/ News / Curtis 20/21 Ensemble Presents Works by Composer in Residence Chen Yi December 1 and 2

Curtis 20/21 Ensemble Presents Works by Composer in Residence Chen Yi December 1 and 2

Philadelphia performance streamed live on YouTube (Curtis.edu/YouTube); repeat performance at Miller Theatre in New York City; Chamber works by Chen Yi combine Chinese traditions and Western tonalities


PHILADELPHIA—November 28, 2017—The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble presents the works of Composer in Residence Chen Yi in two concerts on Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m. at Gould Rehearsal Hall in Philadelphia and Saturday, December 2 at 8 p.m. at the Miller Theatre in New York City.

Shaped by her experience coming of age during China’s Cultural Revolution, Chen Yi embodies the “edge effect,” the subject of Curtis’s all-school project: Her early influences include both Chinese traditional music and Western classical music. Chen Yi is a master of contemporary technique and a strong advocate for music’s power to connect audiences of different cultural backgrounds. The 20/21 Ensemble will take on her active and engaging chamber works, including the evocative Happy Rain on a Spring Night and the iconic Sparkle, among others.

The Philadelphia performance on December 1 takes place at 8 p.m. in Gould Rehearsal Hall in Lenfest Hall. A pre-concert discussion with Chen Yi and David Ludwig, artistic director of the 20/21 Ensemble, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The discussion and concert will be streamed live at 7:30 p.m. EST on YouTube and Facebook Live. This concert is free and no tickets or reservations are required. Seating in Gould Rehearsal Hall is first-come, first-served.

The New York performance on December 2 at 8 p.m. at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University is part of the Composer Portraits series. Single tickets starting at $20 are available through the Miller Theatre Box Office at MillerTheatre.com or (212) 854-7799.

Chen Yi is a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. Her music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by the world’s leading musicians and ensembles, including Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, and Evelyn Glennie; the BBC, Seattle, Pacific, and Singapore symphonies; the Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and New York philharmonics; the Cleveland Orchestra; Staatskapelle Dresden; and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Born in China, Dr. Chen holds degrees in composition from the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University in New York. She is a professor on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri—Kansas City, and has also served on the composition faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and as a visiting professor at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.

Dr. Chen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has received fellowships, honors, and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and ASCAP, among many others.

Each year a theme is chosen as the focus for the Curtis Institute of Music’s All-School Project—an interdepartmental, educational, and cultural extravaganza characterized by a simultaneous, intensive examination of a specific composition, genre, or era across the academic curriculum, performance studies, and extracurriculum. This year’s project, “The Edge Effect,” is inspired by an ecological phenomenon wherein two ecosystems meet, resulting in the greatest diversity of life. Curtis students will explore this “edge effect” as it relates to music. On stage and in the classroom, students will focus on the results of external influences on musicians as they have manifested over centuries in the creation and performance of concert music. 

The annual composer-in-residence program at Curtis has featured a wide array of august composers including Joan Tower, John Corigliano, George Crumb, Steven Stucky, and most recently Kaija Saariaho. Connecting with renowned living composers gives student performers the collaborative experience of bringing new music to life. Student composers connect to these artists at the top of their field through master classes and lectures throughout the residency week.

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, faculty, and alumni. The ensemble has appeared at major U.S. venues such as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, and has presented concert portraits of iconic composers in residence John Corigliano, George Crumb, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Steven Stucky, 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.”


 

CURTIS 20/21 ENSEMBLE: Chen Yi, Composer in Residence


Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m.
Pre-concert discussion at 7:30 p.m.

Gould Rehearsal Hall, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Free; no tickets or advance reservations required.

Streamed live on YouTube (Curtis.edu/YouTube) and Facebook Live (Facebook.com/CurtisInstitute) at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Generous support for the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble is provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation.


Saturday, December 2 at 8 p.m.

Miller Theatre at Columbia University, 2960 Broadway at 116th Street, New York City

Single tickets for $20–30 are available from the Miller Theatre Box Office at MillerTheatre.com or (212) 854-7799.

Generous support for the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble is provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation. Major support for Composer Portraits is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

CHEN          Near Distance (1988)

Alejandro Lombo, flute
Yuhsin Su, clarinet
Seula Lee, violin
Chen Cao, cello
Janice Carissa, piano
Sijia Huang, percussion

CHEN          Shuo Chang (2013)

Xiaobo Pu, guitar 

CHEN          Happy Rain on a Spring Night (2004)

Alejandro Lombo, flute
Yuhsin Su, clarinet
Seula Lee, violin
Chen Cao, cello
Michael Davidman, piano
Sijia Huang, percussion 


Intermission
 

CHEN          Qi (1997)

Henry Woolf, flute
Sydney Lee, cello
Michael Davidman, piano
Yoonseo Kang, percussion 

CHEN          Three Bagatelles from China West (2006)

Henry Woolf, flute
Michael Davidman, piano 

CHEN          Sparkle (1992)

Alejandro Lombo, flute
Yuhsin Su, clarinet
Seula Lee, violin
Chen Cao, cello
Lena Goodson, double bass
Janice Carissa, piano
Sijia Huang, percussion
Yoonseo Kang, percussion

 

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