New Juilliard Ensemble, Led by Joel Sachs, Performs Three World Premieres by Juilliard Composers Michael Ippolito and Molly Joyce, and Dutch Composer Robin de Raaff on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall

Start Date

Monday, February 24, 2014

Press Release Images

New Juilliard Ensemble and Conductor Joel Sachs (Photo by Hiroyuki Ito)
New Juilliard Ensemble and Conductor Joel Sachs (Photo by Hiroyuki Ito)
Robin de Raaff (Photo by Marco Borggreve)
Robin de Raaff (Photo by Marco Borggreve)
Michael Ippolito (Photo by Julie De Marre)
Michael Ippolito (Photo by Julie De Marre)
Molly Joyce (Photo by Nir Arieli)
Molly Joyce (Photo by Nir Arieli)


The New Juilliard Ensemble, led by Joel Sachs, in its final concert of the season, performs three world premieres on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall. Two of the pieces are by the winners of this year’s New Juilliard Ensemble composition audition: Molly Joyce, a fourth-year undergraduate from Pittsburgh, and Michael Ippolito, a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow from Tampa. The program features Molly Joyce’s Immovability (2014); Robin de Raaff’s Percussion Concerto (2014), in four movements and played without pause, with Juilliard percussionist Sae Hashimoto; Michael Ippolito’s A Feast of Fools (2014); and Valentin Bibik’s Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 144 (2001), in one movement, with Juilliard cellist Khari Joyner.

FREE tickets will be available beginning March 17 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. 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/nje.

Molly Joyce’s new work, Immovability, is dedicated to the New Juilliard Ensemble. She writes: “I have recently been very interested in composing for dance and also intrigued by movements of the human body in general. When beginning this piece, I started thinking about movability and immovability. When the body is more movable it is perhaps seen as an asset, and when the body is immovable it is often viewed as a dysfunction or disability. As I personally have a hand which could be considered more ‘immovable’ than others, I wondered if it is truly a disadvantage for something to be immovable, whether related to the human body or not. In my opinion it is sometimes more beautiful and interesting for something to be immovable. I thus began to think about this idea in relation to music and the instrumentation for this piece. Since there was only one percussionist allotted in the instrumentation, I viewed the percussionist as setting up the ‘immovable’ aspect for the piece and to have the rest of ensemble grow from that musically.” A native of Pittsburgh, Molly Joyce has studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Timothy Salter, and with Juilliard alumnus Richard Danielpour, Missy Mazzoli, and Juilliard faculty member Christopher Rouse. She is in the final year of the bachelor of music program at Juilliard as a student of Samuel Adler. Her music has been performed by ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin; the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong; Decoda Skidmore Chamber Music Institute; and Contemporaneous. She was the recipient of an ASCAP Morton Gould Award and was selected as a finalist for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts’ 2010 “YoungArts” Competition. Other awards include an ASCAP Plus Award, the 2012 International Association of Women (IAWM) Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Prize, and a prize in the 2011 Bowdoin International Music Festival Composition Competition. In addition, she recently was awarded the Audience Choice Award and named a finalist for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble/Alia Musica Composition Competition.

Robin de Raaff, one of The Netherlands’ leading composers, wrote his Percussion Concerto for Joel Sachs, to whom it is dedicated, and the New Juilliard Ensemble, with financial support from the Dutch Fund for the Performing Arts. Offering to compose a new piece after hearing NJE play his Der einsame im Herbst in 2001, he said he wanted it to be a concerto. Since the percussion section played a dramatic role in de Raaff’s opera RAAFF, he decided to continue to explore that medium. He emphasizes the pitch-based percussion in the work, which features the marimba. Robin de Raaff has been a professor of composition at the Conservatory of Rotterdam since 2001. Among his works are two operas, RAAFF (2004), a joint commission of the Netherlands Opera and the Holland Festival, and Waiting for Miss Monroe (2012). His 2008 Violin Concerto, written for Tasmin Little, was selected as the best orchestral work of 2008 in the Dutch competition “Toonzetters.” In 2011, Mr. de Raaff was composer in residence at the Cabrillo Festival, where Juilliard alumna Marin Alsop conducted the West Coast premiere of his Entangled Tales. He has had an ongoing relationship with Tanglewood and has been invited to contribute to the 75th anniversary of Tanglewood in 2015 by writing a piece for its contemporary music festival  

The third new work on the program by Michael Ippolito is entitled, A Feast of Fools, and it was inspired by Mr. Ippolito’s realization that the premiere would take place on April Fool’s Day. He writes: “The Medieval feast of fools was a time of drunkenness and bawdy humor, of social inversion, ceremonial parody, and licensed foolishness. I have always loved this image, partially because it defies our conventional impression of the Middle Ages as a bleak and humorless era. But mostly because it reminds me that people are essentially the same throughout history, not so much because we share lofty goals and higher purpose, but because we have been making the same stupid jokes and acting like fools for centuries. It is with this in mind that I wrote A Feast of Fools, a set of three movements, each inspired by Medieval artifacts of foolishness.” The movements are: Marginalia (ostinato); Serenade; and Introduction and Nasentanz (nose dance). Michael Ippolito is a versatile composer and performer who has collaborated with classical, folk, and jazz musicians in events ranging from experimental improvisation to traditional Klezmer music. A graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he studied composition with Joel Hoffman and Michael Friday and improvisation with Alan Bern. After completing his master of music degree from Juilliard, he became one of the School’s C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellows, studying with John Corigliano. David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony commissioned his cello concerto, Vivaldi’s Bicycle, performing it with Juilliard graduate Dane Johansen as soloist. Nocturne has been performed by Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, and the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by Jeffrey Milarsky.

The program concludes with one of the last works by Ukranian composer Valentin Bibik (1940-2003), his Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 144 (2001). The concerto had its premiere in Tel Aviv eleven years ago in the last concert of the composer’s music during his lifetime. Cellist Hillel Zori was the soloist with the Tel Aviv Chamber Music Orchestra, conducted by Leonty Wolf. Last year, the concerto opened a Kiev concert series commemorating the 10th anniversary of Bibik’s death, in a performance by Russian cellist Boris Andrianov with the Kiev Philharmonic, conducted by Roman Kofman. The work will receive its Russian premiere at Ekaterinburg in June with Mr. Adrianov and the Ural Philharmonic Symphony, conducted by Dmitry Liss. Valentin Bibik (1940-2003) was a leading figure in the musical life of Kharkiv, Ukraine, the third-largest city of the former USSR. In 1966, he graduated from Kharkiv Conservatory where he studied with  Dmitry Klebanov. From then until 1994, he served on the School’s faculty, becoming a professor and head of its composition department. As chairman of the Kharkov division of the USSR Union of Composers, he was much loved for using his position to encourage and support musical diversity. In 1994, he and his wife moved to St. Petersburg, where their daughters were studying. He became a professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and professor and chair of the music department at the Humanitarian University. Four years later, he accepted an invitation to join the faculty of the Tel Aviv Music Academy, where he taught until his death. His works include symphonies, concertos, an opera (Flight), choral works, and many chamber and solo pieces. His style is noteworthy for its intense lyricism.

The next appearances of the New Juilliard Ensemble take place this summer on July 6 and 20, 2014 at MoMA’s Summergarden.

About Sae Hashimoto

Originally from Osaka, Japan, Sae Hashimoto began her percussion studies in high school when her family moved to Washington, D.C. She is currently a second-year undergraduate at The Juilliard School, studying with Markus Rhoten and Daniel Druckman of the New York Philharmonic. She feels privileged to have worked with conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Alan Gilbert, and Vladimir Jurowski. As an active musician in the contemporary music scene in New York, she frequently performs with the New Juilliard Ensemble and AXIOM, Juilliard’s contemporary music ensembles. Ms. Hashimoto is a grateful recipient of the Buster Bailey Percussion Scholarship and the Juilliard Alumni Scholarship.

About Khari Joyner

Khari Joyner made his orchestral debut playing Haydn’s C-Major Cello Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony conducted by Robert Spano, subsequently performing other concertos with the Buffalo, New World, New Jersey, and Sphinx Symphonies, and winning Juilliard’s concerto competition to play Britten’s Symphony for Cello and Orchestra last month. Among the other notable moments in his career is a private performance for President Obama in the Oval Office. As a former recipient of a scholarship from baseball giant Hank Aaron’s Chasing the Dream Foundation, he was a featured performer in Aaron’s 77th birthday celebration, where the guests included former President Clinton, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and Harry Belafonte. Mr. Joyner is currently completing Juilliard’s Accelerated BM/MM program, studying with Joel Krosnick, while also taking courses in mathematics in Juilliard’s exchange program with Columbia University. A full scholarship student, he previously received the Azira G. Hill Scholarship. As a survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Khari Joyner strongly supports the activities of the American Cancer Society and other organizations working with cancers and blood disorders.

About Joel Sachs, Founder and Director of the New Juilliard Ensemble

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

One of the most active presenters of new music in New York, Joel Sachs founded the New Juilliard Ensemble in 1993. He produces and directs The Juilliard School’s annual FOCUS! festival, has been artistic director of Juilliard’s concerts at New York’s Museum of Modern Art since 1993, and was also a co-director of the former Sonic Boom Festival of contemporary music - a project of a consortium of New York City’s most prestigious new music ensembles.

A member of Juilliard's music history faculty, Joel Sachs has written a biography of the American composer Henry Cowell, which was published by Oxford University Press in June 2012. Dr. Sachs appears on radio as a commentator on recent music. He has been a regular delegate to Netherlands Music Days and other international music conferences.

A graduate of Harvard, Dr. Sachs received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He was given Columbia University’s Alice M. Ditson Award for his service to American music. In 2011, he was made an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard University for his work in support of new music, and received the national Gloria Artis medal of the Polish Government for his service to Polish music.

About the New Juilliard Ensemble

The New Juilliard Ensemble, led by founding director Joel Sachs, celebrates the liveliness of today’s music, focusing primarily on repertory of the last decade. Now in its 21st season, the New Juilliard Ensemble presents music by international composers writing in the most diverse styles. Its members are current students at Juilliard, all volunteers who are admitted to the ensemble by audition. The Ensemble takes its name from an unofficial student group of the 1960s that specialized in the performance of new music. It is modeled on new-music chamber orchestras common in Europe, such as Frankfurt’s Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, and London Sinfonietta, which have cultivated a repertory for chamber orchestra that is all too rarely performed in the United States. The New Juilliard Ensemble brings many of these works to New York, presents American compositions for similar ensembles, and has commissioned many pieces. Although its primary goal is to train performers, the Ensemble offers opportunities for students in Juilliard’s composition program through an annual audition from which one or two composers are selected to write for the group. Altogether, NJE has premiered nearly 100 compositions written for it by composers all over the world.

The Ensemble appears regularly at MoMA’s Summergarden and has been a featured ensemble four times at the Lincoln Center Festival. NJE has collaborated with Carnegie Hall on Voices from Latin America (2012) Japan/NYC (2011), and Ancient Paths, Modern Voices (2009) festivals. In 2008 New Juilliard Ensemble members joined members of the Lucerne Festival Academy Ensemble with conductor Pierre Boulez for performances at the FOCUS! festival, which celebrated composer Elliott Carter’s 100th year, and at the Lucerne Festival. Over its history, the Ensemble has also performed in France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Poland, Russia, the UK, and several locations outside New York, including the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C. where it played aleatoric music in conjunction with a Smithsonian exhibition of Persian and Turkish “divining” manuscripts.

In addition to playing very new music, the Ensemble also plays older works and 20th century classics in the concerts that open the annual FOCUS! festival. In recent years those concerts explored the themes California: A Century of New Music (2009), which showcased West Coast composers; Music at the Center: Composing an American Mainstream (2010); Polish Modern: New Directions in Polish Music Since 1945 (2011); Sounds Re-Imagined: John Cage at 100 (2012); and The British Renaissance (2013) featuring British music since World War II with a tribute to the centenary of Benjamin Britten. It opened the FOCUS! 2014 festival, Alfred Schnittke’s World.

The NJE recording of Virko Baley’s Violin Concerto, with violinist Tom Chiu, can be found on the TNC label (www.TNCmusic.net). The repertory for a joint project with the Royal Academy of Music was recorded for the Academy’s own label.

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Tuesday, April 1, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

New Juilliard Ensemble

Joel Sachs, conductor

Sae Hashimoto, percussion

Khari Joyner, cello


MOLLY JOYCE (U.S.) Immovability (2014, world premiere, composed for the New Juilliard Ensemble)*W

ROBIN DE RAAFF (Netherlands) Percussion Concerto (2014, world premiere, composed for the New Juilliard Ensemble)*

MICHAEL IPPOLITO (U.S.) A Feast of Fools (2014, world premiere, composed for the New Juilliard Ensemble)*W

VALENTIN BIBIK (Ukraine/Israel) Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 144 (2001, first performance outside Europe) **


*World Premiere; composed for NJE

** First Performance Outside Europe, Ukraine, and Israel

W Winner of the NJE composition audition


FREE tickets will be available March 17 at the Juilliard Box Office. The Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office is located in the lobby of Juilliard, 155 West 65th Street, NYC. 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/nje.