Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Charles Coleman: World Premier Commision by the GAC

Saturday, July 13, 6pm

Taka Kigawa, Piano
Bixby Kennedy, Clarinet 
Emile – Anne  Gendron, Violin
Chris Gross, Cello 

Cady’s Hall,
13 Main Street
Chatham NY

Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time (Quatuor pour la fin du Temps), is a quartet in eight movements for clarinet, violin, cello and piano by French composer Olivier Messiaen. The piece premiered on January 15, 1941, at the Stalag VIIIA prisoner-of-war camp, in Görlitz Germany, where the composer had been confined since his capture in May 1940. The work’s instrumentation was determined by the instruments and performers at hand.

Critically acclaimed pianist TAKA KIGAWA has earned outstanding international recognition as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician since winning First Prize in the prestigious 1990 Japan Music Foundation Piano Competition in Tokyo, and the Diploma Prize at the 1998 Concurs Internacional Maria Canals De Barcelona in Spain. He received rave reviews from The New York Times, the New Yorker, and La Nación (Buenos Aires). His New York City recital in 2010 was chosen as one of the best concerts of the year by The New York Times. His New York City recital in August 2011 was picked as one of the most notable concerts in the 2011-2012 season by Musical America.

Kigawa has performed extensively as a recitalist and soloist in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Cleveland, Paris, Milan and Barcelona, with appearances in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kosciuszko Foundation, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Cité de la Musique, and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Plau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He frequently tours in his native Japan, both as a recitalist and a soloist with orchestra and in chamber music groups. He has appeared as soloist with orchestra including the Cleveland Orchestra. He has been a featured artist on many television and radio networks throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.

His repertoire ranges from the baroque to avant-garde compositions of today. He has collaborated closely with such renowned musicians as Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung and Jonathan Nott. In 2013, he premiered the last solo piano piece of jazz legend, Yusef Lateef.

Mr. Kigawa grew up in Nagano, Japan, where he began piano studies at the age of three, winning his first competition at the age of seven. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Shinsyu University, and his Master of Arts degree from Tokyo Gakugei (Liberal Arts) University, graduating with honors in Piano Performance. During both his undergraduate and graduate years, he also studied composition and conducting, receiving high honors in both disciplines. He furthered his studies in the United States at The Juilliard School in New York, where he earned his Master of Music degree. Mr. Kigawa currently lives in New York City; he is managed by Thomas F. Parker of Parker Artists.

Bixby Kennedy, Clarinet
Bixby Kennedy played with admirable suppleness and beauty of tone. He was unquestionably the star of this performance…” –Allan Kozinn, NY Times

Admired for his “marvelous ringing tone(Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union) Bixby Kennedy is one of the most versatile clarinetists of his generation.  He has performed concerti with orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and New Haven Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Bixby has performed throughout the US and Europe in venues including  Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, Marlboro Music Festival, and is the clarinetist for the “explosive” New York City based chamber ensemble Frisson. He has appeared as a guest artist with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and The Knights. As an orchestral musician, Bixby has performed with the MET Opera and NY Philharmonic in addition to regular engagements with the Albany and New Haven Symphony Orchestras. On period instruments, Bixby has performed classical repertoire on original and replica instruments throughout the US with Grand Harmonie Orchestra.  He is a former member of Ensemble Connect and works as a teaching artist throughout the US. As an arranger, his works have been performed by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Schumann, Frisson, Ensemble Connect, and Symphony in C. He loves traveling, trying new foods, laughing, hiking, and playing tennis. Bixby performs exclusively on Backun instruments.

Emilie Anne Gendron, Violin

Violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron, lauded by the New York Times as a “brilliant soloist” and by Strad Magazine for her “marvellous and lyrical playing,” enjoys a dynamic career based in New York City. A deeply committed chamber musician, Ms. Gendron is a longtime member of the Momenta Quartet, whose vision encompasses contemporary music of all backgrounds alongside great music from the past—currently quartet-in-residence at Binghamton University and recently serving as Bates College’s Artists-in-Residence in Music. She is a member and one of the concertmasters of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; on the roster of the Marlboro Music Festival and Musicians From Marlboro; and a frequent guest with other acclaimed groups such as A Far Cry, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, INTERWOVEN, Iris Collective (as one of its concertmasters), New Asia Chamber Music Society, Talea Ensemble, Salon Séance, and Sejong Soloists. She is a founding member of Ensemble Échappé, a new-music sinfonietta, and of Gamut Bach Ensemble, in residence with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Other regular collaborations include the Melody and Company chamber series with pianist Melody Fader and the longstanding G-Sharp Duo, founded with pianist Yelena Grinberg in 2003. Ms. Gendron is also a sought-after educator and clinician. She has been one of the violinists of the Toomai String Quintet, specializing in educational outreach and community engagement, since 2009. Toomai (one of the original pilot ensembles in Carnegie Hall’s “Musical Connections” program) helped design composition and performance workshops with incarcerated men at Sing Sing Correctional Facility; has worked with student composers in the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program and with NYC public school students through the “Midori and Friends” educational initiative; and presents at institutions across the U.S., ranging from grade school to university level. As a member of the Momenta Quartet, Ms. Gendron gives guest masterclass and coaching appearances on their educational-performing circuit of nearly 40 institutions ranging from public and arts schools, universities, and conservatories in the U.S. and as far afield as Bolivia, Indonesia, and Mexico. Ms. Gendron has also served as guest chamber music coach for the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program and at the Longy School of Music; as violin specialist for student composers at Juilliard’s Evening Division, NYU, and Fordham University; and as a coach and performer at the annual Composers Conference. Ms. Gendron’s extensively varied international appearances have included recitals in Sweden and at the Louvre in Paris; festivals in Russia, Finland, Indonesia, South Korea, and Jordan; and major venues across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, in collaboration with such artists as Teddy Abrams, Rachel Barton Pine, Bruno Canino, Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, Anthony McGill, Edgar Meyer, Shlomo Mintz, Anthony Newman, Samuel Rhodes, Marcy Rosen, Gil Shaham, and Jörg Widmann, among many others. Her performances have been broadcast over radio and television in the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, Japan, and South Korea. She is a past winner of the Stulberg String Competition and took 2nd Prize and the Audience Prize at the Sion-Valais (formerly Tibor Varga) International Violin Competition.

Born in the U.S. to Japanese and French-Canadian parents, and a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, Ms. Gendron began her violin studies at age 4 with Carl Shugart and Carol Sykes. Her subsequent training at the Juilliard School was overseen by teachers Dorothy DeLay, Won-Bin Yim, Hyo Kang, and David Chan. Ms. Gendron holds the distinction of being the first person in Juilliard’s history to be accepted simultaneously to its two most selective courses of study, both the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Artist Diploma. She holds a B.A. in Classics (magna cum laude and with Phi Beta Kappa honors) from Columbia University, and a Master of Music degree and the coveted Artist Diploma from Juilliard. Ms. Gendron plays on a 2016 Samuel Zygmuntowicz violin on loan from the Five Partners Foundation, and a 1673 Jacob Stainer violin on loan from the Englewood Chamber Players.

Chris Gross, Cello

Cellist Christopher Gross’ performances have been praised by The New York Times (“beautifully meshed readings….lustrous tone”) and The Strad Magazine (“…the tone of Gross’ cello enveloped the crowd [as he] showed energy and intonational accuracy, even when racing around the fingerboard”). He is a founding member of the Talea Ensemble, a member of the Da Capo Chamber Players, and has appeared at venues and festivals throughout the US and Europe including Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Disney Hall, Darmstadt Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Wien Modern, the Composers Conference and many others. As a soloist and ensemble member his premieres of new works are numerous, including works by Pierre Boulez, Milton Babbitt, Charles Wuorinen, Georg Friedrich Haas, Brian Ferneyhough, Olga Neuwirth, James Dillon, Augusta Read Thomas, and many others. He has appeared on recordings on various labels, including Bridge, New Focus, Tzadik, and New World. As an orchestral musician, he has played with the New York Philharmonic and the Riverside Symphony. An active educator, he is a Teaching Artist with the New York Philharmonic and has given classes and lectures at Harvard University, Peabody Conservatory, Sydney Conservatory, Cleveland Cello Society, Brooklyn College, and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts. He is also the creator of Cello Solos Today, which commissions new works for young cellists and creates online educational resources. He received his doctoral degree from Juilliard in New York and teaches at Lehigh University, where he was the university’s Horger Artist-in-Residence in 2016-17.

GAC24’s Composer in Residence Charles Coleman born and raised in New York City, has lived an extraordinary musical life that began as a boy soprano in the Metropolitan Opera and has recently triumphed when Kristjan Järvi led the London Symphony Orchestra in performing his two works Drenched and Bach Inspired.

After a brief apprenticeship in musical composition at the Turtle Bay Music School he entered the Manhattan School of Music where he earned his master’s degree studying with composers David Noon and Eric Lundborg. At Manhattan he met Kristjan Järvi with whom, he and Gene Pritsker, founded The Absolute Ensemble. Coleman was named Composer-in-Residence of the Ensemble in 1997.

The Absolute Ensemble has come to symbolize a special blend of modern classical music; a synthesis of jazz, rock and traditional music, probably best expressed in Charles Coleman’s “Absolution,” written in 1999 and recorded on ENJA NOVA, a CD that was nominated for the “Best Small Ensemble Performance” Grammy in 2002.

As of this writing Charles Coleman has written more than 100 compositions including ‘Five Songs of Mother Goose’ (1993) for Soprano and Piano which was published by Vanguard Music in 1993. ‘Young Words’ for Chamber Ensemble was commissioned in 1995 by Litchfield Performing Arts of Connecticut and was choreographed and performed by the Pilobolus Dance Company. Elegy (1995) for String Orchestra, ‘Westside Nocturne’ (1997) for Solo Piano, ‘Tracks’ (1998) for Chamber Ensemble and ‘Pastorale’ (1999) for Flute, Cello and Guitar (1999) followed.

After his funky ‘Rut Strut’ for Chamber Ensemble was performed in the New York Public Theatre’s Joe’s Pub in 2000, Coleman received a commission to write a major symphonic work celebrating the opening of The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s 2001-2002 season with its new Music Director, Paavo Järvi. ‘Streetscape’ for Full Orchestra is a furious walk through the streets of Coleman’s native Manhattan, was first performed on September 14, 2001, in Cincinnati, three days after the destruction of the World Trade Center. ‘Streetscape’ has since been performed several times by various groups such as the San Francisco Symphony and the Riga Festival Orchestra of Latvia.  

Many commissions followed including ‘Pavement’ (2002) with the Dogs of Desire chamber orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller. ‘Latarnia’ (2005) for Bassoon and Orchestra performed by The Riga Chamber Players under Normunds Sne. And ‘Red Oak Dawn’ (2006) premiered by New Jersey Symphony under the baton of Neeme Järvi.

In early 2007, Coleman spent five weeks as the resident composer of the Cincinnati Symphony teaching, composing and lecturing as part of “Music Alive,” a program that partners the “Meet the Composer” Foundation with the American Symphony Orchestra League. The main event of this residency featured the Cincinnati Symphony commissioned world premiere of his ‘Deep Woods’, performed on May 3, 2007 at the CSO Music Hall conducted by Paavo Jarvi. Coleman returned to New York the following week to premiere his chamber opera “Redemption” commissioned by Golden Fleece Ltd.

In 2013, his Violin Concerto was premiered by Violinist, Tatiana Berman with the Constella Music Festival in Cincinnati, OH and later given it’s European premiere in Pärnu, Estonia. Over the last few years, Coleman’s work with Kristjan Järvi has continued to flourish with a series of works and arrangements for the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, including works like ‘Drenched’ and ‘Bach Inspired’ (both works, later performed by the London Symphony Orchestra) along with his orchestration of Philip Glass’ ‘Aquas da Amazonia’ which was recorded for and released on Orange Mountain Music.

Coleman’s work as a composer, orchestrator and producer has appeared on many CDs, notably “Absolute Mix” (CCn’C 00702) which won the German Record Critics Award in the year 2000. He has served as the producer of four CDs.

In his work as a Baritone and Conductor, Coleman has championed the music of Gene Pritsker, Luis Andrei Cobo and Elias Tannenbaum among many others. He performs regularly with Composers Concordance, Golden Fleece Ltd. and is a regular performer at the “Taci Opera Nights” which take place every Saturday at the Papillion Bistro in NYC.


Jul 13 2024


6:00 pm
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