Kaufman Music Center announces 2022/23 season

The Kaufman Music Center has announced its 2022/23 concert programs at Merkin Hall, along with the season’s groundbreaking Artists in Residence who will be featured on stage, in the classroom and in the community: visionary pianist and composer Aaron Diehl; the Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet; and acclaimed British vocal ensemble VOCES8. While occupying various spaces in the musical landscape, each of these artists seeks to forge new connections between current repertoire while constructing a new canon for the 21st century.

Along with their concert appearances, artists in residence will engage with Kaufman Music Center students through coaching opportunities, masterclasses and special projects. In doing so, they will join the students and audiences of Kaufman Music Center’s thriving concert and education programs to reimagine the future of music.

Tickets for the 2022/23 Kaufman Music Center season go on sale Monday, July 11, available at kaufmanmusiccenter.org.

Further details on this season’s artists in residence and concert series follow. An “At a Glance” preview of the season appears below.

Both temporal and ethereal, pianist and composer Aaron Diehl transforms the piano into an orchestral vessel in the spirit of his beloved predecessors Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner and Jelly Roll Morton. This season, Diehl will perform music by JS Bach and Roland Hanna in the Piano Dialogues series at Merkin Hall, appear with violinist Curtis Stewart, Harlem Quartet and Mazz Swift in Stewart’s Ecstatic Music program, coach jazz musicians and Kaufman Music Center chamber ensembles, and giving masterclasses to Kaufman Music Center students, with a particular focus on performance practice by black composers.

“VOCES8’s vocals are impeccable in their quality of tone and balance,” writes Gramophone Magazine. “They bring a new dimension to the word ‘together’ with meticulous timing and tuning.” This season, the British vocal ensemble will give three unique performances at Merkin Hall, including two concerts in Kaufman Music Center’s new Give Voice series and a Bridges series event featuring a range of composers from the early Renaissance to contemporary. . They will lead student workshops focusing on choral composition and arranging, and teach classes on vocal production and career paths in music and music education.

The New York-based, Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet have been hailed for their “panache” by The New York Times and hailed in the Cincinnati Enquirer for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, a fresh attitude, invigorating and intelligent”. Previously featured in What Makes It Great? series, Harlem Quartet will perform an exciting program of works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Aldo López-Gavilán, and more. They will join artist-in-residence Aaron Diehl and violinist Mazz Swift in an Ecstatic Music event imagined by violinist/composer Curtis Stewart. They will also work closely with Kaufman Music Center students in masterclasses and side-by-side performances with Merkin Hall students.


This season marks the debut of Give Voice, a series intended to amplify both human voices – star mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and VOCES8 – and various compositional voices, such as in Fanny Mendelssohn’s Harlem Quartet music program, young Cuban composer Aldo López-Gavilán, and others (March 23).

Cooke’s recital features the New York premiere of her 2020 project How to Find You?, in which she commissioned seventeen composers under the age of 40 to create pieces responding to the pandemic. The results are by turns serious, abstract, mournful and ironically humorous (May 25).

VOCES8 will present two programs on this series: Choral Dances, with a repertoire inspired by dance by composers from William Byrd to Benjamin Britten via Nat King Cole and Van Morrison (October 13), and Lux ​​Aeterna, with works on the theme of light by Felix Mendelssohn, Orlando Gibbons, Stephen Paulus and others (February 14).

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Introduced last season, Kaufman Music Center’s Bridges series features artists whose music overcomes conventional barriers of medium and style. Each Bridges concert features pioneering artists alongside students from the Kaufman Music Center and the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.

This season, Bridges offers a recital by Pulitzer Prize-winning and Grammy-winning composer/singer/violinist Caroline Shaw, who will delve into a program of recent and older works, alone and with the help of student performers. from pre-teens through college. age (February 11).

VOCES8 joins the series with a distinctively eclectic program titled Underneath the Stars, featuring music from England, Germany, the Nordic countries and the United States, ranging from the Renaissance to the present day (October 14).

The “completely captivating, powerful and elegant” (Washington Post) Cavani String Quartet will feature music by Shostakovich, jazz/rock/country/hip-hop/classical violist Josh Henderson and Felix Mendelssohn (November 5). Bold, artist-led chamber collective Decoda will perform music by Benjamin Horne, Joseph Jones, Stravinsky and John Harbison (March 24).

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Wrote Steve Smith in The New Yorker, “No show has better instincts for fomenting post-genre chemistry than Ecstatic Music.”

Ecstatic Music opens with the reprogrammed premiere by Imani Winds of BeLoud, BeLoved, Andy Akiho’s BeLonging, inspired by the sound of the 2019 protests by immigrant detainees at the Metropolitan Detention Center and workshop with incarcerated men at Rikers Island. The program also includes music by Mongo Santamaría (arranged by Valerie Coleman), Tania Léon, Nathalie Joachim and Jason Moran (October 26).

Moor Mother, the stage name of songwriter, composer, singer and poet Camae Ayewa, creates new music fusing jazz, blues and soul (April 28). Joe Rainey, who blends Pow Wow vocals with dynamic electronics, is joined by supergroup string ensemble Owls for a world-first collaboration (February 3).

Singer-songwriter Haley Fohr, as Circuit des Yeux, teams up with virtuoso, barrier-defying pianist Erika Dohi (May 11). William Tyler and Yasmin Williams, two guitarists who revisit folk-inspired playing styles, present a new collaboration for themselves with a chamber ensemble (March 22).

Multi-Grammy-nominated violinist-composer Curtis Stewart creates new music with pianist Aaron Diehl, the Harlem Quartet and violin/vox/freestyle composition artist Mazz Swift (June 1).

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This hugely popular series features top pianists in recital and conversation, responding to the refined acoustics and intimate atmosphere of Merkin Hall with memorable performances.

In The Pianists United: Rzewski in New York, an incredible line-up of pianists come together to celebrate the work of one of the great keyboard composers of our time in a marathon three-concert day. Artists include Anthony de Mare, Ursula Oppens, Lisa Moore, Conrad Tao, Mikael Darmanie, David Friend, Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore, Isabelle O’Connell, Kathleen Supové, Jed Distler, Ignacio Ojeda, Aron Kallay, Vicki Ray and Rob Schwimmer (May 6 at 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.).

Artist-in-Residence Aaron Diehl opens the series with works by two masterful composers who have each created sets of 24 preludes: JS Bach and Roland Hanna (November 18).

Shai Wosner and Gilles Vonsattel join forces for 2×4: music for 2 pianos 4 hands, including pieces by Mozart, Schubert, Clara Schumann, Debussy, Brahms and Ravel (April 27). David Kaplan presents a program called Moments of Invention, covering contemporary composers Christopher Cerrone, Anthony Cheung and Andrea Casarrubios, as well as Couperin, Janáček, Mozart and Robert Schumann (March 16).

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A recital revisited for the 21st century: exceptional artists interpret the classical repertoire from traditional to contemporary and tell their personal stories. Co-presented with Concert Artists Guild.

Flutist Adam W. Sadberry presents Musical Journalism – Continuing a Legacy through the Flute, inspired by the work of his late grandfather L. Alex Wilson, a hero of the civil rights movement. It will perform works by Valerie Coleman, Fred Onovwerosuoke and William Grant Still. With Artina McCain, piano and Ayo Jackson, dancer-choreographer (March 10).

In Emotional Landscapes, violinist Geneva Lewis, pianist Audrey Vardanega and painter Katie Swatland join forces to create an immersive audiovisual experience of two masterpieces from the sonata repertoire: Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. Violin Sonata No. 2 by Robert Schumann (Oct. 20).

Cellist Gabriel Martins weaves his own original poetry through an evening of works by JS Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Webern, Debussy, Shostakovich and Kaija Saariaho, with the help of pianist Wynona Wang (January 26) . In Unfiltered, the Balourdet Quartet traces the evolution of the string quartet through pieces by Beethoven, Hugo Wolf, Felix Mendelssohn and contemporary Canadian composer Karim Al-Zand (April 4).

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Tuesday Matinees has proven to be “a reliable burgeoning talent incubator” (The New Yorker), with early career appearances from artists including Attacca Quartet, Tessa Lark, Julia Bullock, Randall Goosby and many more. others.

Briana Elyse Hunter has been hailed by Opera News as “a haunting mezzo-soprano with a fiery theatrical presence and dynamic vocalism”. His recital will include selections from Julian de la Chica, Ravel, Duparc and Ricky Ian Gordon (December 6).

Double bassist Kebra-Seyoun Charles performs his own Dance Suite, a selection of Five Negro Spirituals arranged by Lawrence Brown, as well as Bach’s Fourth Cello Suite, an arrangement of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Prayer of the Winds and Rain by contemporary composer John Hedges (January 17).

The Balourdet Quartet features works by Brahms, Haydn, Debussy and Rome Prize-winning composer Nina C. Young (October 11). Praised for her “soft playing” by the New York Times, Alice Ivy-Pemberton takes the stage with music by Bach, Messiaen,

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