Quartet and vocal group share stage in Midd.
MIDDLEBURY — Mahaney Arts Center program features Vermont native Nico Muhly’s ‘How Little You Are’
The Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and the world-renowned Dublin Guitar Quartet will make their Middlebury debuts in a collaborative concert at the Mahaney Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 30. Together they will perform the East Coast premiere of a new, intimate arrangement of Vermont native Nico Muhly’s “How Little You Are.” Originally commissioned in 2015 for three guitar quartets and massed choir, the piece is based on texts written by pioneer women during the 19th century. In addition to this powerful 40-minute work, each ensemble will also perform individual selections. Composer Muhly will offer a pre-concert lecture at 6:15 p.m.
Performing Arts Series Director Allison Coyne Carroll notes that the entire concert program is made up of works by living composers, a testament to her commitment to the future of music.
This special combo-concert will take place at the Mahaney Arts Center’s Robison Hall on Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. This performance will be presented with sign language interpretation. Composer Muhly’s pre-concert lecture will begin at 6:15 p.m. General admission tickets are $30 for the general public; $25 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, and emeriti; $10 for youth; and $6 for Middlebury College students, and are on sale at (802)443-MIDD (6433) or middlebury.edu/arts.
ROOMFUL OF TEETH
Roomful of Teeth is a Grammy-winning vocal project dedicated to reimagining the expressive potential of the human voice. Through study with masters from vocal traditions the world over, the eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an ongoing commissioning process, forges a new repertoire without borders.
Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, Roomful of Teeth gathers annually at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, where they’ve studied with some of the world’s top performers and teachers in Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, Broadway belting, Korean P’ansori, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Death Metal singing, and many other vocal forms. Commissioned composers include Rinde Eckert, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), Missy Mazzoli, and Julia Wolf, among many others.
DUBLIN GUITAR QUARTET
Described by The Irish Times as “a quartet with a difference,” the Dublin Guitar Quartet (DGQ) is the first classical guitar ensemble entirely devoted to new music. Since joining forces at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama, DGQ members Brian Bolger, Pat Brunnock, Chien Buggle and Tomas O’Durcain have worked to expand the limited repertoire by commissioning new works and adapting modern masterpieces from outside of the guitar repertoire.
Playing eight and 11-string guitars, the quartet has created an original catalogue of arrangements by composers such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt. The quartet has performed at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Wigmore Hall in London, and in many of the leading venues in the U.S., including Symphony Space, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Lincoln Center in New York.
Nico Muhly is an American composer and sought-after collaborator. The recipient of commissions from the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and St. John’s College, Cambridge among others, he has written more than 100 works for the concert stage, including the opera Marnie, which premiered at the English National Opera and was staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018.
His work for stage and screen includes music for the Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie” and scores for films including the Academy Award-winning “The Reader.” Born in Vermont, Muhly studied composition at the Juilliard School before working as an editor and conductor for Philip Glass. He is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums.
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