Jeffrey Milarsky Conducts the Juilliard Orchestra in Four World Premieres by Juilliard Student Composers on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 7:30pm in Alice Tully Hall

Friday, Feb 08, 2019
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Free Concert Features Works by Amelia Brey, Jonathan Cziner, Jordyn Gallinek, and Trey Makler

NEW YORK –– Jeffrey Milarsky conducts the Juilliard Orchestra in four world premieres by Juilliard graduate student composers Amelia Brey, Jonathan Cziner, Jordyn Gallinek, and Trey Makler on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 7:30pm in Alice Tully Hall. The program features Makler’s rose thorn bud (2018); Cziner’s flowers of fire (2018) with soprano Kathleen O’Mara; Brey’s TWO (2018); and Gallinek’s Berserker (2018). Makler’s piece rose thorn bud was awarded the 2019 Arthur Friedman Prize, presented to the composer whose work is deemed to be most outstanding; this year’s judges were composers Dan Welcher and Syd Hodkinson.

Tickets are free for the February 28 concert and available at the Juilliard and Alice Tully Hall box offices.

About the Program

Trey Makler writes in his note: “The title rose thorn bud is taken from an icebreaker activity that we use to check-in with each other in my support group for young people who are HIV positive. Rose represents something good that happened over the course of the past week. Thorn represents something challenging or frustrating. Bud represents something that we are looking forward to. rose thorn bud doesn’t follow this narrative exactly, but uses it as a departure point for its musical structure and syntax. The layout of the piece is conversational and episodic. One may get a sense of people talking over one another, or notice interruptive ideas appearing out of the blue, like a sudden moment of inspiration. Six months ago, I couldn’t have imagined attending a support group, let alone sharing this story.”

Jonathan Cziner provides this note: “In 1914, American poet Amy Lowell read her poem The Bombardment, to an audience of about 400 people in Boston. Composer Carl Engel, a friend of Lowell’s, reproduced the sounds of falling bombs with a bass drum. The visceral experience of the drum’s vibrations paralleled the vivid and horrifying imagery in Lowell’s war poem, which told the stories of various citizens in an unnamed European city during an air raid. The work, flowers of fire, uses Lowell’s poem to capture the devastation of loss in all its forms, not just of life, but also of treasured family heirlooms, artistic dreams, and childhood innocence and safety. As the listeners and performers grapple with these manifestations of loss, the bass drum mercilessly bombards our ears, just as it did at the original reading. While this piece commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I, it also sheds light on our inability to learn from the past. In light of recent events, in particular the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, I chose the Jewish prayer Oseh Shalom to close the work. A century later, we are still dealing with horrific acts of violence in our time and our world. This prayer’s eternal plea for peace is a message that I hope will resonate with all who listen.”

Amelia Brey writes about her work TWO: “The title of the first movement TWO signifies its formal ethos. I attempted to create a ‘just’ narrative that fulfills the tendencies of its constituent materials, while implying, through its punctuation, the breathlessly urgent mood of this music at its most exhuberant. The second movement ‘Wish?’ counterbalances the extroverted heroism of 'JUST - !,' taking the form of an introspective meditation. A gently-cascading theme alternates with intense, sweeping episodes, until, by way of a dark brass chord and a cryptic flurry of percussive sounds, the piece evaporates.”

Jordyn Gallinek’s Berserker is “based on a state of mind; it is a gradual decline from stability into complete loss of control. This piece emulates an affection of both the mind and body, presumably leading to behavior that no longer seems human – where instinct and rage conquer reason.”

Meet the Artists

Amelia Brey’s works have been performed by Ensemble Dal Niente, soprano Alexandra Porter and pianist J.J. Penna, LAM House Ensemble, and the Texas Tech Wind Quintet. Her recent projects have included Guardanda for the Music City Trombone Duo, Ar(i/e) for the Zenith Winds, and Bubbled for organist Ryan Kennedy. Hailing from Tallahassee, Fla., Brey studied with Michael Slayton and Stan Link at Vanderbilt University as a Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar. She is currently a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at Juilliard, where she studies with Robert Beaser.

Jonathan Cziner is an American composer based in New York City. His music combines colorful harmony and texture with nostalgic lyricism, creating a sound-world that ranges from dark and mysterious to vibrant. His recent awards include a 2018 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2018 William Schuman Prize for most outstanding score at the BMI student composers awards, and two consecutive Palmer Dixon prizes, awarded to the most outstanding composition at Juilliard. Cziner’s orchestral work, Resonant Bells, was recently performed by both the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. Recent commissions include Transient Bodies for the New Juilliard Ensemble, …comes the light for harpist Emily Levin’s debut recording, and Fantasy Chorale by the American Guild of Organists for Colin MacKnight. Cziner is currently the associate artistic director of the Charles Ives concert series in Danbury and also pursuing his doctoral degree at Juilliard, where he studies with Robert Beaser and Justin Dello Joio.

Jordyn Gallinek is an American composer, educator, and woodwind doubler based in New York. She began studying music at age 8 and, discovered a passion for composition from a project assigned in junior high school. She is pursuing her master’s degree in music composition at Juilliard, where she studies with Christopher Rouse. She holds a BM in music composition and theory and an MA in music education, from New York University, where she studied with Justin Dello Joio and Joseph Church. Her works have been performed throughout the U.S. and South Korea, where the Oregon Wind Quintet took her piece on tour after it won the 2018 Texas A&M Chamber Music Competition. She has been commissioned by the Femmelody Chamber Collective and the Cassatt String Quartet as a member of the Seal Bay Festival, and she has had readings of her works by the Manhattan Symphonie, Sylvan Winds, and NYU Symphony Orchestra.

Trey Makler’s most recent opera collaboration, Let Them Eat Cake, with librettist Ted Malawer, premiered at National Sawdust in Brooklyn as part of Juilliard’s Opera-Comp project. Makler has received commissions from the Sheldon Concert Hall and Galleries, Mizzou New Music Initiative, and Vox Nova (Columbia, Missouri). His music has been featured at the Oh My Ears New Music Marathon, Charlotte New Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, and Mizzou International Composers Festival, and as part of the Boston New Music Initiative’s 2015-2016 season. He has also worked with Alarm Will Sound, Third Coast Percussion, Duo Damiana, Great Noise Ensemble, and members of the St. Louis Symphony. Current projects include a solo work for Baltimore-based percussionist Matthew Stiens and a work to be developed in collaboration with Nayon Iovino and Tangent Winds as part of New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute. At Juilliard he is a teaching fellow and a faculty assistant with the Music Advancement Program, and off campus he teaches his own arts integration curriculum to fourth and fifth graders at George Jackson Academy on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Makler is a teaching artist associate with the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program and a Community Promise intern with the Hetrick-Martin Institute. Makler is pursuing an MM in composition at Juilliard studying with Melinda Wagner. His research interests are rooted in the intersection of queer culture, activism, and artist communities, with a special focus on the recovery of musical works lost during the AIDS crisis.

American conductor Jeffrey Milarsky is the founding music director of AXIOM. Known for his innovative programming, he has been hailed for his interpretation of a wide range of repertoire, spanning from Bach to Xenakis. In recent seasons he has worked with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, MET Chamber Ensemble, Bergen Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New World Symphony, and the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra. In the United States and abroad, he has premiered and recorded works by many groundbreaking contemporary composers in venues such as Carnegie, Zankel, Alice Tully, Walt Disney, and Davies and Boston’s symphony halls as well at IRCAM in Paris. Milarsky has a long history of premiering, recording, and performing music by American composers and in keeping with that, he was recently presented with the prestigious Ditson Conductor’s Award. His interest and dedication have brought about collaborations with such esteemed composers as Adams, Babbitt, Cage, Carter, Corigliano, Crumb, Davidovsky, Druckman, Gordon, Lang, Mackey, Rouse, Shapey, Subotnick, Wuorinen, and an entire generation of emerging composers. A dedicated teacher, Milarsky serves on the conducting faculty at Juilliard and is a senior lecturer in music at Columbia University, where he is the music director and conductor of the Columbia University Orchestra. An in-demand percussionist, Milarsky has been the principal timpanist for the Santa Fe Opera since 2005. In addition, he has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. He has recorded extensively for Angel, Bridge, Teldec, Telarc, New World, CRI, MusicMasters, EMI, Koch, and London records. At Juilliard, Milarsky received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in percussion and was awarded the Peter Mennin Prize for outstanding leadership and achievement in the arts.

Kathleen O’Mara is a soprano from Fort Washington, Pa. She graduated from Westminster Choir College with a B.M. in voice this past May and is currently attending Juilliard for her MM degree, where she studies with Edith Wiens. O’Mara has performed Iolanthe in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe and Zemire in André Grétry’s Zemire et Azor with Westminster Opera Theater, covered The First Lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute with the CoOPERAtive Program, covered Barbarina in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro with Music Academy of the West and covered Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni at Juilliard. O’Mara has participated in programs including the CoOPERAtive Program, Curtis Summerfest, Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy, and Music Academy of the West. She is a Toulmin Scholar.

About the Juilliard Orchestra

Juilliard’s largest and most visible student performing ensemble, the Juilliard Orchestra, is known for delivering polished and passionate performances of works spanning the repertoire. Comprising more than 350 students in the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, the orchestra appears throughout the season in concerts on the stages of Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall, and Carnegie Hall.

The orchestra is a strong partner to Juilliard’s other divisions, appearing in opera and dance productions, as well as presenting an annual concert of world premieres by Juilliard student composers. It welcomes an impressive roster of world-renowned guest conductors this season including John Adams, Joseph Colaneri, Mark Elder, Barbara Hannigan, Steven Osgood, Peter Oundjian, and Gil Rose as well as faculty members Itzhak Perlman, Matthias Pintscher, and David Robertson.  

The Juilliard Orchestra has toured across the U.S. and throughout Europe, South America, and Asia, where it was the first Western conservatory ensemble allowed to visit and perform following the opening of the People’s Republic of China, in 1987, returning two decades later, in 2008.

Other ensembles under the Juilliard Orchestra umbrella include the conductorless Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, the Juilliard Wind Orchestra, and the new-music groups AXIOM and New Juilliard Ensemble.

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Program Listing:

Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 7:30pm in Alice Tully Hall

Juilliard Orchestra

Jeffrey Milarsky, Conductor

Kathleen O’Mara, Soprano

Featuring four world premiere works by Juilliard student composers


Trey MAKLER rose thorn bud (2018)

Jonathan CZINER flowers of fire (2018) (with soprano Kathleen O’Mara)

Amelia BREY TWO (2018)

Jordyn GALLINEK Berserker (2018)


Free tickets are available at the Juilliard and Alice Tully Hall box offices.



Conductor Jeffrey Milarsky and the Juilliard Orchestra
Jeffrey Milarsky Conducts the Juilliard Orchestra in Four World Premieres by Juilliard Student Composers on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 7:30pm in Alice Tully Hall (photo by Richard Termine)