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Felipe Lara: Meditations, Translations, and Calligraphy

Americas Society

May 7, 2016


(Image: Hugo Glendinning for Rolex)

In collaboration with:

Pre-registration for this event is now closed. Tickets will be available for purchase at the box office on the night of the event beginning at 6:15 PM.

Admission: FREE for AS and YPA Members; $20 for non-members. No additional fees will be charged when purchasing online. $10 tickets will be available for purchase at the door for students and seniors with ID.

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Music of the Americas presents a portrait concert of Brazilian composer Felipe Lara, whose electroacoustic solos and chamber music span over a decade, featuring musicians from ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) and JACK Quartet with guest violist Elizabeth Weisser. Lara is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard

Program (subject to change)

Archi elastici (2014), viola quintet JACK Quartet with Elizabeth Weisser, viola
Meditation and Calligraphy (2014) Claire Chase, solo amplified bass flute
Tran(slate) (2008), String Quartet no. 2 JACK Quartet
Parabolas na Caverna (2013–14) Claire Chase, solo amplified flute
Modified Attack (2012) MODBSSN (2016) on Metafagote Levy Lorenzo, improvised amplified joystick
Corde Vocale (2005–2007), String Quartet no. 1 JACK Quartet
Metafagote (2015) Rebekah Heller, solo amplified bassoon with six pre-recorded bassoons


About the Composer

Felipe Lara (b. 1979, São Paulo) has been described by the New York Times as "a gifted Brazilian-American modernist." His works have been recently performed by Arditti Quartet, Asasello Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Camerata Aberta, Duo Diorama, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble Recherche, Ex Novo Ensemble, Ilan Volkov, International Contemporary Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, London Sinfonietta, Mivos Quartet, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Hilversum, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Steven Schick, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. His work has been presented at Acanthes (France), Acht Brücken Festival (Kölner Philharmonie), Aldeburgh Music Festival (UK), Ars Musica (Belgium), Aspekte Festival (Austria), Asphalt Festival (Germany), Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts (New York), Darmstadt (Germany), Donaueschinger Musiktage (Germany), Europalia (Belgium), Festival for Contemporary Music (Tanglewood), Festival Música Nova (Brazil), Huddersfield (UK), Luxembourg Philharmonie, Mostly Mozart Festival (Lincoln Center, New York), Philharmonie de Paris 2, Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), Roulette (Brooklyn), Sala Cecília Meireles (Brazil), Teatro Amazonas (Brazil), and Teatro La Fenice (Italy). His second string quartet Tran(slate) won the 2008 Staubach Preis in Darmstadt, following the premiere performance by the Arditti Quartet with live electronics by Experimentalstudio SWR Freiburg. In 2012 and 2014 the International Contemporary Ensemble toured Brazil presenting Lara's chamber music, and flutist Claire Chase premiered two commissioned works as part of her Density 2036 project. Lara has received awards and fellowships from Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, Funarte (Brazilian Cultural Ministry), Andrew Mellon Foundation, Sacatar Foundation, and was recently a finalist for the Rolex Mentor Protégé Award. Lara holds a PhD in Music Composition from New York University and is currently a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

About the Performers

The JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with "explosive virtuosity" (Boston Globe) and "viscerally exciting performances" (New York Times). David Patrick Stearns (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed their performance as being "among the most stimulating new-music concerts of my experience." The Washington Post commented, "The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital." Alex Ross (The New Yorker) hailed their performance of Iannis Xenakis' complete string quartets as being "exceptional" and "beautifully harsh," and Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times) called their sold-out performances of Georg Friedrich Haas' String Quartet No. 3 In iij. Noct."mind-blowingly good." Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works, leading them to work closely with composers John Luther Adams, Derek Bermel, Chaya Czernowin, James Dillon, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Vijay Iyer, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino, and John Zorn. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Toby Twining, Georg Friedrich Haas, Simon Holt, Kevin Ernste, and Simon Bainbridge. The members of the quartet met while attending the Eastman School of Music and studied closely with the Arditti Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Muir String Quartet, and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Claire Chase is a soloist, collaborative artist, curator, and advocate for new and experimental music. Over the past decade she has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works for the flute in performances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, and she has championed new music throughout the world by building organizations, forming alliances, pioneering commissioning initiatives, and supporting educational programs that reach new audiences. Chase has released three celebrated solo albums, Aliento (2010), Terrestre (2012), and Density (2013), and in 2014 launched Density 2036, a 22-year commissioning project to create an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute between 2014 and 2036, the centenary of Edgard Varèse’s groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5. She was the 2009 Grand Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and made her critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2010. Ms. Chase is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.

Praised for her “flair” and “deftly illuminated” performances by the New York Times, bassoonist Rebekah Heller is a uniquely dynamic chamber, orchestral, and solo musician. Equally comfortable playing established classical works and the newest of new music, Rebekah is a fiercely passionate advocate for the bassoon. Called an "impressive solo bassoonist" by the New Yorker, she is tirelessly committed to collaborating with composers to expand the modern repertoire for the instrument. Her debut solo album of world premiere recordings, 100 names, has been called "pensive and potent" by the New York Times and was featured in that publication's ArtsBeat Classical Playlist. As a core member of the renowned International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Rebekah plays solo and chamber music all over the world. She has been a featured soloist with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Nagoya Philharmonic and has performed in São Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Köln, Salzburg, Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, Rebekah lives in New York City.

Born in Bucharest, Filipino-American Levy Lorenzo works at the intersection of music, art, and technology. On an international scale, his body of work spans custom electronics design, sound engineering, instrument building, installation art, free improvisation, and classical percussion. With a primary focus on inventing new instruments, he prototypes, composes, and performs new electronic music. As an electronic art consultant, Levy designs interactive electronics ranging from small sculptures to large-scale public art installations with artists such as Alvin Lucier, Christine Sun Kim, Ligorano-Reese, and Leo Villareal. As a percussionist, he co-founded the experimental theater/electronics duo Radical 2 with Dennis Sullivan and is a member of House Special, an electroacoustic improvising quintet with Peter Evans. As a sound engineer, he specializes in the realization and performance of complete electroacoustic concerts with nontraditional configurations. One of his main engagements is Chase's Density 2036 project. A core member of acclaimed the International Contemporary Ensemble, he fulfills multiple roles as live sound engineer, electronic artist, and percussionist. 

New music champion Elizabeth Weisser is the violist and director of development of the Talea Ensemble and has performed in ensembles such as the iO Quartet, Second Instrumental Unit, ICE, and Alarm Will Sound. She has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia on prestigious concert stages such as the London Symphony Orchestra at St. Luke’s and the Wiener Konzerthaus. Weisser collaborates regularly with a wide range of artists and has worked closely with composers ranging from Pierre Boulez to John Zorn. Ms. Weisser holds a bachelor's from Oberlin Conservatory, a master's degree Mannes College, and an artist diploma from SUNY Purchase. She has performed at festivals including the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Wien Modern, Kneisel Hall, and the Monadnock Music Festival. She has recorded for Mode, Bridge, Tzadik, and New World Records.


This concert is part of Chamber Music America's National Chamber Music Month. For information on other performances taking place across the country, visit

Rebekah Heller performs Metafagote at Abrons Arts Center, New York.

Claire Chase performs Meditation and Calligraphy at The Kitchen in New York.