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Music by Tania León, Michel Galante, Brian Ferneyhough,  Michel Galante, Yotam Haber

APRIL 20, 7:30PM

to live for you, to die for you 

Alma Mahler, Patricia Alessandrini, Sang Song,

Gustav Mahler




Ancient Structures & Inexorable Lust
Georg Friedrich Haas, inspired by Josquin des Prez and Sappho


Wednesday, November 2, 2022 | 8 PM

Cary Hall, Dimenna Center

450 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

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Friday, November 4, 2022 | 8 PM

College of Fine Arts Concert Hall, Boston University

855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Produced by the Boston University Center for New Music

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Free and open to the public

The Argento New Music Project opens its 2022-23 season with the music of Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas. Soprano Sharon Harms and conductor Michel Galante join the ensemble on stage. 

tria ex uno (2001)

Georg Friedrich Haas/Josquin des Prez

for flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, and cello

...fließend... (2019)

Georg Friedrich Haas

for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, two violins, viola, cello, and bass

ATTHIS (2009)

Georg Friedrich Haas/Sappho

​for soprano, clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, cello, and bass

Sharon Harms, soprano

In his Agnus Dei II from  Missa L'homme armé super voces musicales, Franco-Flemish composer Josquin des Prez showed that a single melodic line, played at 3 different speeds, could render a complete, full-blown musical movement. Georg Friedrich Haas said “I wish I had composed the Agnus Dei myself”. Although Haas could not travel back in time to the 14th century, he did the next best thing: he composed his own musical fantasy, called Tria ex Uno, based on Josquin’s miraculous movement. Argento opens our November concert with this work, scored for instrumental sextet. 

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Performed for memory, ...fließend... creates the aural illusion of an infinite Shepard-tone, through a continuous instrumental accelerando. 

*   *   *


In her surviving poetry, Sappho of Lesbos (c. 630 – c. 570 BC) depicts an intense, overwhelming infatuation with a young woman named Atthis. Taking fragments from Sappho, Georg Friedrich Haas begins his 2009 composition, ATTHIS, by orchestrating the climactic emotional upheaval caused by Sappho’s all-consuming unrequited obsession. 

Haas explains "In the first part, the pain of love is so overwhelming that she loses consciousness. In the second part, I attempt the most difficult thing in contemporary music: I try to compose a happy ending. We don't have a language for this in contemporary music.... We have many ideas to compose suffering, but not to compose love." Haas realizes the sublime intoxication of love by bathing the audience in vibrating, consonant harmonies that dramatically contrast the violence of the opening movement.


Mahler in New York
Argento explores the last years of Mahler's life

through music, film and literature


Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | 7:30 pm

Benzaquen Hall, Dimenna Center

450 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

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Mahler in New York 

Excerpt from forthcoming film by Hilan Warshaw

 The Marriage: the Mahlers in New York

Reading from forthcoming novel by Joseph Horowitz

Symphony No. 10, Part 2

Gustav Mahler

Completed and orchestrated by Michel Galante for 15 instruments

Through carefully chosen excerpts from works of forthcoming music, film, and literature, Argento explores the last years of Mahler’s life (1907–1911), during which he survived devastating personal crises, lived in New York City and conducted the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera. 


Director Hilan Warshaw will present a 20-minute excerpt from his forthcoming film, Mahler in New York, a new documentary in production for broadcast on SVT and other networks, recreating Mahler’s momentous last years through archival sources, interviews with leading experts and musicians, musical performances, and modern-day location footage. The film also examines ways in which Mahler’s experiences in America may have impacted his late works. In Warshaw’s words, “Mahler told Jean Sibelius that a ‘symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything.’ The immigrant-driven city of New York, in which nearly every world culture is represented, is its own type of all-embracing experience. Mahler (whose symphonies were a musical melting-pot of his own mixed cultural identities) can thus seem especially relevant here– for many of the same reasons that make his music resonate far beyond New York.”


Author Joseph Horowitz will read an excerpt from his forthcoming novel The Marriage: The Mahlers in New York. This deeply researched work, by a leading authority on American musical life, explores Gustav and Alma Mahler’s legendary relationship during his New York years– a setting that highlights aspects of their personalities less readily observable in an Old World more familiar to them. Horowitz writes: “Every Mahler biography known to me is written through European eyes and recapitulates Mahler’s own ignorance of the New World – of the teeming musical life of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Marriage is partly conceived as a corrective. It is in fact the first book-length treatment of Mahler in New York ever written.”


Conductor/composer Michel Galante will lead the Argento New Music Project in a performance of the second half of his completion of Mahler’s 10th Symphony, scored in a new version for chamber ensemble. The manuscripts of these movement, particularly the fourth and fifth, contain German language texts in Mahler’s handwriting that function posthumously as a diary into Mahler’s thoughts and feelings, expressing rank desperation and devastation at the series of crises and renewals he experienced during the last chapters of his life. Galante writes: “What makes this music special is that he musically captures complex emotions previously unexplored in his other music and in the music that came before him.”

Herding Cats


Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | 7:30pm

Benzaquen Hall, Dimenna Center

450 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

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argento press photo - birdseye.jpg

Argento produces and a performs a New York concert with friends and collaborators from the Baltimore-based icarus Quartet. This concert features two world premieres and the music of composers from five continents.


Melodie – fallend (2003)
Beat Furrer
Miles Walter
, piano

Camouflage (2012, 2017, 2022)
Michel Galante
Two keyboards, two percussion

icarus Quartet

little things lost WORLD PREMIERE* (2022)
Amy Beth Kirsten
Two keyboards, two percussion

icarus Quartet


sensibilità assimilate WORLD PREMIERE (2023)
Lang Chen

Fast Darkness III: Moonwards (2022)
Chaya Czernowin
Flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, cello

Growth (2010)
Marcos Balter
Flute, clarinet, saxophone, electric guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello

little things lost is made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.


“In four of the pieces on this concert, audiences can hear how completely different musical personalities deal with ascending and descending lines, while the other three will be more like non-linear spaces that the listener inhabits. As rich as such connections are, when I look at the composers on this program, I just see completely different approaches to music, from five different continents and seven different generations. And it becomes clear to me as always that composers are intransigent. They all do their own thing, and go their own way, and that’s why we want to hear them. Trying to summarize them into a neat and tidy framework would be like trying to herd cats.”

-Michel Galante

Austrian Manuela Meier’s iterate no trace undermines the listener’s expectations by pushing the limits of what the clarinetist can do with single-line instrument harmonics. Austrian Beat Furrer’s aphoristic Melodie – fallend embodies the essence of linear music in under two minutes. American Michel Galante’s Camouflage takes musical lines and multiplies them exponentially, creating a sense of inevitability through a clash of numerous musical layers and tempi. Brazilian/American Marcos Balter’s Growth begins with staggered ascending figurations and, over time, transforms them into rich, sonorous timbral experiences. On this program, Argento presents the icarus Quartet, who perform a world premiere by American composer Amy Beth Kirsten. About her new work little things lost, Ms. Kirsten writes: “While writing this piece, I was reflecting on how much my life has changed over the last few years. The piece pays homage to those little things that have been lost, transformed, and rediscovered.” Argento performs the world premiere of sensibilità assimilate by Chinese composer Lang Chen, who creates an instrumental work entirely from a piece he first composed for electronics. Chaya Czernowin’s recently written Fast Darkness III: Moonwards. is “fast gestures, drawn by a sharp pen and loaded with excited energy [to] inform the listener of a large universe that they are enveloping.

Sunday, August 20, 2023 | 7:30pm

Cary Hall, Dimenna Center

450 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

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Argento joins TimeSpans and our friends Talujon Percussion Quartet in a symmetrical program dedicated to the music of Earle Brown.


Calder Piece (1963-66)
Earle Brown
for four percussionists and Calder mobile
Version 1, performed by Talujon Percussion Quartet
featuring Alexander Calder’s chef d’orchestre

Times Fiv(1963)
Earle Brown

for flute, trombone, harp, violin, cello, and tape
performed by Argento New Music Project

Calder Piece (1963-66)
Earle Brown

for four percussionists and Calder mobile
Version 2, performed by Talujon Percussion Quartet


Argento's 2022-23 season programming is made possible by the Reed Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, the Fritz Reiner Fund, the BMI Foundation, and the generosity of individual supporters. Additional support is provided in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

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