August 12, 2012

Where Words Leave Off…

Written by Zoe Sorrell, a student of flute, English, and dance at the Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music.

The final installment of ICE's residency at the Mostly Mozart Festival, like the first, will feature world-renowned guest artists as well as the unusual overlapping of music and ornithology. The venue for this concert, the Park Avenue Armory, is known for inspiring artists to "draw upon its grand scale and distinctive character", and resultantly the evening's program is no coincidence. From world premieres commissioned by ICE to Messiaen favorites, these pieces were picked to fill the Armory's rooms.

One of the world premieres, Serenade by Suzanne Farrin, was actually composed specifically for the Armory. A Maine native and current theory and composition teacher at SUNY Purchase, Farrin has worked with an array of notable musicians, among them Tanya Bannister, David Schotzko, Mark Stewart, Antoine Tamestit, and Ira Weller. Her music has been heard in Carnegie Weill Hall, The Kennedy Center, and many other renowned venues. The Washington Post describes her music as a crossover between that of Frederic Rzewski and of Messiaen himself (read the article here). ICE is thrilled to be including her newest piece in the lineup.

Farrin's piece will feature another artist with whom ICE is excited to collaborate: countertenor, Anthony Roth Costanzo. Renaud Machart of Le Monde calls Costanzo "a perfect musician, focused voice, excellent projection, and capable of subtle nuances" (read more). Musical America quotes his singing as "the kind of high-voltage, high-register male singing that comes once in a generation" (read more). Cotanzo was a Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and most recently debuted at the Met as Unulfo in Rodelinda alongside Renee Fleming. Other accolades include a George London Award, a career grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and First Place in the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCullom competition. His premiere performance of Farrin's piece is not something to be missed!