Sculpture Garden
Joel Sachs and The New Juilliard Ensemble. Photo by Ted Sullivan

Members of The New Juilliard Ensemble: Joel Sachs, conductor; Jacob Chabot, flutes; Arthur Sato, oboe; Joshua Sechan, bassoon; Bryan Conger, clarinet and bass clarinet; Joe Betts and Jordan James, French horns; Ashley Jackson, harp; Alexandrina Boyanova and Isabel Ong, violins; Isabel Hagen, viola; Issei Herr, cello; Mike Chiarello, double bass

Julian Anderson (United Kingdom, b. 1967)
Poetry Nearing Silence (1997)
New York premiere

The inspiration for Julian Anderson’s Poetry Nearing Silence is an artist’s book by the British artist Tom Phillips. Working with an obscure Victorian novel, the artist selected a few random words and phrases from each page and then painted over the rest with highly contrasting and often bizarre images. The eight movements of Mr. Anderson’s work respond to both the verbal and the visual content of pages selected from Phillips’s book.

Chou Wen-chung (China/United States, b. 1923)
Twilight Colors (2007)

Chou Wen-Chung first drew notice as the assistant of the composer Edgard Varèse and went on to a distinguished career as a composer and teacher at Columbia University. Twilight Colors is inspired by the changing sky of the Hudson River Valley. Mr. Chou finds parallels between works by the 19th-centuryAmerican painters of the region and the subtle, almost abstract landscape works of the 17th-century brush painters of his native China. The work is in four movements plus a coda, each with a descriptive title.

Richard Causton (United Kingdom, b. 1971)
As Kingfishers Catch Fire (2007, rev. 2008)
United States premiere

The imagery of animal movement in a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins provides both the title and the inspiration for As Kingfishers Catch Fire, by the British composer Richard Causton. The work is for string quartet with solo winds and harp. The composer writes that the music is marked by “open fifths in the strings, long cantilenas in the wind, and a certain grandiosity in the writing for harp.”

Gerald Barry (Ireland, b. 1952)
No people (2013)
United States premiere

The Irish composer Gerald Barry studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel. He compares his 2013 composition No people with a work of literature, the 1932 New Impressions of Africa by the French poet Raymond Roussel, who worked through a detective agency to commission illustrations for his poem; the artist was not allowed to read the book and had to rely solely on cryptic phrases supplied by the author, so the final work is rife with interesting disjunctions. Mr. Barry notes that his work “inhabits a similarly strange world.”

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, and the Verona Quartet, which has just concluded a two-year residency at Juilliard. Mr. Sachs has assembled two distinctive programs of recent compositions, 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, as well as wine, craft beer, and cocktails. In the event of rain, the Garden Bar is closed.

This event is part of Summergarden: New Music for New York.