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Sebastian Currier

 b.16 March 1959, USAPhoto credit: Jeffrey Herman

Biography


English    Deutsch    


Short Biography:


Heralded as "music with a distinctive voice" by the New York Times and as "lyrical, colorful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new" by the Washington Post, Sebastian Currier’s music has been presented at major venues worldwide by acclaimed artists and orchestras.

With works spanning both chamber and orchestral genres, Currier’s works have been performed by ensembles including the Cassatt, Ying, and Kronos string quartets, the New World and San Francisco symphonies, and the New York Philharmonic. Recent works include Deep-Sky Objects for soprano and ensemble, Fifteen Minutes for flute, harp, and viola, Quanta for orchestra, Flow for chamber sextet, Ringtone Variations for violin and double bass, Cadence, Fugue, Fade, for brass quintet, Parallel Worlds for flute and string quartet, and Artificial Memory for chamber ensemble and electronics. Premieres to take place in 2015 include Divisions for orchestra, and Spark, written for the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic.

His music has been enthusiastically embraced by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter: his "rapturously beautiful" (New York Times) violin concerto Time Machines, commissioned by Ms. Mutter, was premiered by the New York Philharmonic in June 2011, and a recording of the performance was released by Deutsche Grammophon the following September.

Currier has received many prestigious awards including the Grawemeyer Award (for the chamber piece Static), Berlin Prize, Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has held residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies.

Sebastian Currier is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

— December 2014

This biography can be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with the following credit:
Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.

Long Biography:
Sebastian Currier is the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. Heralded as "music with a distinctive voice" by the New York Times and as "lyrical, colorful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new" by the Washington Post, his music has been performed at major venues worldwide by acclaimed artists and orchestras.



His music has been enthusiastically embraced by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, for whom he wrote Aftersong, which she performed extensively in the US and Europe, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Symphony Hall in Boston, the Barbican in London, and the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. A critic from The Times (UK) said, "If all his pieces are as emotionally charged and ingenious in their use of rethought tonality as this, give me more." His violin concerto, Time Machines, dedicated to Ms. Mutter, was premiered by the New York Philharmonic in June 2011, and called "rapturously beautiful" by the New York Times. A work for chorus and orchestra, Sleepers and Dreamers, was premiered at the 2012 Grant Park Music Festival in honor of the 50th anniversary of the festival’s chorus. Works premiered during the 2012–13 season included Deep-Sky Objects, for soprano and ensemble; Fifteen Minutes, for flute, harp, and viola; Quanta, for orchestra; Flow, for chamber sextet; and Ringtone Variations, for violin and double bass. The world premiere of Cadence, Fugue, Fade, written for the American Brass Quintet, took place in October 2013.

His chamber music was presented by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2007 and 2008, and included three world premieres. In December 2009, he returned to Berlin again for the premiere of his harp concerto Traces, which was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic and performed by harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet under the baton of Donald Runnicles.

His Microsymph, referred to by the composer as a large-scale symphony that has been squeezed into only ten minutes, was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra and premiered at Carnegie Hall. It has also been performed by such orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Eos Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra, and has been recorded by the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra with Hugh Wolff, conductor.

He has also written works that involve electronic media and video. Next Atlantis features a dialogue between string orchestra and pre-recorded sounds of water, evoking the infamous lost city, and was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie hall in 2010. Nightmaze, a multimedia piece based on a text of Thomas Bolt in which the protagonist dreams he is rushing along a dark, enormous highway, where strange road signs loom up only to disappear into the night, has been performed by Network for New Music and the Mosaic Ensemble. The Philadelphia Inquirer said "every turn is breathtaking" and the New York Times, "Currier's rich and imaginative music sets the right tone, with its fractured and dissonant baroque-like gestures leading off like highway exits into the void and hinting at distant reservoirs of emotion and yearning."

Recordings include his violin concerto Time Machines with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic on Deutsche Grammophon, Next Atlantis with the Ying Quartet on Naxos, and "On the Verge" from Music from Copland House, featuring his Grawemeyer Award-winning Static, and other chamber works. His "Quartetset/Quiet Time" album, recorded by the Cassatt Quartet, says Anne Midgette for the New York Times, "…distances the present from the past, causing the listener to think about music itself."

He has received many prestigious awards including the Berlin Prize, Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has held residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies. He received a DMA from the Juilliard School; and from 1999-2007 he taught at Columbia University.

Sebastian Currier is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

—December 2013

This biography can be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with the following credit:
Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.

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