The Nasher Sculpture Center is pleased to welcome back for a fourth season, Soundings: New Music at the Nasher, the critically-acclaimed new music series featuring groundbreaking performances created under the direction of Seth Knopp, a founding member of the Peabody Trio and artistic director of Yellow Barn. The series will present four distinct concerts on Friday, October 4; Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24; Friday, April 4; and Thursday, May 15.
The season coincides with the Nasher’s tenth anniversary and the premiere of a new work by Steven Mackey for the JFK commemoration for the November 23 and 24 concerts will be a signature component of the museum’s milestone year.
“Our goal for Soundings was to develop a new music series that would provide a sonic counterpoint to the extraordinary range and invention of modern and contemporary sculpture manifest in our collection and exhibitions, inspiring audiences through the most adventurous musical forms,” said Nasher Director Jeremy Strick. “We are pleased to announce our new season, which will touch on important social issues, historical references and cultural traditions."
Full season ticket packages are now on sale and guarantee seating to all four performances at a discounted rate of $65 for Members and $80 for non-Members. To purchase season tickets, please visit nashersculpturecenter.org/soundings.
October 4, 2013
A chamber opera in four acts
Lei Liang, Hilda Paredes, Arlene Sierra, and Hebert Vázquez, composers
Jorge Volpi, librettist
Susan Narucki, soprano
Cuatro Corridos is a chamber opera addressing one of the most critical human rights issues of our time: human trafficking. Based on true events, it tells the story of women trapped in a cycle of prostitution and slavery in and around the San Diego/Tijuana border region.
Librettist Jorge Volpi explains the basis for the opera: “In 2001, the authorities dismantled the network of the Salazar Juárez brothers who for years kidnapped young Mexican women and sold them, forcing them to work as prostitutes in the “Fields of Love” near the strawberry farms around San Diego.” Led by soprano Susan Narucki and Mr. Volpi, this fully staged production features original music by composers Lei Liang, Hilda Paredes, Arlene Sierra, and Hebert Vázquez, composers. Each composer gives voice to one of the four female characters in the hour-long drama; an unprecedented collaboration between internationally acclaimed Mexican and US-based creative artists.
November 23, 2013 and November 24, 2013
Music From Yellow Barn: In Memoriam J.F.K.
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy's Death
Brentano String Quartet
Charles Neidich, clarinet
Seth Knopp, piano
In the history of a people there are moments and lives too important to be left untouched by artistic illumination. John F. Kennedy once said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”
Honoring President Kennedy, Yellow Barn presents a program in which words, seeking to comprehend the complexities of that time, find illumination in the music of Olivier Messiaen and John Cage, and One Red Rose, a new work by Steven Mackey co-commissioned by the Nasher Sculpture Center with Yellow Barn and Carnegie Hall. In remembrance of a day one half-century ago, this program is being developed in residence at Yellow Barn by the Brentano String Quartet, clarinetist Charles Neidich, and pianist Seth Knopp, and then comes to Soundings: New Music at the Nasher in Dallas, with an additional special performance of One Red Rose from the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
One Red Rose is written for the Brentano String Quartet in commemoration of this anniversary, and is commissioned by the Nasher (Dallas, TX) with Carnegie Hall (New York, NY) and Yellow Barn (Putney, VT).
April 4, 2014
Stories of Freedom
Leoš Janácek: The Diary of One Who Disappeared
Music From Yellow Barn: Music of the Book — The Sarajevo Haggadah
Two stories that speak of freedom; one of a peasant boy who vanishes from his village to follow his Gypsy love, and the other of the exodus of an entire people, share extraordinary circumstances in their telling.
On May 14, 1916 the Lidové noviny (“People’s Paper”) of Brno (the Czech Republic), attributed the poems that comprise Janácek’s dramatic song-cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared to its protagonist: “a law-abiding and industrious youth, disappeared from home in a mysterious way. At first an accident or even a crime was suspected and the imagination of the villagers was kindled. Some days later, however, a diary was found in his room, which disclosed the secret.” Eighty years later, a letter of the Czech writer Joseph Kalda revealed the poems to be his and the article in the Lidové noviny an elaborate hoax of his own devising. Part chamber opera, part song cycle, Kalda’s poetry is brought to life by tenor Benjamin Butterfield, mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabo, and pianist Arthur Rowe, through Janácek’s setting that captures the intensity of a love seeking freedom from the constraints of class and ethnicity.
A people freed from enslavement, the miraculous Jewish exodus from Egypt is the story told in the Haggadah, the book of prayer central to the ritual feast of Passover. Spanning six centuries, the breadth of Europe, and saved from destruction by people of many faiths, the history of the Sarajevo Haggadah is one that is as miraculous as the Biblical one that lies within it. Accordionist and composer Merima Kljuco and animation artist Ruah Edelstein illuminate a tale of heroism in the face of violence, born out of deep respect for traditions that are not our own.
May 15, 2014
Van Cliburn (July 12, 1934 – February 27, 2013)
Leon Fleisher, piano
Juilliard String Quartet
Pianists from the Cliburn Foundation
In the springtime of 1963 pianist Leon Fleisher and the Juilliard String Quartet recorded the Brahms Piano Quintet offering an interpretation of a monumental work that would inform generations of musicians. They made music in the shadow of the frightening battle of wills that gripped the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis just a few months before, and although the uncomfortable normalcy of the Cold War years had returned, these international crises could not erase the echoes of a remarkable moment in history when music, and not missiles, was the focus of international attention.
Five years earlier, Nikita Khrushchev had sanctioned Van Cliburn’s triumph at the Tchaikovsky Competition. But politics had no voice in the eight-minute standing ovation that Van Cliburn’s performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto elicited from the audience and, extraordinarily, from members of the orchestra with whom he had just played. This was a moment that moved beyond music’s ability to reach each of us in deeply personal ways. It transcended politics and culture, touching something elemental in our desire to recognize what we share and not what makes us different.
We pay tribute to this legacy left to us by Van Cliburn and continued through the work of the Cliburn Foundation, bringing together seven past participants of the Cliburn Competition for a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen, and reuniting Mr. Fleisher, the Julliard Quartet and the Brahms Quintet more than one half- century later.
About Seth Knopp, Artistic Director, Soundings:
Pianist Seth Knopp is a founding member of the Peabody Trio, recipient of the 1989 Naumburg Award. Since making their Alice Tully Hall debut in 1990, the trio has performed on the most important chamber music series, nationally and internationally. Their reputation as champions of new music garnered them an invitation to the first Biennale for contemporary music, Tempus Fugit, in Tel Aviv. The ensemble is in residence at the Peabody Conservatory, where Mr. Knopp serves on the piano and chamber music faculties. He is the Artistic Director of the Yellow Barn, an international chamber music festival, which brings musicians to Putney, Vermont each summer. Seth Knopp studied with Leonard Shure at New England Conservatory, Nathan Schwartz at San Francisco Conservatory, and with Leon Fleisher. His solo and chamber music performances can be heard on the Artek, Koch, and New World Records labels.