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New Juilliard Ensemble, Led by Joel Sachs, Performs World Premieres of Works by Niccolo Athens and Ted Goldman, and Western Hemisphere Premieres by Luca Lombardi and Xiaogang Ye, on Friday, November 12 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall

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New Juilliard Ensemble and Joel Sachs
New Juilliard Ensemble and Joel Sachs

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The New Juilliard Ensemble, now in its 18th season and led by founder and conductor Joel Sachs, performs two world premieres of works by composers Niccolo Athens and Ted Goldman, two Western Hemisphere premieres by Xiaogang Ye and Luca Lombardi, and a work by Keeril Makan on the Ensemble's Friday, November 12 concert at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall. The program features American composer Niccolo Athens' Divergent Paths (2010, world premiere composed for the NJE) and American composer Edward Goldman's Enzheii (2010, world premiere, composed for the NJE); Chinese composer Xiaogang Ye's Yangzhuoyong Cuo (2010, Western Hemisphere premiere); Italian composer Luca Lombardi's Lucrezio, Un oratorio materialistico, Parte seconda: Amore (2002, Western Hemisphere premiere); and American composer Keeril Makan's Dream Lightly (2008). Joining the New Juilliard Ensemble for this concert will be soprano Mary Mackenzie, baritone Jeffrey Gavett, narrator Alex Hanna, and Colin Davin, electric guitar.

FREE tickets are available beginning October 29 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard (155 West 65th Street). Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.

Niccolo Athens and Ted Goldman will be having world premiere performances of their works on this concert. Both composers were selected as part of the New Juilliard Ensemble's annual audition. Mr. Athens, a native of San Antonio, Texas, received his bachelor of music degree from Juilliard as a student of Samuel Adler and is now in the D.M.A. program at Cornell University. His work, Divergent Paths, was composed while he was in China for a summer and blends Chinese and Western styles.

Mr. Goldman is in the third year of Juilliard's C.V. Starr Doctoral Program. He graduated summa cum laude with honors in music from Columbia University and received his master of music from Juilliard. He is a teaching fellow at Juilliard and an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College, CUNY, where he teaches music theory.  Mr. Goldman's music has been performed by ensembles such as eighth blackbird, the New Juilliard Ensemble, counter)induction, and the Contrasts Quartet.

Mr. Goldman's composition is entitled, Enzheii. The work was written in a rocking chair in a room overlooking a lake. "While the work is not a pastoral piece," Mr. Goldman remarked, "its roots can be found in the natural world visible from the rocking chair in which it was written."

XiaogangYe's Yangzhuoyong Cuo is a chamber work and was commissioned by Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain in Switzerland. The work was composed in April 2010, but was initially conceived for the New Juilliard Ensemble's concert of Chinese music in November 2009. It is part of the composer's Sacred Lakes of Tibet series and was premiered in May 2010 in Switzerland. The title of the work refers to one of the nine sacred lakes of Tibet. The composer's two visits there "to experience its silent and mystical beauty" inspired him to compose the work.

Regarded as one of the most influential composers in China, Xiaogang Ye also is a standing member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, vice chairman of China's Musicians' Association, vice president of the Central Conservatory of Music, and a member of its composition faculty, founder-music director of the Ensemble Eclipse, and artistic director of Beijing Modern Music Festival.

Born in southern China in 1955 to a musical family, he began studying piano at the age four. During the Cultural Revolution in China he, like many Chinese, was sent to the countryside after graduating from high school. After finishing six years of bench work in a factory, he was accepted to the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music where he studied composition with Professor Du Mingxin. He later was a student of British composer Alexander Goehr (and received a full scholarship from the Eastman School of Music and studied further with Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, and Louis Andriessen. Mr. Ye has received numerous national and international awards, and has written symphonies, concertos, and chamber music for premieres in Canada, the U.S., Japan, New Zealand, Finland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. In August 2008, his piano concerto, Starry Sky, was premiered during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing by Lang Lang. Accompanied by dance and light shows, it was broadcast live and viewed by about 3 billion people worldwide.

Lucia Lombardi's Lucrezio: Un oratorio materialistico, Parte seconda: Amore, receives its Western Hemisphere premiere on this concert. The work is the second part of a trilogy based on fragments by Roman poet Lucretius (97-57 BC), taken from his poem, "De Rerum Natura" ("On the Nature of Things"). The poem is a beautiful description of the world and mankind without gods. Performing the work with the New Juilliard Ensemble will be soprano Mary Mackenzie, baritone Jeffrey Gavett, and narrator Alex Hanna.

A native of Rome, Mr. Lombardi studied piano and composition there and in Florence and Vienna and received his diploma from the conservatory in Pesaro. He attended the universities of Vienna and Rome, graduating from the latter with a dissertation on the German composer Hanns Eisler. Mr. Lombardi continued his studies in Cologne and also studied electronic music there and at the Institute for Sonology in Utrecht, Holland.

He has taught at the conservatories in Pesaro and Milano and has lectured extensively in Europe, Canada, Latin America, Japan, and the United States. In addition to his musical writings, he has written essays and books and co-authored a treatise on orchestration. In 2008, he was granted Israeli citizenship (and retains his Italian citizenship) and resides in Jaffa, Israel and in Lago Albano, near Rome, Italy.

Keeril Makan's Dream Lightly features electric guitarist Colin Davin. The composer says of his work: "In Dream Lightly, we are placed in a world that is beautifully paralyzed, or perhaps paralyzed by beauty. The music does not move, it has fallen asleep, but is not aware of it...The piece explores the dissonance that exists between the harmonics on different strings of the guitar, as well as between the tuning of the guitar's harmonics and the tuning of the orchestra. All of the music is derived from or in response to the guitar. It is not a concerto in the traditional sense, as the soloist and the orchestra are not antagonists. Rather it is if the orchestra exists inside of the guitarist's head, helping, supporting, and coloring."

Mr. Makan is associate professor of music at MIT and holds the Lister Brothers Career Development Chair. Trained as a violinist, Mr. Makan went on to receive degrees in composition and religion from Oberlin and completed his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at Berkeley. He spent a year in Helsinki at the Sibelius Academy on a Fulbright grant. The George Ladd Prix de Paris from the University of California enabled him to live in Paris for two years.

The New Juilliard Ensemble (NJE), led by founding director Joel Sachs, celebrates the liveliness of today's music, focusing primarily on repertory of the last decade. Now in its 18th season, NJE presents music by a variety of international composers writing in the most diverse styles. Its members are current students at Juilliard, who are admitted to the ensemble by audition. Student interest in the ensemble's work is considerable, with more than 100 students participating each year, although the maximum size of compositions is normally 15-20 players.

The Ensemble appears regularly at MoMA's Summergarden and has been a featured ensemble four times at the Lincoln Center Festival. New Juilliard Ensemble members joined members of the Lucerne Festival Academy Ensemble with conductor Pierre Boulez for the 2008 FOCUS! festival, which celebrated composer Elliott Carter's 100th year. In January 2009, the New Juilliard Ensemble opened the FOCUS! festival, CALIFORNIA: A Century of New Music, which showcased West Coast composers. In Spring 2009, the New Juilliard Ensemble toured Japan; in December 2009, they performed aleatoric music at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with an exhibition of Persian and Turkish "divining" manuscripts. In January 2010, the New Juilliard Ensemble appeared in the FOCUS! festival, Music at the Center: Composing an American Mainstream.

NJE founder and director Joel Sachs performs a vast range of traditional and contemporary music as conductor and pianist and is co‑director of the internationally acclaimed new-music ensemble Continuum. Dr. Sachs has appeared in hundreds of performances in New York, nationally, and internationally. He also has conducted orchestras and ensembles in Austria, China, El Salvador, Germany, Iceland, Mexico, Switzerland, and Ukraine and has held new-music residencies in Berlin, London, Salzburg, Curitiba (Brazil), Helsinki, and the Banff Centre (Canadian Rockies).

In June 2010, Dr. Sachs was guest pianist and conductor at the festival Oferenda Musical (Musical Offering) in Sao Paulo, Brazil only two days after returning from a Continuum concert at the festival Beijing Modern. In October, he will conduct concerts in Calgary, Canada and return to Brazil. Dr. Sachs' recordings appear on the Advance, CRI, Naxos, New Albion, Nonesuch, and TNC labels. A CD of music of the Americas with La Camerata de las Americas (Mexico City) was released by Dorian.

Dr. Sachs also directs concerts by Juilliard students at MoMA's Summergarden. One of the most active presenters of new music in New York, Dr. Sachs founded the New Juilliard Ensemble in 1993. He produces and directs Juilliard's annual FOCUS! festival and has been artistic director of Juilliard's concerts at MoMA since 1993.

A member of Juilliard's music history faculty, Dr. Sachs is completing a biography of the American composer Henry Cowell, to be published by Oxford University Press, and appears on radio as a commentator on recent music. He has been a regular delegate to Netherlands Music Days and other international music conferences.

New Juilliard Ensemble

2010-2011 Calendar of Events

Friday, November 12, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

New Juilliard Ensemble

Joel Sachs, conductor

Mary Mackenzie, soprano

Jeffrey Gavett, baritone

Alex Hanna, narrator

Colin Davin, electric guitar

 

Xiaogang Ye (China) - Yangzhuoyong Cuo (2010, Western Hemisphere premiere)

Keeril Makan (U.S.) - Dream Lightly (2008)

Niccolo Athens (U.S.) - Divergent Paths (2010, world premiere, commissioned by the New Juilliard Ensemble)

Ted Goldman (U.S.) - Enzheii (2010, world premiere, commissioned by the New Juilliard Ensemble)

Luca Lombardi (Italy) - Lucrezio, Un oratorio materialistico, Parte seconda: Amore (2002)

FREE tickets are available beginning October 29 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard (155 West 65th Street). Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.

Thursday, January 20, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

FOCUS! 2011 Opening Night - Polish Modern: New Directions in Polish Music Since 1945

New Juilliard Ensemble

Joel Sachs, conductor

 

Grazynza Bacewicz - Contradizione (1966)

Henryk Gorecki - Genesis II (1962)

Wojciech Kilar - Choralvorspiel (1988)

Zygmunt Krauze - Terra incognita (1994)

Other works to be announced.

Friday, April 8, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

The New Japan

New Juilliard Ensemble

Joel Sachs, conductor

Presented by The Juilliard School in partnership with Carnegie Hall's Japan/NYC festival, the concert features music of the Japanese avant-garde after World War II, including works by Jo Kondo,

Toshio Hosokawa, Akira Nishimura, Somei Satoh, Karen Tanaka, and Ushio Torikai.

FREE tickets to these events will be available at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard two weeks prior to performances. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.