Curtis 20/21 Ensemble features 2015-16 Composer in Residence Unsuk Chin November 11
Live stream on Curtis Performs (www.curtis.edu/CurtisPerforms); video remains online for 72 hours following the performance
PHILADELPHIA, PA—November 2, 2015—The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble presents Beyond Darmstadt, a portrait concert of 2015-16 composer in residence Unsuk Chin at Gould Rehearsal Hall on Wednesday, November 11 at 8 p.m. The first in a series of five Curtis 20/21 Ensemble events throughout the 2015-16 season, this concert highlights Curtis's all-school project focusing on the Darmstadt school of composition. Born in South Korea and based in Berlin, Unsuk Chin cites as major influences Anton Webern and her teacher, György Ligeti, both closely linked to the Darmstadt school.
The concert is free and no tickets or advance reservations are required. The performance will also be streamed at 8 p.m. EST on Curtis Performs (www.curtis.edu/CurtisPerforms) as part of a weekly live-stream series, and the video will remain online for 72 hours. Free with a high-speed internet connection, the Curtis Performs site can be viewed on any mobile device or desktop.
The performance includes Ms. Chin’s works for solo piano and for solo percussion; her string quartet ParaMetaString; and the renowned Akrostichon-Wortspiel for soprano and chamber ensemble, a set of seven scenes from the fairytales The Endless Story by Michael Ende and Alice through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Ms. Chin is a leading composer of her generation and a winner of the Grawemeyer Award in composition, whose works have been performed throughout the world by numerous orchestras, opera companies, and chamber ensembles. Her music has been called "fresh, vivid and uncompromisingly modern" by the New York Times.
Since 2007, Curtis has leveraged an annual all-school project—hailed by the New York Times as the "best teaching idea" of 2008—to serve as a focal point for artistic programs and the academic curriculum. This year Curtis delves into the Darmstadt school as well as the counter-cultural reactions to it, exploring the history, politics, and artistic concepts that shaped the music of this turbulent era.
Composer Unsuk Chin's music is modern in language, but lyrical and non-doctrinaire in communicative power. Her music has attracted international conductors including Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Robertson, Peter Eötvös, Neeme Järvi, Markus Stenz, Myung-Whun Chung, George Benjamin, Susanna Mälkki, François -Xavier Roth, Leif Segerstam, and Ilan Volkov, among others. She has received many honors, including the 2004 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for her Violin Concerto, the 2005 Arnold Schoenberg Prize, the 2010 Prince Pierre Foundation Music Award, and the 2012 Ho-Am Prize.
Ms. Chin has been commissioned by leading performing organizations and her music has been performed in major festivals and concert series in Europe, the Far East, and North America by orchestras and ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Kronos Quartet, and Arditti Quartet. In addition, she has been active in writing electronic music, receiving commissions from IRCAM and other electronic music studios.
In 2007 Ms. Chin’s first opera, Alice in Wonderland, was given its world premiere at the Bavarian State Opera as the opening of the Munich Opera Festival and released on DVD by Unitel Classica. Her second opera, Alice Through the Looking Glass, is commissioned by the Royal Opera in London for premiere in the 2018-19 season. Since 2006 she has overseen the contemporary music series of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, a series which she founded. Since 2011 she has served as artistic director of the Music of Today series of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. Portrait CDs of her music have appeared on Deutsche Grammophon, Kairos, and Analekta.
Flexible in size and scope, the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble performs a wide range of music from the 20th and 21st centuries, including works by Curtis students and alumni. The ensemble has appeared at major U.S. venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Miller Theatre, as well as internationally. The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble collaborates with some of today's most prominent artists, including Charles Dutoit, eighth blackbird, and Matthias Pintscher. It has presented portrait concerts of iconic composers in residence Steve Mackey, George Crumb, and Krzysztof Penderecki, among others. Of the ensemble's Joan Tower portrait program, the New York Times wrote, "Ms. Tower could hardly have hoped for more passionate performances." The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble is led by artistic director David Ludwig.
Drawing upon 90 years of artistry, the Curtis Institute of Music pairs tradition and innovation, educating exceptionally gifted young musicians as artist-citizens who engage a local and global community through music-making of the highest caliber. Each year 175 students come to Curtis, drawn by a tuition-free, performance-inspired learning culture. In this intimate environment, they are nurtured by a celebrated faculty and inspired by the school’s distinctive "learn by doing" approach, offering more than 200 concerts each year in Philadelphia, as well as performances around the world through Curtis on Tour.
The extraordinary young musicians of Curtis graduate to join 4,000 alumni who have long made music history. Each season leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series around the world feature Curtis alumni. They are in the front rank of soloists, composers, and conductors and hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra. Curtis graduates are musical leaders, making a profound impact on music onstage and in their communities. To learn more, visit www.curtis.edu.
Curtis 20/21 Ensemble: Beyond Darmstadt
With Composer in Residence Unsuk Chin
Wednesday, November 11 at 8 p.m.
Gould Rehearsal Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA
CHIN - Allegro ma non troppo
CHIN - Piano Etudes, Nos. 1, 4, 5, 6
CHIN - ParaMetaString
CHIN - Akrostichon-Wortspiel
Free; no tickets or advance reservations are required.
Live stream at 8 p.m. EST on Curtis Performs (www.curtis.edu/CurtisPerforms); video will remain online for 72 hours.
The 2015-16 composer in residence program is supported by a grant from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia.
This program, as a part of Curtis's comprehensive approach to prepare its students for relevant and impactful 21st century careers in the arts, has been supported through an Advancement grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
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