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Carmen Helena Tellez
Latin American Music Center

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Friday, January 27, 2012

IU Latin American Music Center invited to perform at New York festival

Jan. 27, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Latin American Music Center has been invited by Composers Now, a citywide festival in New York City, to design and present a program during its upcoming third season in February 2012. The invitation came from renowned composer Tania León, artistic director of Composers Now, who heard several performances at the Jacobs School of Music during the October 2011 conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the LAMC.

From left: Rose Wollman, Tim Kantor, Sharon Harms, Madalyn Parnas and Cicely Parnas.

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The program, titled "American Cosmology," will be performed Feb. 4 at the Music Now Marathon in Symphony Space and Feb. 6 at the Americas Society Concert Series.

Designed by Carmen Helena Téllez, director of the Latin American Music Center, the event will showcase complementary meditations on the sky and the cosmos represented in David Dzubay's "Astral" String Quartet and in Gabriela Ortiz's "Baalkah" for String Quartet and Soprano.

"Astral," written for the Orion Quartet, was inspired by the ensemble's name and by the constellations visible in the sky while the composer worked at the MacDowell Artist Colony in New Hampshire. "Baalkah" was composed for the Kronos Quartet and Dawn Upshaw, and the texts are drawn from Mayan cosmology addressing patterns of existence and the place of humanity in the universe. In keeping with tradition at the festival, both composers will be present.

"This represents a rare invitation by Composers Now to an artistic organization not based in New York City," Téllez said. "As part of our mission promoting the friendship between musicians of the Americas, we have chosen repertoire showcasing parallel creative perspectives between two composers, David Dzubay from the U.S and Gabriela Ortiz from Mexico."

The ensemble is made up of young artists in the Jacobs School of Music, all with emerging national careers: Sharon Harms, soprano; Madalyn Parnas and Timothy Kantor, violin; Rose Wollman, viola; and Cicely Parnas, cello.

Although still very young, Madalyn and Cicely Parnas already enjoy busy solo careers. They also perform as duo parnas, receiving accolades of "stunning" and "electrifying" by The New York Times. Madalyn was recently named a Marshall Scholar, and Cicely was the inaugural artist-in-residence of the radio program "Performance Today" in December.

Violinist Tim Kantor has been a featured artist with the Banff and Aspen festivals as well as with the Cleveland Pops; and violist Rose Wollman has performed internationally with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Fabio Luisi, Hugh Wolff, Joseph Silverstein and Larry Rachleff. A champion of new music, soprano Sharon Harms will return later to New York for the performance of Charles Wuorinen's "It Happens Like This," which she premiered under the baton of the composer at Tanglewood last summer. The performers met at Indiana University while studying with faculty members Jaime Laredo, Atar Arad, Sharon Robinson and Carol Vaness.

The Latin American Music Center, a part of the Jacobs School of Music, collaborates with emerging and established artists to develop commissions, premiere performances and exchanges between musicians of the Americas.

The project is supported by the Guillermo and Lucille Espinosa Fund for Creative and Research Projects of the Latin American Music Center, established in honor of the founder of the Inter-American Music Festivals in Washington, Colombian conductor Guillermo Espinosa; and by the Jacobs School of Music.