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Saturday, December 19, 2020
2:00pm Eastern Standard Time 

Download Program Notes


Download Program Notes


Reiko Füting - tanz.tanz (2010)
Doori Na, violin

Allain Gaussin - La chevelure de Bérénice (1990)

Andile Khumalo - Tracing Hollow Traces (2013)
Carol McGonnell, clarinet


Selections from Mystery Variations

Giuseppe Colombi - Chiacona (17th century)
Pascal Dusapin - 50 notes en 3 variations (2010)
Fred Lerdahl - There and Back Again (2010)
Martin Matalon - Polvo (2010)
Magnus Lindberg - Duello (2010)
Michael Katz, cello

Arthur Kampela - Layers for a transparent orgasm (1991)
Karl Kramer, horn

Stephanie Griffin - Un cygne des temps (2016)

Franz Gruber - Silent Night arr. Matthew Greenbaum for seven violas (2011)
Stephanie Griffin, viola

When Argento first presented a concert of featured soloists in December of 2004 at the Italian Academy of New York, we never imagined that 16 years later we would be presenting a similar program in a digital format due to pandemic restrictions. But here we are, and thankfully, there is a wealth of adventurous music written for solo instrument, which we can assemble into a concert format for our audiences to mark the end of this tumultuous year. Please join us as we continue to bring our audiences innovative musical performances!

2021-12 Winter Solstice Concert - 2-1.jpg


A Moving Sounds Concert
on the
Winter Solstice
December 21, 2021, 7:30 PM
National Opera Center
330 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Tickets required: In Person | Livestream
Suggested donation: $20 general, $10 students/seniors



Arnold Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire (1912) for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano

Sharon Harms, soprano

Yotam Haber - Bloodsnow (2020) for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and piano

Commissioned by the Adele and John Gray Endowment Fund

World Premiere

Franco Donatoni - Clair (1980) for solo clarinet

Tania Leon - Atwood Songs (2018) for voice and piano, words by Margaret Atwood


Sharon Harms joins the Argento Chamber Ensemble in Arnold Schoenberg’s 1912 masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21. Pierrot Lunaire broke ground by incorporating many new musical innovations: a new form of vocal performance (Sprechstimme), a psychedelic, theatrical interpretation of traditional Commedia dell’Arte characters, and the mixed, five member “kleines Kammerorchester.” Pierre Boulez once called Pierrot an “inexhaustible resource,” also pointing out that even though its formal and harmonic innovations are famous, it also introduced a completely new rhythmic language.

Pierrot also expands on the tradition of Austrian Lieder, the intimate genre for voice and piano, which Schoenberg previously explored in 1908 and 1909. On this program, Argento pairs Pierrot Lunaire with the Atwood Songs for voice and piano, by Pulitzer Prize winning Cuban-American composer Tania Leon.

Carol McGonnell brings biting wit and relentless virtuosity to post-serial composer Franco Donatoni’s Clair. In Clair, Franco Donatoni controls procedures that generate audible patterns of variation and repetition. Through these “automatic techniques,” Donatoni renders relentless music of extraordinary power, speed, and risk, often giving the impression of an organized attack.

Finally, Argento gives the world premiere of pianist/composer Yotam Haber’s Bloodsnow, which recreates the adrenaline surge of a violent accident, in which Haber, a Guggenheim fellow, cut one of his fingers off while managing a team of racing dogs in Denali National Park. He writes, “It was both one of the scariest moments of my life, and also one of the most exhilarating moments of my life, and it’s those moments when you really feel most alive.”

Argento’s winter solstice celebration will be an explosive, imaginative celebration of darkness that will put Halloween to shame!!!

This concert will be live streamed, but audiences are encouraged to join us in person.


** This program has been cancelled **

The world premiere of Yotam Haber's

Bloodsnow took place on April 11, 2022

Argento's 2020-21 season programming has been made possible by the Alice M. Ditson Fund, the Fritz Reiner Fund, the BMI Foundation, and the generosity of individual supporters. Additional support is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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