The Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble presents two upcoming performances on Monday, February 20 and Friday, April 7 featuring new and exciting works alongside seminal compositions of the 20th century. The ensemble’s next performance on February 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, includes Tania León’s Rítmicas. A Cuban-born composer who received a 2021 Pulitzer Prize for her work Stride, León turns 80 this year and was recently one of five named 2022 Kennedy Center honorees. Brad Lubman, Professor of Conducting and Contemporary Ensembles at Eastman, considers León to be a “very unique voice” in contemporary music. Also on the February 20 program is Pierre Jalbert’s Transcendental Windows and Annesley Black’s LAUF. Lubman touts Jalbert for writing “very colorful and captivating music,” and notes that Black, a Canadian composer, is becoming more widely known internationally.
Musica Nova’s final performance of the school year will take place on April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall, with the program’s first half consisting of Anton Webern’s brief but masterful Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 10, conducted by master’s student Luke Poeppel, and Helmut Lachenmann’s Mouvement (– vor der Erstarrung) (or “before freezing”). In program notes, Lachenmann describes the work as expressing the body’s final movements before death, or “music of dead movements––practically the last convulsions.” Lubman says it is rarely heard in the United States, even though the 87-year-old composer is “one of the most influential composers and musical thinkers of our time.”
The second half of the concert features DMA conducting candidate Georgia Mills leading György Ligeti’s virtuosic Chamber Concerto for 13 Instruments, an iconic work in the contemporary ensemble repertoire. As the DMA candidate’s final concert, Mills will give a 20-minute lecture and demo of the work before launching into the full performance. “During her time studying with me, Georgia Mills has become an outstanding conductor, not just in terms of her conducting technique –– which is excellent –– but also in her ability to create a very positive, yet efficient and musical atmosphere, building a great rapport with any ensemble with whom she works,” says Lubman.
Both upcoming performances of the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble are free and open to the public. Visit our Concerts and Events Calendar to learn more about these and all upcoming events at Eastman.
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About Eastman Musica Nova:
The Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble has been under the direction of Professor Brad Lubman since 1997. Since that time, the ensemble consistently performs a diverse variety of music by many composers of our time, including Augusta Read Thomas, Olga Neuwirth, John Adams, George Lewis, Chaya Czernowin, Sarah Nemtsov, Daniel Kidane, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, Kaija Saariaho, Wolfgang Rihm, Hilda Paredes, Julia Wolfe, Georg Friedrich Haas, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Oliver Knussen, Alvin Singleton, Michael Gordon, and David Lang, to name only a small list of composers.
In addition to developing ensemble skills and knowledge of the music of our time, Musica Nova aims to foster the deepest possible sense of open-mindedness to as many composers of our time as possible. Former students from Musica Nova have gone on to become members of some of the most important professional contemporary ensembles, such as the JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, the MIVOS Quartet, and Ensemble Signal.
About Eastman School of Music:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854–1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.
More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.
About the University of Rochester:
The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.