April 9, 2019
Sebastian Currier This Spring: Live-Stream with Detroit Symphony, BSO and Gewandhaus Co-Commission, and Acclaim for World Premiere at Carnegie Hall

Recent and Upcoming
This Spring

Critical Acclaim for World Premiere of Ghost Trio

Left to right: Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis, Sebastian Currier, and
Daniel Müller-Schott at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

A longtime champion of Sebastian Currier’s music, Anne-Sophie Mutter performed the world premiere of his Ghost Trioalongside pianist Lambert Orkis and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott on March 12 at Carnegie Hall. Comprising nine short movements, Ghost Trio reflects Mr. Currier’s interest in the piano trio as a genre that flourished among composers in the 19th century, but which has since waned in popularity.

“Humor, alienation and hallucinatory echoes of past music come together in Mr. Currier’s “Ghost Trio.” In nine succinct movements, with titles like “Remote,” “Mysterious” and “Forceful,” this work weaves glancing — and distorted — references to piano trios by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and others into his own intricate, emotionally focused language.”

— The New York Times(“Critic’s Pick”)

“… a fascinating piece … the composer weaves ghostly fragments and reminiscences of the work’s Romantic antecedents into a … work of considerable substance. Warmly harmonic piano chords with more than a whiff of Beethoven or Schubert about them jostle with astringent string lines that frequently peter out, dissolving into the ether as wispy glissandi—a sort of musical ectoplasm. … “Syncopated,” with its jazzy pizzicatos, [was] a movement that proved a worthy encore at half time—and it’s not often you can say that for contemporary music.”

— Musical America

“…an original, often unsettling work. The first movement is … a wandering duet between the strings. In “Ghost Scherzo,” a constant feeling of motion weaves its way among the instruments, starting in the rough scrabble of the strings, and moving into rolling cascades in the piano as violin and cello sing a haunting melody on top. “Mysterious,” the seventh movement, is over in a flicker, but leaves a powerful, icy image. The sixth, “Syncopated,” got its own encore to warm applause…”

— New York Classical Review


Divisions To Be Live-Streamed by Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Sebastian Currier; Ludovic Morlot

On Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra live-streams Sebastian Currier’s Divisions, composed in 2014 to commemorate the centennial of World War I. The performance is conducted by Ludovic Morlot, who led the Seattle Symphony’s world premiere of the work in 2015. Divisions was co-commissioned by the Seattle Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre National de Belgique. Andris Nelsons and Andrey Boreyko conducted the East Coast and Belgian premieres, respectively.

Divisions,” says Mr. Currier, “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.” Reviewing the 2015 premiere performances, critics said:

“…the new composition features tone clusters, fluttering motifs and effective passages for the harp and the brass, many of them disjointed and fragmentary. It’s not hard to discern elements of both warfare and mourning in the score, which ends on a more hopeful note.”

— The Seattle Times

“The work’s nonlinear, jump-cutting style is evident from its opening minutes, in which somber, slowly drawn chords are offset by fast, jagged, and aggressive string riffs. Eerily oscillating pitches suggest a siren perceived in nightmarish slow motion. A lone trumpet ponders in the void. Currier’s orchestration is resourceful, and he proves adept at maintaining narrative tension across the sharply contrasting terrain. Even at the very end, the composer resists a sense of closure, as the music dissolves into a landscape of rustles, sighs, and silence.”

— The Boston Globe

To access the live-stream on April 13, visit dso.org/Live at 8:00 p.m. ET. Additional performances (not to be streamed live) take place on Friday, April 12 at 10:45 a.m. and Sunday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m.


World Premiere of Violin Concerto Aether To Be Performed
by Baiba Skride and Boston Symphony Orchestra,
Led by Andris Nelsons

Baiba Skride; Andris Nelsons.‚Äč

Co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Sebastian Currier’s violin concerto Aetheris given its world premiere by soloist Baiba Skride and the BSO under Andris Nelsons at Symphony Hall on 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. Mr. Nelsons and Ms. Skride subsequently take the work to Leipzig for the Gewandhaus performances on Thursday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m.

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. 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.”


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