Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Ensemble Court-circuit residency at the University at Buffalo

The Center for 21st Century Music is excited to announce the return of Ensemble Court-circuit to the University at Buffalo on October 26th and 27th. Court-circuit joined us back in 2018 for a residency where they rehearsed and recorded UB graduate composer works and gave a concert of contemporary music, and we've been looking forward to having them back ever since. 

Court-circuit at the University at Buffalo in 2018
Court-circuit at the University at Buffalo in 2018
photo credit: Irene Haupt

Some background on them from their website: 

The composer Philippe Hurel and conductor Pierre-André Valade created the ensemble Court-circuit in 1991, following a meeting with the founders of Analix Gallery in Geneva. « Created by a composer for composers », Court-circuit from the outset was a place of experimentation, an art project promoting intense risk-taking in a spirit of total freedom. A strong commitment to contemporary music is the real cement of the ensemble. Court-circuit owes its nervous, rhythmic, incisive identity, as well as its banner-like name, to the musicians and their leader Jean Deroyer, who animate it with determination and virtuosity. A sought- after partner for composers, the ensemble cheerfully plays its role of agitator in the international contemporary scene.

Court-circuit was invited by highly dynamic international programming (Maerzmuzik festivals, Ultima, Printemps des Arts, Musica Electronica Nova, Traiettorie, Gaïda) and haunts the high places of French creation and dissemination: Agora festivals, Manifesto, Novelum, Aujourd’hui Musiques in Perpignan, Messiaen in the Land of Meije, the Reims Opera, the Metz Arsenal, the Caen and Besançon theaters, and the Paris Opera.

Court-circuit is also involved in interdisciplinary projects that go beyond the sphere of contemporary music. After working with the Paris Opera for choreographic creations (Preljocaj, Lagraa),the ensemble had a fruitful partnership with the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord (Paris), where it created two chamber operas (The Second Woman – Grand Prize of Critics 2011 – and Mimi – 2014 – both composed by Frédéric Verrières and staged by Guillaume Vincent, before beginning a collaboration with the Opera Comique (Paris) where it participates in the opera La Princesse légère composed by Violeta Cruz and directed by Jos Houben (premiere in 2017).

In parallel, Court-circuit created several ciné-concerts such as Paris qui dort (a René Clair film, with music by Yan Maresz) and Les hommes le dimanche (a Robert Siodmak film, with music by Alexandros Markeas).

Court-circuit asserts its pedagogic mission by regularly working with the Paris Conservatory and the Ile- de-France conservatories. In 2012, it settled in the Hauts-de-Seine, where it conducts numerous projects with music institutions and national distribution structures.

The ensemble is regularly invited to participate in European programs, like Integra (2006-2011) dedicated to mixed music, and Re: new music project (2009-2011). Court-circuit’s discography features about twenty records that accurately reflect his extensive repertoire: Reynolds, Bertrand, Blondeau, D’Adamo, Fineberg, Grisey, Hervé, Hurel, Leroux, Matalon Monnet, Murail, Schneller, Buchala, Jodlowski…

Named several times “Favorite” by the Académie Charles Cros, these CDs were recognized by numerous awards (Le Monde de la Musique, Diapason d’Or, 10 de Répertoire).

Ensemble Court-circuit

Throughout the day on Thursday, October 27th, they will rehearse and record works by University at Buffalo graduate composers: Francisco Courthey, Lihuen Sirvent, Joel Kirk, and Thomas Little

On Wednesday, October 26th, at 7:30 pm in Lippes Concert Hall, Court-circuit will give a concert of contemporary works, including those by UB Distinguished Professor and Birge-Cary Chair in Composition David Felder, as well as by UB Alumna Diana Soh

The program is free and open to the public:

Sky Macklay, Fastlowhighslow for vn and pno 

Anthony Cheung, Ebbing Flow for cl, vn, vc, and pno  

David Felder, Rare air for cl and electronics

David Hudry, Impulses for fl, cl, vl, vc, and pno  

Diana Soh, Smaller things for ensemble (version for fl) 

Philippe Leroux, Postlude à l’épais for fl, cl, vl, vc, and pno 

No ticket purchase at the Slee Hall box office is necessary -- just show up and looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Lukas Foss Centennial Celebration!

The Center for 21st Century Music is pleased to announce our co-production with the UB College of Arts & Sciences Dean Robin Schulze and the UB Department of Music: Lukas Foss Centennial Celebration, Sunday, September 18th, at 3:00 pm in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall. We are also excited to bring this program to New York City, where we will offer the same program at the Dimenna Center in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, October 5th. 

Some background and context about this exciting program has been offered by Prof. Jonathan Golove, UB Music Department faculty specializing in Music Composition and Cello Performance, who will be performing on cello throughout the program:

Lukas Foss, whom we celebrate on the 100th anniversary of his birthyear, was a brilliant, exploratory and multifarious musician. His output as a composer, to say nothing of his efforts as a conductor and pianist, ranged widely over a significant variety of major trends from the second half of the 20th century. In some of those trends, indeed, he can be seen an important pioneer. Today’s program presents by no means the widest possible survey of his output in terms of these compositional directions, but it does offer chamber works from a broad swath of time, with works composed in five decades. These works represent some of his principal interests and stylistic tendencies, including the so-called “Americana” sound from his early period, his take on minimalism in the 1970s and 80s, and his career-long engagement with literary texts. The works are organized in two groupings: the first begins with Americana pieces and concludes with the minimalist-flavored Solo Observed, which itself, in its concluding section, brings back the Americana style decades after he had moved off in other composerly directions. After this grouping of shorter works, we perform one of Foss’s masterworks, Time Cycle, in the chamber version he created following Leonard Bernstein’s triumphant 1960 premiere of the original version for soprano and orchestra with the New York Philharmonic. Of that premiere, critic Allen Hughes wrote, “The composer... has surely produced the most beautiful and most significant work of his career.”

- Prof. Jonathan Golove

Lukas Foss 
photo credit: Irene Haupt

The concert is free and open to the public, please see the complete program below:

University at Buffalo
Lippes Concert Hall
Sunday, September 18, 3:00 pm

Elegy for clarinet and piano (1949, arr. Richard Stoltzman 2014)
Michael Tumiel, clarinet
Michael Serio, piano

Capriccio for cello and piano (1948)
Jonathan Golove, cello
Eric Huebner, piano

Solo Observed (1982)
Eric Hueber, piano
Tom Kolor, vibraphone
Jonathan Golove, cello
Michael Serio, electric organ

Time Cycle (1960) for soprano, clarinet, cello, piano/celesta, and percussion 
Tiffany Du Mouchelle, soprano
Michael Tumiel, clarinet
Jonathan Golove, cello
Tom Kolor, percussion
Eric Huebner, piano

This concert will be performed again on October 5th:

450 W 37th St, 
New York, NY 10018
Wednesday, October 5th
6:30 p.m. - Viewing of Lukas Foss documentary and performance
8:00 p.m. - Reception with light fare

Admission is free, but registration is required: