Photo: Maria G. Facciola
Paul Brantley, composer/cello
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Sunday, March 13, 2011 / 5:00 PM
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Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano
Laura Gilbert, flute
Jesse Mills, violin
Rieko Aizawa, piano
Composer and multi-faceted musician Paul Brantley has crafted a program modeled after the Concert Spirituels of 18th century Paris – programs designed to uplift and edify the public with “spiritual” music, whether sacred or secular. In addition to works by Debussy, Monteverdi and Rameau, Brantley's own works will include the premieres of a surprisingly quasi-Buddhist text by Wagner, Brünhilde’s Peroration, and the Gnostic Cantata.
Jean-Philippe Rameau - Pièces de clavecin en concerts, IV (1741)
adapted for flute, cello, and piano
Paul Brantley - One Door, (2010)
for solo cello
Claudio Monteverdi, arr. Brantley - Nigra Sum (1610)
for voice and continuo, from the “Marian Vespers”
Paul Brantley - Brünhilde’s Peroration (premiere)
for mezzo-soprano, flute, cello, and piano (2009) a setting of Wagner’s
unused “Schopenhauer” ending of The Ring Cycle
Claude Debussy - Syrinx (1913)
pour flûte seule (for solo flute)
Paul Brantley - Syrinx-double - meditations on and after Debussy (2007)
for flute and piano
Paul Brantley - Gnostic Cantata (premiere)
for mezzo-soprano, violin, and cello (2010)
About the performers:
In just the last few years, Paul Brantley’s music has been performed, premiered or commissioned by: The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, St. Bartholmew's Summer Festival of Sacred Music; The Philharmonic of the Americas at NYC’s Town Hall, The Left Bank Ensemble at the Kennedy Center, Ethel at the Kimmel Center, Excelsior Trombone Ensemble on NPR’s Performance Today, The Goliard Ensemble on tour, and twice featured on the MOSA series. Also a multifaceted musician, Brantley has performed as cellist with Trey Anastasio, recorded for Béla Fleck and James Morrison, toured with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, gigged with Chester Thompson, produced for and co-composed with Royel “Futureman” Wooten (the Flecktones), conducted for David Binney, and arranged for Ethel, Todd Rundgren, and Christian Scott. Paul currently resides in New York City where he free-lances as a composer and cellist, and teaches conducting at the Manhattan School of Music. His music is published by Bill Holab Music and Oxford University Press. He has recorded solo cello for Sony/Columbia, Rounder, Warner Bros., Polydor, Compass, and others. Paul studied at The Manhattan School of Music, The Curtis Institute, The Eastman School of Music as well as Fontainebleau, Tanglewood, and The Yellow Barn. His principal teachers include Samuel Adler, Leonard Bernstein, Alan Harris, David Loeb, and David Wells. He has held numerous residencies at The MacDowell Colony and The Banff Centre as well as being composer-in-residence for the Gabriel Fauré Conservatoire (Angloulême, France), Goliard Ensemble, Yara Arts Group, The Seal Bay Festival, Children’s Choral Celebration, Sewanee Music Festival, and Washington and Lee University. Paul has taught cello, chamber music, composition and conducting at Syracuse University, Washington and Lee University and, presently, The Manhattan School of Music.
Mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway has performed to acclaim throughout North America, both in opera and on the concert stage. She appeared at Glimmerglass Opera as a member of the prestigious Young American Artists Program and has also sung with Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, and Gotham Chamber Opera. Her operatic roles include Madame de Croissy in Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Nancy in Albert Herring, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Luisa in Luisa Fernanda, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. Equally at home in musical theater, Calloway has performed such roles as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street, and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. As an oratorio soloist, she has performed the Mozart Requiem as well as Bach’s St. John Passion, the latter for Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS. An avid recitalist, Calloway has appeared at Steinway Hall, the Chautauqua Institution, Alice Tully Hall, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Academy of Music (Philadelphia). A proponent of contemporary and lesser-known music, Calloway has performed Pierrot Lunaire at Alice Tully Hall, Columbia University, and the Juilliard School, and has also performed in the FOCUS! Festival of New Music. Calloway recently performed the world premiere of Kareem Roustom’s That Which is Adored at Tufts University, and has premiered countless other works at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Cornell University, and Temple University.
Flutist Laura Gilbert has performed around the world as chamber musician, soloist, recitalist and guest lecturer. In addition to founding and performing with Aureole, a trio comprised of flute, viola and harp, Ms. Gilbert has appeared with Musicians from Marlboro, Alexander Schneider's Brandenburg Ensemble, the Brentano and Saint Lawrence String Quartets, Chamber Music at the 92nd Street "Y", Saint Luke's Ensemble and Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic and Speculum Musicae. Ms. Gilbert also performs frequently in a duo with the Greek guitarist Antigoni Goni. As advocates of folk-inspired classical music, the duo has commissioned numerous new works, many of which are included on their debut solo disc “From the New Village,” on Koch International Classics. Ms. Gilbert's extensive discography includes two solo recordings on Koch International: The Flute Music of Serge Prokofiev, and the Flute Music of Toru Takemitsu. In addition to her solo recordings, Aureole has released nine discs on Koch International, the first of which was short-listed for numerous Grammy awards. Ms. Gilbert has served on the flute and chamber music faculties of Peabody Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Harid Conservatory, Purchase College, The Aaron Copland School at Queens College, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and Saint Ann's School.
Two-time Grammy nominated violinist Jesse Mills enjoys performing music of many genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention. In 2004, Mills made his professional concerto debut with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan in a unique partnership with Salsa trombonist, Jimmy Bosch. This project combined a classical performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, with Mills as violin soloist, and a Salsa band arrangement of the same piece, fronted by Bosch and Mills as improvising soloists. Mills is also known as a pioneer of contemporary works, a renowned improvisational artist, as well as a composer. He earned a Grammy nomination for his work on a CD of Arnold Schoenberg's music, released by NAXOS in 2005. He can also be heard on the Koch, Centaur, Tzadik, Max Jazz and Verve labels for various compositions of Webern, Schoenberg, Zorn, Wuorinen, and others. As a member of the FLUX Quartet from 2001-2003, Mills performed music composed during the last 50 years (including the famous six-hour-long String Quartet No. 2 by Morton Feldman), in addition to frequent world premieres. As a composer and arranger, Mills has been commissioned by venues including Columbia University’s Miller Theater and the Chamber Music Northwest festival in Portland, OR. Mr. Mills is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Dorothy DeLay, Robert Mann and Itzhak Perlman.
Praised by the NY Times for her “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing”, Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa has performed in solo and orchestral engagements throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, Chicago's Orchestra Hall and Vienna's Konzerthaus. At the age of thirteen, Ms. Aizawa was brought to the attention of conductor Alexander Schneider on the recommendation of the pianist Mitsuko Uchida. Schneider engaged Ms. Aizawa as soloist with his Brandenburg Ensemble at the opening concerts of Tokyo's Casals Hall. Later that year, Schneider presented her in her United States début concerts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall with his New York String Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Aizawa has performed as a guest with string quartets including the Guarneri Quartet and the Orion Quartet. She has participated in numerous festivals, including the Marlboro, Evian, and Ravinia Festivals. March 2005 marked the release of Ms. Aizawa’s first solo recording of Shostakovich's and Scriabin's "24 Preludes," on the Altus Music label. Her second album of Messiaens' and Faure's preludes will come out in 2011. Rieko Aizawa was the last pupil of Mieczyslaw Horszowski at the Curtis Institute and she also studied with Seymour Lipkin and Peter Serkin at the Juilliard School.