The College of William & Mary’s newest artists-in-residence, the critically acclaimed FLUX String Quartet, will perform a free concert featuring the works of five burgeoning stars on Friday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.
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The concert, highlighting the work of W&M Associate Professor of Music Sophia Serghi, as well as David First, Annie Gosfield, Bumki Kim, and Bunita Marcus, will be held at Ewell Recital Hall.
High-energy performances typify FLUX String Quartet appearances, generating a new audience for the innovative music of tomorrow. They are renowned for their tireless renditions of Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2, which lasts more than six hours and has delighted critics.
They have performed to rave reviews at many music centers around the world. It has appeared at Da Camera of Houston, Miller Theater, the Walker Art Center, the Library of Congress, and Carnegie Hall’s When Morty Met John Festival.
The quartet has also recently made two rave debuts, in Ireland at the Samuel Beckett Centenary Festival, and in San Francisco with the Morrison Series, which invited the quartet back as special guests for its 50th anniversary gala concert. FLUX’s numerous radio credits include NPR’s “All Things Considered,” WNYC’s “New Sounds” and “Soundcheck,” and WFMU’s “Stochastic Hit Parade.”
FLUX captivates its audiences worldwide with a vivid repertoire balanced between notable pioneers as well as the visionaries of tomorrow.
“...The FLUX Quartet is legendary for its furiously committed, untiring performances," Alex Ross wrote at www.therestisnoise.com.
They have “brought a new renaissance to quartet music,” added Kyle Gann of The Village Voice.
“One of the most fearless and important new-music ensembles around,” praised Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Here’s some information on the featured composers:
Sophia Serghi is acclaimed for her blend of Byzantine and avant rock music. Born in Cyprus and now a citizen of that nation and the United States, her stage, orchestral, chamber, vocal, and multi-media works have been performed throughout the world.
Among the many ensembles and orchestras that have performed her music are the American Composers Orchestra, the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, the Chilingirian String Quartet, the Cyprus State Orchestra, Duo Palmos, Ensemble Sizzle, and the Greek Contemporary Music Ensemble. The Haifa Symphony Orchestra, The Nash Ensemble, the Orchestra of Colors, Speculum Musicae, and Trio Athene have also performed her works.
David First has played in raucous drunken bar bands and in pin-drop quiet concert halls with classical ensembles. As a composer, First has created everything from finely crafted pop songs to long, severely minimalist drone-works.
First has been called "a fascinating artist with a singular technique" in The New York Times, and "a bizarre cross between Hendrix and La Monte Young" in The Village Voice. He has received composition and recording grants from the Foundation of Contemporary Performance Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Copland Foundation, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and the Meet the Composer Commissioning USA program.
Annie Gosfield, who lives and works in New York City, has been hailed as a “star of the downtown scene" by The New Yorker. Her music is featured on three portrait CD's on the Tzadik label, two of which feature the FLUX Quartet.
Gosfield’s work often combines acoustic instruments with electronics, creating compositions such as “EWA7,” composed during a residency in the industrial environments of Germany.
She has received commissions from ex-Kronos cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Kitchen, Lisa Moore, Felix Fan, and many others. Upcoming releases include a new CD for Tzadik, and a CD of piano music performed by Lisa Moore for Cantaloupe.
Bumki Kim earned a Doctorate of Music and Master's Degree in Composition at Indiana. He has received commissions from Chosun newspaper, the TIMF ensemble, and the Suwon Symphony Orchestra.
His Violin solo 'Aega' was performed in 2006 at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in Florida, and received an NFAA award. Since 2006, numerous orchestras and ensembles around the world have performed his pieces, and in 2009, he was selected for an Arko Young Frontier award by the Korea Art Council.
Bunita Marcus was born in Madison, Wis., and began studying composition at the age of sixteen. Marcus' music has been consistently praised for its beauty and rare sensitivity. Kyle Gann of the Village Voice applauds her piano work Julia for its “touching and unassuming depth,” which “had the audience hushed under the impact of deeply communicated feeling.” Los Angeles critic Alan Rich says her work Adam and Eve, “states an eloquent case for the persistence of pure beauty in contemporary composition.”
For important Ewell Hall information, go to http://www.wm.edu/as/music/about/visitus/index.php.