Three new works by Sebastian Currier are premiered this winter and spring in Boston and New York (with additional performances in Chicago and Leipzig), including a piano trio written for Anne-Sophie Mutter and a violin concerto to be premiered by Baiba Skride with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons.
This winter and spring, three new works by composer Sebastian Currier are given their world-premiere performances by leading artists and ensembles: Eleven Moons for soprano and ensemble, performed by Boston Musica Viva; Ghost Trio for piano trio, performed by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter alongside cellist Daniel Müller-Schott and pianist Lambert Orkis at Carnegie Hall; and Aether, a violin concerto to be premiered by Baiba Skride with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons.
On February 2, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, contemporary music ensemble Boston Musica Viva premieres Eleven Moons at Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center. Commissioned by Chamber Music America, the work features soprano Zorana Sadiq as soloist. Currier’s inspiration for Eleven Moons was the many ways in which humans throughout history have viewed the moon through the cultural lens of their unique time and place. He says: “Eleven Moons is a song cycle based on these many projections we imprint on Earth’s closest neighbor. I have chosen fragments from various texts—including Wikipedia entries, the Upanishads, passages from Shelley, Poe, and the Brothers Grimm, and a quote from Neil Armstrong—all of which I hope will give a sense of the breadth of perspectives from which we view our lovely celestial neighbor.”
Saturday, Feb 2: Eleven Moons (world premiere) with Zorana Sadiq, soprano / Boston Musica Viva at Boston University
Click here for more information about Eleven Moons.
On March 12, Currier’s Ghost Trio is premiered by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, a longtime champion of Mr. Currier’s music, alongside cellist Daniel Müller-Schott and pianist Lambert Orkis at Carnegie Hall. The group performs the work a second time on Sunday, March 17 at 3:00 p.m. at Chicago’s Symphony Center.
Comprising nine short movements, Ghost Trio reflects Currier’s interest in the genre of the piano trio and its brief period of popularity in the 19th century. He states, “Playing off of the name of Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ trio, I decided to write a piano trio that would create a dialogue with the form in its heyday. Brief fragments of the trios of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms appear as fleeting apparitions, like ghosts from the past, creating brief flashes of sound, gone before one can even fully perceive them.”
Mr. Currier’s previous works for Ms. Mutter are Aftersong (1994) for solo violin; Time Machines (2007) for violin and orchestra, which she premiered and recorded with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert; and Ringtone Variations (2011) for violin and double bass, which she premiered with Roman Patkoló.
Tuesday, Mar 12: Ghost Trio (world premiere) with Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin / Daniel Müller-Schott, cello / Lambert Orkis, piano at Carnegie Hall
Sunday, Mar 17: Ghost Trio (Chicago premiere) with Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin / Daniel Müller-Schott, cello / Lambert Orkis, piano at Chicago’s Symphony Center
Click here for more information about Ghost Trio.
During the first week of May, Currier’s violin concerto Aether is premiered by Baiba Skride with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Andris Nelsons. The BSO co-commissioned Aether with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, with which Mr. Nelsons and Ms. Skride subsequently perform the work at the Gewandhaus’ Grosser Saal on May 16-17.
Inspired by the 18th- and 19th-century concept of the “aether”—thought to have been an invisible substance pervading the entire universe—Aether is the first violin concerto written for Baiba Skride, who frequently performs contemporary music and has also premiered works by Hans Abrahamsen and Sofia Gubaidulina. Currier describes his work as a “deconstructed and reconfigured” violin concerto in which a “sonic ‘aether’ surrounds the firmer, more concrete structures of the four movements.” At the end, he says, “the violin steps off the solid structure of the finale and floats into the aether, gradually disappearing into nothingness.”
May 2-4: Aether (world premiere) with Baibe Skride, violin / Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons at Boston’s Symphony Hall.
May 16-17: Aether (European premiere) with Baibe Skride, violin / Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Andris Nelsons at the Gewandhaus’ Grosser Saal
Click here for more information about Aether.
Photo: Jennifer Taylor
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