Apr. 15: Composer Lisa Bielawa’s In medias res New York Premiere by Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Composer Lisa Bielawa’s In medias res
New York Premiere by Boston Modern Orchestra Project in its Carnegie Hall Debut Conducted by Artistic Director Gil Rose
Photo by Desmond White available in hi-resolution at www.jensenartists.com/lisa-bielawa Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 8pm 881 7th Ave. | New York, NY
Tickets starting at $35 Available from Carnegie Hall by phone at (212) 247-7800, online at carnegiehall.org or in person at the box office
Lisa Bielawa: www.lisabielawa.net
New York, NY – On Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 8pm, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), conducted by Artistic Director Gil Rose, will make its Carnegie Hall debut in the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage (881 7th Ave.), performing a program which includes the New York premiere of In medias res, by composer, producer, and vocalist Lisa Bielawa.
During her time as the BMOP Music Alive Composer-in-Residence, from 2006-2009, Bielawa composed In medias res –– a work directly inspired and shaped by the bonds that she forged with her musician peers in BMOP. Bielawa composed 15 brief solo pieces dedicated to each of the main ensemble players, channeling the expressing their respective personalities in each work. As a whole, In medias res combines all of the smaller works, resulting in a unique but astutely cohesive larger piece for orchestra. Bielawa explains: “this piece, in essence, is my thank you and farewell gift to Gil Rose, the players of BMOP, and the many wonderful individuals of the Boston music community who welcomed and integrated me into their lives over three years.”
In medias res was released in June 2010 by BMOP/sound as a 2-CD set. The recording, which features four orchestral works, is a permanent musical embodiment of the unique relationships and creative connections Bielawa cultivated and nurtured during her residency with BMOP, which she referred to as a “three-year journey undertaken by a whole community.” The New York Times describes In medias res as, “a celebration of this composer’s residence with the orchestra”. The San Francisco Chronicle writes: “[On In medias res], Bielawa…writes with a superb combination of rhythmic exuberance, melodic grace and textural inventiveness.” The Boston Globe describes Bielawa as having a “hauntingly lyrical yet restlessly inventive compositional voice” on the release, while NewMusicBox describes In medias res as a “beautifully recorded and packaged CD set” [and] “an important addition to any collection of major 21st century works.”
Most recently for Bielawa, in January 2023 the Louisville Orchestra, with which she is currently one of three full-time resident composers as part of the orchestra’s inaugural Creators Corps initiative, gave the world premiere of her piece Send the Carriage Through, which she describes as “a gift of gratitude to the players of the [Louisville Orchestra].” On April 23, the Louisville Orchestra will present the world premiere of Louisville Broadcast, an iteration of Bielawa’s ongoing Broadcast series focused on the city of Louisville. Over 500 professional, student, and amateur musicians from throughout Jefferson County will join together to perform Bielawa’s 45-minute piece, turning two historic locations – Shelby Park and Big Four Bridge – into vast musical canvases, allowing listeners to walk freely among and between the performers.
About Lisa Bielawa: Composer, producer, and vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition. She takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Her music has been described as “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart,” by The New York Times. She is the recipient of the 2017 Music Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and a 2020 OPERA America Grant for Female Composers. She was named a William Randolph Hearst Visiting Artist Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society for 2018 and was Artist-in-Residence at Kaufman Music Center in New York for the 2020-2021 season. In 1997 Bielawa co-founded the MATA Festival.
In 2022, Bielawa was selected for a residency with the Louisville Orchestra’s Creators Corps. For this new endeavor Bielawa temporarily relocated to Louisville to make new orchestral and community-based work as an active, engaged member of the community.
Lisa Bielawa received a 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy nomination for her unprecedented, made-for-TV-and-online opera Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser, created with librettist Erik Ehn and director Charles Otte. Vireo was filmed in twelve parts at locations across the country and features over 350 musicians. Vireo was produced as part of Bielawa’s artist residency at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California and in partnership with KCETLink and Single Cel. In February 2019, Vireo was released as a two CD + DVD box set on Orange Mountain Music.
In spring 2022, Bielawa’s violin concerto Sanctuary had its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall by Jennifer Koh and the American Composers Orchestra (ACO), conducted by Marin Alsop. Sanctuary was co-commissioned by the Orlando Philharmonic (which premiered the piece), Carnegie Hall, ACO, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP). Other recent highlights include the world premiere of Voters’ Litany, a commission from the Cathedral Choral Society, which was premiered at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC; Missa Primavera, commissioned and recorded by cellist Matt Haimovitz, on his label Oxingale Records; and Brickyard Broadcast –– a virtual reality collaboration commissioned by North Carolina State University.
Bielawa consistently executes work that incorporates community-making as part of her artistic vision. She has created music for public spaces in Lower Manhattan, the banks of the Tiber River in Rome, on the sites of former airfields in Berlin in San Francisco, and to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the coronavirus lockdown, Bielawa cultivated a virtual community using submitted testimonies and recorded voices from six continents through her project, Broadcast from Home. In 2021, Broadcast from Home was inducted into the Library of Congress as part of its Performing Arts COVID-19 Response Collection.
Bielawa’s music has been premiered at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, SHIFT Festival, Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, National Cathedral, Rouen Opera, MAXXI Museum in Rome, and Helsinki Music Center, among others. Orchestras that have championed her music include The Knights, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, ROCO in Houston, and the Orlando Philharmonic. Premieres of her work have been commissioned and presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Rider, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Radio France, Yerevan Concert Hall in Armenia, the Venice Architectural Biennale, American Music Week in Salzburg, the INFANT Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, and more.
Born in San Francisco, Lisa Bielawa played the violin and piano, sang, and wrote music from early childhood. She moved to New York two weeks after receiving her B.A. in Literature in 1990 from Yale University. For more information, please visit www.lisabielawa.net.
About BMOP: The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is the premier orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A unique institution of crucial artistic importance to today’s musical world, BMOP exists to disseminate exceptional orchestral music of the present and recent past via performances and recordings of the highest caliber. Founded by Artistic Director Gil Rose in 1996, BMOP has championed composers whose careers span nine decades.
Each season, Rose brings BMOP’s award-winning orchestra, renowned soloists, and influential composers to the stage of New England Conservatory’s historic Jordan Hall in a series that offers orchestral programming of unrivaled eclecticism. Musical America’s 2016 Ensemble of the Year, BMOP was awarded the 2021 Special Achievement Award from Gramophone Magazine as “an organization that has championed American music of the 20th and 21st century with passion and panache.” The musicians of BMOP are consistently lauded for the energy, imagination, and passion with which they infuse the music of the present era. For more information, please visit www.BMOP.org
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