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Mivos Quartet with composer/soprano Kate Soper

Music of Berg, Gesualdo, Iannotta; a world premiere by Kate Soper
Mivos Quartet
Mivos Quartet
  • Mivos Quartet
  • Kate Soper

“The Italian Academy at Columbia keeps on delivering some of the most intriguing classical programs in town. (And you can't beat the price, either.) Tonight the adventurous Mivos players present works by Berg, Gesualdo and Iannotta, plus a world premiere by the wildly talented composer-soprano Kate Soper (who will join Mivos in performance).” Time Out NY (Critic's Pick)

Highlighting works for soprano and string quartet, the Mivos Quartet will present a program featuring the world premiere of Nadja, a large-scale composition for string quartet and voice by composer/soprano Kate Soper, alongside works by Clara Iannotta and Carlo Gesualdo, and Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite with reconstructed soprano part.

Carlo Gesualdo (arr. Joshua Modney): Moro Lasso; Interlude; Merce Grido
Kate Soper: Nadja, for string quartet and voice (world premiere)
Alban Berg: Lyric Suite (with reconstructed soprano part)
Clara Iannotta: A Failed Entertainment (U.S. premiere)

Kate Soper, a 2012 Guggenheim Laureate, is quickly gaining recognition as one of the most important composers of her generation. Her work, effortlessly theatrical and dazzling in its virtuosity, explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure. Soper’s timbral fusion of voice and instruments and her development of extreme vocal techniques have created a new frontier for the vocal repertoire.

Nadja grapples with the not-necessarily-inevitable supremacy of a soprano amidst instrumentalists alongside the rationale-defying depths of literary love. Players come together through fused identity and shared burdens of expression and communication, then split apart, through scheming, melodrama, and mere habit. Guiding them through the match are a handful of characters whose reason for being rests on the melodramatic excesses of femininity, including the nymph Echo, the first-person speaker of a Tennyson love poem, and the titular heroine of Andre Breton's 1920s surrealist masterpiece for whom the piece is named. --Kate Soper

Also on the program is a set of Carlo Gesualdo madrigals, arranged for soprano and string quartet by Joshua Modney, which recall the audacity of the 16th-century avant-garde, and the first U.S. performance of Italian composer Clara Iannotta's A Failed Entertainment. Named for the working title of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, the 2013 work is a beautiful study in "working beyond the sound itself." Finally, Mivos and Soper will present Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite with the rarely performed “secret” soprano part, reconstructed from the annotated score that Berg presented to his lover, Hanna Fuchs-Robettin.

For more information about the performers:
Kate Soper:
Mivos Quartet:
Event Date 
Wed, Mar 11, 2015, 7:00 pm

“The indispensable Mivos Quartet ... in its impressive evening with the composer-soprano Kate Soper at Columbia University’s Italian Academy”
From the New York Times
reprint; original web page
“The Academy keeps on delivering some of the most intriguing classical programs....the adventurous Mivos players...the wildly talented composer-soprano Kate Soper.”
From "critic's pick" listing in Time Out NY
reprint; original web page