January 24, 2019
World premieres by Sebastian Currier To Be Performed at Carnegie Hall, Chicago's Symphony Center, Boston's Symphony Hall, Boston University, and Gewandhaus, February – May 2019
Jennifer Taylor
  • Eleven Moons to be premiered by Boston Musica Viva with soprano Zorana Sadiq on February 2
  • Ghost Trio to be premiered by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, and pianist Lambert Orkis on March 12; additional performance to take place on March 17 at Chicago’s Symphony Center
  • Aether to be premiered by violinist Baiba Skride and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by Andris Nelsons, May 2–4; Ms. Skride and Mr. Nelsons reprise the work with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra at the Gewandhaus on May 16 and 17

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (January 24, 2019) — This winter and spring in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Leipzig, three new works by Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Sebastian Currier are given their world-premiere performances by leading artists and ensembles.

On Saturday, February 2 at 8:00 p.m., in celebration of its 50th anniversary, contemporary music ensemble Boston Musica Viva premieres Mr. Currier’s Eleven Moons at Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center. Commissioned by Chamber Music America, the work features soprano Zorana Sadiq as soloist.

On Tuesday, March 12 at 8:00 p.m., Mr. 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.

During the first week of May, Mr. Currier’s violin concerto Aetheris premiered by Baiba Skride with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Andris Nelsons. The work is given four performances at Symphony Hall: Thursday, May 2 at 10:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.Friday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m.; and Saturday, May 4 at 8:00 p.m. 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 Thursday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m.

In addition to these new works, Mr. Currier’s 2014 orchestral work Divisionsis performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, led by Ludovic Morlot, on Friday, April 12 at 10:45 a.m.Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m. Mr. Morlot originally premiered the work with the Seattle Symphony. Divisions was co-commissioned by the Seattle Symphony, BSO, and National Orchestra of Belgium.

Ticketing information for all performances is listed below.

 

Mr. Currier’s inspiration for Eleven Moonswas 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.”

In addition to this world premiere, the Boston Musica Viva program includes works by Deborah and Richard Cornell, Michael Gandolfi, Brian Robison, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

Ghost Trio is Mr. Currier’s latest composition for Anne-Sophie Mutter, a devoted advocate of his music since first performing it in 1994. Comprising nine short movements, the new work reflects Mr. Currier’s interest in the genre of the piano trio and its brief period of popularity in the 19th century. He says:

“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.

Inspired by the 18th- and 19th-century concept of the “aether”—thought to have been an invisible substance pervading the entire universe—Aetheris the first violin concerto written for Baiba Skride, who frequently performs contemporary music and has also premiered works by Hans Abrahamsen and Sofia Gubaidulina. Mr. 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.”

Mr. Currier’s Divisions, which Ludovic Morlot takes to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra after having premiered the work with the Seattle Symphony in 2015, was written in commemoration of World War I. The composer says: “Divisions starts with fracture and fragmentation and moves toward a unified whole. Ending with a simple set of variations, it points to music’s power not to divide, but to bring people together.”

 

Sebastian Currier, a recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award, composes music that reimagines traditional forms from a contemporary perspective.

His compositions have been performed at major venues worldwide by leading artists and ensembles, including violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, violist Kim Kashkashian, guitarist Eliot Fisk, and pianist Inon Barnatan; orchestras including the Berlin and New York Philharmonics, the Boston, Cincinnati, National, and San Francisco Symphonies, and the BBC Wales, Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Minnesota, and NCPA (Beijing) Orchestras; and chamber and choral groups including the American Brass Quintet, The Crossing, and Kronos Quartet.

His discography includes recordings of his works by Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon, Cincinnati Symphony for the Fanfare Cincinnati label, Oregon Symphony for Pentatone, American Brass Quintet for Summit Records, Ying Quartet for Naxos Records, Cassatt Quartet for New World Records, Music from Copland House for Koch International Classics, and pianist Joyce Yang for Avie Records.

Among his many prestigious honors and awards are 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. He has also held residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies. He received a DMA from the Juilliard School and taught at Columbia University from 1999 to 2007. He was Artist in Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, from 2013 to 2016.

Sebastian Currier is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

For more information, visit sebastiancurrier.com.

# # #

PERFORMANCES OF MUSIC BY
COMPOSER SEBASTIAN CURRIER,
FEBRUARY – MAY 2019

Saturday, February 2 at 8:00 p.m.
Boston University, Tsai Performance Center — Boston, MA

Boston Musica Viva
Zorana Sadiq, soprano (in Eleven Moons)
Steve Aveson, narrator (in Bonfire of Civil Liberties)

SEBASTIAN CURRIER Eleven Moons (world premiere)*
DEBORAH AND RICHARD CORNELL Wind Driven
MICHAEL GANDOLFI Budget Cuts
BRIAN ROBISON Bonfire of Civil Liberties
ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH Viva! (world premiere)

*Commissioned by Chamber Music America

Tickets priced $30 (adults), $25 (seniors), and $10 (students and children) are available from bmv.org. All tickets general admission. Special discounts available for groups; call (617) 354-6910 for details.

 

Tuesday, March 12 at 8:00 p.m.
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage — New York, NY

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Lambert Orkis, piano
Daniel Müller-Schott, cello

MOZART Violin Sonata in E Minor, K. 304
DEBUSSY Violin Sonata
SEBASTIAN CURRIER Ghost Trio (world premiere)
MOZART Violin Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 454
POULENC Violin Sonata

Tickets to next month’s concert, priced $20 to $131, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

 

Sunday, March 17 at 3:00 p.m.
Symphony Center — Chicago, IL

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Lambert Orkis, piano
Daniel Müller-Schott, cello

MOZART Violin Sonata in E Minor, K. 304
RAVEL Violin Sonata
SEBASTIAN CURRIER Ghost Trio
BEETHOVEN Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 (“Ghost”)
POULENC Violin Sonata

Tickets for all Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music series concerts can be purchased by phone at 800-223-7114 or 312-294-3000, online at cso.org or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.

 

Friday, April 12 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m.

Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, Orchestra Hall — Detroit, MI

Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Ludovic Morlot, conductor)
Hélène Grimaud, piano

SEBASTIAN CURRIER Divisions
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 5

Tickets begin at $15 and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

 

Thursday, May 2 at 10:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 4 at 8:00 p.m.

Symphony Hall — Boston, MA

Boston Symphony Orchestra (Andris Nelsons, conductor)
Baiba Skride, violin

R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
SEBASTIAN CURRIER Aether for violin and orchestra (world premiere)*
STRAVINSKY Petrushka

*Co-commissioned by the BSO and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

Tickets are available for purchase through bso.org or by calling 888-266-1200.

 

Thursday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m.

Gewandhaus, Grosser Saal — Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Andris Nelsons, conductor)
Baiba Skride, violin

SEBASTIAN CURRIER Aether for violin and orchestra*
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5

*Co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

Tickets are available from gewandhausorchester.de.

# # #

Press contact:

Shuman Associates
shumanpr@shumanassociates.net | (212) 315-1300

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