Members of The New Juilliard Ensemble: Elizabeth Derham and Blanca Cecilia González, violins; Jiwon Kim, viola; Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cello; Chelsea Knox, flute
Roberto Sierra (Puerto Rico/United States, b. 1953)
Duo Concertante, for violin and viola—World premiere
Among Mr. Sierra’s teachers was György Ligeti, who credited his pupil with transforming his own music by introducing him to Afro-Caribbean drumming. Mr. Sierra often draws on aspects of Caribbean traditional and popular music, treating his sources freely and imaginatively. In the four-movement Duo Concertante, these elements include Afro-Caribbean salsa rhythmic structures and an exploration of clave rhythms. The soloists are Elizabeth Derham and Jiwon Kim.
Peter Sculthorpe (Australia, b. 1929)
String Quartet no. 15 (1999)—United States premiere
Mr. Sculthorpe’s music has been powerfully motivated by the social climate and aboriginal cultures of Australia, Asia, and the Torres Strait. He based this five-movement work on a sequence of songs of the Simori mountain people of Western New Guinea. The work does not imitate Simori music, he writes, but represents “a personal response to it. . . . The movements are harmonically related, and the harmonies that I employ are characteristic of my present style.”
Eric Lindsay (United States, b. 1980)
Hopkin in the Wired Night (2008)—New York premiere
Internet memes—phrases, images, or ideas that spread virally from one user to many others, often in unexpected permutations—are the inspiration for this work. The “Hopkin Green Frog” meme (see Lostfrog.org) was based on a child’s hand-drawn poster seeking a lost frog. Mr. Lindsay notes that his piece “progressively comments on, transfigures, misquotes, drops, riffs, augments, enhances, and parodies aspects of an initial musical idea over the course of 13 minutes.”
Errollyn Wallen (Belize/United Kingdom, b. 1958)
All the Blues I See (2004)—United States premiere
The “blues” of the title of this five-movement work refers both to the color in its various shadings—especially in the seascape of the composer’s native Belize—and also the musical blues, as “blue” notes inform the harmonic language of the whole. Meditativeness, tranquility, and even bleakness are juxtaposed with passages of vitality, joy, and ecstasy. The flute emerges as soloist but also is integrated with the strings to form a new sound palette.
The Museum of Modern Art established Summergarden in 1971. In keeping with MoMA’s history of presenting jazz and classical music in the Sculpture Garden, this year’s concert series once again welcomes the participation of The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Titled New Music for New York, the series comprises four evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night. Juilliard concerts are performed by members of The New Juilliard Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs, who has assembled two distinctive programs of recent compositions, all of which are enjoying their New York premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected two up-and-coming jazz ensembles whose concerts emphasize original works, each with one world premiere.
Summergarden is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Sculpture Garden may close if attendance reaches maximum capacity. Entrance to Summergarden is through the Sculpture Garden gate on West 54 Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Sculpture Garden opens at 7:00 p.m., and concerts start at 8:00 p.m. and run approximately one hour to 90 minutes. The Sculpture Garden closes at 10:00 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will be held in The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, and the Museum’s 54 Street entrance will open at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition galleries are closed during Summergarden. The Garden Bar, located on the northeast end of the Sculpture Garden, features a selection of homemade snacks including hot dogs and soft pretzels, as well as wine, craft beer, and cocktails. In the event of rain, the Garden Bar is closed.
Major annual support for Summergarden is provided by The Ethel P. Shein Fund for Music at MoMA, which is generously funded by Agnes Gund.