Ensemble Dal Niente: Contemporary and Electroacoustic Works

08.03.2024
Date: Friday, March 8, 2024
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Main Hall, Shaw Auditorium, HKUST

Ensemble Dal Niente (USA), one of America’s premiere contemporary music groups, will make their Hong Kong debut, performing a diverse program of boundary-pushing acoustic and electroacoustic works. Hailed as “superb” by The New York Times, the Chicago-based ensemble will offer an evening of unique sonic exploration and genre cross-fertilization, with works by Lei Liang, Sarah Nemtsov, and Ilari Kaila, among others.
 

The event is free and open to the public.

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Program


Sarah Nemtsov: Zimmer I, IV 

Emma Hopelshorn, flute 
Ben Melsky, harp
Winston Choi, keyboards 
Michael Lewanski, electronics 
Ammie Brod, electronics 
Timothy Page, electronics

Ilari Kaila: Cameo

Emma Hopelshorn, flute 
Ammie Brod, viola 
Winston Choi, piano

Rebecca Saunders: Fury

Mark Buchner, double bass

Jeffrey Mumford: Through the Filtering Dawn of Spreading Daybright

Ammie Brod, viola
Mark Buchner, double bass

Igor Santos: confined. speak.

MingHuan Xu, violin 
Winston Choi, piano

Lei LiangListening for Blossoms

Michael Lewanski, conductor 
Emma Hopelshorn, flute 
Ben Melsky, harp 
Winston Choi, piano 
MingHuan Xu, violin 
Ammie Brod, viola 
Mark Buchner, double bass
 

Bios 
 

Ensemble Dal Niente performs new and experimental chamber music with dedication, virtuosity, and an exploratory spirit. Flexible and adaptable, Dal Niente’s roster of 27 musicians presents an uncommonly broad range of contemporary music, guiding listeners towards music that transforms existing ideas and subverts convention. 

Over the past two decades, Ensemble Dal Niente has performed concerts across Europe and the Americas, including  appearances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC; the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva in Mexico City; Radialsystem Berlin, MusicArte Festival in Panama City; the Library of Congress and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; the Americas Society; and the Darmstadt Summer Courses in Germany. Dal Niente is the recipient of the 2019 Fromm Music Foundation prize, and was the first ever ensemble to win the Kranichstein prize for interpretation in 2012. The group has recordings available on the New World, New Amsterdam, New Focus, Navona, Parlour Tapes+, and Carrier labels. They held residencies at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, Stanford University, Brown University, Brandeis University, and Northwestern University, among others, and collaborated with a wide range of composers, including Enno Poppe, George Lewis, Hilda Paredes, and Roscoe Mitchell. 

The ensemble’s name (“from nothing” in Italian) is a tribute to Helmut Lachenmann’s Dal niente (Interieur III), a work that upended traditional conceptions of instrumental technique, and also a reference to the group’s humble beginnings.

Michael Lewanski, conductor

Conductor, educator, and writer Michael Lewanski is a champion of new and old music. His work seeks to facilitate engaged connections between audiences, musicians, and the music that is part of their culture, society, and history. Based in Chicago, he is conductor of Ensemble Dal Niente and Associate Professor of instrumental ensembles at the DePaul University School of Music. He is Curatorial Director of Ear Taxi Festival 2021, a festival of 21st-century Chicago music. His wide-ranging guest-conducting has included work with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW Series, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Composers Conference, the National Symphony Orchestra of Turkmenistan, Ensamble CEPROMUSIC in Mexico, and Mocrep, among many others. He was resident conductor of the SoundSCAPE Festival in Italy in 2017 and 2019. Michael has an extensive discography as both conductor and producer with Ensemble Dal Niente, Spektral Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, DePaul’s Ensemble 20+, and others.

Emma Hospelhorn, flute

Praised by the Chicago Classical Review for her “standout” and “joyful” playing, Emma Hospelhorn creates music that reflects the natural world. As a flutist in Ensemble Dal Niente, Emma has premiered or recorded works by composers including George Lewis, Hilda Paredes, Carola Bauckholt, Jeff Parker, Igor Santos, and hundreds more. She writes and performs experimental folk music as Em Spel, which has been called “scintillating” by the Chicago Reader, “a marvel” by Dusted Magazine, and “invitingly strange” by Glide Magazine.

She has performed as a solo improviser at Big Ears Festival, Elastic Arts Foundation, New Music New College, and the North Carolina NewMusic Initiative; and collaboratively at venues including the Library of Congress, Palacio de Belles Artes (Mexico City), Ravinia, Symphony Center, Walt Disney Hall, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Theatro Municipal (São Paulo), and the Art Institute of Chicago. Theatrical collaborations include stints with Manual Cinema, the Neo-Futurists, Lookingglass Theatre, and Silk Road Rising. Emma collaborates with musicians across many genres, and can be heard on recordings for labels including New World, New Focus, Trouble In Mind, KAIROS, Orindal, and American Dreams.

Ben Melsky, harp

Dedicated to connecting audiences to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, Chicago-based harpist Ben Melsky is Executive Director and harpist of the internationally acclaimed Ensemble Dal Niente. In close collaboration with composers and performers he encourages the creation of new work to break preconceived notions of the harp’s capabilities, activating new techniques, sounds, and performance practices.

Ben’s recent performance highlights include appearances at the Center for Experimentation Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires, Argentina); São Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival (São Paulo, Brazil); Radialsystem (Berlin); Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles); Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva (Mexico City); the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.); Big Ears Festival (Knoxville); Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC); Ecstatic Music Festival at the Kaufmann Center (NYC); Americas Society (NYC); Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music (Germany); and Art Institute of Chicago.

Winston Choi, piano

Winston Choi is an Associate Professor and the Program Director of Piano at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. His professional career was launched when he was named the Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and winner of France’s 2002 Concours International de Piano 20e siècle d’Orléans. His solo, collaborative, chamber and concerto appearances have taken him across four continents.

Known for his colorful approach to programming and insightful commentary from the stage, Choi has recently appeared in recital at the National Arts Centre of Canada, Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Kravis Center, the Library of Congress, Merkin Recital Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Choi performs extensively in France, having played venues such as the Salle Cortot, Lille’s Festival Rencontre Robert Casadesus, the Messiaen Festival, the Strasbourg Festival, and at IRCAM. His debut album (on l’Empreinte Digitale in France), the complete piano works of Elliott Carter, was given five stars by BBC Music Magazine for its “…sheer élan and pianistic devilment”. He can also be heard on the Albany, Arktos, BIS, la Buisonne, Cedille, Crystal, Intrada, Naxos, and QuadroFrame record labels.

MingHuan Xu, violin

A multi-faceted performer with unique communicative abilities, violinist MingHuan Xu has delighted audiences with her passion, effortless technique, sensitivity, and charisma. Her versatility allows her to perform an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from standard works to avant-garde contemporary repertoire.

MingHuan’s latest recital and chamber music performances have brought her to prominent American venues including Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Her Carnegie Hall debut was featured on Voice of America, a weekly television show viewed by millions of people in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. She has had three recital and masterclass tours of China with appearances at the Central, Shenyang, and Sichuan Conservatories of Music, as well as in the cities of Baotou, Hohhot, Jinan, and Shanghai. She has appeared in recital at the Festival Musica Nova in Brazil and the Festival Encuentros in Argentina. Her numerous performances have included live radio broadcasts on National Public Radio (NPR), WFMT (Chicago), and Canada’s CBC Radio.

An accomplished and devoted teacher, MingHuan is now the Program Director of Strings and Assistant Teaching Professor of Violin at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Ammie Brod, viola

Violist Ammie Brod holds a B.M. from the University of Arizona and an M.M. from Northwestern University, and has studied with Hong­Mei Xiao, Roland Vamos, and Emanuel Vardi. As a member of Dal Niente, Ammie has worked with composers such as Chaya Czernowin, Mark Andre, Kaija Saariaho, Hans Thomalla, Marcos Balter, and Augusta Reed Thomas. She attended the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, helping to earn Dal Niente a Kranischteiner Stipiendieum Prize and a Kranichstein Musikpreis, the latter being the highest honor for performers in the courses. In addition to her work with Dal Niente, Ammie has recently made appearances with Quince Vocal Ensemble, the Omaha Under the Radar festival, and Project Incubator at the University of Chicago which emphasizes direct collaboration between composers and performers.

Mark Buchner, double bass

Mark Buchner is a double bassist specializing in new chamber and orchestral music. He resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he is a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony and maintains a small private teaching studio. Devoted to accurate and engaging interpretations, his performance season is almost equally split between world premieres of living composers and fresh looks at classic pieces.

Mark grew up in Orange County, California, where he attended Chapman University. From 2009, he studied bass with Peter Lloyd at Northwestern University in Chicago, while playing with groups including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Having fallen in love with new music at Chapman and Northwestern, Mark joined Ensemble dal Niente in 2011. Since then, he has performed with the group around the United States and Europe, including concerts at the 2012 Darmstadt Courses for New Music.

His playing can be heard on numerous albums, including Dal Niente’s debut CD Without Words on Carrier Records and Ryan Muncy’s Hot on New Focus records.

Timothy Page, electronics

Chicago-born composer, musician, and performance artist Timothy Page is currently Lecturer in Music and Digital Arts at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where he teaches electronic music. As a composer, he creates works that revolve around play with style and context, body, physical materials, and space. Page holds degrees from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, where he established himself as a composer and studied with Veli-Matti Puumala; and the University of Chicago, where he completed his PhD with mentors Augusta Read Thomas and Anthony Cheung. Page is a founder and co-director of Dayjob Collective, a Helsinki-based interdisciplinary ensemble investigating meeting points between contemporary music and performance art. He is a recipient of the 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship, and his works have been performed around the globe by ensembles such as Ensemble Dal Niente (US), Third Coast Percussion (US), Eighth Blackbird (US), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FI), Avanti! (FI), Uusinta (FI), Defunensemble (FI), Dayjob Collective (FI), S.E.M. Ensemble (US/CZ), Caput (IS), and Cikada (NO).


Composers


Sarah Nemtsov (Germany, 1980), neé Reuter, is the recipient of several prizes and scholarships, such as the German Music Authors Prize (Deutsche Musikautorenpreis GEMA) in 2012, the Busoni Composition Prize (Academy of the Arts Berlin) in 2013,  RicordiLAB composition competition in 2016, and the Oldenburg Composition Prize for Contemporary Music in 2018.

Her catalogue of over 150 compositions comprises a variety of genres – from instrumental solo to orchestra, opera, electronic music and film. In her unique musical language, she combines different influences, from renaissance and baroque music to jazz and rock. The intensity of her music is also created through the reference to other arts and extra-musical content, such as political and social issues.

Nemtsov’s music has been played by renowned orchestras such as WDR orchestra, HR Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester, Tonhalle Zurich orchestra, Basel Sinfonietta, MKO Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, and by leading contemporary ensembles such as Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, Arditti quartet, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Ensemble modern, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Mosaik, and Ensemble InterContemporain. Nemtsov studied composition at the Hanover Hochschule for Music and Theatre Berlin University of the Arts. She has lectured in composition at Musikhochschule Cologne and University of Haifa, Israel, and since 2022 she has been Professor of Composition at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

Ilari Kaila is a Finnish-American composer whose music has been described with words such as “haunting”, “intriguing”, “engaging … soulful” (The New York Times), “nearly unbearable beauty… A modern masterpiece” (The WholeNote), “melodically euphoric” (Rondo Classic), “hypnotic… trancelike… fascinatingly colorful” (New York Music Daily), “I kept coming back to it… the music is so beautiful, and I want to experience it again and again” (Orchestergraben—5 Best New Music Albums of 2020), “magnificent and glistening” (Amfion), “powerfully resonating” (Helsingin Sanomat), “haunting” (The New Yorker), and “Kaila brings with him an exciting message of rebirth built upon classical foundations” (Percorsi Musicali—Best of 2020).

His work has been presented by the MATA Festival in New York City, including the inaugural composer portrait concert in the “MATA Continued” series (“offering return engagements by some of its brightest discoveries” — Steve Smith, The New Yorker); as the Composer-in-Residence of the Chelsea Music Festival in New York and Taipei; at the American Music Festival in Albany; the Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong; the Metropolis Festival in Australia; the Banff Centre Summer Arts Festival in Canada; and the New York International Fringe Festival. Artists and ensembles Kaila has worked with include the Escher String Quartet, Aizuri Quartet, Tanglewood New Fromm Players, Alcott Trio, Kamus Quartet, Uusinta Ensemble, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Emil Holmström, Melinda Masur, Rachel Cheung, Olli Mustonen, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Avanti Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu Symphony Orchestra, Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s chamber ensembles. An album of Kaila’s chamber music, recorded by the Aizuri Quartet and pianist Adrienne Kim, was released on the Innova Recordings label in March 2020.

Rebecca Saunders

With her distinctive and intensely striking sonic language, Berlin-based British composer Rebecca Saunders (b. 1967) is a leading international representative of her generation. Saunders pursues an intense interest in the sculptural and spatial properties of organised sound and seeks a close collaborative dialogue with a variety of contemporary musicians and artists.

Born in London, she studied composition with Nigel Osborne and Wolfgang Rihm. Saunders has received numerous prizes, including the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2019. She received an Honorary Doctorate from the Universities of Huddersfield in 2018 und Edinburgh in 2023. She is a member of the Academies of Arts in Berlin, Dresden and Munich.

Jeffrey Mumford

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1955, composer Jeffrey Mumford has received numerous fellowships, grants, awards and commissions, including an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and an ASCAP Aaron Copland Scholarship. He was also the winner of the inaugural National Black Arts Festival/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition. His music has been performed extensively, by major orchestras, soloists, and ensembles, both in the United States and abroad, including London, Paris, Reykjavik, Vienna, The Hague, Russia and Lithuania.

Mumford’s notable commissions include those from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the Library of Congress (co-commission), the BBC Philharmonic, the San Antonio, Chicago & National Symphonies, Washington Performing Arts, the Network for New Music, cellist Mariel Roberts, the Fulcrum Point New Music Project (through New Music USA), Duo Harpverk (Iceland), the Sphinx Consortium, the Cincinnati Symphony, the VERGE Ensemble /National Gallery of Art/Contemporary Music Forum, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Nancy Ruyle Dodge Charitable Trust, the Meet the Composer/Arts Endowment Commissioning Music/USA, Cincinnati radio station WGUC, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation, and the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress.

Mumford has taught at the Washington Conservatory of Music, served as Artist-in-Residence at Bowling Green State University, and served as assistant professor of composition and Composer-in-Residence at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. He is currently Distinguished Professor at Lorain County Community College in Northern Ohio. Mumford is published by Theodore Presser Co. and Quicklight Music and represented by Black Tea Music.

Igor Santos

Described as “otherworldly and mysteriously familiar” (Chicago Classical Review), and as “exciting and clear... with a striking boldness” (Luigi Nono Competition Prize), Igor Santos’ music has been performed internationally by leading musicians such as Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Dal Niente, Yarn Wire, Alarm Will Sound, POING, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Florida Orchestra.

His work is centered on mimetic relationships between found sounds, acoustic instruments, and recently with video, all of which is dramatized through repetition and the use of microtonal keyboards. Santos has earned degrees in Music Composition from the University of Chicago, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of South Florida. He has been awarded the Rome Prize (2022), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2023), and has won additional prizes such as the International Ferruccio Busoni Competition, the Luigi Nono International Competition, the RED NOTE Competition, the Salvatore Martirano Award, and was also awarded Best Sound Design from Theater Tampa Bay (for his incidental music). He is a native of Curitiba, Brazil.

Lei Liang is a Chinese-born American composer whose works have been described as “hauntingly beautiful and sonically colorful” by The New York Times, and as “far, far out of the ordinary, brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous” by The Washington Post. Winner of the 2011 Rome Prize, Lei Liang is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland Award, a Koussevitzky Foundation Commission, and a Creative Capital Award. His concerto Xiaoxiang (for saxophone and orchestra) was named a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music. He has been commissioned and performed by leading orchestras and ensembles the world over.

Liang studied composition with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Robert Cogan, Chaya Czernowin, and Mario Davidovsky, and received degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (BM and MM) and Harvard University (PhD). A Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, he held fellowships from Harvard Society of Fellows and the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships, as well as a residency with Calit2’s Qualcomm Institute at the University of California, San Diego. He taught in China as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Shaanxi Normal University College of Arts in Xi'an; served as Honorary Professor of Composition and Sound Design at Wuhan Conservatory of Music and as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Middlebury College. Lei Liang currently serves as Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. Lei Liang's music is published exclusively by Schott Music Corporation (New York).
 

Program notes


Sarah Nemtsov: Zimmer I, IV (2019), for harp, flute, sampler, toy piano, synthesizers, and live effects processing. In 2013, I wrote Zimmer I-III for eight musicians: three pieces that are performed simultaneously but can equally stand alone. For some time, I had been preoccupied with simultaneous forms, layering. The layering is not meant as a collage, but as a living organism, breathing, pulsating—with the idea (utopia) of creating a kind of poly-dimensional entity. There are certain liberties (especially temporal) which means that the polyphony is never identical. At the same time, each layer is precisely notated. There is no real improvisation. Simultaneity, complexity, loss of communication, encounter, coexistence, virtual relationships—for me, all this also had to do with urbanity. The form is aestheticized approximation or echo to reality. The absurd is part (paradox as a basic element of our existence), the dark, but also musical joy as a sign of liveliness. The independent layers also stand for freedom and self-determination. Zimmer I, harp solo and Kaoss Pad sampler: this is the nucleus of the piece. Zimmer II, bass flute and bass clarinet with broken laptops sitting at a table. Zimmer III, string quartet (inverted: with cello as the “first violin”). All instruments are amplified and altered, harp with Kaoss Pad becoming hybrid. The piece was written for Ensemble Adapter, and in 2019, they asked me to add one layer more (for an international project with different ensembles) which became Zimmer IV. This was a challenge. How to add something? So, I didn’t try to “compete” but rather step back, be decent, find some corners, chambers, windows… I built a quartet of strange instruments: toy piano sent through ring modulation and played polyphonically (two-manual set up) with a children’s keyboard, flute becoming hybrid with ring modulation as well, a mini synth by Korg (monotron) looking like a Nintendo making quirky sounds and finally a minilogue synth (or similar). Again, it was important that this layer was independent as well, so it can also be played alone—without Zimmer I-III. Zimmer IV is a short piece, playful, a bit absurd, but also showing passion and abyss. Duration: ca. 16 min.

Ilari Kaila: Cameo (2015) is a more abstract piece whose title has several possible connotations: a rounded jewel featuring a portrait in profile, a short descriptive sketch, or a brief appearance by a single character. In ternary form, Cameo begins with a terse flute motif slightly lengthened on each repetition, usually avoiding the downbeat. It is soon joined by the piano, whose motifs are likewise short and stress off-beat notes, and viola with a new ostinato based on open fifths. As the intricate web (secco e preciso) created by these ostinatos is woven, the viola adumbrates more lyrical material in a couple of motifs. This technique is partly informed by Kaila’s interest in the Carnatic music of southern India, where the individual rāga or scale produces a restricted pattern of pitches that gives certain notes structural importance, and where the tāla or rhythmic cycle accounts for recurring metrical motifs. Kaila’s other acknowledged influence in this piece is 1970s British prog rock, which produced bands like Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, and Cardiacs. Such bands were notable for exploring more complex rhythms than most of their contemporaries, and we might hear echoes of that in the delicate three-voice canon, over a widely-spaced harmony, that marks the new section of this piece. (© 2020 Gordon Kerry, from the liner notes to The Bells Bow Down—innova 036) Duration: ca. 8 min. 
 
Rebecca Saunders: fury (2005). fury /´fjueri/ n. (pl. –ies) 1: a wild and passionate anger, rage. b a fit of rage (in a blind fury). c impetuosity in battle etc. 2: violence of a storm, disease, etc. 3: (fury) (usu. in pl.) (in Greek mythology) each of three goddesses sent from Tartarus to avenge crime, esp. against kinship. 4: an avenging spirit. like fury colloq. with great force or effect. (ME f. OF furie f. L furia f. furere be mad) —The Concise Oxford Dictionary Furie [fyRi]. Despite the choleric nature of the sound material, silence is regarded as the canvas upon which all sounds surface out of, and disappear into. Fury was conceived of as a melody, stretched to breaking point over the full eight minutes of this solo. Duration: ca. 8 min. 

Jeffrey Mumford: Through the Filtering Dawn of Spreading Daybright (2001) was commissioned by the remarkable violist Wendy Richman, for herself and bassist Scott Dixon, and can be seen to be a mini concerto for viola and contrabass. As the work unfolds, the viola seeks to free itself from the contrabass’s “orchestral” fabric, with varying degrees of success. Eventually, amid often turbulent divergences of the two personalities, the viola asserts its independence and a more tranquil mood prevails between both instruments, culminating in a serene state of suspension. The title suggests my experience of how early morning light filters its way through layers of sky and defines the day to come. Ms. Richman’s transcendent beauty of spirit and phenomenal musicianship served as compelling inspiration for this piece, as did the wise counsel and profound talents of bassist Scott Dixon. Duration: ca. 10 min.

Igor Santos: confined. speak. (2020) explores the condition of confinement through various musical interpretations of the word. Sound, for example, is confined through the use of heavy mutes on strings (on both the violin and inside the piano), through short loops (symbolizing confined time), cluster harmonies (confined pitch space), and by playing speech recordings from within a box. The notion of confined expression is equally important and is represented through stuttering gestures, abrupt cut-offs, and other rhetorical devices that disrupt the fluency of music and “speech.” The work is dedicated to Ensemble Dal Niente members MingHuan Xu and Winston Choi, commissioned through the McKim Fund from the Library of Congress. Duration: ca. 14 min.

Lei Liang: Listening for Blossoms (2011). The sound of blossoms is a theme in both Chinese and Japanese traditional poetry, and it arose as part of the Taoist and Buddhist practice of meditation. If one contemplates in complete stillness, one can hear the blossoms. This piece was also inspired by the idea of layering of surface, as well as an ambiguous and subtle world of time found in these poetic texts. Listening for Blossoms was jointly commissioned by Southwest Chamber Music and Cicada Chamber Players. It was begun while I was in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, NY, as a recipient of the Aaron Copland Award, and was completed at the American Academy in Rome in September 2011. The Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble gave its world premiere at the Los Angeles International New Music Festival in Zipper Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA on January 26, 2013. Duration: ca. 11 min.

Date: Friday, March 8, 2024
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Main Hall, Shaw Auditorium, HKUST