Monday, October 23
First Congregational Church
Season 8 opens with an ethereal glimpse into the world beyond, with haunting works for string quartet and piano from some of the brightest new voices.
(September 27, 2023) ensembleNEWSRQ (enSRQ), the innovative chamber music ensemble, opens its eighth season with “Beyond the Veil,” an ethereal glimpse into the world beyond, with haunting works for string quartet and piano from some of the brightest new voices in music. String quartets from Nia Imani Franklin and Julia Adolphe bookend a captivating trio for violins and piano from Chris Rogerson. Philippe Manoury’s monumental “Tensio” for string quartet and live electronics transports audiences to a different world. The concert is Monday, October 23, 7:30 p.m., at First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota. Single tickets are $25. Season subscriptions for five concerts are available now for $115. For more information on ticket packages and single tickets, including student ticket pricing, visit www.EnSRQ.org.
Violinist Samantha Bennett and percussionist George Nickson are the group’s founders and co-artistic directors.
“With the timing of this concert at the end of October, we wanted to reflect both the warmth of fall and the supernatural, other-worldly feeling surrounding Halloween. In many traditions, it’s the time of year when the ‘veil between worlds’ is thinnest, and it’s captivating how composers speak to that idea,” says Bennett.
“The string quartet has been an inspiring vehicle for composers throughout the centuries and it is fascinating to look at how many different styles are being written for quartet right now,” says Nickson.
The program includes Nia Imani Franklin’s “Burgundy in Autumn (2019),” Julia Adolphe’s “Veil of Leaves (2014),” Chris Rogerson’s “Afterword (2020),” and Philippe Manoury’s “String Quartet No. 2 ‘Tensio (2010).’” Performers are: Samantha Bennett and Jennifer Best Takeda, violins; Stephanie Block, viola; Natalie Helm, cello; Hannah Sun Ripert, piano; Tina Tallon, live processing.
Nia Imani Franklin (b. 1993) is a composer, actress, conductor, and singer who has had her music performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Friction Quartet, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Franklin also became the Composer in Residence at Festival Napa Valley in 2021, where she premiered several works and was awarded the Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Classical Music. After concluding her Lincoln Center fellowship in New York City, she earned the jobs of Miss New York 2018 and Miss America 2019. In September of 2021 Franklin released her EP, “Extended,” which featured her R&B songs, and her orchestra piece, “Chrysalis Extended,” which has nearly four million views on her TikTok profile. In February of 2022 Duward Ensemble premiered Nia’s “Vingt-Huit” a piece that was commissioned for chamber ensemble and it was performed at East Carolina University.
Julia Adolphe’s (b. 1988) music is described as “alive with invention” (The New Yorker), “colorful, mercurial, deftly orchestrated” (The New York Times) displaying “a remarkable gift for sustaining a compelling musical narrative” (Musical America). Her works are performed across the U.S. and abroad by renowned orchestras and ensembles. Her awards include a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an OPERA America Discovery Grant, an ASCAP Young Composer Award, and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the Academy of Arts and Letters. Adolphe’s 2022 orchestral work, “Makeshift Castle,” co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, received multiple performances in Boston and Tanglewood, with repeat performances upcoming in 2023 at Tanglewood and Musikfest Berlin at the Berlin Philharmonie. The Boston Globe described the work as possessing “dramatic clarity…with resourcefully orchestrated music that keeps the ear engaged.” Passionate about de-stigmatizing mental illness and dispelling the myth of the tortured artist, Adolphe is the creator and host of the podcast “LooseLeaf NoteBook,” which uncovers the connection between creativity and mental health, with a focus on nurturing artistry, emotional intelligence, and self-care.
Chris Rogerson (b. 1988) is hailed as a “confident new musical voice” (The New York Times), a “big discovery” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), and a “fully-grown composing talent” (The Washington Post). His music has been praised for its “haunting beauty” and “virtuosic exuberance” (The New York Times). Rogerson’s music is often characterized by its lyricism: recent notable works include “Of Simple Grace” for cellist Yo-Yo Ma, his violin concerto for Benjamin Beilman and the Kansas City Symphony, and “Dream Sequence” for Anne-Marie McDermott and the Dover Quartet. Rogerson’s music has been programmed at venues around the world. An avid traveler, Rogerson composes works that are frequently evocative of a sense of place. He also regularly collaborates with artists in other disciplines, including “Sacred Earth” for mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges with video by the Emmy-nominated director and National Geographic photographer Keith Ladzinski, and “Azaan,” a play written for the Oregon Symphony in collaboration with Dipika Guha. His work has been featured in a variety of mediums, including Joe Pera’s web series “How to Make It in USA.”
Philippe Manoury (b. 1952) is one of the world’s leading composers and computer music researchers. In 1975, he undertook studies in computer-assisted composition with Pierre Barbaud and joined IRCAM as a composer and electronic music researcher in 1980. From 2004 until 2012, Manoury served on the composition faculty at the University of California, San Diego, where he taught composition, electronic music, and analysis in the graduate program. After retiring from teaching at UCSD, he currently lives in Strasbourg, France. Manoury’s work is strongly influenced by Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Iannis Xenakis, and his early work from 1972 to 1976 combines serial punctualism with the densely massed elements characteristic of the music of Stockhausen and Xenakis, and the paintings of Jackson Pollock.
2023-2024 Season Continues with:
- Ligeti’s 100th: November 20, 7:30 p.m. In a program celebrating the birth centennial of the incomparable György Ligeti, enSRQ welcomes back pianist Han Chen to perform the composer’s “Études” and iconic “Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano.” Also featured are mixed instrumentation pieces inspired by Ligeti’s continuing legacy: “Wax and Wire” from Viet Cuong, and “Slipstream” from Stacy Garrop. First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota.
- Night and Day: January 22, 7:30 p.m. enSRQ premieres Scott Lee’s “Karst,” written for Artistic Directors Samantha Bennett and George Nickson, the first of this season’s two commissions. Devoted to the joyous interplay of dynamic contrasts, “Night and Day” includes string, harp and percussion pieces from Molly Herron, Sebastian Currier, Einojuhaari Rautavaara, and Sam Adams. First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota.
- You Are Free: March 25, 7:30 p.m. Raven Chacon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Voiceless Mass” anchors this program of powerful works for mixed instrumentation. The concert also presents the world premiere and enSRQ commission of a work by Kyle Rivera, which was written for enSRQ artists. Rivera is an up-and-coming composer, who is currently a student at Yale School of Music. The program also incudes works by Ania Vu, Shawn Okpebholo and Sarah Kirkland Snider. First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota.
- Angelica Negron: A World Premiere: April 15 at sunset. enSRQ is the presenting partner for the world premiere of a new work by Angélica Negrón, the winner of the 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize, presented by the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Angélica Negrón’s newest, site-specific work for a unique ensemble of low strings, harps, percussion and electronics. Hermitage Artist Retreat, 6630 Manasota Key Road, Englewood.
- The Ringling’s Art of Performance Series presents: Parisian Refraction: May 9-10, 7:30 p.m.; May 11, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Led by Samantha Bennet and George Nickson, this adventurous four-part series explores works and composers that either embody Paris, have been commissioned by groups in the city, or are deeply inspired or affected by the French capital. Performances showcase and highlight both the similarities and differences of musicians who have been changed by the City of Light. Performers include Maurice Cohn, conductor (assistant conductor, Dallas Symphony and music director, West Virginia Symphony); Lucy Fitz Gibbon, soprano; Conor Hanick, Han Chen and Ryan McCullough, pianos; and Mike Truesdell on percussion. Tickets for “Parisian Refraction” can be purchased at Ringling.org or by calling 941-360-7399. Single tickets for “Parisian Reflection” go on sale September 1.
Founded in 2015 by violinist Samantha Bennett and percussionist George Nickson, ensembleNEWSRQ (enSRQ) is a versatile chamber music ensemble in Sarasota, FL, dedicated to playing and advocating for the music of contemporary composers. Through thoughtfully curated and innovative programs, enSRQ demonstrates how contemporary music is a reflection of our world and cultural experience. The ensemble strives to manifest the creativity of the current generation and inspire audiences to participate in musical culture in a profound way.