/ News / Curtis 20/21 Ensemble Presents Portrait of Augusta Read Thomas on March 23

Curtis 20/21 Ensemble Presents Portrait of Augusta Read Thomas on March 23

Streamed live on YouTube (Curtis.edu/YouTube); Concert explores works by Curtis’s 2018–19 composer in residence

PHILADELPHIA, PA—March 13, 2019—The Curtis Institute of Music’s 20/21 Ensemble presents Portrait of Augusta Read Thomas on Saturday, March 23 at 8 p.m. in Gould Rehearsal Hall. A pre-concert conversation with Ms. Thomas will begin at 7:30 p.m. The program and conversation will be streamed live at Curtis.edu/YouTube.

In its final program of the season, the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble performs a selection of works by Curtis’s 2018–19 composer in residence, Augusta Read Thomas. A Grammy Award-winner, Ms. Thomas possesses an impressive body of works that embody unbridled passion and fierce poetry. She has been called “a true virtuoso composer” (The New Yorker) and “one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American music” (American Academy of Arts and Letters). As composer in residence, she has worked closely with Curtis’s six student composers, as well as this concert’s performers, throughout the school year, offering her unique experience through regular lessons, coachings, and classes.

The pre-concert discussion, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Gould Rehearsal Hall, features David Ludwig, artistic director of the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble, in conversation with Ms. Thomas. They will discuss the works performed, which draw inspiration from such topics as American jazz, the artwork of Paul Klee, and Greek mythology.

Tickets for $20 are available from Curtis Patron Services at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/Performances. The concert and pre-concert conversation will also be streamed live at 7:30 p.m. EDT on YouTube (Curtis.edu/YouTube) and Facebook Live (Facebook.com/CurtisInstitute).

New York native and Grammy Award-winning composer Augusta Read Thomas is known for her nuanced, majestic, elegant, capricious, lyrical, and colorful music.

Her recent and upcoming commissions include those from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Utah and Eugene symphonies, Wigmore Hall in London, the JACK and Spektral quartets, Third Coast Percussion, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Danish Chamber Players, the University of Notre Dame, Janet Sung, the Lorelei Ensemble, and the Fromm Foundation. She has won the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, among many other coveted awards. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

From 1997 through 2006, Ms. Thomas was the longest-serving Mead Composer in Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During her residency, Thomas premiered nine commissioned orchestral works, including Astral Canticle, which was one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music; and was central in establishing the MusicNOW series. She has served as composer in residence with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, through Music Alive, a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and Meet the Composer. During the 2017–18 season, she was composer in residence with the Eugene Symphony, and in 2016 was named the Chicagoan of the Year.

Ms. Thomas studied composition with Oliver Knussen at Tanglewood, Jacob Druckman at Yale University, and Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University; and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University and a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College.

Ms. Thomas is one of only nine university professors at The University of Chicago, where she founded the Center for Contemporary Composition: a dynamic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary environment for the creation, performance and study of new music and for the advancement of the careers of emerging and established composers, performers, and scholars. She has also taught at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Tanglewood, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

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 the Miller Theatre, as well as international venues, including the Intimacy of Creativity festival in Hong Kong. The ensemble has presented concert portraits of iconic composers in residence Unsuk Chin, John Corigliano, George Crumb, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Chen Yi, among many 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.



 

CURTIS 20/21 ENSEMBLE: Ode to Napoleon

Saturday, March 23 at 8 p.m.

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

Pre-concert discussion at 7:30 p.m.

 

AUGUSTA READ THOMAS       

Scat

Calvin Mayman, flute
Yuhsin Su, clarinet
Karisa Chiu, violin
Albert Seo, cello
Zach Hoi Leong Cheong, piano

 

Plea for Peace

Sophia Hunt, soprano
Claire Bourg, violin
Takumi Taguchi, violin
Grace Takeda, viola
John Lee, cello

 

“Loci: Memory Palace,” from Helix Spirals 

Claire Bourg, violin
Takumi Taguchi, violin
Grace Takeda, viola
John Lee, cello

 

Klee Musings

Karisa Chiu, violin
Albert Seo, cello
Michael Davidman, piano

 

Capricci (“Hummingbird Romance”) 

Calvin Mayman, flute
Yuhsin Su, clarinet

 

Mansueto Tribute, (“Double Helix”)         

Emily Shehi, violin
Erika Gray, viola

 

Two Thoughts About The Piano          

Zach Hoi Leong Cheong, piano

 

Selene: Moon Chariot Rituals

Vera Quartet
Zubin Hathi, percussion
Sijia Huang, percussion
Yoonseo Kang, percussion
Hanna Kim, percussion
Don Liuzzi, conductor

 

Single tickets: $20, sold by the Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or Curtis.edu/Performances.

Concert and pre-concert conversation streamed live at 7:30 p.m. EDT on YouTube and Facebook Live.

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

The composer in residence program is supported in part by the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia.

 

# # #

Press Contacts

Patricia K. Johnson
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing
(215) 717-3190

Diana Wensley
Communications and Marketing Manager
(215) 717-3129