[ Concerts Faculty ]

New Music New Haven features the Pulitzer Prize-winning String Quartet No. 2 by Aaron Jay Kernis

April 5, 2011

“A composer of real mastery and individuality.”
–The New York Times

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 8 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (292 Orange Street, New Haven). The concert will feature faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis, whose String Quartet No. 2, musica instrumentalis, will be performed by the Jasper Quartet. musica instrumentalis is the piece that won Kernis the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. Kernis has also won such accolades as the Grawemeyer Award and the Rome Prize.

The Jasper Quartet, currently in residence at the Oberlin Conservatory and the Caramoor Center for the Arts, is familiar to New Haven audiences from its two years as the graduate quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music (2008–2010).

The first half of the concert will feature music by graduate composers, beginning with Justin Tierney’s Fission for solo celeste (the instrument heard in Tchaikovksy’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”) and a piece by Andy Akiho for flute and marimba.

The Yale Camerata, directed by Marguerite L. Brooks, will sing choral music by Jordan Kuspa and Reena Esmail. Kuspa’s A Dream within a Dream is for four-part mixed choir. Esmail’s White Key for eight-part choir is based on Carol Muske-Dukes’s poem of the same name. Says Esmail, “White Key evokes the feeling of suspension. A woman makes the difficult journey by plane back to her home after receiving the news of her husband’s sudden death. As she is suspended in the air between two cities, she is also suspended between two lives, between a beautiful past and the uncertain present.”

The New Music New Haven concert series is directed by Christopher Theofanidis. This performance is free and open to the public. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About Aaron Jay Kernis

Among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation, Grawemeyer and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis has been on the faculty at the Yale School of Music since 2003. He has been commissioned by sopranos Renee Fleming and Dawn Upshaw, violinists Joshua Bell and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, guitarist Sharon Isbin, and institutions including the New York Philharmonic,Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Proms, Walt Disney Company, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Museum of Natural History. Recent recordings include song cycles by soprano Susan Narucki (Koch), and orchestral works by the Grant Park Festival Orchestra (Cedille). Kernis has received the Stoeger Prize, Rome Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and multiple Grammy nominations. He was the composer-in-residence for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Public Radio, and American Composers Forum. He is the new music advisor for the Minnesota Orchestra as well as chairman and co-director of its Composer Institute.

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