Friday, April 12, 2019

Mivos returns to June in Buffalo 2019 to present a mind-bending program

Recently recognized by the prestigious Dwight and Ursula Mamlok Prize—awarded to “an ensemble making a significant contribution to the performance of contemporary music”—the Mivos Quartet has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the University at Buffalo for many years. Our shared history has shaped the ensemble’s trajectory in very real ways; in 2018, for instance, recent UB alumnus Tyler J. Borden was chosen to become the quartet’s new cellist, and current PhD candidate Alex Huddleston won the incredibly competitive 8th Mivos/Kanter String Quartet Competition Prize. As Mivos enters its second decade, poised to become an even more influential actor in the American new music scene, UB and the Center for 21st Century Music are proud to welcome them back to this year’s June in Buffalo for their 3rd residency in a row since 2017.
Mivos will perform two concerts at June in Buffalo 2019. On June 5th, they will present a program of works by some of the festival’s senior composers, and two evenings later, they will perform string quartets submitted by the festival’s student participant composers.

A performance by the Arditti Quartet of Ferneyhough's Second Quartet

Brian Ferneyhough’s Second String Quartet (1980) will kick off Mivos’ June 5th program. Ferneyhough is “a controversial figure of world renown, bent on making the most out of music” by a constant reliance on relentless complexity (Ross Allan Feller), but his Second Quartet is one of his “most approachable and outgoing pieces,” (Lois Fitch) clocking in at just under 10 minutes—an ideal show opener.

Next, Mivos will tackle a piece by June in Buffalo’s own Artistic Director, David Felder. Commissioned by the Siemens Foundation for the Arditti Quartet in 2007, Stuck-Stücke has evocative markings throughout—like “effervescent!” or “perky,” to name a few—which seem to “be trying to put something into music that cannot be put into music,” such as “murmuring, or dancing, or breathing” (Buffalo News). Stuck-Stücke and 3 other works are featured in BoxMan, a CD released by Albany Records several years ago and available for purchase on their websiteLei Liang’s Serashi Fragments (2005), a tribute to the Mongolian chaorer (an ancient two-string fiddle) player Serashi, is third in the program. Following a centuries-long tradition in Western music, Liang employes the notes Sol, La and Si—G, A and B—in various forms as musical inscriptions of the artist’s name. 

Clyne's Roulette is featured on her CD Blue Moth (Tzadik)

Finally, Mivos will close the concert with Anna Clyne’s unique Roulette (2007)Roulette features an electronic track, composed of processed recordings of choral singing, sharp breaths, and other noises, which, according to the composer, are “sounds that (…) both complement, interact with, and oppose” the gestures of the live string quartet. Tzadik Records released Roulette and six other stunning electroacoustic chamber works by Clyne in a CD entitled Blue Moth in 2012.

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