Explore Program Notes

Composer Portraits: Tyshawn Sorey

Musicians and critics alike avow Tyshawn Sorey’s fierce musicianship, readily placing him among his generation’s most gifted jazz drummers.

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Composer Portraits: Wang Lu

Although Wang’s music lives in the interstices between Eastern and Western realms of sound, more and more it seems to come from the studied perspective of an outsider, a stance facilitated by her itinerant career.

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New York Polyphony: Music from Over the Alps

Many Flemish composers made their names writing and teaching in Italy rather than in their northern homeland. Besides expanding upon the basic compositional techniques of polyphony, they introduced the beginnings of what would become the ubiquitous musical form that is the madrigal. 

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Orlando Consort: Love’s Command—Sacred Poetry & Music

Music from the 16th century was marked by a perfect union of words and harmonies. Sacred and secular boundaries began to blur—hence the adoption of the title ‘Love’s Command’ for this program.

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Tallis Scholars: A Renaissance Christmas

“A Renaissance Christmas” pivots around two texts central to the Christmas story: Hodie Christus natus est, the joyful outpouring of celebration that salvation is incarnate on earth; and the Magnificat, the prefiguring of this event in the humility of Mary’s response to the Annunciation.

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The Well-Tempered Clavier, Paired - Mahan Esfahani

The story of how I learned to stop worrying and love the Well-Tempered Clavier is inextricably bound with my coming to the realization that I am basically an incorrigible and immature person who would surely have fallen through the cracks had I not been guided by great musicians.

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Composer Portraits: Du Yun

“I don’t think of myself as a disruptor. I don’t like to use that word at all,” says the composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Du Yun.

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Kate Soper: IPSA DIXIT

Ipse dixit /Ip-suh dik-sit/: noun (Latin). Literally “he, himself, said it.” An unproven yet dogmatic statement which the speaker expects the listener to accept as valid without proof beyond the speaker’s assumed expertise. Ipsa dixit: “she, herself, said it . . .”

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Stile Antico: Elizabeth I, Queen of Muses

Queen Elizabeth I was one of the most significant patrons of music in British history; her reign (1558–1603) saw an unprecedented flourishing of music and the arts, both as a result of her direct patronage and from those who used their music to gain her favor – whether courtiers, diplomats or even suitors.

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American Dreamers: Making Proving Up into an Opera

No matter where we were born and what our circumstances, each one of us has an American Dream. It might include the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity and the pursuit of personal happiness and material comfort. Great sacrifices and suffering have been endured in this pursuit. It is often forgotten that, for millions of people in America and abroad, this is a dream that is never realized.

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Composer Portraits: Frederic Rzewski

But it’s refreshing to deal with this noble form again, especially now that a new generation of excellent string players has appeared who are ready to experiment, while carrying on with the classical tradition. It makes one want to live longer…

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Les Delices: Music for Fated Lovers

Just as in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, true love sometimes ends with the ultimate sacrifice. The legendary lovers Hippolytus & Aricia, Hero & Leander, and Pyramus & Thisbe indulged forbidden desires, arranged secret trysts, faced natural disasters, suffered tragic death, and even – with intercession from the Gods – found redemption and reunification.

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