New Music on the Cutting Edge

2010-11 Concert Season

in vain Strikes Again

Friday, November 12, 2010, 8:00 PM
The Curtis R. Priem Experiemental Media and Performing Arts Center website
110 8th Street, EMPAC Building, Troy, NY 12180 map and directions
Tickets: $15
Information: (518) 276-3921

A contrast of light and dark, harmony and dissonance, in vain startles and captivates the senses. Performed by a 24-member chamber orchestra, much of this intense 75-minute composition takes place in total darkness. In this state, the musicians must perform from memory, communicating with each other and the audience only through sound. The cycles between light and darkness are accompanied by dramatic microtonal deviations in the musical plane, which underscore a desire for perfect harmony, while understanding the futility of achieving a perfect harmonic co-existence, both musically and in the world.

New York Times review of Argento's February 6, 2009, U.S. premiere at Miller Theatre

Review in the New York Times


Georg Friedrich Haas - in vain for 24 musicians

Composer Portrait: Fred Lerdahl

Friday, November 19, 2010, 8:00 PM
Miller Theatre website
2960 Broadway, New York [Subway: 1 train to 116th Street]
Tickets: $25, $15 students/under 25/seniors, $7 Columbia University students
Information: (212) 864-7799

Fred Lerdahl characterizes his music as "both tonal and highly organized in a fresh rather than retrospective way. He composes with "the mind of a Classicist and the heart of a Romantic."

Argento performs the world premiere of Lerdahl's new chamber concerto Arches with cellist Anssi Karttunen, and his Pulitzer finalist composition Time after Time, in which "the bright sound of the ensemble refracts in constantly shifting colors." On the same program is the New York premiere of another Pulitzer finalist, the Third String Quartet, "a remarkable work that displays impeccable technical facility and palpable emotion" commissioned and performed by the Daedalus Quartet.


Fred Lerdahl - Arches (2010) for cello and chamber ensemble
World premiere
Anssi Karttunen, cello; Argento Chamber Ensemble, Michel Galante, conductor

Fred Lerdahl - Time after Time (2000)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano
Argento Chamber Ensemble, Michel Galante, conductor

Fred Lerdahl - Third String Quartet (2008)
New York premiere
Daedalus Quartet

Argento in Los Angeles

Monday, January 10, 2011, 8:00 PM
Zipper Hall at the Colburn School website
200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, 90012 directions
Admission: $25; $10 students. Box Office (310) 836-6632


Brian Ferneyhough - La chute d'Icare
for clarinet with flute, oboe, violin, cello, bass, piano and percussion

Gérard Pesson - La lumière n'a pas de bras pour nous porter (1994)
[The light has not the arms to carry us]
for amplified piano

Gérard Pesson - La vita è come l'albero di natale (1992)
[Life is like the tree of birth]
for violin and piano

Gérard Pesson - Non sapremo mai di questo mi (1991)
[We will never know of this me]
for flute, violin and piano

Salvatore Sciarrino - Let Me Die Before I Wake for solo clarinet
Carol McGonnell, clarinet

Romitelli - Professor Bad Trip: Lessons I, II, III
for flute, clarinet, electric guitar, keyboard, percussion, violin, viola, cello and electronics

Argento at the Tune In Festival

Friday, February 18, 2011, 7:30 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

New York Times review of Argento's February 6, 2009, U.S. premiere of in vain at Miller Theatre


Georg Friedrich Haas - in vain
Argento Chamber Ensmble, Michel Galante, conductor

Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
eighth blackbird, red fish blue fish, and Newspeak

Additional works to be announced

Residency at Cornell University

Friday-Sunday, March 4-6, 2011
Cornell University

Workshop Syllabus

Premieres of student compositions

Roberto Sierra - Cancionero Sefardi
for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, piano, violin, and cello

Arnold Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire
for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, piano, violin, and cello

Argento at the Cutting Edge Series

Monday, April 11, 2011, 7:30 PM
Leonard Nimoy Thalia at the Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway (at 95th Street)
Subway: 1 train to 96th Street
Admission: $15; $10 for seniors and students


Jeffrey Mumford - through a stillness brightening for violin and ensemble
World premiere commissioned by the Argento New Music Project
Miranda Cuckson, violin

Brian Ferneyhough - La Chute d'Icare for clarinet and ensemble
Carol McGonnell, clarinet

Program also includes Exiles by Harold Meltzer and the NY premiere of Instruments of Revelation by Victoria Bond, performed by the Da Capo Ensemble

Spaces of Haas between fragments of Mozart's Requiem

Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 6:00 PM
St. Paul's Chapel, Columbia University
Amsterdam Avenue at 118th Street
Subway: 1 train to 116th Street
Admission free

Argento hosts the College of New Jersey Orchestra and Chorale, performing the U.S. premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s Sieben Klangraume (Seven Soundscapes), which serve to link together the fragments of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem, K.626.


Georg Friedrich Haas - Sieben Klangraume
New York premiere

An Evening for Composer/Choreographer Collaboration

Monday, May 2, 2011, 5:00-7:30 PM
Joyce Theater SoHo
*** 155 Mercer Street (between Houston and Prince), 212-431-9233
Subway: A/C/E to 14th Street; L to 8th Avenue; 1 to 18th Street
Admission free

To foster creative interdisciplinary dialogue, the Moving Sounds Festival, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, and the Joyce Theater will jointly host an event bringing together composers and choreographers. The evening will offer composers and choreographers the opportunity to meet one another, discuss ideas, and gain contacts for future collaborations. We invite all involved to bring their laptops, videos, music, business cards, and an open mind!

We envision the event as a free exchange of ideas in which creators from the dance and music worlds can introduce their work to one another and discuss whatever they wish, and hope the composers and choreographers will keep in touch with Moving Sounds and the Joyce Theater ready to be involved with whatever plans materialize in the next 3 to 5 years.

We are especially grateful to the Ditson Fund and the American Composers Orchestra for facilitating what will be the first of many composer/choreographer collaborations.

Gotham Dance Festival

Tueseday, June 7, 7:30 PM
Thursday, June 8, 8 PM
Saturday, June 11, 8PM

Joyce Theater poster
175 8th Avenue at 19th Street, 212-242-0800
Subway: A/C/E to 14th Street; L to 8th Avenue; 1 to 18th Street
Contact the Joyce Theater for ticket information

Argento Artistic Director Michel Galante collaborates with the Kate Weare Dance Company in the revial of his 2009 work Lean-To, described by Deborah Jowitt of The Village Voice as "eroticism in its primal, devouring purity--challenging, at times ambiguous, and infinitely complex."