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TUESDAY, MAY 24 2011, 08:00 PM


The Austrian Cultural Forum presents a performance by the virtuosic Talea Ensemble in an evening dedicated to the music of Olga Neuwirth, one of the most celebrated young Austrian composers of our time. Her music has an unique place in the contemporary canon and the evening will provide an exciting opportunity to hear a retrosprective of her work. Olga Neuwirth will be present for a talk in which she will be discussing her own unique musical development.


Olga Neuwirth: AKROATE HADAL (1995)

Olga Neuwirth: ..ad auras... in memoriam H. (1999)
Olga Neuwirth: incidendo/ fluido (2000) NY Premiere
Olga Neuwirth: In Nacht und Eis (2006) US Premiere
Olga Neuwirth: torsion: transparent variation (2001)

The worlds of sound in Olga Neuwirth's compositions are like twisting labyrinths. Looking for points of orientation, one is left groping: the pitches and instrumental timbres are either completely absorbed or wiped away by the music. Her works have come to reflect her diverse interests. The sharp cuts, superimpositions, rapid sequences of contrasts, and montages of heterogeneous materials serve as her homage to cinema, while the constant interplay of instrumental sounds and the artificially generated sounds of live-electronic music demonstrate the possibilities of new technology, creating a clear state of tension within her music. Ultimately, Neuwirth's works seek to be understood as a permanent resistance to the absurdities of daily life; their diversity of sounds conveys a field of associations which can intensify the listener's own need to fully observe and contemplate the possibilities of his own daily environment.

Olga Neuwirth is the recipient of the 2010 Grand Austrian State Prize, the highest award granted annually by the Republic of Austria to an artist for outstanding achievements. Robert Hilferty of the New York Times writes that Neuwirth "...knows how to bend and twist sound like no other."

The Talea Ensemble has given many important world and US premieres of new works by composers including Pierre Boulez, Tristan Murail, Jason Eckardt, Pierluigi Billone, Hans Abrahamsen, Stefano Gervasoni, Marco Stroppa, and Fausto Romitelli. The Talea Ensemble was recently the guest ensemble for the 18-day Spectrum XXI Festival tour in Paris and London and has twice been invited as guest ensemble to the Nevada Encounters of New Music (NEON) as well as La Ciudad de las Ideas (Mexico), Art Summit Indonesia (Jakarta), and the International Contemporary Music Festival of Lima, Peru. As an active collaborator of new music, the Talea Ensemble has joined forces with Ensemble Cairn (Paris), Hyperion Ensemble (Romania), and the iO Quartet (New York).  Steve Smith of the New York Times writes (regarding their recent performance at the Scandinavia House) that “championing works like these, and playing them with a compelling lucidity, are precisely what Talea Ensemble does best.”

For more information, please visit www.taleaensemble.org.

This concert is made possible with generous help from New York's Czech Center.

Samples of work and performances by Olga Neuwirth and Talea ensemble, respectively:

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Bohemian National Hall / Czech Center
321 East 73rd Street
New York, NY 10021