BAC Salon: Dialogues
With Margaret Brouwer, Esperanza Spalding + Du Yun
In an evening of performance and conversation, Margaret Brouwer, Esperanza Spalding, and Du Yun share their music and discuss their creative process as part of a series designed to showcase the diversity of living composers, and create a forum for meaningful exchange among composers, performers, and audiences.
Margaret Brouwer: Fleeting Images (World Premiere)
Performed by Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin; Blair McMillen, piano; and Michael Lipsey, percussion
Du Yun: A few stops on the 7 train (World Premiere)
Performed by Du Yun and String Noise
Esperanza Spalding: What A Friend and Refugees of the Zodiac
Performed by Esperanza Spalding, bass and vocals; Leala Cyr, vocals; Dan Blake, saxophone; Carlos Homs, piano; Terri Lyne Carrington, drums
Co-presented with Composers Now.
BAC Salon is a series of concerts performed in an intimate salon setting.
Leadership support for music programming in 2016 provided by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation.
Margaret Brouwer is known for creating music that abounds in lyricism, strong imagery and emotional power. The Dallas Morning News declared she “has one of the most delicate ears and inventive imaginations among contemporary American composers.”
Reviewing her 2014 Naxos CD, released as part of the label's American Classics Series, NewMusicBox wrote, "From the relentless, primal energy of ‘Shattered Glass’ to the naked beauty of ‘Whom do you call angel now?’…Brouwer’s music represents just how uniquely diverse the output and voice of a single composer can be." Reviewing the same disc, The Classical Reviewer stated that the composer "has an ear for creating some exquisite sounds and textures that listeners will find beguiling." Among the ensembles to champion her works are the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland, and the American Modern Ensemble, and she has served as composer-in-residence of the Cabrillo Music Festival. In March 2017 Brouwer’s Pluto for orchestra and chorus receives multiple performances with the Maryland Symphony. She is the founder of the Blue Streak Ensemble which brings innovative and eclectic music to new audiences across the country. The Margaret Brouwer Collection, containing her scores, manuscripts, papers and recordings, was created by the Music Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in 2015. Brouwer served as head of the composition department at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1996 to 2008.
Esperanza Spalding, four-time Grammy Award winner, is a composer, bassist, and vocalist, expansive, iterative, shape-shifting, open, and progressively innovative. The New York Times declared that she "has made her mark not just as a virtuoso jazz bassist or an effortlessly nimble singer but as an exotic hybrid of the two. The very nature of her talent is exceptional".
In the past decade of her illustrious career, she has performed at the Oscars, the Grammys, the Nobel Prize ceremony, and several times at the White House, Spalding has continually and brilliantly married genres, pushed boundaries, and created groundbreaking work. Just 31 and with these accomplishments behind her, she is on a lifelong artistic journey which began while watching Yo-Yo Ma on an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Her first instrument was the violin and she was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon in her hometown of Portland at the age of five. Eventually her focus shifted to composing and playing acoustic bass. Spalding joined her first band, Noise for Pretend, as both bassist and vocalist. Eventually she moved to the east coast, graduated from the Berklee College of Music at age 20, and became the school's youngest-ever instructor. A voracious and magnetic performer, Spalding has shared the stage with her own revolving ensembles, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, and Prince, among others. Her recorded catalog features seven collaborative and five solo albums, the most recent of which is Emily's D+Evolution on the Concord label.
Du Yun, born and raised in Shanghai, China, and currently based in New York, is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, performance artist, and activist for new music, working at the intersection of orchestral, opera, chamber music, theater, cabaret, pop music, oral tradition, visual arts, electronics, and noise.
Hailed byThe New York Times “as a leading figure in China’s new generation of composers,” she was selected by the National Public Radio as one of its 100 Composers Under 40, featured as One of the Top Creatives by Origin Magazine in 2015, and her opera Angel’s Bone received its world premiere as part of the 2016 Protoype Festival. The Financial Times characterizes her work as "riveting...a significant voice.” Chameleonic in her protean artistic outputs, Yun's music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, ensembles, orchestras and organizations, including the BAM Next Wave Festival, the Seattle Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, Matt Haimovitz, and Claire Chase. In addition, she has also made works in the art world, including the 4th Guangzhou Art Triennial, Sharjah Biennial (UAE), Auckland Triennial, Istanbul Biennial, and the inaugural Shanghai Project under the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and Youngwoo Lee. She is a member of the composition faculty at SUNY-Purchase, was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and currently serves as the Artistic Director of MATA, a pioneering organization dedicated to commissioning and championing young composers from around the world.
Tania León, born in Cuba, is highly regarded as a composer and conductor, also recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. She has been profiled for ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, Univision, Telemundo, and independent films.
A founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, León instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series and co-founded the Sonidos de las Américas festival with the American Composers Orchestra. She is founder and artistic director of Composers Now, the New York-based organization she launched to honor living composers of all genres, including the month-long Composers Now Festival that runs every February.
León's opera Scourge of Hyacinths, based on a play by Wole Soyinka was commissioned by Hans Werner Henze for the Munich Biennale, where it won the coveted BMW Prize. Subsequently, it was staged and directed by Robert Wilson in Europe and Latin America Among her recent commissions are Little Rock Nine, an opera based on a significant moment in the history of civil rights, with a libretto by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Pa'lante (for flute, bassoon, saxophone, trombone and the YOLA at HOLA Symphonic Winds ensemble), commissioned by Gustavo Dudamel, Music and Artistic Director, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).
León has collaborated with authors such as John Ashbery, Margaret Atwood, Rita Dove and Derek Walcott. Commissions include the Cincinnati Symphony, NDR Sinfonie Orchester, and Ensemble Modern. Her work has also been performed by L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orquesta Sinfonica de Asturias, Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota, and the China National Symphony, among others. As conductor, León has led the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of Marseille, the Gewaundhausorchester, the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), Symphony Orchestra of Johannesburg, (South Africa), and the New York Philharmonic. She has given lectures on four continents and received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin, and SUNY Purchase College. A Professor at Brooklyn College and at CUNY-Graduate Center, she was named Distinguished Professor of the City University of New York in 2006.
Her honors include the New York Governor's Lifetime Achievement, Guggenheim Fellowships, two Grammy nominations, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letter and the prestigious 2013 ASCAP Victor Herbert Award.