settled in the United States in recent decades.

Contemporary music in our country has been enriched enormously by the presence of creative talents attending American graduate schools and settling here from China after the end of the Cultural Revolution. A few became internationally prominent - Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, among them. This first wave of composers has been followed by new immigrations to the present day. These composers have cherished a strong identity with their own musical heritage, and in their encounter with American and international modernism have created fascinating mixes of cultures - old and new. Continuum is representing some of the earlier wave along with vital newer voices. We will present two World Premieres of works commissioned for us from Bun-Ching Lam and Huang Ruo. Several of the composers will be present and will be interviewed during the concert.

The composers on Continuum's program have distinguished themselves in the U.S., winning advanced degrees, major awards, and grants, and have had prominent performances here and abroad, and recordings.

Commissioned composer BUN-CHING LAM was born in Macao, educated in Hong Kong, and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. She is currently composer-in-residence with the Macao Orchestra, and divides her life between Paris and upper New York State. Her work LE VIN DES AMANTS for soprano, clarinet, violin, and piano 4-hands (2008) sets a text by Baudelaire.

The second commissioned composer HUANG RUO, from Hainan Island, China, has degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Juilliard School, and is on the faculty of SUNY-Purchase. His music has been performed by orchestras here and abroad, including the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. WALL WRITINGS for voice, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2009) will be sung by the composer in an extraordinary Chinese folk style.

KUI DONG, born in Beijing, received her doctorate from Stanford University and is on the faculty of Dartmouth College. Her compositions span diverse genres and styles, including experimental, jazz, film and multi-media. She also performs as an improvisational pianist. Her PANGU'S SONG (1998) is a virtuoso piece for flutes and percussion.

LEI LIANG, born in Tianjin to a family of music scholars, came to the U.S. as a high school student, later earning advanced degrees from New England Conservatory and Harvard. He teaches at the University of California, San Diego, and was just named a Guggenheim Fellow. His GOBI POLYPHONY for erhu and cello (2003) is a meditation on Mongolian music.

JING JING LUO, born in Beijing, as a young girl escaped from a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution and eventually was able to pursue composition studies in the U.S. She has taught at Oberlin College, and is also a visual artist of calligraphy and ink brush painting. Her DRAMA FOR FOUR SPIRITS for clarinet, violin, cello, piano and Beijing Opera percussion (2005) draws on ancient Chinese images.

DU YUN, from Shanghai, is an alumna of Oberlin Conservatory and Harvard University, and is on the composition faculty of SUNY - Purchase. Her musical genres are unusually wide-ranging - from concert to experimental/improvisatory, theater, dance, and art shows, and she has been featured at international festivals. VICISSITUDES I (2002) is scored for clarinet, cello, double bass, percussion, steel-stringed guitar, and piano.

WANG JIE, also from Shanghai, moved to the U.S. in 2000 and studied composition at the Manhattan School of Music and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Her opera NANNAN was selected for showcasing by the New York City Opera in their VOX Festival; she is the youngest composer ever included. SHADOW, is a set of miniatures for violin, cello, piano (2006).

Artists are Mary Mackenzie, soprano; Huang Ruo, Chinese folk singer; Ulla Suokko, flute; Moran Katz, clarinet; Arthur Kampela, guitar; Jared Soldiviero, percussion; Wang Guowei, erhu; Renée Jolles, violin; Kristina Reiko Cooper, cello; Richard Fredrickson, double bass; Cheryl Seltzer, piano; Joel Sachs, piano, conductor.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a key part of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been praised for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. In May, Continuum will perform at the Beijing Modern Music Festival. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, which has also provided funding for the commissioned works, and support from the Amphion Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors.

Tickets, $20, seniors, students $10, are available at the box office, 129 West 67th Street (212-501-3330), www.merkinconcerthall.org. Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

 

Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 2 PM
Illuminating Ukraine - Virko Baiey & The Avant-Garde

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center
ILLUMINATING UKRAINE -- VIRKO BALEY & THE AVANT-GARDE
Valentin Bibik, Leonid Hrabovsky, Alexander Shchetynsky, Valentin Silvestrov

This postcard can be downloaded.

This postcard can be downloaded.

Press Release

This press release can be downloaded.

CONTINUUM PRESENTS "ILLUMINATING UKRAINE: VIRKO BALEY & THE AVANT-GARDE" FEBRUARY 22 AT MERKIN CONCERT HALL

Continuum, the adventuresome new music performance ensemble led by Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, celebrates the prodigious Ukrainian-American composer and musical activist, Virko Baley, in his 70th birthday year with a concert of his works, including several premieres, and those of major Ukrainian composers he has championed. Artists include Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano; Moran Katz, clarinet; David Gresham, bass clarinet; Tom Chiu, violin; Stephanie Griffin, viola; Claire Bryant, cello; Cheryl Seltzer, piano; and Joel Sachs, piano and conductor. The concert takes place on Sunday, February 22 at 2 pm at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street. Tickets: $20; st./s.c. $10 at the box office, at merkinconcerthall.org, or through (212) 501-3330.

PROGRAM
Virko Baley (b. 1938) Palm of the Hand for clarinet, violin and piano (World Premiere)
Song Without Words for cello and piano (World Premiere)
Dance Without Words for clarinet and piano (New York Premiere)
Klytemnestra for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, violin, cello and piano
(New York Premiere of 2nd version. Written for Continuum)
Valentin Bibik (1940-2003) Piano Sonata No. 4
Leonid Hrabovsky (b.1935) Hlas II for bass clarinet
Alexander Shchetynsky (b.1960)Music in Memory of Valentyn Bibik for clarinet, cello, piano
(World Premiere)
Valentin Silvestrov (b.1937) Epitaphium (L.B.) for viola and piano

Of special note is Klytemnestra, set to a text by Ukrainian poet Oksana Zabuzhko, that explores the complicated and intense emotions and desires of Agamemnon's queen as she awaits his victorious return from Troy. Virko Baley experienced the horrors of World War II, and the domination of his native country, Ukraine, by the foeign powers. These childhood experiences are perhaps present in this monumental work, where love and lust are eclipsed by murder.

Virko Baley emigrated to the United States in 1949, and received both BA and MA degrees from the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Arts (now CalArts.) He has written a variety of compositions for orchestra, chamber groups, solo instruments and vocal arrangements. He was co-producer and composer for Yuri Illienko's film, Swan Lake: the Zone,that won two top awards at the 1990 Cannes International Film Festival. He is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Nevada and until 1995, served as the founding Music Director of the Nevada Symphony. Grants and commissions have come from the National Endowment for the Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, DC, the Project 1000-Winnipeg Symphony, the California E.A.R. Unit, Continuum, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Nevada Symphony orchestra and the Nevada State Council on the Arts. He is completing his first opera, Red Earth: Hunger, themed on the genocide famine in Ukraine 1932-33.

Ukrainian music is now prominent among the music of other nations, and native composers' music best expresses the richness of their heritage. Valentin Bibik was a leading figure in the musical life of Kharkiv, an industrial center that boasts a lively musical tradition, with a major opera house and two orchestras. Bibik mobilized interest and performances of modern American music. He taught composition at the Kharkiv Conservatory and was secretary of the Composers' Union. Mr. Bibik has composed nine symphonies, the opera Flight, major works for chorus, concertos with piano and other solo instruments, seven piano sonatas, and chamber and vocal works.

Valentin Silvestrov, one of the most important figures of the rich European new-music world, was a pupil at the Kiev Conservatory of Boris Lyatoshynsky, the "father" of Ukrainian experimentalism, and is considered one of the leading representatives of the Kiev avant-garde. Despite being awarded the Koussevitzky Prize in 1967, Silvestrov's music met with no response in his own country. One of his earliest champions was Virko Baley, a longtime advocate of contemporary Ukrainian music in general and Silvestrov's, as well as the other three composers on this program, works in particular. His music is now featured in many festivals in Ukraine and the rest of Europe, performed by major symphonic and chamber ensembles and generously represented on CD. A DVD of his music, filmed by an Estonian documentary studio, is being released.

Alexander Shchetynsky's compositions range from solo instrumental to orchestral, choral pieces and opera, and have been performed by internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles at festivals and concerts in Europe and America. New Juilliard Ensemble audiences heard his Face to Star in 2004. He organized several contemporary music festivals in Ukraine and Russia, and founded the concert series, New Music in Kharkiv. A frequent lecturer on Ukrainian music, he serves on the Art Council of the festival Contrasts in Lviv, the most prestigious international contemporary music festival in Ukraine. Two CDs of his music are released in the US and France. He now lives in Kiev.

Leonid Hrabovsky also attended the Kiev Conservatory as a composition student of Boris Lyatoshinsky. After winning first prize in the 1959 All-Soviet-Union competition, he received national recognition. Mr. Hrabovsky taught at the Kiev Conservatory and wrote music for Kiev film studios. Now living in the New York area, he was composer-in-residence at the Ukrainian Institute of America. His music displays an exterior of tremendous variety and inventiveness, but is united by the meticulousness of its construction.

Continuum has enjoyed a long association with Virko Baley, performing his music around the world, including works written for the ensemble and a Baley Retrospective in 1998.. Continuum has recorded two of his compositions, Orpheus Singing and Dreamtime Suite No. 1, on the CD "Orpheus Singing" (Cambria-1087). The members of Continuum have performed together for 43 years and have forged a strong musical connection with the Ukrainian composers on this program. Recipient of the Siemens international award for distinguished service to music and four ASCAP-Chamber Music America Awards for Adventuresome Programming, Continuum has given over 125 different retrospective concerts in New York City, individual concerts devoted to the century's foremost composers and to major topics. Continuum has recorded on Naxos, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC, and New Albion, and has been broadcast on national and European television and radio.

The next performance of Virko Baley's music is April 5 when the TALEA Ensemble, conducted by the composer, presents Dreamtime (the complete 19-movement work) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 7 PM
A Portrait of Roberto Sierra

This flyer can be downloaded.

This flyer can be downloaded.

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the opening concert of its 43rd New York season on Wednesday, December 10, 7 PM, at Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue at 68th Street.

Continuum has enjoyed a long association with Puerto Rican-born Roberto Sierra, resulting in two previous retrospectives in New York, several major works written for the ensemble, and CDs on New Albion and Musical Heritage/reissued by Naxos. Sierra is one of the most distinctive of America's middle-generation composers. Born in San Juan in 1953, he absorbed the folkloric and popular elements of his Afro-Cuban musical heritage and, after Conservatory and University studies there, continued studies in Europe, with the greatest impact being his lessons in Hamburg with György Ligeti. He was strongly influenced as well by the music of Conlon Nancarrow. After serving as Composer-in-Residence with the Milwaukee Symphony, he became Professor of Composition at Cornell University. He has been commissioned by many leading orchestras, soloists, and ensembles world-wide.

A hallmark of many Sierra's compositions is a highly sophisticated blend of his Afro-Caribbean roots and contemporary techniques, while other works are founded on a more abstract basis. The earliest work on Continuum's forthcoming concert is Conjuros (1982), a haunting song-cycle in the Afro-Cuban tradition. Trio Tropical (1991) for violin, cello, and piano; Ritmorroto (1992) for solo clarinet; and 2 X 3 (1993) for two pianos are each colored by the Afro-Cuban experience, as well as by other powerful aspects of the composer's imagination. The most ambitious work is a new one, just completed this summer: Trienta y Tres Formas de Observar un Mismo Objeto (33 ways of observing the same object). A monumental, intensely exciting set of variations for piano 4-hands, it may indeed be the most formidable work for the medium of the last 100 years.

Artists are Abby Fischer, mezzo-soprano; Moran Katz, clarinet; Renée Jolles, violin; Claire Bryant, cello; Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, pianists.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a key part of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been praised for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and support from the Amphion Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors.

Americas Society concerts are admission free, but reservations are required and may be made at (212)277-8359, culture@americas-society.org or online at www.musicoftheamericas.org. Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

Continuum’s 42nd New York Series
2007-2008

Cheryl Seltzer & Joel Sachs, Directors

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 7PM

THE LATIN LEGACY
Celebrating the younger generation of Latin American-born composers in the U.S.

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th
Admission FREE

This flyer can be downloaded.

Americas Society concerts are admission free, but reservations are strongly advised, and may be made at (212)277-8359, ext.2, culture@americas-society.org, or online at americas-society.org. Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

Photos and credits clockwise from top: Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez-Kurt Brownell, Marcelo Toledo, Ricardo Romaneiro-Eric Shanfield, Sebastian Zubieta-Arturo Sánchez, Manuel Sosa-Ileen Kohn, Ileana Pérez Velázquez-Andrew Zema, Fernando Benadon-Carey Benadon, Arthur Kampela-Celso de Menezes (Gianelly Fotografia). Center: Jorge Martín-Angel Martín.
Design: Lia Di Stefano.

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the closing concert of its 42nd New York season. The concert is Wednesday, May 7, 7 PM, at Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue at 68th Street. 

Continuum has long identified with the music of Latin America, presenting major composers in individual retrospectives, groups of composers in thematic concerts, and making extensive recordings. The forthcoming concert focuses on the younger generation of composers in their 30s and 40s. Less well known than such compatriots as Mario Davidovsky and Osvaldo Golijov, these exciting emerging talents are gaining attention here and abroad, and making unique contributions to our culture.

The composers selected for this concert -- a sampling from many gifted composers settling here from Latin America -- hail from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela. Extremely diverse in their styles, some are directly inspired by their native musical culture and synthesize that powerful heritage with new techniques, such as JORGE MARTÍN (Cuba) in his Conjuration for clarinet, violin, cello, piano (2003). Others work within a contemporary framework, with very subtle Latin American overtones, such as FERNANDO BENADON (Argentina) in Meet Café for ensemble (1999), based on William Burroughs' Naked Lunch. Others identify with a purely international language, such as CARLOS SÁNCHEZ-GUTIÉRREZ (Mexico) in . . . and of course Henry the Horse. . . for piano 4-hands, clarinet, violin (2006 - a Continuum commission). Other composers and their works are: ILEANA PÉREZ VELÁZQUEZ (Cuba) - Duendes alados (Winged goblins) for string quartet (2001); RICARDO ROMANEIRO (Brazil) - Partita (Remixed) for ensemble (2007); MANUEL SOSA (Venezuela) - Melodia I for violin and piano (2003) in its WORLD PREMIERE; MARCELO TOLEDO (Argentina) - Aliento/Arrugas, a spectacular sound piece for solo flute (1998); SEBASTIÁN ZUBIETA (Argentina) - CCXCIV - a Petrarch sonnet set for soprano and double bass, blending an early Renaissance sensibility with contemporary rhythmic and microtonal techniques. ARTHUR KAMPELA (Brazil), as Continuum's guest artist, turns his viola into a wild guitar in Exoskeleton for "viola alla chitarra"(2003). 

Soloists are Camille Zamora, soprano; Ulla Suokko, flute; Renée Jolles, violin, Arthur Kampela, viola; Kurt Muroki, double bass; Cheryl Seltzer, piano, and Joel Sachs, piano, conductor.

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a hallmark of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been especially valued for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

This concert is are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and support from the Amphion Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 8 PM
GALINA USTVOLSKAYA -
HIDDEN GENIUS
Merkin Concert Hall

This flyer can be downloaded.

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, presents the second concert of its 42nd New York season - a retrospective of the Russian genius Galina Ustvolskaya. The concert is Saturday, February 16, 8 PM at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, in the Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street.

Over its long history Continuum has been credited for introducing New York audiences to the great composers of the former Soviet Union - among them Schnittke, Gubaidulina, Pärt, Silvestrov - music at that time which was virtually hidden from public performance in the USSR. Another in this rank is Galina Ustvolskaya, who died little more than a year ago. Born in St. Petersburg (Petrograd), in 1919, she was the favorite student of Shostakovich, who actually quoted from her music in his compositions, and in the 50s even proposed marriage. Ustvolskaya repudiated any notion of his influence on her music, and developed a fiercely independent path. Much of her life she led a reclusive life in St. Petersburg, refusing interviews and photos.

Called "one of the century's grand originals . . . like nothing else in musical history" (Alex Ross, New York Times), Ustvolskaya developed a powerful, austere, passionate language, totally her own. Extremes of dynamics reaching into five and six degrees of forte are at the same time directed to be played "very expressively"; obsessive reiterations and reappearance of sections are at the service of a clear sense of form.

Some pieces call for unusual performance techniques and unlikely instrumental conceptions. Three works have religious subtitles when it was dangerous to do so. Continuum's forthcoming concert includes the SIXTH PIANO SONATA (1988), a work played almost entirely in tone clusters, with arms, fists, and palms. The percussion of two works consists solely of a large hollow wooden box, beaten with hammers. The instrumental core of COMPOSITION No. 2, "DIES IRAE" (1973) is an ensemble of eight amplified double basses. Two works called "Symphonies" are for a maximum of six players: SYMPHONY NO. 4 "PRAYER" for voice, trumpet, tam-tam, and piano (1987) and SYMPHONY NO. 5 "AMEN" for male speaker, oboe, trumpet, tuba, violin, wooden box (1990). The latter work, a ritualistic, haunting setting in Russian of The Lord's Prayer, was given its World Premiere by Continuum at Alice Tully Hall in 1991 (followed by a Continuum retrospective at Merkin Hall in 1996). An earlier work from 1952, the SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO, is just as radical but reveals a gentler side of the composer.

Soloists are Alison Tupay, mezzo-soprano, Philip Booth, speaker, Renée Jolles, violin, Cheryl Seltzer, piano, and Joel Sachs, piano, conductor

Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a hallmark of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been especially valued for introducing New York to unknown extraordinary composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

For its final New York concert, on Wednesday, May 7, at 7 PM, Continuum once again performs at Americas Society. THE LATIN LEGACY celebrates the new generation of supremely gifted composers from Latin America who have settled in the U.S. Featured will be a work written for Continuum by the Mexican-born Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez.

These events are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and support from the Amphion Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors. http://www.jccmanhattan.org;

Tickets for the February 16 concert, $20, students/seniors $10, are at the Merkin Hall box office, 129 West 67th Street, or at (212)501-3330, www.kaufman-center.org.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 8 PM

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 8 PM
BENJAMIN YUSUPOV PORTRAIT CONCERT
At the JCC in Manhattan

This flyer can be downloaded.

BENJAMIN YUSUPOV PORTRAIT CONCERT

CONTINUUM'S 42nd NEW YORK SEASON
OFFERS TWO WORLD PREMIERES

CONTINUUM, Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors, launches its 2007-2008 New York series with a BENJAMIN YUSUPOV PORTRAIT CONCERT, presented by the JCC in Manhattan, Amsterdam at 76th, on Wednesday, October 10, at 8 PM.

One of today’s most exciting younger composers, Benjamin Yusupov immigrated to Israel from Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 1990 at the outset of the former Soviet republic’s civil war. The prodigious 44-year-old composer, who also is a much sought-after conductor and a virtuoso pianist, quickly established himself in his new country, and has gained an international following. Yusupov had a recent triumph with the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony will perform his music at Carnegie Hall during next season. Continuum has been an advocate of his music for several years.

Yusupov’s music pulses with rhythmic vitality, and mixes exotic sounds from his native Tajikistan with the middle-eastern culture of his adopted homeland. The composer, who will be here for the concert, has created a new major work for Continuum, which will receive its World Premiere. HAQQONI (CROSSROADS 4 - 2007) combines evocative prayers sung by eminent cantors and chanted by the composer’s grandfathers recorded from Yusupov’s Tajik-Jewish past, with a live ensemble of clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. ("Haqqoni" is a vocal genre of Bukharian - Jewish-Central Asian - music associated with spiritual purification.) The work was commissioned by a member of New York’s Bukharian Jewish community, Edward Yagudaev, in memory of Eduard Nektalov.

Other music includes METAPHOR for solo harp (1996) in its World Premiere; SONATA FOR CELLO AND PIANO (1988), evoking Tajik sources of chant, instrumental improvisation, and dance; the monumental PIANO TRIO (2000), a virtuoso mixture of Tajik and middle-eastern influences; and a brief piece for string quartet "ET MA SHERATZITI" ("What I wished for"- 1997), based on a song by Alexander Argov and written for Israel’s 50th anniversary.

Soloists are Bridget Kibbey, harp; Benjamin Fingland, clarinet; Renée Jolles, violin; Kristina Reiko Cooper, cello, Cheryl Seltzer, piano, and Joel Sachs, piano, conductor.

The forthcoming concert is Continuum’s fourth featuring Jewish and Israel music at the JCC in Manhattan. Continuum's signature Retrospective Series has been a hallmark of New York's musical life since the organization's founding in 1966. Its innovative programming has been especially valued for introducing New York to unknown remarkable composers from around the world, many of whom later achieve worldwide standing. Continuum, in turn, has had remarkable opportunities to bring American and other new music to festivals in far corners of the world, in the ensemble's travels to such locations as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Korea. Continuum has recorded on Nonesuch, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, CRI, Capstone, Cambria/Troppe Note, TNC Recordings, Naxos, and New Albion, and has been broadcast extensively on national and European television and radio.

Continuum’s program will be repeated on Saturday, October 13, 8:30 PM, sponsored by the Bukharian Jewish Community Center, 106-16 70th Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens.

Continuum’s next New York concert, GALINA USTVOLSKAYA – HIDDEN GENIUS, is on February 16, 8 PM, at the newly-renovated Merkin Concert Hall. Continuum has avidly promoted music of this extraordinary, notoriously- reclusive composer from St. Petersburg, Russia. The concert is a memorial to the composer, who passed away last December.

For its final New York concert, on Wednesday, May 7, at 7 PM, Continuum once again performs at Americas Society. THE LATIN LEGACY celebrates the new generation of supremely gifted composers from Latin America who have settled in the U.S. Featured will be a work written for Continuum by the Mexican-born Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez.

These events are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and support from the Amphion Fund, the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and other private and business donors. Mr. Yusupov’s presence at the October concerts is sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York.

Tickets for the October 10 concert are $20, $15 JCC members, and are available at the box office, JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street, (646)505-5708, www.jccmanhattan.org,

Continuum's website: www.continuum-ensemble-ny.org.

continuum home    calendar    about CONTINUUM    about the directors    quotes   retrospective concerts   recordings    united states tours    performances abroad    adventures    contact us