Face the Music + JACK Quartet
Two forces in the new music scene, Kaufman Music Center's Face the Music and JACK Quartet, perform an evening of music by teen composers and a contemporary master. Face the Music's Pannonia Quartet performs 19-year old Conrad Tao's String Quartet No. 2, and JACK Quartet performs the World Premieres of compositions by Face the Music musicians Paris Lavidis and Gack Gulielmetti. The ensembles join together for a rare performance of Steve Reich’s seminal Triple Quartet.
About the Program
Up first on the March 19th program, Face the Music’s Pannonia Quartet will perform a work by one of their contemporaries, 19 year-old Conrad Tao, an accomplished composer and pianist. Among his many honors, Tao is the winner of eight consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards since 2004. Face the Music will play Tao’s String Quartet No. 2, a work commissioned by Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music for the Jasper String Quartet.
JACK Quartet will then perform the World Premieres of works by Face the Music musicians and composers Paris Lavidis and Jack Gulielmetti. A sixth-grader at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn, Lavidis attends the pre-college program at Mannes College where he studies clarinet and violin. His Interference pays homage to horror films with evil child protagonists. Jack Gulielmetti, whose primary instrument is electric guitar, is an eleventh-grader at The Calhoun School in Manhattan and also attends the pre-college program for composition at The Juilliard School. Gulielmetti’s Genesis draws inspiration from a photograph taken by the composer.
The program concludes with Steve Reich’s Triple Quartet (1999). Playing live (without recording) Reich’s seminal work for three string quartets, will be musicians from Face the Music and JACK Quartet—two forces on the new music scene paying tribute to "our greatest living composer" (The New York Times).
Face the Music
“Praised for “stunning performances” by The New York Times, Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music is an alt-classical ensemble of more than 125 unusually talented teenagers from in and around New York City. Advancing Kaufman Music Center’s commitment to modern music, Face the Music provides an unparalleled performance and education experience for the next generation of musical leaders.
Under the direction of founder and conductor Dr. Jenny Undercofler, Face the Music has played across New York City at venues such as Le Poisson Rouge, Merkin Concert Hall, Roulette, BAM Café and the Bang On A Can Marathon, and have opened for the Philip Glass Ensemble at the River to River Festival. The group has been featured on WQXR’s Young Artist Showcase, NPR’s All Things Considered, and on a live broadcast marking the opening of NY Public Radio’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. In 2011, Face the Music and Dr. Undercofler were honored with the ASCAP Aaron Copland Award.
Face the Music features over 125 students, from 5th through 12th grade, from the entire tri-state area. Students attend over 40 schools including all NYC arts-high schools and all NYC pre-colleges. Many of the performers are students or alumni of Kaufman’s own Special Music School, the only K-12 public school in New York City that integrates pre-conservatory musical training with academic education.
The JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with "explosive virtuosity" (Boston Globe) and "viscerally exciting performances" (New York Times). The Washington Post commented, "The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital."
Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works, leading them to work closely with composers including Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, and Wolfgang Rihm. The quartet has performed to critical acclaim at Wigmore Hall, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Library of Congress, La Biennale di Venezia, and Carnegie Hall.