Europa: new piano work by Jonathan Howard Katz
The Latest Update
New York premiere on Friday, December 4
Please join us at Spectrum (121 Ludlow St.) on Friday, December 4, at 7:00 pm for a recital by Winston Choi, featuring the New York premiere of Europa! Also on the program are Jonathan Howard Katz’s Novelette (commissioned by Concert Artists Guild in 2012 for pianist Daria Rabotkina) and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Dichotomie. Tickets are only $15 ($10 students), available at the door.
For more information, please see the Facebook event page.
VIDEO UPDATE #3
Hear from pianist Winston Choi—in words and music—about Europa, and see some clips from the premiere performance at Roosevelt University’s PianoFest on October 20.
Next performance: NY premiere of Europa at Spectrum on December 4, 7:00 pm!
Score is finished!
The score of Europa is done, and I sent a full draft this afternoon to Winston. There may be minor tweaks and adjustments as he works with it and as I go back and notice things, but the main creative compositional work is done. It’s a great feeling to be able to put the finishing touches on a piece and then pass it along to the performer!
And the piece is a beast! Can’t wait for the premiere on October 20 . . .
Video update #2
The score is almost done, and we have a premiere date! Europa will premiere on October 20, during Roosevelt University’s PIANOFEST. See the video for some insights from composer Jonathan Howard Katz.
Video update #1
Here’s just a few comments (and a few chords) from the composer in the early stages of writing Europa!
I have known Jonathan Howard Katz for about 15 years now, and have much admiration for his musicianship, his pianism, his intellectual pursuits, and his artistic vision. His compositions are distinct, full of vivacity, and truly engaging.
My personal philosophy is that a new work needs to be exposed in as many different venues as possible, within the context of varying programs. It is with this kind of exposure and performance experience, that a work truly comes to life, and becomes something meaningful. My intentions would be to take this project beyond just a premiere, and to be a champion of the piece as well as Jonathan’s music in general; his compositional voice is something that I am absolutely fascinated with, and it would be my pleasure to work with him on this project.
The planned premiere would be at Roosevelt University in the fall of 2015, with the possibility of a pre-concert talk immediately preceding the concert. Subsequent performances would include, but not be limited to: Live broadcast on WFMT Radio (Chicago), Hawaii’s Ebb and Flow Arts Series, the Music Gallery in Toronto, Bowling Green State University, the University of Michigan, and Northern Illinois University. My annual recital tours throughout Canada would also present an opportunity for audiences to hear Jonathan’s music. After a certain number of performances, I would like to record the work professionally.
For more information, please visit: www.winstonchoi.com
From the composer:
“Jupiter’s moon Europa is one of the prime candidates for the existence of extraterrestrial water. Thinking of vast oceans in a foreign world, pairing the familiarity of the substance with an unimaginably exotic context, I can’t help but picture water on the Earth and wonder how it might appear to a non-native observer. What to make of its infinite variety, from the near stillness of a pond in a hidden cave to the relentless, impartial violence of a storm; from the (seeming) immutability of a mountain of ice to the wisp of a cloud?
With this piece, my aim is to capture some of the awe of the unfamiliar, using an image that has become almost too familiar in music. I want to explore the myriad ways in which water moves and manifests, and how we in turn respond emotionally to something that simply exists as it is, a product of physics and of its surroundings. This will be a large-scale, virtuoso work of constantly evolving shapes and textures, discovering the widest possible range of sonority and motion while ultimately attempting to make the piano disappear into the image. I’m very fortunate to have in Winston Choi a supreme artist with an uncanny control of the instrument, ready and enthusiastic to take on this project.”
Gyorgy Ligeti’s Piano Concerto (last movement) is performed by Ensemble Dal Niente with Winston Choi, piano, and Michael Lewanski, conductor, at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, Illinois, 2011
Winston Choi’s recording of Lemma-Icon-Epigram, Ferneyhough’s epic piano masterpiece of the early 1980’s. Recorded on the Quadro Frame label (Italy).
Extended excerpts from the New York premiere of Jonathan Howard Katz’s tenor song cycle Talking of Michelangelo (2009), on texts by T.S. Eliot. With Chris Lysack, tenor, and the composer at the piano, recorded in Greenfield Hall at the Manhattan School of Music on April 3, 2010.
This piece won the 2010 Robert Helps Prize.
Suggested timing to start viewing: 1:57
Start and End Dates
10/22/2014 — 12/31/2015