The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 1, Sculpture Garden
The New Juilliard Ensemble string quartet. Photo by Ted Sullivan

Members and alumni of The New Juilliard Ensemble: Nikita Morozov and Isabel Ong, violins; Isabel Hagen, viola; Issei Herr, cello

Ahmed Adnan Saygun (Turkey, 1907–1991)
String Quartet no. 3, Op. 43 (1966)
United States premiere

The Turkish composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun was educated in Paris. While in his twenties, he returned to Turkey, where he held key cultural positions in the newly emergent republic. He conducted extensive research in Turkish folk music, working at times with Béla Bartok, and became an authority on folklore—an interest manifest in his compositions, which often blend romanticism, expressionism, and Turkish elements. Saygun dedicated his third string quartet, the last he completed, to his Hungarian wife.

Suzanne Farrin (United States, b. 1976)
Undecim (2007)
New York premiere

Suzanne Farrin, the head of composition at SUNY Purchase, is also a regular host on Q2, the NYC-based radio station for new music. Her 2007 quartet Undecim (Latin for “eleven”) proposes that “in the long lifespans of stringed instruments . . . [they] remember all of the repertoire from the past and—like an active memory—the bow could temporarily take over the arm of the player and utter articulations of older pieces while the left hand stays in the present.” The work is in 10 sections—the 11th element is the unity of the work as a whole.

Mark Grey (United States, b. 1967)
Sparrow’s Echo (2004)
New York premiere

Sparrow’s Echo, by the composer and sound designer Mark Grey, draws its inspiration from Mary Doria Russell’s sci-fi novel The Sparrow. The book tells the story of an expedition in the near future to a planet from which radio broadcasts of music have been received—Earth’s first encounter with an alien civilization. In 2060, after 40 years of mysterious scientific, philosophic, and religious encounters on the faraway plant, the sole surviving member of the expedition, a messianic priest, returns to tell his tale.

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 and the Ansonia Quartet, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs. Mr. Sachs has assembled two distinctive programs of recent compositions, which are enjoying their New York premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected two stylistically different 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, draft beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages. In the event of rain, the Garden Bar is closed.

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