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Talea Ensemble

New York, NY            

“Championing works like these, and playing them with a compelling lucidity, are precisely what Talea Ensemble does best.” ~ Steve Smith, The New York Times

Talea Ensemble curates innovative programs to disseminate the groundbreaking music of composers who deserve a platform for their artistic individuality. Talea commissions progressive works to perform alongside more recognized contemporary repertoire, a programming tactic that aids dialogue about the composer’s intent, which both supports and challenges our audience of curious listeners. Ultimately, Talea concerts encourage its audience to explore and uncover the deep artistic relevance that hides within new music. Since 2008, the ensemble “has made itself a crucial part of the New York cultural ecosphere” (The New York Times) by performing more than 50 world and 70 U.S. premieres of both emerging and established composers. Some of these noteworthy artists include Olga Neuwirth, John Zorn, Unsuk Chin, Rand Steiger, Beat Furrer, and Fausto Romitelli. As an American new music group, Talea is pleased to present the meaningful work of fellow American composers to audiences in the United States and abroad. To expand the reach of these creators is not only vital for their success, but it is the single most important responsibility of Talea as new music entrepreneurs in the 21st century.

Recipient of the 2014 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, Talea has performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Wien Modern, Contempuls, Newport Jazz Festival, Warsaw Autumn, Art Summit Indonesia (Jakarta), and Monday Evening Concerts.  Radio broadcasts of performances have been heard on ORF (Austria), HRF (Germany), and WQXR’s Q2 Music. Assuming an ongoing role in support of student composers, Talea has served as ensemble-in-residence at Harvard University, Columbia University, Stanford University, Ithaca College, Cornell University, and New York University. Talea has recorded works on the Living Artists Label, Gravina Musica, Tzadik, Innova, Wergo, and New World Records.

Pierluigi Billone: Mani.Long (2001) *U.S. Premiere

On March 7, 2014 at Bohemian National Hall, New York, Talea Ensemble was presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum for Carnegie Hall’s Vienna: City of Dreams Festival and named among ‘Ten Notable Performances and Recordings of 2014’ by Alex Ross, The New Yorker, “Amid a blandly conservative Vienna Festival at Carnegie Hall, the Talea Ensemble’s rendition of Pierluigi Billone’s 2001 ensemble piece “Mani.Long,” under the auspices of the Austrian Cultural Forum, honored Vienna’s high-modernist tradition with a magmatic flow of instrumental sound.”

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Georges Aperghis: Happy End (2007) *U.S. Premiere

On April 23, 2014, Talea Ensemble performed the U.S. premiere of “Happy End” for animated film, live electronics, and ensemble at Roulette, Brooklyn. The piece is a staged adaptation of “Le Petit Poucet” that was conceived by French composer Georges Aperghis and Belgian video-artist Hans Op de Beeck (with voices of Edith Scob and Michael Lonsdale). Support from the French-American Fund for Contemporary Music enabled Talea to perform the work at Roulette, the I/O Festival at Williams College, and the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston.

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Steven Kazuo Takasugi: Sideshow *New York premiere

On December 5, 2015, Talea Ensemble performed the New York premiere of Takasugi’s “Sideshow” at the DiMenna Center in Cary Hall. The Talea commission, supported in part by Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, allowed the ensemble to work closely with Takasugi to design a music-theatre piece that thoughtfully highlights each performer. Championing this lesser known American composer is important, as it expanded Talea’s repertoire and transcends each performer to evolve as theatrical musicians, a function never before attempted by the group.

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