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Spectrum Presents Soprano Ah Young Hong, April 7, 2019

March 18, 2019 | By Allison Abbott
Publicity Associate, Hemsing Associates

Program Includes a NY Premiere by Michael Hersch & Georg Friedrich Haas’s

“…wie stille brannte das Licht” for Soprano & Piano

The soprano Ah Young Hong, praised for her “fearlessness and consummate artistry” by Opera News and called “the opera’s blazing lone star” by The New York Times, will appear in recital with pianist Jacob Rhodebeck Sunday, April 7, 2019, 7 pm, presented by Spectrum, Brooklyn’s concert venue for new music, located at 70 Flushing Avenue, Garage A, (entrance between Cumberland and Carlton,) Brooklyn, NY  11205. Composers Michael Hersch and Georg Friedrich Haas will be in attendance. The full program follows:

Michael Hersch                      rake forth the embers for soprano & piano - New York Premiere
Milton Babbitt                       Philomel for soprano & electronics
Georg Friedrich Haas           wie stille brannte das Licht for soprano & piano


Tickets at $15 and $10 for students & seniors are available at the door.  There are no advance ticket sales. For further information please visit:


Soprano Ah Young Hong has interpreted a vast array of repertoire, ranging from the music of Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, Poulenc, and Sondheim, to works of Shostakovich, Babbitt, Feldman, Kurtág, and Haas.  Best known for her work in Michael Hersch’s monodrama On the Threshold of Winter, Ms. Hong has developed an astonishing following among fellow musicians, critics, and new music connoisseurs. The Chicago Tribune called her performance of a recent production of On the Threshold of Winter, which she directed, “absolutely riveting,” and the Chicago Classical Review noted her “fearless presence, wielding her unamplified, bell-like voice like a weaponized instrument.  Hong delivered a tour de force vocal performance in this almost unfathomably difficult music.”

Other operatic performances by Ms. Hong include the title role in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, Morgana in Handel's Alcina, Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto, Fortuna and Minerva in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, and Asteria in Handel's Tamerlano. She has also appeared with Opera Lafayette in Rebel and Francoeur's Zélindor, roi des Sylphes at the Rose Theater in Lincoln Center and as La Musique in Charpentier's Les Arts Florissants at the Kennedy Center.

In high demand as a concert and chamber soloist, Ms. Hong has performed with Konzerthaus Berlin’s ensemble-in-residence, Ensemble unitedberlin, the acclaimed Netherland-based contemporary music group Ensemble Klang, The Daedalus Quartet, Phoenix Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Wiener KammerOrchester, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and Tempesta di Mare, amongst others. Last season, she performed both with Ensemble Dal Niente in Chicago and on the NOVA Chamber Music series in Salt Lake City as soprano and director in a new production of Michael Hersch's On the Threshold of Winter, and she gave her Ojai Festival debut with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in György Kurtág’s complete Kafka Fragments. Ms. Hong also appeared as soloist during the 2018 Aldeburgh Music Festival and on the CalPerformances series in Berkeley. Alex Ross from The New Yorker has praised her as “commanding” and “transfixing.”

Ms. Hong recorded the American premiere of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn, BWV 1127, for National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Other recordings include the world premiere of Rebel and Francoeur’s Zélindor, roi des Sylphes (Naxos), Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (Peter Lee Music), and Sentirete una Canzonetta with Harmonious Blacksmith. Ms. Hong is also a featured soloist in Ensemble Klang’s recording of Michael Hersch’s Black Untitled. Early 2018 saw the commercial release of her debut solo CD through Innova Recordings. The album features Milton Babbitt’s Philomel and Michael Hersch’s a breath upwards.

Ms. Hong currently serves as faculty on the voice department at the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University

Jacob Rhodebeck is a pianist known for his masterly command of the instrument and his enthusiasm for performing new and little known music.  Recently, Mr. Rhodebeck gave a rendition of Michael Hersch’s three-hour solo piano work, The Vanishing Pavilions which was called “a searing performance” by The New York Times and described as "astounding" by David Patrick Stearns of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mr. Rhodebeck first studied piano with Christopher Durrenberger at Wittenberg University before receiving his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Elizabeth Pridonoff. He also holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Stony Brook University, where he studied with Gilbert Kalish.

Active in the world of new music, Mr. Rhodebeck recently garnered a New York Times review with the Lost Dog New Music Ensemble in performances of music by John Luther Adams and Per Nørgård. He has also collaborated with and premiered works by Mason Bates, Christopher Bailey, Lukas Ligeti, among many others. He has performed as a soloist with the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Symphony Band and as a member of the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players. In addition, he has performed in many masterclasses with artists such as Garrick Ohlsson, Ursula Oppens, Frederic Rzewski, and Emanuel Ax. He was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Summer Music Festival for two seasons, a member of the contemporary piano/percussion ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and has worked with many other contemporary music ensembles including Wet Ink, Composers Concordance, and counter)induction.   

Mr. Rhodebeck has given performances, lectures, and masterclasses at many universities, such as Hamilton College, Vanderbilt University, and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University.  He can be heard on numerous CDs including Lost Dog New Music Ensemble's “Chamber Music of Philippe Bodin”, Yarn/Wire's debut recording Tonebuilders, Stony Brook Soundings Vol. 1 with the Escher String Quartet, and Christopher Bailey's album of piano works, "Glimmering Webs." Soon to be released are recordings of Michael Hersch's The Vanishing Pavilions and Michael Finnissy's Folklore. A professor at Sarah Lawrence College, he is the pianist for the Lost Dog New Music Ensemble and the choral accompanist at the Riverdale Country School.

For further information, please contact Hemsing Associates at 212-772-1132 or visit

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