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The Ecce Ensemble Announces its 2019-20 Season Including Composer Portraits of Toshio Hosokawa and Phillipe Leroux and the Release of Ecce’s Album An

October 17, 2019 | By AMT PR | April Thibeault, april@amtpublicrelations.com

“the ensemble has emerged with a connection-filled community…offering music of a fearlessly cross-disciplinary and exploratory nature.” – Boston Musical Intelligencer

New York City, NY (For Release October 17, 2019) — Hailed as “virtuosic (WBUR Radio) for its “creative, sympathetic players…and cornucopia of unusual, extended-technique sounds (The Boston Globe),” the Ecce ensemble today announced its 2019-20 season. Ecce’s 11th season includes performances of chamber masterworks by today’s most innovative composers including Toshio Hosokawa and Christophe Bertrand and multimedia artist Laine Rettmer. In addition, Ecce celebrates its debut recording of John Aylward’s monodrama Angelus Novus (New Focus, TBR April 2020). Ecce culminates the season with three residencies: AREA Gallery in Boston, MA (February 2020), Clark University (March 2020), and its 11th annual international Etchings Festival in France (July 2020). (The complete season schedule is below.)

The 2019-20 season kicks off November 1st at Lincoln Center’s Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church with chamber works by contemporary composers including the U.S. premiere of Le Chute du Rouge by Christophe Bertrand and the world premiere of Ananke by John Aylward as well as pieces by Erin Gee and Jonathan Harvey. In spring 2020, Ecce presents two composer portraits: the first at Harvard Musical Association celebrating Japan’s pre-eminent living composer Toshio Hosokawa, and the second in New York City paying tribute to French composer Phillipe Leroux which includes the U.S. premiere of his l’epais. “French composers like Phillipe Leroux, who came from the spectral school, have had a strong and resonant impact internationally, especially in America,” says Aylward. “A new generation of American composers is now responding to these French advancements. So, there is a lot to explore between the influences across these generations.”

The season’s capstone is the release of the ensemble’s recording Angelus Novus featuring the eponymous work by composer John Aylward, Ecce’s artistic director. Composed for small ensemble and soprano Nina Guo, Angelus Novus comprises 10 songs and functions as a monodrama. A tribute to Aylward’s former teacher, the late composer Lee Hyla, the piece was inspired by Hyla’s work “Lives of the Saints.” “I taught with Lee at our Etchings Festival in France,” Aylward says, referring to the summer compositional workshop that Ecce runs each year. “Later, I came across ‘Lives of the Saints.’ When I heard that, I knew it was something I wanted to do.” Hyla’s work creates psychological portraits of characters from religious texts. “I saw in that piece some kernel I wanted to explore, essentially creating pastiche texts, and choreographing them in a unified way,” Aylward says. Described by The Boston Globe as “a composer of wide intellectual curiosity,” Aylward summons “textures of efficient richness, delicate and deep all at once.” His latest opera Switch (2016) was hailed as “a tour-de-force presentation (The Boston Globe),” for its “extraordinary creativity and delicacy (The Harvard Crimson).”

About Ecce  
Founded in 2010, the Ecce ensemble is a group of today’s most accomplished performers who are committed to presenting captivating and visionary performances of contemporary music. Through concerts, symposia, and other community-centered events, Ecce shares new forms of engagement in modern music with a diverse international audience. Ecce has realized personal and refined interpretations of works by composers such as Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Hurel, Lee Hyla, Helmut Lachenmann, Fabien Levy, Hanspeter Kyburz, Louis Karchin, Philippe Leroux, and many others.

Every year, the ensemble deepens its relationships with prominent composers and brings their work to new audiences. Ecce’s annual residency is the international Etchings Festival in Auvillar, France. There, the ensemble shares diverse contemporary repertoire, as well as new works by emerging international composers, with European audiences.

In addition to the Etchings Festival, Ecce continues to expand its residency and workshop programming, holding events across New York, New England, nationally and internationally. Recent residencies have taken place at The Boston Athenaeum, AREA Gallery in Boston, MA, The La Pietra Forum in Florence, Italy and The University of Campinas at Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ecce served as the 2015-17 Ensemble-in-Residence at Le Laboratoire in Cambridge, MA, and is currently in residence at AREA Gallery (Boston, MA) and Clark University (Worcester, MA). These opportunities continue to connect Ecce with the most diverse cross-sections of society, sharing with them the profound aesthetic experience of contemporary music, and the joy of its creation. EcceArts.com.       

ECCE 2019-20 SEASON                                                                                                              

U.S. Premieres

Friday, November 1, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, 152 West 66th Street, New York City

Tickets Info: $20 ($10 for students). Tickets are sold online at eccearts.com and at the event.

Ecce kicks off its 2019-20 season at Lincoln Center’s Good Shepherd Church with a concert featuring two U.S. premieres. The program includes the rarely performed Christophe Bertrand (1981-2010) and Ecce's close-working collaborator Erin Gee (b. 1974), who was the ensemble's 2018 Etchings Festival faculty composer. Christophe Bertrand was first discovered by Ecce during a concert collaboration with French ensemble Court-Circuit. Bertrand, a native of Strasbourg, made a tremendous mark on contemporary French music before his tragic death at the age of 29 in 2010. Ecce's performance of Le Chute du Rouge (2000) is an American premiere.   Erin Gee's Mouthpiece 28 (2016) is part of a 30 work series of experimental writing for the voice. Gee has also been guest composer with Ecce on their 2016 residency at Tulane University and, as faculty member at Brandeis University, has been a long-standing proponent for the group. This is Ecce's third performance of her music. To complement Erin Gee’s fascinating vocal explorations, Ecce has programmed as a contrasting work, Jonathan Harvey’s (1939-2012) Chu (2002). Named after the Tibetan word for Bird, the piece sets Soname Yangchen's poetry to voice, clarinet and cello. Harvey’s mythic and fantastical setting evokes what he calls both the ‘destructive aspects of the universe’ and an ‘aspiration toward freedom’. Finally, the ensemble performs the world premiere of John Aylward’s (b.1980) Ananke. The work blends the mythological impulses of Harvey with the contemporary French harmonic palette reminiscent of Bertrand. Ananke is a work of fractured continuities evoking the impulses and desires of the Three Fates: Clotho, the spinner, Lachesis, the giver, and Atropos, the inflexible. In timeless conversation, the music embodies these characters as tensions rise, perhaps as a destiny unfolds.


AREA Gallery Experimental Opera Residency

Residency: Sunday, February 1-Thursday, February 6, 2020

Concert: February 6, 2020. 8:00 p.m.
AREA Gallery. 540 Harrison Avenue. Boston, MA
Tickets Info: $20 ($10 for students) purchase tickets at eccearts.com.

Artist and Director Laine Rettmer and composer John Aylward engage AREA Gallery for a week of intensive on-site work leading up to the premiere of their second of three multi-media works to be staged at the gallery. Open rehearsals with Ecce and access to the work-in-progress will be part of the community engagement activities surrounding the premiere.


The Toshio Hosokawa Portrait Concert

Monday, February 10, 2020, 6:00 p.m. (Post-concert reception at 7:00 p.m.)

Harvard Musical Association, 57 Chestnut Street #A, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tickets Info: $20 ($10 for students)

The Harvard Musical Society presents Ecce's portrait concert of Toshio Hosokawa (b.1955), also featuring works by Ysang Yun (1917-1995) and Noriko Miura (b.1968). Toshio Hosokawa has had a special place with Ecce members ever since he was a guest composer at the ensemble's summer festival in 2016. This concert event will give audiences an opportunity to make connections between Hosokawa's works and the music of perhaps two of his most important influences, one of his first teachers and his wife. The works of Hosokawa on the program span 16 years of music making, from 1992 (Vertical Time Study I) to 2008 (Stunden-Blumen). The pieces reveal strong ties to a developing musical language as well as audible departures and experiments key to any composer's developing style. Mapping Hosokawa's progression through these works is a lesson for any artist hoping for an original voice to emerge.


Clark University Residency

Saturday-Sunday, March 22-23, 2020

Clark University, Worcester, MA

As Clark University's resident ensemble, Ecce and special guest artist Philippe Leroux, work closely with student composers and performers. The residency includes on-campus performances, masterclasses and workshops.


The Phillipe Leroux Portrait Concert

Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 8:00 p.m. (Pre-concert talk with Phillipe Leroux at 7:00 p.m.).

Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, 152 West 66th Street, New York City

Tickets Info: $20 ($10 for students). Tickets are sold at the door.

 Ecce presents the American premiere of Leroux’s L’epais. Program also includes music by Swiss composer Dominique Schafer (1967-2019), who recently passed away. Schafer was a founding member of Ecce's summer music festival in France. His music is featured as part of a tribute by the ensemble.


CD Release: Angelus Novus

TBR: April 2020 (Exact date TBA)

Label: New Focus

Ecce’s debut recording features a 45-minute monodrama by John Aylward. Recorded at The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2019, Asylum features some of today’s top artists including vocalist Nine Guo and conductor Jean Philippe-Wurtz.


CD Release Concert: Asylum

May 2020 (exact date TBA)

May 2020 (location TBA)

In celebration of its upcoming album release, Ecce presents an evening-length presentation of John Aylward's monodrama Angelus Novus accompanied by new performances of violin and electronics by Jennifer Choi and a video installation by Ecce's Director and Film Artist Laine Rettmer. 


11th Annual Etchings Festival

June-July 2020

Auvillar, France

Founded by Ecce’s John Aylward, Ecce guides emerging composers in a multi-week retreat in France. Ecce provides a creative environment for artists to develop their work culminating in a presentation of student works.


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