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2016/2017 Season

Taking Apart Your Universe

October 24, 2016

Argento proudly announces our 2016 - 2017 season premiere in partnership with Lex54 Concerts at Saint Peter’s Church. This event features two composers that represent the Irish avant-garde, Karen Power and Ann Cleare, with two works that pair soloists with mixed ensembles.

Soloist Carol McGonnell will give the WORLD PREMIERE of composer Ann Cleare’s eyam ii (taking apart your universe), a concerto for contrabass clarinet and ensemble. A commission from Culture Ireland, this is one of the only concertos for the contrabass clarinet. Ann Cleare's eyam ii is the result of six years of work and a close collaboration between the soloist and composer, as many of the techniques of the contrabass clarinet have never before been explored in a concerto context. In it, a varied ensemble of strings, winds, brass, percussion, and electric guitar deconstruct the “universe” of the contrabass clarinet.

In contrast to Ann Cleare’s rigorously controlled timbral concerto, Karen Power’s work armed only with nuts relies on improvisation to create a theatrical experience that mixes vocal with instrumental textures. The work is entirely different each time it is performed. Soprano Sharon Harms joins Argento in this unpredictable adventure.

The program also includes Salvatore Sciarrino’s Introduzione all’oscuro for string quintet, woodwind quintet, trumpet, and trombone. Michel Galante’s Megalomania for solo piano will be postponed until Argento's November 21st concert on the Lex54 Series.


Salvatore Sciarrino – Introduzione all'oscuro (1981)

Karen Power – armed only with nuts (2012)

Ann Cleare – eyam ii (taking apart your universe) (2012)

for contrabass clarinet and ensemble 
world premiere - Carol McGonnell, contrabass clarinet

Argento New Music Project – Michel Galante, conductor

Founder's Day at the Library of Congress

October 29, 2016

Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St SE, Washington, DC [map]
Pre-concert conversation at 6:30 in Whittall Pavilion (no tickets required)
Free tickets available online beginning at 10am on September 14



Salvatore Sciarrino – Introduzione all'Oscuro (1981)

Ann Cleare – eyam i (it takes an ocean not to) (2013)

for solo clarinet 
Ann Cleare – eyam ii (taking apart your universe) (2012)

for contrabass clarinet and ensemble 
Carol McGonnell, clarinet and contrabass clarinet

Michel Galante – Flicker

for clarinet and piano

Gustav Mahler – Andante-Adagio and Scherzo from Symphony No. 10
arranged for chamber ensemble by Michel Galante

Argento New Music Project — Michel Galante, conductor

Last Winter

November 21, 2016

Saint Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54 St, New York [map]
Suggested Donation: $15

Sang Song explores isolation through modern means of microamplification: headphones. Proximity and intimacy is magnified – every whisper of the instruments is directly channeled into the listener's ears.

** Please bring photo identification to procure headphones necessary to experience this exciting world premiere.


Sang Song – Last Winter (2016)
world premiere, headphones powered by Quiet Event

Beat Furrer - aer (1991)

Morton Feldman – Bass Clarinet and Percussion (1981)
Carol McGonnell, bass clarinet

Beat Furrer – voicelessness (1986)
Joanna Chao, piano

Michel Galante – Megalomania (2012)
Stephen Gosling, piano

Conjugal Music

April 06, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017, 7:00 PM
Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston [map]


Monday, April 10, 2017, 12:30 PM
Saint Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54 St, New York [map]
Suggested Donation: $15

The concert features the world premiere of Hochzeitsmarsch, an ambitious work by leading Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas. Haas wrote this work to celebrate his much publicized wedding to Molina Haas-Williams. Rather than referring to the institutional or traditional trappings of wedding, the work is one single enormous accelerando that goes through numerous transformations before settling on a cumulative arrival of all its instrumental forces. While Hochzeitsmarsch celebrates the more heated side of love, das Ende der Sehnsuch, also written for the Williams/Haas marriage, which celebrates the deeper, more sublime connections of their bond.

Violist Stephanie Griffin will perform Tristan Murail's C'est un jardin secret, ma soeur, ma fiancée, une source scellée, une fontaine close…, written as a wedding present for two of the composer’s friends. This solo work summarizes many characteristics of the composer’s music into a work for a single instrument. A short sequence of processes, featuring sliding tempi and subtle fluctuations of finger and bowing pressure, is neatly concluded by a mysterious ascending figure. To complement this work, Argento programs two other Murail miniatures: flutist Emi Ferguson will perform Unanswered Questions; violinist Doori Na and clarinetist Carol McGonnell will perform Les ruines circulaires.

Argento will perform the US premiere of Ryan Beppel’s Sterbetourismus, a string octet with two conductors dedicated to the marriage of Ken and Alana Bergman who married in 2013. Two conductors are required to realize the overlapping acceleration structures that have become a hallmark of Beppel’s work.

Finally, the program will include Siegfried Idyll, a birthday gift that Richard Wagner wrote for Cosima Wagner celebrating the birth of their son Siegfried.


Tristan Murail – C'est un jardin secret, ma sœur, ma fiancée, une source scellée, une fontaine close... (1976)

for viola
Stephanie Griffin, viola 

Tristan Murail – Les ruines circulaires (1998)

for clarinet and violin
Doori Na, violin, Carol McGonnell, clarinet

Tristan Murail – Unanswered Questions (1995)

for flute
Emi Ferguson, flute

Georg Friedrich Haas – das Ende der Sehnsucht (2015)
World premiere (Boston), New York premiere (Lex54)

Ryan Beppel - Sterbetourismus (2013)

for string octet
U.S. premiere (Lex54)

Georg Friedrich Haas - Hochzeitsmarsch (2015)
World premiere

Richard Wagner – Siegfried Idyll (1870)

symphonic poem for chamber orchestra

Argento New Music Project — Michel Galante, conductor

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