Loading Events

« All Events

Strange Scenes – The Music of Wolfgang Rihm III

November 27 @ 6:00 pm

Rihm has been championed by luminaries of the classical music world. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter has commissioned works from him, and so have both the New York and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, amongst others. He is equally revered by cutting-edge New Music ensembles, leading to a prolific output that lists over 400 works. More than any other composer of our time, he has bridged the gap between the avant-garde and general audiences, and has been embraced by both.

Rihm may be one of the most knowledgeable musicians around – not only on music, but on literature, history, art, philosophy – and he has put the human experience at the center of his work. In a time when Romanticism seems dated and out of place, he insists that even the newest sounds ought to express human feelings, and can do so in ways more relevant to today’s audiences’ needs. His music is bold, all-embracing, irreverent, and encyclopedic.

New York City has heard sporadic samples of Rihm’s work over the years, including the New York Philharmonic’s premiere of Two Other Movements in 2004, and a composer portrait at the Miller Theater in 2007. But by and large, Rihm is underrepresented in the Big Apple’s musical life. In a city,obsessed with time and with being on the cutting edge, his musical insistence on the possibility of a different kind of modern life centered on the human experience could resonate profoundly.

This fall, a collective of variousNew York City-based performing arts groups has joined forces to present the Strange Scenes, a festival designed to provide a multifaceted immersion into Rihm’s musical world. The festival takes its title from Rihm’s piano trio Fremde Szenen, performed during the festival, and alludes to the composer’s frequent inspiration by literary fragments.

The festival’s lineup includes the Mivos Quartet (“one of America’s most daring and ferocious new-music ensembles” – The Chicago Reader), the Ekmeles vocal Ensemble (“a brilliant young ensemble defining a fresh and virtuosic American sound” – The New Yorker), New Chamber Ballet (“one of the small-scale delights of the NY dance scene” – the New York Times), and a group of internationally acclaimed soloists (Julian Schwarz, cello, Abigel Kralik, violin, Sophie Delphis, mezzo soprano) around pianist Hannah Harnest (Bard College and adjunct faculty NYU Steinhardt) who will perform seminal chamber works by Rihm.

  • Julian Schwarz – cello
  • Abigel Kralik – violin
  • Hannah Harnest – piano
  • Sophie Delphis – mezzo soprano

Location and time:
German Consulate General
Otto-Carl-Kiep Auditorium
871 United Nations Plaza
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 6:00 PM