"Virtuosity" 2021–22 Edward T. Cone Concert Series

Curated by David Lang, Artist-in-Residence

The 2021–22 Edward T. Cone Concert Series, curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, will provide an exploration of mastery, meaning, and experience, complemented by immersive post-performance talks connected by the overarching theme—virtuosity—for which this season is named.

Performances will all take place live in Wolfensohn Hall with the option for IAS community members to attend in-person and virtual viewing for the public.

Funding for this series is provided by the Edward T. Cone Endowment and a grant from the PNC Foundation.

The schedule for the 2021–22 season is as follows:

OCTOBER 2, 2021, 8:00 P.M.
   Music and Memory, Rolf Schulte
   Registration: IAS Community | Public (virtual only)

The New Yorker calls Rolf Schulte “one of the most distinguished violinists of our day.” This concert brings together a chain of solo violin music about memory—Elliott Carter’s wispy Mnemosyne, his Four Lauds, written in memory of composers he had known, and Stravinsky’s Élègie, which Schulte played at Carter’s memorial service. Interleafing with these are the movements of a piece from Western classical music’s collective memory, Sonata No. 2 in A minor, by Johann Sebastian Bach.

NOVEMBER 6, 2021, 8:00 P.M.
   Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation, Michael Harrison
Registration: IAS Community (TBA) | Public (TBA)

Composer and pianist Michael Harrison's deep training in both Western and Indian classical musics has led him to become a pioneer in the world of just intonation. The piano is normally tuned so that the intervals between each note are equal, which is physically not natural; just intonation seeks to return tuning to its natural roots, in which musical intervals reflect their origins in perfect mathematical proportions. For this concert our piano will be retuned every day for a week before the concert, so that it will stay true to the mind-bending sound world of this intense, hypnotic masterpiece.

DECEMBER 4, 2021, 8:00 P.M.
   The Passinge Mesures, Mahan Esfahani
   Registration: IAS Community (TBA) | Public (TBA)

Born in Tehran and raised in the United States, Mahan Esfahani is one of the most acclaimed harpsichordists in the world today. A scholar as well as a performer, Esfahani is equally at home in music of the ancient past and pieces being written right now. This concert will include both new and old works, and will highlight intricate and virtuosic compositions by two titans of Elizabethan music, John Bull and William Byrd.

MARCH 18 & MARCH 19, 2022, 8:00 P.M.
   Fanm d’Ayiti (Women of Haiti), Nathalie Joachim with the Spektral Quartet
   Registration: IAS Community (TBA) | Public (TBA)

In 2015, Haitian-American composer, singer and flutist Nathalie Joachim decided to compose new music that would explore her connections to her immediate family, to her heritage, and to her artistic roots. The result is Fanm D'Ayiti (Women of Haiti), a collection of songs that weave together her own family stories with powerful tributes to three pioneering Haitian female musicians—Carole Demesmin, Emerante de Pradines and Toto Bissainthe. With the collaboration of Chicago’s Spektral Quartet, Joachim has created a song cycle of immense poignancy and beauty, for which they were recognized when the commercial recording was nominated for a Grammy Award just this past year.

APRIL 29 & APRIL 30, 2022, 8:00 P.M.
   Beowulf, Benjamin Bagby
   Registration: IAS Community (TBA) | Public (TBA)

In a tour de force of storytelling, medieval music scholar and performer Benjamin Bagby demonstrates how music supports the recounting of the story of Beowulf. This epic tale of heroes and monsters was written down over a thousand years ago, but it may in fact be much older, and Bagby declaims the entire tale, from start to finish. The famed warrior comes alive as Bagby sings, speaks, intones and howls the story at us, in Old English, accompanying himself on medieval harp and with projected English supertitles.

About the Artist-in-Residence Program
The Artist-in-Residence program was established at the Institute in 1994 to create a musical presence within the Institute community and to have in residence a person whose work could be experienced and appreciated by scholars from all disciplines. Pianist Robert Taub was the first Artist-in-Residence (1994­–2001), followed by Jon Magnussen (2000–2007), Paul Moravec (2007–2009), Derek Bermel (2009­–2013), Sebastian Currier (2013–2016), and David Lang (2016–present).

Lang became Artist-in-Residence in July 2016. His works have been performed worldwide by distinguished artists and ensembles, including the BBC Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, eighth blackbird, Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Boston Symphony, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet. A recipient of the prestigious Grammy Award, Lang has received numerous honors, including Musical America’s Composer of the Year, Carnegie Hall’s 2013­–14 Debs Composer’s Chair, the Rome Prize, the BMW Music-Theater Prize (Munich), and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

For further information about the 2021–22 Edward T. Cone Concert Series and the Institute’s Artist-in-Residence program, visit www.ias.edu/air.


Press Contact

Lee Sandberg