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Press Releases

Ekstasis Duo to release first CD & NY state premiere of Avner Dormn Double Concerto for Cello, Piano and Orchestra

September 21, 2022 | By Grant Communications

Ekstasis Duo's first recording, "Women's Voices," out October 10

New Avner Dorman work,Double Concerto for Cello, Piano, and Orchestra, receives New York State Premiere October 15 at Rockefeller Arts Center, Fredonia, NY

Photo: Isabelle Wroblewski

 

The acclaimed Ekstasis Duo (cellist Natasha Farny and pianist Eliran Avni) showcase their range in two highlights of their 2022-23 season: their new recording and the New York Premiere of a rare double concerto for cello and piano written expressly for them.

 

To be released on their own label on October 10, 2022, "Women’s Voices” is a 16-track digital album of works celebrating the talent of 19th and 20th century female composers Louise Farrenc, Lera Auerbach, Clara Schumann, Alma Mahler, Ethel Smyth, and Nina Simone. The recording will be available for pre-order on October 3, 2022. 

 

 

Click here to hear clips from the album and for access to the album on streaming services.

 

Visit here to view the album on the Ekstasis website.

 

"Women's Voices"

RELEASE: October 10, 2022

 

Louise Farrenc, Sonata in B-flat Major, op. 46

 

Lera Auerbach, 24 Preludes, op. 47, no. 7 & no. 24

 

Clara Schumann, Drei Romanzen, arr. for cello and piano, op. 22

 

Alma Mahler, Fünf Lieder, I. The Silent City

 

Ethel Smyth, Sonata in A minor, op. 5

 

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Lament

 

 Tribute to Nina Simone, arr. D. Kaufman

“My Baby Just Cares for Me”

“Don’t Smoke in Bed"

“Love me or Leave me”

 

 

Recorded at:

Rosch Recital Hall, SUNY Fredonia, New York, August 1-3, 2020

Paul Coleman, sound and editing

Bernd Gottinger, sound and mastering

 

 

See project trailer here.

 

The album is also available as an unedited concert for digital presentations. See Sample here

 

Eliran Avni, piano; Natasha Farny, cellist; photo credit - Isabelle Wroblewski

Avner Dorman, composer; photo credit -Felix Grunschloss

 

 

October 15th the duo presents the New York State Premiere of award-winning composer Avner Dorman's Double Concerto for Cello, Piano, and Orchestra, an unforgettable wild ride not to be missed with conductor Jaman Dunn and the College Symphony Orchestra at SUNY Fredonia's Rockefeller Arts Center. (Ticket information and more here.)

 

The Double Concerto received its world premiere by the Ekstasis Duo this past summer 2022 at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival with conductor Robert Moody. Made possible by a generous donation from Chris Granger and the Fredonia Foundation, and consortium member Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the Double Concerto is one of only a few concertos specifically written for cello and piano. (Listen to excerpts from the 1st movement, 2nd movement, 3rd movement, and 4th movement of the world premiere performance.)

 

As the Duo said of the world premiere. "The solo and orchestral parts of this four-part work explore magical textures and unforgettable rhythms, and a continued nuance and conversation between the cello and piano. As the soloists for this epic new work, we feel that Avner's writing demands the utmost from us in emotional expression, technical prowess, and interactive abilities."

 

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write a concerto for the Ekstasis Duo,” Avner Dorman remarked. “It’s rare to hear such a high level of musicianship paired with technical prowess from two performers, and to write for both of them is a dream come true.”

 

The composer stated of the world premiere, "Duo Ekstasis together with Robert Moody and the Sewanee Symphony orchestra created a deeply inspiring premiere of my new concerto. They brought the piece to life with passion and musicality, great virtuosity, and unique personal touch. I could not have hoped for a better premiere."

 

"Avner Dorman's exciting new double concerto is an extraordinary contribution to the symphonic literature - and the Ekstasis Duo handle this challenging new work with passion and brilliance, stated John Kilkenny, Executive and Artistic Director, Sewanee Summer Music Festival and Executive Director, The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. " The Ekstasis Duo presented a breathtaking performance of Avner Dormans extraordinary new double concerto. Our patrons were mesmerized and our entire festival was elevated by the process and performance. This important new contribution to contemporary music will have a long life in the concert hall. Bravo!"

 

Further details on the work may be found in the candid conversation between the composer and the artists on youtube. Link to video here.

 

Ekstasis Duo

 

Music that lifts the spirit can be intensely joyful, profoundly moving, and unforgettable. Ekstasis is committed to creating juxtapositions and similarities through daring programming. Ekstasis Duo thrives on the contrast, intensity, and passion that they find in these compositions. The duo's aim is to share music that electrifies audiences and offers every possible emotion on the spectrum.

 

With a focus on storytelling that pinpoints an aspect of the human condition or creates an atmosphere through sound, Ekstasis Duo's concerts offer solo and chamber music works, and occasionally incorporate multimedia, readings, video, and visual art. In recent seasons, the duo has promoted the music of minority composers with two programs: "Women's Voices" and “... From the Shadows.” These initiatives also included lectures, audio and video recordings.

 

The 2022-2023 season includes a workshop and performance of music by Chinese composer Chen Yi and performances of "... From the Shadows" with music by George Walker, Henriette Bosmans, Lili Boulanger, Alexander Zemlinsky, and Alma Mahler. The duo will appear at Chautauqua’s Lenna Hall, Buffalo’s Friends of Vienna series, Grand Valley State University in Michigan, and at Arts in the Village series in Rehoboth, MA. Previous concerts of “... From the Shadows” included engagements with Arizona’s Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Ohio’s Holland Theater, and Maryland’s Resonance Chamber Music Series.

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Since their debut in 2018, The Ekstasis Duo has appeared on distinguished series such as New York City’s Merkin Hall, Eastman's Morning Chamber Music Series, and Rochester’s "Live from Hochstein." During the summer of 2020, the duo recorded music for their upcoming debut CD, "Women's Voices," to be released October 10, 2022. This program inspired Ekstasis to give lectures online and in person both nationally and at an international conference in Lucca, Italy. A multimedia project involving live music and video occurred in 2021 as a result of winning Fredonia’s Kasling Award and a paper on women’s compositions for cello and piano was published in 2021 in the College Music Society Symposium. Postponed engagements due to COVID-19 include California’s L'Ermitage Foundation in Los Angeles and Tateuchi Hall at the Finn Center at Mountainview, New York’s Community School of Music and Arts, Bard College, The Eastman School of Music, and GetClassical Revelation Gallery. 

 

American cellist Natasha Farny has distinguished herself as a musician with significant versatility, sensitivity, and experience. An accomplished soloist, Ms. Farny has performed with orchestras such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, as well as several local orchestras throughout the Western New York region. She has taken solo and chamber music tours across Germany, the Czech Republic, and Brazil, and has played at many national venues like the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago and Brooklyn’s Bargemusic “Here and Now” Series. Ms. Farny can be heard on recordings of chamber music with the Centaur label, including her solo CD of French cello music (released January 3, 2020). A vibrant teacher, she has been invited to give master classes at various institutions, including Weimar’s Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Germany, the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Italy, and the Eastman School of Music.

 

Praised as possessing both “ironclad technique” and “ample suppleness” by The New York Times, pianist Eliran Avni is an emerging force in the contemporary classical music scene. Hailed as “The new hope of Israeli music” by Ma’ariv, he made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 17. Since then, he has appeared as a soloist and chamber music collaborator throughout Europe, North and South America, as well as in his native Israel, and has played for live broadcasts for the Israeli and German broadcasting systems.

 

As a soloist, Eliran is known as a preeminent interpreter of the music of composer Avner Dorman. Solo performance highlights include Dorman’s Azerbaijani Dance with the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta at Carnegie Hall, Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto with the Alabama Symphony, and the Grieg Concerto with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.

www.ekstasisduo.com

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Press Contact:

Laura Grant, Grant Communications

917.359.7319

Laura@grant-communications.com

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