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Commission of a new work for marimba and string quartet by composer Andy Akiho for Ian Rosenbaum

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World premiere!

Posted on July 1, 2016 by Ian David Rosenbaum

The world premiere of LIgNEouS 4 is today at Chamber Music Northwest with the Orion String Quartet! They sound incredible, and it’s been an amazing week putting the whole LIgNEouS suite together with them. Pictures coming soon…


The composition of LIgNEouS 4, the finale of a four-part suite, will build on a history of recent collaborations between myself and composer Andy Akiho. LIgNEouS 4 represents a dramatic conclusion to LIgNEouS 1-3, works written between 2010-14, originally inspired by the architectural sketches of composer and architect Iannis Xenakis. Written for marimba and string quartet, LIgNEouS 1 was commissioned by John and Astrid Baumgardner for the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in 2010. The suite is one of the most significant additions to the repertoire for marimba and string quartet, has quickly become one of Andy’s iconic works, and is one of my most frequently played pieces.

One hallmark of the LIgNEouS suite is the extended marimba techniques Andy employs – mallet shafts instead of traditional mallets, resonator glissandi, rubber band pizzicati and more. He will continue to find new ways to play the marimba in LIgNEouS 4, creating a rhythmically intense and unique sound world.

Support from New Music USA will go towards the commission fee for LIgNEouS 4, which is being co-commissioned by Chamber Music Northwest. I will present the world premiere of this work at CMNW with the Orion String Quartet during the summer of 2016. The entire LIgNEouS suite will be recorded on CD with the Dover Quartet, and released by Innova Records in the fall of 2016. I will also perform the piece with the Amphion Quartet throughout the season at the Phillips Collection in D.C. and St. Bartholomew’s in Manhattan.

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This is a recording of “LIgNEouS 1” (2010) featuring Ian Rosenbaum on marimba, Domenic Salerni & Liesl Schoenberger on violin, Edwin Kaplan on viola, and Mariel Roberts on cello. Please start the video around 1:00. “LIgNEouS 1” was commissioned by John and Astrid Baumgardner for the 2010 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.

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“Karakurenai,” Japanese for “foreign crimson,” was originally written for solo steel pan in 2007 as part of the Synesthesia Suite; however, this piece can be performed on any combination of instruments and may include elements of improvisation. This duet version features Andy Akiho on steel pan, and Ian Rosenbaum on marimba. The steel pan is prepared with cylindrical magnets placed on four pitches. The repeated ostinato pattern is played with the cardboard tube of a dry cleaner coat hanger, while the melody is played with a chopstick.

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This chamber work was the very first piece that Andy and Ian performed together in 2010 at the Yale School of Music. “NO one To kNOW one” was commissioned by the Newman Center for the Performing Arts For the 2009 Mile High Voltage Festival.

Start and End Dates



Brooklyn, New York

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Last update on July 1, 2016

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Brooklyn, New York
Praised for his “excellent” and “precisely attuned” performances by the New York Times, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum has developed a musical breadth far beyond his years. He made his Kennedy Center debut in 2009 and later that year garnered a special prize created for him at the Salzburg International Marimba Competition. Mr. Rosenbaum joined the Chamber…

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