Explore Program Notes

Composer Portraits: Thomas Meadowcroft

Thomas Meadowcroft is an Australian-born composer and performer living in Berlin. His works cross worlds, embracing notated compositions for acoustic instruments and electronics, improvised performances, sound installations, and music for theater and film.

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Gamba Sonatas

Johann Sebastian Bach’s career and approach to his musical life are a model of compromise and transcendence. At each stage of his employment, he immersed himself in what was required of him…There are many instances of Bach composing several different works using the same materials, and this may have been the case for all three of the sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord, BWV 1027-1029.

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Composer Portraits: Matana Roberts

Matana Roberts created the experimental requiem in memory of Bland and all victims of police violence. In the world premiere of iteration II, Roberts has recomposed their conceptual score for twelve musicians to incorporate new materials, leave elements of chance, and foster improvisation through a politically conscious lens.

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Goldberg Variations

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations has been a focus of pianist Simone Dinnerstein’s performing life for some two decades. Her acclaimed 2007 recording of the piece set a new standard for piano performance, and her eloquent discourse on the piece’s many facets reveals a deep understanding of its interconnected musical details.

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Composer Portraits: Felipe Lara

Each of Lara’s compositions weave together his multiplicity of influences, ranging from his early studies in rock and jazz to lessons with composers like French spectral composer Tristan Murail and German instrumental musique concrète composer Helmut Lachenmann. He has always been drawn to composers who put themselves into their music by taking ideas from the many sounds and styles that excite them rather than trying to fit into any specific mold.

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Stile Antico: Toward the Dawn

The evening’s program charts a course from twilight to sunrise, echoing both the rhythms of church liturgy and the medieval experience of night, seductive and unsettling in equal measure.

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Composer Portraits: Kati Agócs

Music is the medium through which Kati Agócs engages with the world: the spiritual and the humanitarian world, the world of art and culture. As a composer who sings, and as one concerned with cultural knowledge and its transmission, she has consistently turned to poetry and language as a way of focusing and enhancing her musical goals.

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Bach Collection

Bach Collection, the third and final program of Bach from the Piano, brings together some of Bach’s most popular works:  Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, arranged by Dame Myra Hess; Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060; the chorale prelude Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639, arranged by Ferruccio Busoni; and the cantata Ich habe genug, BWV 82.

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Composer Portraits: Dai Fujikura

Sensory exploration is a connective thread in Dai Fujikura’s compositional process, providing him with an intuitive framework that grounds his musical language. What he develops from that foundation feels actively inquisitive in nature, with Fujikura maintaining his sense of wonder—and a sense of humor—into his third decade as an artist.

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Composer Portraits: Oscar Bettison

An immersive theater experience is exactly the kind of piece one has come to expect from Oscar Bettison, a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow whose work takes imaginative leaps in sound that frequently verge on the surreal.

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Quicksilver: Stile Moderno

Tonight’s concert is an examination of this modern music, as it was invented by virtuoso instrumental composers first in Italy and then in Germany. It is also an exploration of their new invention, the sonata: a pure instrumental work, a piece simply meant to be “sounded,” with no agenda but the imagination of the composer.  

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Bach Concertos

Simone Dinnerstein selected the pieces on Bach Concertos with an eye for creating a varied sound palette and the potential for interplay between them. “What I’m thinking about in this particular program is the many textures we’ve brought together,” she explains. “And the dramatic emotional arc created by this group of works.”

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