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Posts tagged 'Hannah Lash'

Hannah Lash at the New York Philharmonic Biennial


(photo © Bob Handelman)

The New York Philharmonic's second Biennial festival is well underway, with exciting concerts popping up all over the city. Fresh on the heels of the premiere of her chamber opera "Beowulf" in Boston, Hannah Lash returns to New York to see two performances of her works, in venues both intimate and grand. On May 25th, Lash's Leaves, Space, a work for double bass and harp, was performed at New York Public Radio's Jerome L. Greene Space, in a program featuring composers from the Yale School of Music. This New York Premiere was live-streamed on WQXR's Q2, which regularly live-streams concerts in the New Music New Haven series. 

On June 5th, Lash's music will again be heard in the newly-named David Geffen Hall. The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra has programmed a concert entitled Young Americans, referring both to the youth of their performers and the youth of the composers they've programmed. In addition to works by Jennifer Higdon, Ashley Fure, and Nico Muhly, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra will perform the World Premiere of Hannah Lash's Chaconnes, commissioned by Interlochen. Don't miss this chance to hear Lash's intimate writing expanded to an entire orchestra! 

Hannah Lash's "Beowulf" Premiered by Guerilla Opera

Hannah Lash's latest operatic project, Beowulf, will be premiered on May 20th by  Guerilla Opera in Boston. Though it's title references the great Anglo-Saxon epic, Lash's opera—for which she wrote both the socre and the libretto—tells her own unique story. In an interview with Guerilla Opera's Board Director Susan Larson, Lash writes: "I wanted to make a story about a hero who was suffering, a monster who was a situation, and a situation which was tragic, beautiful, full of love and loss." Lash picks up on the long tradition of "total works of art", crafting nearly every aspect of this deeply personal narrative: its characters, scenario, dialogue, and music. 

Already highly anticipated by such media outlets as the Boston Globe, Beowulf—directed by Andrew Eggert—will run for two weekends on May 20/21 and 26/27, including a talk-back session with the composer on May 22nd. Guerilla Opera is one of the most highly regarded opera companies in Boston, and is not afraid to take on powerful, adventurous new works, such as Ken Ueno's Gallo, which premiered in 2014. 

Check out OPERA America's exclusive interview with Lash on her compositional process below. 

Hannah Lash: Portrait Concert at Miller Theatre



The music of Hannah Lash is, as composer Martin Bresnick writes, infused with a "high seriousness"—a burning, disciplined seriousness, dedicated equally to the composition of new works and to the long musical tradition of the works' instruments, lineages, and intensities. An upcoming Portrait Concert at Columbia University's Miller Theatre features three works, two of which are world premieres. 

The program begins with the world premiere of Music for Eight Lungs, commissioned by the Miller Theatre and performed by loadbang. As the title would suggest, the performers in this ensemble—trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, and baritone voice—are rendered as breathing bodies, each lung equal to the next regardless of instrument. (The voice, too, is an instrument here, woven in to the fabric of the piece.) The phonemic material of this composition is drawn from Purcell's aria, "When I am Laid in Earth" (known as "Dido's Lament," 1688).

Six Etudes and a Dream follows, written for and performed by pianist Lisa Moore. Each etude is dedicated to an aspect of Moore's piano playing, which Lash praises for its "musical laser focus." Check out a video of Lisa Moore, joined by cellist Ashley Bathgate, performing the first movement of Lash's Friction, Pressure, Impact:

The program will end with Lash, also an accomplished harpist, joining the JACK Quartet to perform Filigree in Textile, a work she composed for JACK and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis in 2011. This work shows Lash's capacity to work in several compositional paradigms, all of which have formed an integral part in the fabric of her compositional tradition—a metaphor implied by the piece's title and movement titles, each named after a material used in the weft of medieval tapestries. "Gold" features an organic, unfolding melodic "cell" which transforms throughout the movement; "Silver" is "a formal and somber dance in rhythmic unison"; "Silk" is through-composed, with the harp emerging as a figure against the ground of the ensemble. Check out an excerpt below.

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