The chamber orchestra concert has become an end-of-season tradition at Maverick since conductor Alexander Platt assumed the post of music director in 2003. This year, the concert will feature the acclaimed new-music ensemble Sequitur, conducted by Mr. Platt, in a program titled La Bonne Chanson: A Celebration of French Song. The program explores the delights found in a fusion of French poetry and song, and opens with Gabriel Fauré’s cycle of nine vibrant and colorful songs based on the poetry of Paul Verlaine. The concert includes the world première of Variations on a Summer Day, by composer Harold Meltzer, and Maurice Ravel’s mysterious and voluptuous song cycle Three Poems by Stéphane Mallarmé. In addition, there will be vocal works by Debussy, Henri Duparc, Francis Poulenc, and César Franck.
The ensemble Sequitur was created in 1996 as a means to resourcing new venues and new audiences for contemporary music in New York. Sequitur has premiered works by Fredric Rzewski, Luciano Berio, Tan Dun, and Shirish Korde. The ensemble is known for its innovative staged performances of contemporary works, for its ongoing cabaret project, and for its commissioned undertakings.
“Renowned for its smartly integrated programs” (The New Yorker), Sequitur attracts new audiences for contemporary music with challenging events that draw listeners in and place composers in context without limiting them.
Throughout his career, baritone Andrew Garland has focused on offering lively and inventive recitals of music by living American composers, a project that has taken him to stages throughout the country. He has sung major roles with Opera New Jersey, Boston Lyric Opera, Knoxville Opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Fort Worth Opera, the Seattle Opera, and the Opera Company of North America. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.
Mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger has been heard in concert and recital throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has devoted herself to the performance of new music, working with some of today’s brightest and most innovative composers, including John Harbison and George Crumb. Mary has collaborated with Peter Serkin, Ida Kavafian, David Shiffrin, and many others, and has been a soloist with the orchestras of Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Brooklyn, Saint Paul, and London. She serves on the voice faculty of Princeton University and Vassar College.
Alexander Platt is the sixth music director of Maverick Concerts. He has forged a career unique among the younger American conductors, combining a commitment to regional orchestras and their communities with an ability to lead cutting-edge projects on the international scene. He is the music director of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, the Marion (Indiana) Philharmonic, and the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and is the resident conductor of the Chicago Opera Theater. As a guest conductor, Alexander has conducted orchestras throughout Europe and the United States, and made his New York debut with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in 2007, the same year that he made his Canadian debut at the Banff Festival. Alexander was educated at Yale College, at Aspen and Tanglewood, and at King’s College, Cambridge.
Alan Murchie has appeared as a solo pianist, organist, conductor, chamber musician, and lecturer. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic Chamber Players at Merkin Hall and with Silk Road Project violinist Colin Jacobsen. As a solo pianist, Alan has toured Morocco and has performed across Europe. He made his Lincoln Center debut as an organist performing works by Mozart at Alice Tully Hall.
Brooklyn-born composer Harold Meltzer co-directs the ensemble Sequitur and teaches composition at Vassar College. His compositions have been commissioned by orchestras and foundations across the U.S., and he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a residency at the MacDowell Colony. His chamber work Brion, commissioned for the Cygnus Ensemble by the Barlow Endowment at Brigham Young University, was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer.
Sunday, Sept. 2 | Jupiter String Quartet
Jupiter String Quartet making their Maverick debut, with the young Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev, returning by popular demand after a sensational debut here last season.
The afternoon begins at 3:00 pm with a concert prelude by Mr. Yakushev, who will play Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, a haunted triptych woven of Gothic twilight and vivid romanticism.
The concert itself is at 4:00 p.m, and opens with Anton Webern’s eloquent and heartfelt Langsamer Satz for string quartet. Also on the program is Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet, a sturdy piece that combines heroism and classical purity. Ilya will take the stage during the concert for a piano solo, Georges Bizet’s Premier Nocturne, an ethereal nightscape wrapped in unreserved virtuosity, and he and the Jupiter will join forces for a grand finale, César Franck’s Piano Quintet, a dramatic work of great emotional intensity.
The Jupiter String Quartet, formed in 2001, is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). The players adhere to the philosophy of the quartet as a dynamic democratic union. The quartet has won a number of important prizes, including the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award. The quartet is a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, and holds the Whitaker Chamber Music Chair of Young Concert Artists International. Most recently, the quartet received the highly coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Ilya Yakushev is the winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition, which took place in Cincinnati, Ohio. He performs to great critical and popular acclaim at major venues on three continents. His 2007 performances were included in the top ten classical music events of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, and he has toured extensively, performing with major orchestras around the United States, Europe, and Asia. Ilya received his first award at age 12, when he was a prizewinner at the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg, Russia. He attended the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music in St. Petersburg, then came to New York City to attend the Mannes College of Music, where he studied with Vladimir Feltsman.
Still to Come at Maverick Concerts
Saturday, September 8, 6:30 pm | Jazz at the Maverick
Fred Hersch, piano “Autumn in Paris”
Saturday, September 15, 6:30 pm | Indian Classical Music
Steve Gorn, bansuri flute, Allyn Miner, sitar and Ray Spiegel, tabla
Concert rescheduled from July 7
For additional details, including a schedule of concerts, ticket prices, and seating information, visit www.maverickconcerts.org or call Maverick’s recorded message line at 845 – 679-8217.
featured photo of Maverick Concert’s Music Director Alexander Platt, in front of the Hall doors. Photo by Dion Ogust