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Flute Concerto Receives New York Debut; World Premiere of Double Trio, Dance Premieres Open Season

Elliott Carter fans will certainly be busy trying to keep up with premieres of his works this Fall. His Flute Concerto (2008), which debuted just shy of the composer’s 100th birthday in 2008, will receive its New York premiere on September 28, 2011. Patricia Spencer will play Carter’s “ravishing concerto” (Boston Globe) with the Mannes Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall. Also in New York, the Guggenheim Museum presents the world premieres of dances choreographed to Carter’s music in The Music of Elliott Carter Interpreted as part of their Works & Process series on October 2 and 3. Moving north, his Double Trio (2011) will be unveiled, along with the new Bourgie Concert Hall, at Montréal’s Musée-des-beaux-arts on October 11.

Carter had been asked over the course of his career to write a flute concerto, but says: “I kept putting it off because I felt that the flute could not produce the sharp attacks that I use so frequently.” Now, in what has been called his “late late” period, he has come around to writing a concerto for the instrument. While requiring all the agility necessary in a typical Carter work for winds, the piece also explores the lyrical nature of the flute. The composer adds: “From mid-September, 2007 to March, 2008 ideas and notes for [the Flute Concerto] fascinated me without relief.”

This performance comes at the heels of the UK premiere of the work at the BBC Proms by the  BBC National Orchestra of Wales this past July. The soloist at this outing of the concerto was Emmanuel Pahud, who also gave the world premiere in Jerusalem in 2008. The Guardian (UK) proclaimed Carter’s Flute Concerto “is a substantial work. A typical mosaic of sharply contrasting musical episodes assembled with a watchmaker's precision.” The Boston Symphony Orchestra, which brought the first U.S. performances of the piece in February 2010, will perform it anew with conductor Ludovic Morlot and soloist Elizabeth Rowe in Boston November 17-22, and also bring it on tour to San Francisco on December 6 to honor the San Francisco Symphony’s 100th anniversary season.

Also in New York, the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series will present world premieres of dances choreographed by Emery LeCrone and Avi Scher in The Music of Elliott Carter Interpreted on October 2 and 3. Clarinetist Charles Neidich, violinist Rolf Schulte, and cellist Fred Sherry will perform his Duettino (2008), Gra (1993), Fantasy (1999), Figment (1994), and Con Leggerezza Pensosa (1990) to accompany the dances.

A week later, Carter’s Double Trio (2011) receives its world premiere at Montréal’s Musée des beaux-arts. The piece, scored unconventionally for trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, was composed for the inauguration of the museum’s new Bourgie Concert Hall on October 11. Of his instrumentation choice, the composer states: “Brass instruments, especially the trumpet and trombone, recently interested me for use in chamber music because of their ability to play softly and use different kinds of mutes. Combining them with solo strings fascinated me so I wrote the Double Trio.”

> To view full scores of Elliott Carter’s works, click here.
> To watch our Carter on Carter web documentary, click here.
> For more information about and tickets to the New York premiere of the Flute Concerto, click here.
> For more information about and tickets to the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process dance performances, click here.

Photo Credit: Meredith Heuer

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