Rite of Summer Presents: John Cage and Today - Sonatas and (New) Interludes
John Cage and Today: Sonatas and (New) Interludes
Performances at 1PM and 3PM, Nolan Park, FREE
Entering its 7th season on Governors Island, Rite of Summer is a classical contemporary music festival run by NYC pianists Pam Goldberg and Blair McMillan. Rite of Summer showcases the country’s finest artists with an emphasis on the cutting edge.
Artists: Blair McMillen, Pam Goldberg, Anthony De Mare and Phyllis Chen
Pianists Blair McMillen, Pam Goldberg, Anthony De Mare and Phyllis Chen perform John Cage’s masterpiece, “Sonatas & Interludes” with new “Interludes” written by composers Justin Hines, Daniel Felsenfeld, Angélica Negrón, and Eleonor Sandresky.
Praised by the Los Angeles Times as “a bold pianist with an excellent sense of color,” Phyllis Chen is a pianist, toy pianist and composer whose musical interests have led in numerous directions as a soloist and collaborative artist. As a composer, her music has been described as “spellbinding” (NY Times) and “mesmerizing” (Chicago Reader), focusing on the use of toy pianos and miniature objects. She has been commissioned by ensembles and organizations such as the ICElab Series, the Boston-based string ensemble A Far Cry, Baryshnikov Center, Opera Cabal Opera SHOP, the Roulette-Jerome Commission and the Singapore International Festival of the Arts. She has received grants from New Music USA, Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, NYSCA (via Concert Artists Guild and Look & Listen Festival) and Fromm Foundation. She is also one of the founding members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). With a passion for promoting the toy piano, Phyllis founded the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival and competition in 2007 to promote new works for unusual instrument. She has released five albums, three solo albums on such labels as Concert Artists Guild, cerumenspoon, New Focus Recordings and a fourth collaborative album with Cuddle Magic on fyo records. Her most recent recording, a joint album with ICE composer and percussionist Nathan Davis, The Nature of Thingness, won the 2016 Independent Music Award for Best Classical Contemporary Album.
Anthony De Mare
One of the world’s foremost champions of contemporary music. Praised time and again by The New York Times, his versatility has inspired the creation of over 60 new works by some of today’s most distinguished artists, especially in the speaking-singing pianist genre, which he pioneered over 25 years ago with the premiere of Frederic Rzewski’s groundbreaking De Profundis.
As creator, performer and co-producer of Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano he has brought together many of today’s most highly esteemed composers spanning the classical contemporary, jazz, film, theater and indie worlds to bring the work of Stephen Sondheim into the concert hall, adding another 27 composers to the list of those he has commissioned, and another 36 compositions to the contemporary piano repertoire.
He currently is Professor of Piano at Manhattan School of Music and New York University. He also serves as new music curator for the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in NYC.
Mr. de Mare is a Steinway Artist.; www.anthonydemare.com
Acknowledged by many to have created the blueprint for places like Poisson Rouge and The Stone, Pam Goldberg is an interesting combination of professional pianist and entrepreneur. Having concertized in New York in varied venues, Pam decided to create a different environment for both performer and audience – distinctly different from the concert halls. The first was Classical Café, under the auspices of the 92nd Street Y where the highest level musicians played in a subterranean café to young audiences, who were able to enjoy classical music in a relaxed informal, setting where they could even, alas(!) eat and have a drink. The results were so satisfying that Pam decided to expand to an even larger audience, and Governors Island became the perfect venue. Again, top flight musicians but this time playing not to an audience of 80-100 but to perhaps, several hundred.
Pam’s work as Founder & Artistic Director at Classical Café was praised in an article by The New York Times. Performing has been a major part of Pam’s musical career; she has given numerous solo and chamber music recitals in the NY Metropolitan area. In 1999, she released a solo album featuring Schumann’s Kreisleriana and Mozart’s Sonata in Bb Major, K.570 and in 2013 she completed a recording of Mozart piano and violin sonatas with violinist, Christine Sohn.
Learn more about Pam: www.pamgoldbergpianist.com
Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most versatile and sought-after pianists today. He leads a multifarious musical life as soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and pedagogue. The New York Times has described him as “riveting,” “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” and as one of the piano’s “brilliant stars.” Highlights from recent seasons include concertos with the American Symphony in Carnegie Hall, solo appearances with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Albany Symphony, and a 3-week solo tour of Brazil sponsored by the US State Department. Comfortable in an immense variety of musical styles, McMillen has delved into music well beyond the traditional classical canon. His concerts often include medieval keyboard manuscripts next to improvisation-based music, and Classical/Romantic-era solo piano repertoire with music of today’s younger composers. Blair is the co-director of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, an indie-classical concert series held on New York City’s Governors Island. He lives in New York City, and has served on the music faculty at Bard College and Conservatory since 2005. In 2017-18 he will join the Piano Faculty at the Mannes School of Music