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Posts tagged 'The JACK Quartet'

Hannah Lash: Composer/Harpist

The composer at the writing desk: from Beethoven to this day, this is the enduring image of the scene of musical composition. But what about the composer at her instrument? Many of today's (and yesterday's) most vibrant composers also enjoy careers as instrumentalists: Timo Andres, Kate Soper, Alex Mincek, Ted Hearne, Vijay Iyer and many other PSNY composers inherit the composer-performer tradition by performing their own works and those of others. 

Hannah Lash is no exception to this rule. After premiering her own Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in October, Lash has recently signed with Ariel Artists, joining the ranks of exciting musicians such as violinist Rachel Lee Priday, the Tesla Quartet, and the Mobius Trio. Check out Lash's own performance of her recent concerto (arranged for chamber ensemble) at Yale, where she is a full-time composition faculty member of the School of Music:  

Lash's upcoming performance schedule includes concerts at Yale, Spectrum, Miller Theatre and The Greene Space for the New York Philharmonic's Biennial. Be sure to catch her in 2016!

JACK Quartet and ACO Premiere New Alex Mincek Concerto

On October 16, 2015, Alex Mincek's new concerto for string quartet and orchestra will be premeired by the legendary JACK Quartet, alongside the American Composers Orchestra. A continuation of his String Quartet No. 3, also composed for and premiered by the JACK Quartet, this new composition, "Continuo", has a double meaning: it is both an extension of the previous work, and also references the baroque concept of continuo, accompaniment provided for a group of soloists. Mincek writes,

"I try to fluidly connect various harmonic processes that are typically considered incompatible (by some). Namely, modal organization, tonal organization, organization by abstract intervallic relationships (symmetry, proximity, etc...), and organization pertaining to acoustic phenomena (Just Intonation, harmonic spectra, non-harmonic spectra, etc...). I'm traversing and combining these approaches not merely for the variety of their sensual qualities (surfaces), but for their structural properties relative to specific musical functions/goals."

For an idea of these disparate sound-worlds that Mincek is interested in combining, check out his String Quartet No. 3

The concert kicks off 2015's SONiC Festival, and will be broadcast as a part of New Sounds Live, hosted by John Shaefer. 

The JACK Quartet in the PSNY Greenroom

It would be an understatement to say that the JACK Quartet is one of the most important string quartets today; they have commissioned and performed works by composers across genres, ages, and continents, all with virtuosic aplomb. We sat down with the quartet in our PSNY Greenroom, a special section on our website where performers have a chance to talk about the music that they love. (Check out our previous installments with Present Music and the Talea Ensemble.) 

                     photo: Henrik Olund

From the thirty-six string quartets currently offered by PSNY, the JACK Quartet chose three that speak to them: Hannah Lash's Frayed, Alex Mincek's String Quartet No. 3 "lift - tilt - filter - split", and Gregory Spear's Buttonwood. All three of these works have been commissioned, premiered, or recorded by the JACK Quartet in the past five years. Check out recordings of JACK's picks in the playlist below, and hear more about their selections in JACK Quartet's Greenroom.  

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