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BEAT FURRER | FAMA
THURSDAY MAY 16, 08:00 PM
+ + + PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS CONCERT WILL TAKE PLACE AT NEW YORK'S CZECH CENTER AT THE BOHEMIAN NATIONAL HALL + + +
The Austrian Cultural Forum and New York’s Czech Center are pleased to present New York-based Talea Ensemble with the US-premiere of Swiss/Austrian composer Beat Furrer’s monodrama FAMA.
FAMA is an “aural theater in eight scenes”, scored for 22 instrumentalists, 8 singers, and one actress. The concept of the work borrows from a description of Roman poet Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” of the home of the goddess Fama (the Goddess of Rumor), “a place to which all the events and sounds of the world come and find resonance.” This space has an “overwhelming sensuality” where, “There is no shouting, but a murmur, like the sea, that sounds from a distance, or the last echoing rumble of thunder.” With this metaphor, Furrer adds another layer of narrative taken from Arthur Schnitzler’s short novel, “Fraulein Else,” about a young girl forced into prostitution in order to support her debt-ridden father.
Furrer conceived of a “space within a space”, a box designed as an instrument of and in itself, where the audience lies inside and the musicians and singers outside. Since its last presentation in 2006 the box theater no longer exists. However, Beat Furrer and Talea Ensemble are collaborating to present FAMA in an un-staged concert version. They will be joined by New York-based vocal ensemble, Ekmeles, and actress/singer, Bo Chang.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Bo Chang, actress
Tara O’Connor, contrabass flute
Ekmeles vocal ensemble
James Baker, conductor
The New York-based Talea Ensemble is renowned for its advocacy for new and contemporary music, with an aim to increase awareness and understanding of contemporary music through outreach by participating in residencies, performances, and projects for broad audiences. Talea Ensemble’s recent concert with the ACFNY dedicated to the oeuvre of Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth was named one of the year’s best by Artforum magazine. In May of 2013, composer Beat Furrer will be in residence with the Talea Ensemble in NYC. His residency will include open rehearsals, lectures, in-concert discussions, and performances of his chamber works.
>> For more information, please visit: taleaensemble.org
This Talea project is funded by ProHelvetia, the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, and the Harry and Alice Eiler Foundation.
Beat Furrer was born in Switzerland in 1954. He moved to Vienna 1975 to pursue studies with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati (composition) and Otman Suitner (conducting). In 1985 he co-founded Klangforum Wien, Austria’s foremost chamber orchestra dedicated to the perfromance of contemporary classical music. In 2003 he was awarded the Music Prize of the City of Vienna and the Golden Lion, for FAMA, at the 2006 Venice Biennale. Furrer has served as a professor of composition at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria since 1991. Furrer’s work can be seen as an exploration on modalities of expression, always curious about context and meaning and how they transform musical material. This has led to a rich sound world of extended instrumental and vocal techniques. His body of work is impressively vibrant and multi-layered, with a stunning luminosity.
Czech Center New York at the Bohemian National Hall
(between 1st and 2nd Avenue)
321 E 73rd Street
New York, NY 10021