Music of Helmut Lachenmann
The German composer Helmut Lachenmann is known for his musique concrète instrumentale — music that uses an iconoclastic vocabulary of instrumental sounds, recombined to create imaginary timbres. The result can be uncanny: Imagine a string quartet able to sound like a car crash. Lachenmann's demanding, imaginative music will come alive in this concert by SIGNAL, one of the most exciting chamber orchestras playing in America today, and the JACK Quartet, praised for its “explosive virtuosity” by the Boston Globe.
The composer will be in attendance, performing a work for piano and taking the speaking role in a large ensemble piece with SIGNAL.
Born in Germany in 1935, Helmut Lachenmann has devoted his career to developing a new vocabulary of musical sound. His works include temA (1968); Pression, for solo cello (1969);² Air, for percussionist and orchestra (1969); Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (1990-9); the orchestral pieces Schwankungen am Rand, for eight brass, two electric guitars, two pianos, four thunder sheets, and 34 strings (1974-75); Accanto (1975-76); NUN (1997-99); the ensemble works Mouvement (– vor der Erstarrung) (1982-84), and three string quartets, Gran Torso (1971); Reigen seliger Geister (1989), and Grido (2001). Lachenmann is a recipient of the Bach-prize of Hamburg and the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, among other awards. In spring 2008 he was appointed Fromm Visiting Professor at the Music department at Harvard University. He was also a composer–in–residence at Oberlin College during the same time.
SIGNAL is a large ensemble comprising some of the most gifted and innovative musicians based in New York, devoted to presenting a broad range of new music with energy, passion and virtuosity. The ensemble performs under the musical direction of Brad Lubman. It has appeared at the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Ojai Music Festival, and Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. In 2010, SIGNAL will be visiting resident ensemble at the University of Buffalo.
JACK Quartet is violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland. The quartet has performed at Carnegie Hall, La Biennale di Venezia, the Lucerne Festival, and the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, with future appearances scheduled at the Library of Congress and the Donaueschinger Musiktage.