February 15, 2020
Excerpts of Marcos Balter’s “Pan” for Flute and Electronics
Chase, described by The New York Times as “the most important flutist of our time,” is a soloist, collaborative artist, curator and advocate for new and experimental music. Over the past decade she has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works for the flute, and she has championed new music internationally by building organizations, forming alliances, pioneering commissioning initiatives and supporting educational programs that reach new audiences. Chase founded the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2001, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and in 2017 was the first flutist to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She is in the midst of a 23-year initiative called Density 2036 to commission an entirely new body of repertoire for solo flute leading up to the centennial of Edgard Varese’s seminal 1936 flute solo “Density 21.5.” A deeply committed educator, Chase was co-artistic director of Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity’s summer music programs from 2017-2019, where she and her co-director Steven Schick founded Ensemble Evolution, an intensive program for emerging musicians seeking to reimagine the 21st century new-music ensemble, and Evolution of the String Quartet (EQ), a program for young string quartets and composers that combines historically-informed practice, traditional repertory and the newest of new music. Chase is currently Professor of the Practice of Music at Harvard University, where she teaches courses on ensemble building, cultural activism and collaboration across disciplines. She lives in Brooklyn.
(joined by Luisa Muhr)
Iva Bittová was born in 1958 in Bruntál in northern Moravia in what was then Czechoslovakia – and nowadays the Czech Republic. Both of her parents were musicians. Iva attended the Music Conservatory in Brno. She graduated in drama and music. During her studies, Iva took part-time engagements as an actress and musician in Brno’s Divadlo Husa na provázku (Goose On A String Theater). Around this time she also featured as an actress in radio, TV and movie productions. After her father’s early death, she decided to follow in his professional footsteps as an instrumentalist and by composing her own music. In 1982, Iva started studying with Professor Rudolf Šťastný, the primarius (first violin) of the Moravian String Quartet. In the intervening years the violin has become her life’s passion and the most inspiring musical instrument in her professional life. Iva firmly believes that, as playing the violin places extreme demands on musicians, the composer’s work depends utterly on commitment and diligence. After living in the countryside near Brno for 25 years, Iva decided to relocate her personal and professional life to the United States. In the Summer of 2007, she settled in the Hudson Valley with her younger son Antonín (born 1991) – also a dedicated musician and another chip off the Bitto block. In 2015 she studied at the Academy of Ancient Music / Musicology at the Masaryk University in Brno and received a bachelor’s degree and in 2018 graduated on her master degree.
Lead by Julia Elsas and Kenny WOllesen
with Jessica Lurie, Sae Hashimoto, Aubrey Smith, Kirk Knuffke
SONIC MUD, a collaboration between visual artist Julia Elsas and musician Kenny Wollesen, brings together ceramic sculptures and established musicians for one-night musical performances. Julia and Kenny have been collaborating creatively and performing together since 2015. Julia’s visual art encompasses ceramics, printmaking, installation, and performance. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica di Venezia, Venice, Italy; Gowanus Studio Space, Brooklyn, NY; Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA; and Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA. She is a 2019 - 2020 Keyholder Resident at the Lower East Side Print Shop. Past exhibitions include the NARS Foundation, Brooklyn; International Print Center, NYC; Textile Arts Center, Brooklyn; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Her solo exhibition of SONIC MUD instruments opens in April 2020 at Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn. Kenny is a drummer, vibraphonist, percussionist, and an instrument builder based in New York City. He is the founder of the Wollesonic Laboratories. Wollesen has recorded and toured with John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Tom Waits, Steven Bernstein, among many others. Past collaborative performances have taken place at The Drawing Center, BKLYN CLAY, NARS Foundation, Ortega y Gasset, and Fringe Salon. SONIC MUD musicians include: Sae Hashimoto, Aubrey Smith, Jessica Lurie, Kirk Knuffke, Mike Irwin, Cyro Baptista, Doug Wieselman, Dalius Naujo, Rich Stein, Julia Elsas, and Kenny Wollesen.