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THE ARGENTO CHAMBER ENSEMBLE PERFORMS MOZART’S REQUIEM With GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS’S SEVEN SOUNDSPACES

Location: New York, USA
The Argento Chamber Ensemble, under the baton of conductor Michel Galante, will perform on October 27th at 7:30 pm at St. Bart’s Episcopal Church all fragments of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem K. 626 along with composer Georg Friedrich Haas’s Sieben Klangräume (Seven Soundspaces), which link together the fragments of Mozart’s masterwork. To open the program, acclaimed flutist Paula Robison will perform Mozart’s Andante K. 315 for flute and orchestra. The featured choir for the program is The College of New Jersey Chorale with vocal soloists soprano, Tharanga Goonetilleke; alto Silvie Jensen; tenor, Steven Wilson; and bass Peter Stewart.
 
As a greatly treasured contemporary composer in Austria, Georg Friedrich Haas was given complete access to all of Mozart’s manuscripts. Haas isolated all fragments that were exclusively in Mozart’s handwriting and on October 27th, audiences will be given the rare opportunity to hear these fragments (some unfinished), without the completions or orchestrations of any of his students.
 
Because Mozart died during the composition of his Requiem, this work can never be heard as the Austrian composer intended. Until recently, audiences heard Mozart’s masterpiece as filtered through the orchestrations and completions of lesser composers such as Franz Xavier Sussmeyr.
Haas has responded to the challenge of how to present unfinished fragments in a concert format by interjecting “soundspaces” in between the unedited fragments of Mozart’s masterpiece. These soundspaces use letters of Mozart from 1791 to emphasize that during the composition of the Requiem, Mozart was undergoing an intense state duress and professional difficulty. The soundspaces serve as musical transitions between Mozart’s untouched fragments, and they also  give a picture of what Mozart endured at this time. The soundspaces are composed in Haas’s own musical language, with the texts of Mozart’s letters spoken and sung by the choir.
 
Haas will be moving to the New York in 2013 to become Professor of Composition at Columbia University, replacing Tristan Murail. This move puts him squarely in the historical tradition of European composers such as Mahler, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky, all of whom moved to the United States and became part of the musical life of America. Argento is producing this concert as a way of welcoming Haas to the musical culture in New York City.
 
This concert is presented by St. Bart’s and sponsored by The Reed Foundation.
Tickets can be purchased at the website at www.stbarts.org , or by calling the concert office at 212- 378- 0248.
 
ARTISTS
 
The Argento Chamber Ensemble is a virtuoso ensemble dedicated to innovative musical performance and discovery of daring artistic paths. Championing cutting-edge contemporary composers, as well as framing classical repertoire in new contexts, Argento inspires musical inquiry through education, mentorship, technology, and dialogue. The group’s international reputation has resulted from its strong history as a chamber ensemble, the technically demanding work it performs across the world, and its commitment to intellectually rigorous interpretation. Argento has long-term artistic relationships with leading composers including Pierre Boulez, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Lang, and Fabien Lévy, and has recorded the music of Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Hurel, Fred Lerdahl, Katerina Rosenberg, and Alexandre Lunsqui.
For more information about Argento, visit www.argentomusic.org
 
Georg Friedrich Haas, composer (born August 16, 1953, in Graz), is an Austrian composer of spectral music. He grew up in Tschagguns (Vorarlberg) and studied composition with Gösta Neuwirth, Iván Erőd, and piano with Doris Wolf at the Musikhochschule in Graz. Since 1978, he has been teaching at the Hochschule as an instructor, and since 1989 as an associate professor in counterpoint, contemporary composition techniques, analysis, and introduction to microtonal music. Haas completed two years of postgraduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna with Friedrich Cerha, participated in the Darmstädter Ferienkurse (1980, 1988 and 1990), and the computer music course at IRCAM (1991). He received a fellowship from the Salzburg Festival (1992-93), was awarded the Sandoz Prize (1992) and a music grant from the National Ministry of Science, Research, and Culture (1995). Since 2005, he has lectured at the Hochshule in Basel.  Haas's style recalls that of György Ligeti in its use of micropolyphony, microintervals and the exploitation of the overtone series. His works have been on the programs of the following festivals: Wien Modern (Vienna), Musikprotokoll (Graz), Witten, Huddersfield, Royaumont, Venice Biennale, Festival d'Automne (Paris), as well as at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse and the Salzburg Festival 2011. He is a founding member of the Graz composers' collective Die andere Seite. He lives in Basel, Switzerland and composes in a cottage in Fischbach, Styria.
 
Michel Galante, conductor, gave the US Premiere of the Sieben Klangräume in 2011. Praised in the New York Times as a “keen, clear leader,” who leads “tour de force performances,” Michel Galante has led orchestras such as the Janáček Philharmonic, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and leading new music ensembles such as The Ensemble Courage of Dresden, ICE, TACTUS, among many others. In 2013, he will conduct the world premiere of Haas’ new opera “Thomas” at the Schwetzingen Opera Festival, Germany.
 
Tharanga Goonetilleke, soprano, has been praised by the Washington Times as “magical” and her voice by The New York Times as “appealingly rich.” Ms. Goonetilleke is a native of Sri Lanka. She graduated with her Artist Diploma for Opera Studies and Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. Ms. Goonetilleke is the first and only woman from Sri Lanka to have been accepted to Juilliard.  Ms. Goonetilleke  has sung leading roles under the baton of conductors Lorin Maazel, George Manahan, Anne Manson and Gary Wedow that include Mimi, La boheme , Pamina, Die Zauberflöte , Ginevra, Ariodante and Blanche, The Dialogues of the Carmelites.  She has worked with directors Stephen Wadsworth, Robin Guarino, Fabrizio Melano and Jay Lesenger. Ms. Goonetilleke has been a winner in both New York and South Carolina at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, was awarded the Makiko Narumi Memorial prize and the Sing for Hope Grant awarded to select recent alumni at Juilliard.  Last year she was a winner of the Palmetto Opera competition in Columbia, SC, as well as being a recipient of the President Scholarship of Sri Lanka. Ms. Goonetilleke performances have taken her all over the world - Italy, France, England, Scotland, Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Canada, and the United States.
 
Paula Robison, flute, burst onto the international music scene in 1966 when she won first prize at the Geneva Competition, the first American ever to receive this honor. She joined the roster of the newly-formed Young Concert Artists and embarked on a groundbreaking, world-traveling career as a flute soloist, a career that continues to be vibrant to this day. She has commissioned works for flute and orchestra by Leon Kirchner, Toru Takemitsu, Oliver Knussen, Robert Beaser, and Kenneth Frazelle, premiered music written for her by Lowell Liebermann and Michael Tilson Thomas, performed Leonard Bernstein’s “Hålil” in Vienna and Carl Nielsen’s Concerto in Copenhagen, and presented a rich spectrum of music from Mozart Concerti to Brazilian Samba in her many appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Paula Robison was a founding Artist Member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing with them for twenty seasons. During the same time she was co-director with Scott Nickrenz of the famed Noontime Concerts at the Spoleto Festivals, presenting many great artists early in their careers.
 
Tickets can be purchased at www.stbarts.org/argento-chamber-ensemble
or by calling the concert office at 212 378- 0248
 
Press Tickets 
Contact: DAN DUTCHER / DAN DUTCHER PUBLIC RELATIONS / 917-566- 8413 dan@dandutcherpr.com
 
Concert Title
seven soundspaces of Mozart’s Requiem
 
Concert Program
W.A. Mozart - Requiem, K. 626 (all music that was completed in Mozart’s hand)
Georg Friedrich Haas -Sieben Klangräume (seven soundspaces)
W.A. Mozart – Andante K. 315 for flute and orchestra
 
Production Credits
Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation Presents Great Music at St. Bart's.This concert is a co-Production of the Argento New Music Project, and sponsored by The Reed Foundation.
 
 
Website visit www.argentomusic.org
 
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