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Pianists and Artistic Directors Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg present the Rite of Summer Music Festival, taking place Summer 2012 on Governors Island, New York City. This marks the return of the first classical-contemporary concert series on Governors Island, a place The New York Times has called a “Playground for the Arts.” The aim of the Festival is simple: to present the highest quality live performances, and to bring free contemporary classical music to as many people as possible in a relaxed, fun, outdoor setting. Rite of Summer kicked off July 7th with folk-inspired chamber group Ljova and The Kontraband in a program of original compositions deeply rooted in classical forms, imbued with improvisations on Eastern-European and Gypsy melodies, and Latin rhythms; selected folk material, as well as compositions by Igor Stravinsky, John Jacob Niles & others.
The second concerts taking place on Saturday, August 4th on Colonels Row feature the high-octane JACK Quartet with works by Guillaume de Machaut arr. by Ari Streisfeld, Charles Ives, Brian Baumbusch, Ken Thomson, Payton MacDonald and David Crowell.
Next up in the same location, the final concerts take place Labor Day weekend on Monday, September 3rd. These concerts will feature violinist/composer Todd Reynolds with guests, Jordan Tice on guitar, Jonny Rodgers on glass and more to come in a program of American folk music.
Each Rite of Summer show will be presented twice the same day, at 1pm and 3pm, for each respective **date. Audiences should feel free to walk by, stop and listen, lay down a picnic blanket and relax, eat lunch, intermingle, and take in these exciting live performances.
Governors Island is a short 5-minute ferry ride from South Ferry, in lower Manhattan and a 3-minute ride from Brooklyn. Ferries and concerts are free. For a full ferry schedule, please visit www.govisland.com. For more information, visit www.riteofsummer.com.
**Rain dates/times for each scheduled concert will be as follows, at 1pm and 3pm:
The JACK Quartet August 5, 2012
Todd Reynolds September 9, 2012
For more about The JACK Quartet, visit www.jackquartet.com.
The JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with "explosive virtuosity" (Boston Globe) and "viscerally exciting performances" (New York Times). David PatRick Stearns (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed their performance as being "among the most stimulating new-music concerts of my experience."
The Washington Post commented, "The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital." Alex Ross (New Yorker) hailed their performance of Iannis Xenakis' complete string quartets as being "exceptional" and "beautifully harsh," and Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times) called their sold-out performances of Georg Friedrich Haas' String Quartet No. 3 In iij. Noct. "mind-blowingly good."
The quartet has performed to critical acclaim at Wigmore Hall (London), Les Flâneries Musicales de Reims (France), Ultraschall Festival für Neue Musik (Germany), Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Netherlands), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Donaueschinger Musiktage (Germany), Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), Library of Congress, Kimmel Center, La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), and Carnegie Hall.
JACK has recent and upcoming performances at the SONiC Festival as hosts of the Extended Play Marathon at Miller Theatre, Vancouver New Music (Canada), Strathmore Hall, cresc...Biennale für Moderne Musik (Germany), National Gallery of Art, Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Le Poisson Rouge performing with pianist Ursula Oppens, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts performing with composer/guitarist Steven Mackey, Carnegie Hall Choral Institute performing with the Young People's Chorus of New York City, the Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik (Germany) performing string octets with the Arditti Quartet, and the Athelas New Music Festival (Denmark).
Throughout 2012-2014, JACK will join legendary pianist Maurizio Pollini as a part of his Perspectives series with performances at the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Suntory Hall (Japan), Cité de la Musique (France), Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Germany), and Teatro alla Scala (Italy). Additionally, JACK will be the featured ensemble for the 2012 Finale® National Composition Contest in partnership with MakeMusic and the American Composers Forum.
Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works, leading them to work closely with composers Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Matthias Pintscher, Georg Friedrich Haas, James Dillon, Toshio Hosokawa, Wolfgang Rihm, Elliott Sharp, Beat Furrer, Caleb Burhans, and Aaron Cassidy. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Jason Eckardt, Zeena Parkins, Payton MacDonald, Huck Hodge, James Clarke, Mauro Lanza, Simon Steen-Andersen, Walter Zimmermann and Toby Twining.
JACK has led workshops with young composers at Princeton University, Yale University, the American String Teachers Association of New Jersey, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), New York University, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Eastman School of Music, University at Buffalo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, University of Huddersfield (United Kingdom), University of Washington, University of Victoria (Canada), and Manhattan School of Music. In addition to working with composers and performers, JACK seeks to broaden and diversify the potential audience for new music through educational presentations designed for a variety of ages, backgrounds, and levels of musical experience.
The members of the quartet met while attending the Eastman School of Music, and they have since studied with the Arditti Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Muir String Quartet, and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.
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