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World Premiere of composer Robert Sirota’s Job Fragments for baritone, cello, and piano

January 13, 2020 | By Maggie Stapleton
Jensen Artists

World Premiere of Composer Robert Sirota’s Job Fragments for baritone, cello, and piano

Commissioned by baritone Thomas Pellaton for Ensemble von Paradis with libretto by Victoria Sirota

RobertSirota1_byRyuheiShindo copy.jpg

Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 6pm

Goddard Riverside Community Center – Bernie Wohl Center | 647 Columbus Avenue at 91st Street | New York, NY

Tickets ($20 general; $15 students and seniors) and more information available at https://ensemblevonparadis.eventbrite.com  

“a compelling musical voice of our time” – The American Organist

www.robertsirota.com

New York, NY – On Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 6pm, the world premiere of composer Robert Sirota’s Job Fragments is presented by Ensemble von Paradis at Goddard Riverside Community Center in the Bernie Wohl Center (647 Columbus Avenue at 91st Street). This concert is part of Sirota @ 70, a celebration throughout the 2019-2020 concert season featuring residencies, performances, and premieres in honor of the composer’s 70th birthday. A light reception will follow the performance.

Job Fragments (2019) was commissioned by the baritone Thomas Pellaton for Ensemble von Paradis, comprised of Pellaton, pianist James McCrory, and cellist Carol Buck. Librettist Victoria Sirota has created a brilliantly condensed narrative of the Book of Job. Robert Sirota explains “In the space of 15 minutes, Job Fragments gives us the story of God’s conversation with Satan followed by multiple trials which test Job’s faith. Generally, all of the characters of the story are portrayed by the lone singer, except for one instance in which the other performers speak up as Job’s friends to mock him.”

On this program entitled A Musical Journey Beginning with the 18th Century to the Present, Ensemble von Paradis also performs songs by Fauré and Strauss; the Count’s aria from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro; Bach’s Suite No. 1 in C major for solo cello; and a work by Maria Theresia von Paradis – the composer for whom the ensemble is named –Sisciliane for cello and piano. She was a blind Australian composer, pianist, and singer who studied with both Salieri and Mozart. Her output includes piano and chamber music, operas, and religious music.

About Robert Sirota: Over five decades, composer Robert Sirota has developed a distinctive voice, clearly discernible in all of his work – whether symphonic, choral, stage, or chamber music. Writing in the Portland Press Herald, Allan Kozinn asserts: “Sirota’s musical language is personal and undogmatic, in the sense that instead of aligning himself with any of the competing contemporary styles, he follows his own internal musical compass." 

Robert Sirota’s works have been performed by orchestras across the US and Europe; ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Sequitur, yMusic, Chameleon Arts, and Dinosaur Annex; the Chiara, American, Telegraph, Ethel, Elmyr, and Blair String Quartets; the Peabody, Concord, and Webster Trios; and at festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Yellow Barn, and Cooperstown music festivals; Bowdoin Gamper and Bowdoin International Music Festival; and Mizzou International Composers Festival. Recent commissions include Jeffrey Kahane and the Sarasota Music Festival, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Palladium Musicum, American Guild of Organists, the American String Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, the Naumburg Foundation, yMusic, and arrangements for Paul Simon. In addition to Job Fragments, commissions for Sirota@70, in honor of his 70th birthday, include works for Carol Wincenc, Linda Chesis & the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival, and Sierra Chamber Society.

Recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, United States Information Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Center, Sirota’s works are recorded on Legacy Recordings, National Sawdust Tracks, and the Capstone, Albany, New Voice, Gasparo and Crystal labels. His music is published by Muzzy Ridge Music, Schott, Music Associates of New York, MorningStar, Theodore Presser, and To the Fore.

A native New Yorker, Sirota studied at Juilliard, Oberlin, and Harvard and divides his time between New York and Searsmont, Maine with his wife, Episcopal priest and organist Victoria Sirota. They frequently collaborate on new works, with Victoria as librettist and performer, at times also working with their children, Jonah and Nadia, both world-class violists. For complete information, visit www.robertsirota.com.

About Goddard Riverside Community Center: The Goddard Riverside Community Center serves approximately 22,000 people each year through 27 programs on the Upper West Side and throughout Manhattan. The organization works every day for a fair and just society where all people have the opportunity to make choices that lead to better lives for themselves and their families.

The Community Arts program offers adults and youth opportunities to experience and participate in the arts through original and professional-caliber performing and visual arts events, as well as workshops, classes, lectures and partnerships with renowned arts organizations in New York City.

Community Arts events take place at the Bernie Wohl Center at Columbus Avenue and West 91st Street. The Center's versatile auditorium serves as a concert hall, theater in the round, dance performance space, art gallery and film venue. For more information, visit www.goddard.org/communityarts.


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