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Press Releases

Mar. 9: Apollo Chamber Players Premiere Works by John Cornelius, Jerod Tate, Jennifer Higdon, Pierre Jalbert, and Erberk Eryilmaz at Carnegie Hall

January 25, 2023 | By Katy Salomon
VP, Public Relations



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact: 
Katy Salomon | Primo Artists | VP, Public Relations 
katy@primoartists.com | 212.837.8466 


 
Apollo Chamber Players Perform at 
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall – March 9, 2023 

A Universal Celebration of Storytelling, Outer Space, and Folk Music
Marking Apollo Chamber Players’ 15th Season

John Cornelius – PAX (NY Premiere)
Featuring Houston Poet Laureate Outspoken Bean

Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate – MoonStrike (NY Premiere)
Featuring Narration by Chickasaw Astronaut John Herrington

Jennifer Higdon –  In the Shadow of the Mountain (NY Premiere)

Pierre Jalbert – L'esprit du Nord (NY Premiere)

Erberk Eryilmaz – Thracian Airs of Besime Sultan (NY Premiere)

“recasting music for a diverse and multi-ethnic generation” – Strings Magazine

www.apollochamberplayers.org 

New York, NY (January 25, 2023) – On Thursday, March 9 at 8:00pm ETApollo Chamber Playersled by Matthew J. Detrickreturn to Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall for a program celebrating the Houston-based ensemble's 15th season of multicultural programming and the conclusion of its 20x2020 commissioning project. The evening marks the New York premiere of Apollo’s new program of multicultural music and art inspired by American Indian moon legends, Appalachian folk music, Turkish melodies, and poetry, including newly commissioned works by John Cornelius, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, Jennifer Higdon, Pierre Jalbert, and Erberk Eryilmaz. The Higdon, Tate, and Jalbert make up the entirety of Apollo Chamber Players’ latest commercial album, MoonStrikereleased September 2, 2022 on Azica Records. Listen to MoonStrike. All of the composers except for Ankara-based Eryilmaz will be in attendance.

Two New York premieres open the program, first PAX (2022), a peace-infused work by Prairie View A&M composer John Cornelius featuring tenor Kenneth Gayle and spoken word by Houston Poet Laureate Outspoken BeanThe composer shares, “PAX began as a conversation about what the image of a dove represents: peace, love, unity. Looking at the texts of Langston Hughes' poetry, I came to realize that the notion of peace starts with reconciling the past and the present, the long-ago with the future, the hoped-for with the long-abandoned. Langston Hughes was able to see past the immediate destruction of war into what the future might bring about and how something as insignificant as a figurine could bring a horrific past back to life in a fleeting instant. The rising and falling motive that extends through the work was inspired by the motion of a dove's wings in flight, controlled as it flits about. Harmonically, I wanted to capture the essence of long-ago harmonies that somehow belong in the now. To that end, extended triadic harmonies that are nonfunctional undergird the melodic material as it passes through the soloist and the ensemble. Finally, the inclusion of Emanualee Bean's spoken word brings the present crashing through the melancholy with a voice as clear-eyed about the now and as optimistic about the future as Mr. Hughes.”

Chickasaw composer and U.S. Cultural Ambassador Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s MoonStrike (2019) honors the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing through American Indian moon legends narrated by Chickasaw astronaut John Herrington, the first American Indian citizen to fly in space, with artwork by award-winning Chickasaw artist Dustin Illetewahke Mater. Tate explains, “American Indian legends are very colorful and have a tendency to take twists and turns within the narrative. Regarding the Moon, it is very consistent that the traditional tales involve trickster characters and competitions for ownership of this precious object.” MoonStrike features three diverse American Indian legends, and is bookended with an arrangement of a Calusa Corn Dance. 

Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s string quartet In the Shadow of the Mountain (2020) was inspired by her upbringing in the Great Smoky Mountains and incorporates the sounds and colors of the region. Higdon shares, “The resonance of that area led me to choose, for my first opera, Charles Frazier’s novel Cold Mountain. The struggles of survival in Appalachia, the majesty of its natural features, and the sonorities of the mountain’s music, color the quilt of that opera and of this string quartet.”

The New York premiere of Rome Prize-winning composer Pierre Jalbert's L'esprit du Nord (2019) "Spirit of the North" (2019) closes the album’s program. Celebrating his French-Canadian heritage, the new work is a three-movement piece fusing three folk songs with his unique, contemporary musical language: first, “Chanson de Lisette,” is a playful theme and variations, while the second movement, “Cantique (Canticle),” contains two religious folk tunes: a Passion and a tune entitled “Les Pèlerins.” The third and final movement, “Fiddle Dance,” was inspired by French-Canadian fiddling traditions.

Turkish-born composer Erberk Eryilmaz's Thracian Airs of Besime Sultan (2015) is an homage to his heritage and highlights the traditional music of Eastern Europe. Eryilmaz says, “This is my free improvisation on the folk music of the Thracian region. This six-movement, through-composed piece explores folkloric dances and styles from a large geographical area, including Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. It is dedicated to my late grandmother, Besime Civelek. She was the only member of my family who was from the Balkans, and in our last phone conversation, she expressed how much she loves my music. During the summer of 2014, she and I listened to my entire catalog of works. As the sultan of the family, we affectionately called her 'Besime Sultan'.” Thracian Airs of Besime Sultan exists in two versions: string quartet and chamber ensemble (clarinet, percussion and string quintet).

Program Details
Apollo Chamber Players
Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 8:00pm Eastern Time
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall | New York, NY
Tickets: 
Starting at $40
Link: www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2023/03/09/Apollo-Chamber-Players-0800PM 

Program:
John Cornelius – PAX (NY Premiere)
     Kenneth Gayle, tenor
     Outspoken Bean, poetry
Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate – MoonStrike (NY Premiere)
     John Herrington, narrator
– Intermission – 
Jennifer Higdon – In the Shadow of the Mountain (NY Premiere)
Pierre Jalbert – L'esprit du Nord (NY Premiere)
Erberk Eryilmaz – Thracian Airs of Besime Sultan (NY Premiere)

Performers:
Apollo Chamber Players
Matthew J. Detrick, Violin
Anabel Ramirez Detrick, Violin
Tonya Burton, Viola
Matthew Dudzik, Cello
Outspoken Bean, Poet
Kenneth Gayle, Tenor
John Herrington, Narrator

About Apollo Chamber Players
Celebrating its 15th season, Houston-based Apollo Chamber Players “performs with rhythmic flair and virtuosity” (The Strad) and “recasts music for a diverse and multi-ethnic generation” (Strings Magazine). The ensemble’s globally-inspired programming and multicultural new music commissions have garnered international acclaim, including sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall and in Havana, Cuba, a Chamber Music America Residency Partnership award, and regular features on American Public Media’s Performance Today. 

Released on the Grammy-winning Azica Records label, Apollo’s fifth studio album, With Malice Toward None, reached No. 1 on Amazon’s Hot New Release chart, and Strings Magazine praised the album’s message, which tackles “politics, identity, and what it means to be a citizen of a nation balanced between an idealized past and a just and multicultural future.” The ensemble’s catalog of records has been featured on hundreds of radio and media stations worldwide. 

A passionate advocate for contemporary music and underrepresented composers, Apollo successfully concluded a bold initiative to commission 20 new multicultural works by the end of the last decade. 20x2020 features a diverse roster of the world’s leading composers and instrumentalists including Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Pamela Z, Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, Hector del Curto, Vân Ánh Võ, and Tracy Silverman. The ensemble’s community partners include schools and universities, at-risk youth centers, refugee and veterans service organizations, and public libraries. 

Apollo was founded in 2008 by violinist and music entrepreneur Matthew J. Detrick. Learn more at www.apollochamberplayers.org

Photo Credit: Ben Doyle

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