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Indian-American Composer Korde Highlights Boston Musica Viva’s Global “Origins” Concert

Press Release

World premiere by Indian-American composer Korde highlights
Boston Musica Viva’s global “Origins” concert

Boston Musica Viva (BMV), Boston’s first professional contemporary music ensemble, concludes its 43rd concert season on April 27, 2012, at the Tsai Performance Center in Boston with a program celebrating the diverse cultural heritages of four composers. Under the baton of BMV Music Director Richard Pittman, the “Origins” concert weaves the musical influences of India, Peru, Israel, and the American South with traditional Western chamber ensemble. This program receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Carnatic soprano Deepti Navaratna, sitarist Chirag Katti, and tabla player Amit Kavthekar join BMV for the world premiere of Shirish Korde’s song cycle KA. Korde, who is chair of the music department at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., was born in Uganda to Indian parents. He is celebrated for “integrating and synthesizing music of diverse cultures into breathtaking works of complex expressive layers” (Musical America). KA will likewise blend Indian musical idioms such as raga, tala, and konakol with Western notation and will utilize Vedic chants, Sanskrit poems, and texts from the Bhakti tradition. BMV and Korde’s fruitful collaborative history includes the premieres of Blue Topeng (2003), Songs of Ecstasy (2008), and the full-length operas Chitra (2000) and Phoolan Devi: The Bandit Queen (2010). The work is commissioned by Boston Musica Viva for Navaratna, who made her BMV debut in Phoolan Devi: The Bandit Queen.

Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann of Lima, Peru, contributes his sextet Mecanismos. Propelled by Latin rhythms, Mecanismos evokes the physical motions of machinery—carillons, gears, pulleys, and counterweights. After studying in São Paulo, Brazil, Grossmann came to Boston University, where he was a protégé of Lukas Foss and John Harbison. Grossmann’s music has been performed by the Peruvian National Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, and Da Capo Chamber Players, among others. He currently teaches at Ithaca College in New York. Boston microtonal composer Ezra Sims grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where his artistry was influenced by the South’s choral music tradition. Sims extracted Landscapes, a set of five microtonal miniatures for chamber ensemble, from the “surprisingly self-sufficient” instrumental accompaniments of song settings of Georg Trakl and Friedrich Nietzsche poems. BMV commissioned and gave the world premiere of Landscapes in 2008.

Eitan Steinberg is the only composer on the “Origins” program who has since returned to his homeland, Israel, after studying music in Italy and California. His chamber work Two Grandfathers Sing artfully interplays his Jewish Ashkenazi heritage with that of his wife’s Turkish Sephardic heritage. The two denominations’ music—passed down by Steinberg’s and his wife’s grandfathers, depicted by two violins—are held together by a constant folk melody in the flute, which for the composer symbolizes “the sustainment of one’s spirit in the face of assimilation.”
Friday, April 27, 2012, 8 pm
Tsai Performance Center at Boston University
685 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Shirish Korde KA world premiere
Deepti Navaratna, Carnatic soprano
Ezra Sims Landscapes
Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann Mecanismos
Eitan Steinberg Two Grandfathers Sing

Ticket Information
Advance tickets are available by visiting www.bmv.org or by calling (617) 354-6910. Group discounts are available.

Ticket Prices
General Admission $30 | Seniors/WGBH Members $25 | Students $10

About Boston Musica Viva
Music Director Richard Pittman founded Boston Musica Viva in 1969 as the first professional ensemble in Boston dedicated to the performance and perpetuation of contemporary chamber music. A champion of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most influential composers, BMV celebrates its 43rd season of contributing to evolution and revolution in music.

Boston Musica Viva is:
Richard Pittman, Music Director
Ann Bobo, flute Geoffrey Burleson, piano
William Kirkley, clarinet Dean Anderson, percussion
Jonathan Hess, percussion Gabriela Diaz, violin
Randall Hiller, violin Peter Sulski, viola
Jan Müller-Szeraws, cello Deepti Navaratna, Carnatic soprano
Chirag Katti, sitar Amit Kavthekar, tabla

Funding for Boston Musica Viva’s 2011-2012 Season and this concert is provided in part by:
Massachusetts Cultural Council
Art Works

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