New Juilliard Ensemble, Led by Joel Sachs, Performs Premieres on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 7:30pm

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019
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Program Features Music by Anderson, Felzer, Gribbin, Prangcharoen, Rugeles, and Tanguy

NEW YORK –– The New Juilliard Ensemble (NJE), led by founder and director Joel Sachs, performs small ensemble, chamber, and solo music on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 7:30pm in the Bruno Walter Studio 309.

The program, which features a U.S. premiere and several New York premieres, features How to Make the Water Sound (1997, New York premiere) by Deirdre Gribbin (Northern Ireland); Far From Home (2004) by Narong Prangcharoen (Thailand); Afterwards (2012, New York premiere) by Eric Tanguy (France); Resistencia y Resiliencia (2018, U.S. premiere) by Alfredo Rugeles (Venezuela); Vestige (1993) by Oleg Felzer (Azerbaijan/U.S.); and Van Gogh Blue (2015, New York premiere) by Julian Anderson (U.K.).

Free tickets are available at

About the Composers and Program

Deirdre Gribbin (b. Belfast, 1967) studied at Queen’s University Belfast, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and in Denmark with Per Nørgård. In 2000, she received a Fulbright Fellowship for a year at Princeton University, and in 2001, she completed a PhD in composition at Royal Holloway College, University of London. Gribbin’s music has been performed at many international festivals, and she has received many commissions. Her recent works include a BBC commission, Goliath, for percussion and orchestra, and music for a BBC Radio 3 production of Dostoevsky’s The Possessed. The composer writes, “How to Make the Water Sound is the second in a sequence of water-inspired music. First Out of Water, focusing on ideas of rebirth and replenished spirit from Buddhist philosophy, used temple bells from Ladakh in India where I lived in the summer of 1996.”

Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen (b. 1973) received his first degree in Thailand from Srinakharinwirot University and his DMA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where his primary teacher was Chen Yi. He is now dean of the College of Music, Mahidol University, Thailand. He is also a composer in residence of the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, an artistic director of Thailand’s International Composition Festival, an artistic committee member of Beijing Modern Music Festival, an artistic advisor of Asia/America New Music Institute, and a vice president of China-ASEAN Musicians Union. His music has been performed in Asia, America, Australia, and Europe by many ensembles and orchestras, led by many well-known conductors. Far From Home, for solo cello, is dedicated to Nick Dinnerstein, who, the composer writes, “influenced me to write a solo cello piece, and gave the first performance. This piece reflects my exploration of the use of Western instrumental and compositional techniques to express the emotional and cultural characteristics of Thai traditional music.”

Eric Tanguy began his studies with Horaţiu Rădulescu and continued his education with Ivo Malec, Gérard Grisey, and Betsy Jolas at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, from which he graduated in 1991. He has been composer in residence at numerous locations in France, Denmark, Finland, and the U.K. Tanguy has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Grand prix de la SACEM—the composers’ rights agency, and has written more than 100 pieces, from solo to symphonic. Afterwards, for flute and piano, receives its New York premiere on this concert. The composer writes, “The title refers to the idea of musical memory within a score: how do we hear a section or patterns (obviously modified harmonically) reiterated in a work? This is also expressed in the meditative, although sometimes agitated, character and the nostalgic atmosphere, which emerges from this musical and poetical questioning.”

Alfredo Rugeles was born in Washington, D.C., in 1949, but has spent his life in Caracas, Venezuela. He began his musical studies in the Juan Manuel Olivares school of composition with Yannis Ioannidis, and from 1976 to 1981, was a fellow of Venezuela’s National Cultural Council, studying composition with Günther Becker and orchestral conducting with Wolfgang Trommer at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf. He is now music director of the ensemble Nova Música of the Venezuelan Chamber Orchestra Foundation and artistic director of the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and the Circuito Sinfónico Latinoamericano Simón Bolívar. He teaches contemporary composition and orchestral conducting at the Instituto de Música de Caracas. Resistencia y Resiliencia, the composer says, is “both a song of protest, bitterness and tension, and at the same time a prayer of faith, trust, and hope for a better future for our beaten and beloved country, Venezuela.”

Born in Baku in 1939, Oleg Felzer graduated from the Baku State Conservatory and the Leningrad State Conservatory. He held a teaching post at the Moscow State Conservatory and later returned to Baku as professor of compositions and music theory at the Baku State Conservatory and a major figure in Azerbaijan’s musical world. In 1988, he and his family emigrated to the United States, settling in Brooklyn, where he died in 1998 after a long illness. His music includes numerous chamber works and compositions for chamber and symphonic orchestra. Although performed in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, his music is still little known in the West and difficult to obtain.

Julian Anderson was born in London in 1967 and studied composition with John Lambert, Alexander Goehr, and Tristan Murail. A Royal Philharmonic Society composition prize in 1992 for his two-movement work Diptych (1990) launched his career. Anderson currently holds the specially created post of professor of composition and composer in residence at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has had residencies with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Van Gogh Blue was co-commissioned by the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress and dedicated to the memory of Serge and Natalie Koussevitzky, with the support of André Hoffmann, president of the Fondation Hoffmann, a Swiss grantmaking foundation, and Casa da Musica. Anderson has long been interested in the vast correspondence of Vincent Van Gogh. He writes, “Many letters testify to his [Van Gogh’s] love of color for color’s sake. Painting subjects are repeatedly chosen for their sheer color alone. Blue—cobalt blue, sky blue, deep blue, turquoises, azures, etc.—was a particular love, and receives more enthusiastic mention than any other color.” Van Gogh Blue is the last in a trilogy of ‘blue’ works by the composer. The work will have its New York premiere at this concert

About the New Juilliard Ensemble

The New Juilliard Ensemble, led by founding director Joel Sachs and in its 27th season, presents music by a variety of international composers who write in diverse styles. The ensemble appears regularly at MoMA’s Summergarden, has been featured four times at the Lincoln Center Festival, and has premiered some 100 compositions.

Concerts in the 2018-19 season featured works by Josefino Chino Toledo, Sunbin Kevin Kim, Virko Baley, Akira Nishimura, Ursula Mamlok, Robert Sierra, Betty Olivero, György Ligeti, Michael Tippett, Sato Matsui, Ross Griffey, Jukka Tiensuu, and Zygmunt Krauze.

In 2014, the New Juilliard Ensemble collaborated with Carnegie Hall on UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa. A highlight of the 2013-14 season was a collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s bicentennial celebration with the U.S. premieres of works by Magnus Lindberg and Judith Weir. In 2012, NJE collaborated with Carnegie Hall on Voices From Latin America; in 2011, with Carnegie Hall’s Japan/NYC festival; and in 2009, with Carnegie Hall’s Ancient Paths, Modern Voices festival.

The New Juilliard Ensemble performs the opening concert of Juilliard’s annual Focus festival; recent editions have included: On the Air!: A Salute to 75 Years of International Radio Commissioning (2019), China Today: A Festival of Chinese Composition (2018); Our Southern Neighbors: The Music of Latin America (2017); Milton Babbitt’s World: A Centennial Celebration (2016); and Nippon Gendai Ongaku: Japanese Music Since 1945 (2015).

The ensemble’s 2019-20 season continues January 24, 2020, with the opening concert of the Focus festival, Trailblazers, a celebration of the pioneering generation of women composers born in the first 30 years of the 20th century. The NJE program, in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, comprises music by Jacqueline Fontyn (Belgium), Elisabeth Lutyens (U.K.), Ursula Mamlok (Germany/U.S.), Ruth Crawford Seeger (U.S.), and Galina Ustvolskaya (U.S.S.R.). The concluding NJE concert, April 13, 2020, in Alice Tully Hall, will have five world premieres of music composed for NJE by Juilliard composition students Evan Anderson and Marc Migo Cortes, Chinese composers Ye Xiaogang and Yao Chen, and Mexican/German composer-singer Diana Syrse, who will be the soloist for her piece.

About Joel Sachs

Joel Sachs, founding director and conductor of the New Juilliard Ensemble, performs a vast range of traditional and contemporary music as a conductor and pianist. As co-director of the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble Continuum, he 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, Canada, China, El Salvador, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Mexico, Switzerland, and Ukraine, has held new music residencies in Berlin, Shanghai, London, Salzburg, Curitiba (Brazil), Newcastle Upon Tyne (U.K.), Helsinki, and the Banff Centre (Canada), and has given recitals of post-traditional piano music worldwide.

One of the most active presenters of new music in New York, 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 New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) since 1993.

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

A graduate of Harvard, Sachs received his PhD from Columbia University. 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. In 2002, he received Columbia University’s Alice M. Ditson Conductors Award.

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Program Listing:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7:30pm, Bruno Walter Studio 309
New Juilliard Ensemble
Joel Sachs, Conductor

Deidre GRIBBIN (Northern Ireland) How to Make the Water Sound (1997, New York premiere)
Narong PRANGCHAROEN (Thailand) Far From Home (2004)
Eric TANGUY (France) Afterwards (2012, New York premiere)
Alfredo RUGELES (Venezuela) Resistencia y Resiliencia (2018, U.S. premiere)
Oleg FELZER (Azerbaijan/U.S.) Vestige (1993)
Julian ANDERSON (U.K.) Van Gogh Blue (2015, New York premiere)

Free tickets are available at

Conductor Joel Sachs and the New Juilliard Ensemble
New Juilliard Ensemble, Led by Joel Sachs, Performs Premieres on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 7:30pm in the Bruno Walter Studio 309 (photo by Nan Melville)