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Concert: Modernismo Rumbero

Americas Society

March 28, 2016


Carlos Chávez by Miguel Covarrubias.

Pre-registration for this event is now closed. Box office will open 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.

Not yet a member? Learn how to become an AS member or a YPA member to access this event.

Visionary Mexican composer and conductor Carlos Chávez polarized audiences and critics in Mexico with his cross-pollination of traditional music from his home country and 20th-century music. In the late 1920s, he was one of the founding members of the Pan-American Association of Composers (PAAC) in New York, working closely with Henry Cowell and Edgar Varèse. Chávez, alongside Cuban avant-gardists Amadeo Roldán and Alejandro García Caturla, were the composers whose music was most often performed at the PAAC concerts, and all embraced a firm desire to combine elements from their countries' popular music with traditional concert forms and instruments, creating uniquely American music. This program presents pieces that appearedfrequently as world premieresin International Composers' Guild and PAAC concerts.


Amadeo Roldán (19001939) Ritmica no. 1 (1930)
Carlos Chávez (18991978) Tres exágonos (1923)
C. Chávez Otros tres exágonos (1924)
Alejandro García Caturla (1906-1940) Yambambo (1934)
A. Roldán Preludio Cubano



The City of Tomorrow wind quintet
Sarah Brailey soprano
Stephanie Griffin viola
Alexandre Moutouzkine piano


This event is part of the "Modernismo Rumbero" series.

Read more about the concert in the printed program (PDF).

About the artists

The City of Tomorrow is a woodwind quintet with the unusual ambition to give voice to emotions of people living in the world today, with music to provide an outlet for our reactions to environmental destruction, endless war, the pixelization of our memories, the overwhelming mass of information collected on humanity every day, and other contemporary issues. Forging a new identity for the wind quintet, the City of Tomorrow commissions new works, seeks relevancy for older compositions from the 20th century, and continues to shatter expectations for a concert of wind chamber music. This frequently means unexpected sounds: conch shell horns, strange timbres coming from double-reed instruments, wails from the French horn, improvisation in the clarinet, and a flute that can whisper, spit, talk, and sigh. The City of Tomorrow has performed across the United States and Canada in venues ranging from concert halls to the Mayo Clinic. The group is the first woodwind quintet in more than 10 years to win a gold medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and in 2014 was awarded a Classical Commissioning Grant from Chamber Music America. 

Hailed by The New York Times for her “radiant, liquid tone,” “exquisitely phrased,” and “sweetly dazzling” singing, soprano Sarah Brailey is in growing demand as a concert and chamber music artist. Highlights of Brailey's current and recent seasons include Handel’s Messiah with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, and Albany’s Cathedral of All Saints; Constance in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata with the American Classical Orchestra; Steve Reich's Drumming at Carnegie Hall (Zankel); Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder and the Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra; Alberto Ginastera’s Cantata para América Mágica and Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Julian Wachner at Trinity Wall Street; Handel’s Samson under the baton of Nicholas McGegan; and Britten’s Les Illuminations with NOVUS NY; as well as numerous appearances with the Brooklyn Art Song Society and the Polydora Ensemble, a vocal quartet focused on German repertoire of the 19th century. Brailey is a core member of Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble, an all-female vocal chamber music ensemble dedicated to the performance of new music and a frequent guest artist with Grammy Award-winning alternative-classical vocal band Roomful of Teeth. 

Stephanie Griffin is an innovative violist with a unique and eclectic musical vision. Born in Canada and based in New York City, her musical adventures have taken her to Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, and Mongolia. From large concert halls to the sand dunes of the Gobi Desert, she has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in classical, contemporary, and improvisational contexts. As a soloist, she has worked closely with numerous composers, among them Salvatore Sciarrino, Tristan Murail, Tony Prabowo, Kee Yong Chong, Ursula Mamlok, Matthew Greenbaum, and Arthur Kampela. Stephanie is a founding member of Momenta Quartet, a member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble, and a regular performer with the New York’s Continuum Ensemble. She serves as principal violist of the Princeton Symphony and on the faculty of Brooklyn College and is the former curator of contemporary music at Galapagos Art and Performance Space. As an improviser, Stephanie was a 2014 fellow at Music Omi, and is a member of Gordon Beeferman’s Other Life Forms, Hans Tammen’s Third Eye Orchestra, Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra and the composer/improviser collective the Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra. She holds a doctorate in musical arts from The Juilliard School where she studied with Juilliard Quartet violist Samuel Rhodes. She has recorded for Tzadik, Innova, Naxos, Aeon, Centaur, Aksara, Firehouse 12, and New World, Albany, and Aeon records.

The Dallas Morning News said Russian-American pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine “played Brahms’ op. 117 Intermezzi more beautifully, more movingly, than [one has] ever heard them. At once sad, tender, and noble, this was playing of heart-stopping intimacy and elegance.” Highlights of last season include performances and master classes at the VIII Beijing International Piano Festival, Musicfest (Perugia), Forum Musicae (Madrid), the Euro Music Festival and Academy (Halle, Germany), International Piano Festival (Havana), Piano Festival (Tel Aviv), and a performance of the complete solo piano works of Sergei Rachmaninoff on the Carnegie Room series in New York. Moutouzkine has toured throughout Germany, France, Spain, Russia, Italy, and the Americas, as well as in China and Japan. His recital in London’s Wigmore Hall was hailed by International Piano magazine as “grandly organic, with many personal and pertinent insights, offering a thoughtful balance between rhetoric and fantasy … technically dazzling.” Moutouzkine’s performance of Chopin Études in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory was recorded live and released on the Classical Music Archives label in Russia. The winner of many renowned competition awards, Moutouzkine claimed top prizes at the Walter W. Naumburg, New Orleans, Cleveland, Montreal, and Arthur Rubinstein international competitions, among others. Recent highlights include debuts at the Great Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Berliner Symphoniker, a chamber music concert in Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse with the Jasper String Quartet, an appearance with The Philadelphia Orchestra on its “Beyond the Score” series, performances in Colombia, a recital in Puerto Rico, and recitals throughout Asia, including appearances in the Beijing Concert Hall and Japan’s Yokohama Hall. Moutouzkine holds undergraduate degrees from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Hanover, Germany) and Nizhny Novgorod Music Academy (Russia), as well as a master's and post-graduate degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky. He received a 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award from MSM, and joined its faculty in September 2013.


Amadeo Roldán, Ritmicas no. 5 & 6, conducted by Eduardo Leandro.

Image: Carlos Chávez, Archivo Miguel Covarrubias. Sala de Archivos y Colecciones Especiales, Dirección de Bibliotecas, Universidad de las Américas Puebla.