New Music on the Cutting Edge

2009-2010 Season Celebrating American Composers

Tuesday, June 22, Schumann at 200 at the Chelsea Art Museum.

Argento at the Phillips Collection

THURSDAY, NOV 12, 2009, 6:00 PM
Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC
Inquiries: (202) 387-2151

Argento performs the stunning, subtle, and often unpredictable musical creations of Tristan Murail, the leading spectralist composer in America. The composer and Argento musicians speak about his work and spectralism as a modern art.


Unanswered Questions
for solo flute

Feuilles à travers les cloches
for flute, violin, cello and piano

Cloches d'adieu, et un sourire... in memoriam Olivier Messiaen
for solo piano

The Blue-Footed Booby
for flute and piano

Les Ruines circulaires
for clarinet and violin

La Barque mystique
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Composer Portrait: Ralph Shapey

TUESDAY, NOV 17, 2009, 8:00 PM
Miller Theatre website
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street), New York
Subway: 1 train to 116th Street/Columbia University
Admission: $25; $15 students; $7 Columbia University students
Box Office (212) 854-7799

Argento violinist Miranda Cuckson leads the Argento Chamber Ensemble, New York Woodwind Quintet, and the Talujon Percussion Quartet in this showcase of the unique American voice of Ralph Shapey.


Five (1960)
for violin and piano

Interchange (1996)
for percussion quartet

Movements (1960)
for woodwind quintet

Etchings (1945)
for solo violin

Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Group (1954)
Charles Neidich, clarinet

Three for Six (1979)
for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin/viola and cello

Argento at the the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music

November 21, 2009
Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen's Univeristy Belfast website
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Information: +44 (0) 28 9097 4829

Argento duo Erin Lesser and Carol McGonnell performs with Alex Lipowski.

New Sound Worlds

November 24, 2009, 8:30 PM
Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall
Dublin, Ireland
Information: +353 (0)1 417 0000

An exciting and eclectic concert featuring Carol McGonnell and Erin Lesser of the Argento Chamber Ensemble. Program includes the world premiere of Anne Cleare's Eyam, along with works by Nono, Meltzer, Gaussin, Furrer, Scelsi and Lunsqui. Review


Allain Gaussin - Satori for solo clarinet

Harold Meltzer - Trapset for solo alto flute

Harold Meltzer - Focus Group for solo piccolo

Luigi Nono - À Pierre for contrabass flute, contrabass clarinet and live electronics

Ann Cleare - Eyam for contrabass clarinet and electronics
World premiere

Alexandre Lunsqui - Topografia for solo bass flute

Beat Furrer - Fama for contrabass flute and actor

Giacinto Scelsi - Piccola Suite for flute and clarinet

Argento at Modfest

SUNDAY, JAN 24, 2010, 3:00 PM
Skinner Hall of Music, Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY

Works by Milton Babbitt, Harold Meltzer, and Jonathan Chenette.

Composer Portrait: Sebastian Currier

FRIDAY, MAR 5, 2010, 8:00 PM
Miller Theatre website
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street), New York
Subway: 1 train to 116th Street/Columbia University
Admission: $25; $15 students; $7 Columbia University students
Box Office (212) 854-7799

Grawemeyer-award winning composer Sebastian Currier (b. 1959) creates music that is “lyrical, colorful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new,” says The Washington Post. His ability to evoke an array of emotions and instrumental colors are his stylistic trademarks. This concert includes a world premiere for chamber orchestra, along with an encore performance the 2006 piano concerto performed by the brilliant pianist Christopher Taylor.


Night Time (1998)

Bodymusic (2010)
world premiere

Piano Concerto (2006)

American Composers Forum, Philadelphia

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2010, 7:30 PM
Prince Music Theater
1412 Chestnut Street website
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 569-9700

Argento premieres six works by Philadelphia composers, topping off the concert with a rarely performed Davidovsky gem Festino Notturno.

This event is made possible by the American Composers Forum’s New Voices program. New Voices, designed by the American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter, funded by the William Penn Foundation and The Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, enables emerging composers to work closely with professional ensembles in the production of original musical works for concert performance.

MATA Festival

THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010, 7:30 PM
Le Poisson Rouge website
158 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and Sullivan), New York
Admission Free

Argento showcases young American composers at the 12th annual MATA Festival, performing Michelle Lou, world premieres of Alexander Sigman and Filippo Perocco, and the New York premiere of Argento's own Ryan Beppel.


Michelle Lou - Weeds, Grass, Rock, Slopes (2008/2009)
for flute, clarinet, oboe, trombone, violin, cello and double bass

Alexander Sigman - Mi(e)s(e)-En-abÓMe
world premiere

Filippo Perocco - Veglia for soprano, bass clarinet, saxophone, trombone, piano, accordion, guitar, violin, and cello
world premiere
performed in collaboration with ensemble l'arsenale

Ryan Beppel - Receptive Aphasia - winner of the American Composers Forum Philadelphia Chapter New Voices Project
New York premiere

American Composers Showcase: Galante, Iglesia, and Adán

FRIDAY, APR 30, 2010, 8:00 PM
Miller Theatre
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street), New York
Subway: 1 train to 116th Street/Columbia University
Admission free; Box Office (212) 854-7799

Argento premieres works by Michel Galante, Daniel Iglesia and Victor Adán. Concert also includes Igor Stravinsky’s masterwork Les Noces with the Princeton Chamber Choir and Columbia Classical Performers.


Michel Galante - World premiere
for flute and percussion

Daniel Iglesia - American Engineer
for live ensemble, recorded sounds, electronics, percussion, and 3D projection
world premiere

Victor Adán - fonoptera
for 8 custom-made instruments and prepared piano
world premiere

Igor Stravinsky - Les Noces
with the Columbia Classical Performers and the Princeton Chamber Choir

This concert is made possible with the support of the Fritz Reiner Fund, the Columbia University Music Performance Program, and The Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies at Columbia University.

Residency at New York University

MONDAY, MAY 10, 2010, 8:00 PM
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South), New York
Admission free

Argento workshops and performs new works by New York University graduate composers.

Program - world premieres

Ryan Carter - Impaired contact with reality

Friedrich Heinrich Kern - Von Taufendern und Sternen

Clara Latham - Devil in Blue-Blue Sea

Adam Mirza - Partial Knowledge (Situational Ethics)

Kurt Nelson - Ingenium

Yoni Niv - Formaldehyde

Argento at Dawn: a musical event in No Man's Land

THURSDAY, JUN 3, 2010, 7:30 PM
Open rehearsal WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2010, 6:00 PM Park Avenue Armory website
643 Park Avenue (at 66th St), New York
Subway: 6 train to 68th Street; F train to 63rd St
Free with admission to installation
Information: (212) 616-3930

Lexington Avenue, a door opens… Daylight breaks into the Armory. Outside, a bell rings. The choir enters silently before singing a hymn that has no nation. A voice rises, as if it were a reply from above. The choir disappears, the door closes… Around the mountain, musicians along the balconies call one another. The bell rings again...

A unique musical event composed by long-time collaborator Franck Krawczyk, Dawn will be performed to accompany Christian Boltanski's monumental installation No Man’s Land. Argento will perform this one-time-only event from within the installation--moving through the drill hall and balconies.


Franck Krawczyk - Dawn
for woodwind quintet, guitar, keyboard, percussion, and choir
world premiere

Fabien Lévy

FRIDAY, JUN 4, 2010, 7:30 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum website
11 East 52nd Street, New York
Subway: B/D/F trains to Rockefeller Center; 6 train to 51st Street; E/V trains to 5 Avenue
Admission free, ticket required
Information: (212) 319-5300

Argento showcases compositions by Columbia University Professor Fabien Lévy, accompanied by a conversation and discussion of his music. Argento rounds up the concert with Gérard Grisey's Spectral classic, Talea.


Fabien Lévy - à propos
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Fabien Lévy - Risâla fî-l-hob wa fî'lm al-handasa (Small Treatise on Love and Geometry) for flute, clarinet, trombone, violin and cello

Fabien Lévy - à peu près de
for two trumpets - American premiere

Gérard Grisey - Talea
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Birthday Series
Schumann at 200: Three Perspectives

TUESDAY, JUN 22, 2010
Chelsea Art Museum, 160 11th Avenue (at 22nd St), New York
Subway: 1/C/E trains to 23rd Street
Tickets: please contact Chelsea Art Museum
Information: (212) 255-0719

Argento inaugurates its Birthday Series with three perspectives on Robert Schumann at his 200th. Argento pianist Joanna Chao will perform Liszt's stunning arrangements of two Schumann songs. In György Kurtág's "Homage a R. Sch.," music emerges from silence to a powerful climax as the imaginary Robert Schumann brings a small pantheon of characters in his circle back to life. Argento completes the concert with the premiere of Schumann's Second Symphony in an 11-player chamber arrangement by Kimmy Szeto.


Robert Schumann - Widmung
arr. Franz Liszt for solo piano
Joanna Chao, piano

Robert Schumann - Frühlingsnacht
arr. Franz Liszt for solo piano
Joanna Chao, piano

György Kurtág - Hommage à R. Sch., op. 15d
for clarinet, viola and piano

Robert Schumann - Symphony No. 2 in C Major
arr. Kimmy Szeto for chamber ensemble
world premiere (1st/4th mvts); U.S. premiere (2nd/3rd mvts.)