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MONDAY, OCT 15 2012, 07:30 PM

Celebrating 10 Years of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York

The anniversary concert series continues with this performance by two acclaimed artists: German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt and French violinist Nicolas Dautricourt team up to perform the world premiere of a commissioned composition by Austrian composer Thomas Larcher, as well as pieces by Ravel and Kodály, as well as a more recent composition by Schnittke. This event is also part of the ongoing collaboration with Konzerthaus Wien, and also marks the first in a series of events to be co-presented with Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival.



Thomas Larcher: Duo for violin and violoncello (world premiere)
Alfred Schnittke: Stille Musik for violin and violoncello (1978)
Maurice Ravel: Sonata in C major for Violin and Cello (1922)
Zoltán Kodály: Duo op. 7 for violin and violoncello (1914)



Born in 1982 into a family of German and French descent, Nicolas Altstaedt (photo by Marco Borggreve) was one of Boris Pergamenschikow's last students in Berlin, where he has continued his studies with Eberhard Feltz.

After having won several international competitions and the “Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship” in 2009. Early 2010 Nicolas Altstaedt was awarded the “Credit Suisse Young Artist Award 2010” as part of which he performed Schumann’s cello concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel at the Lucerne Festival.

Nicolas Altstaedt has been suggested by Gidon Kremer to become his successor as the new artistic director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival from 2012. He is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a BBC New Generation Artist, that includes concerts with all BBC orchestras, as well as invitations to the UK’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls.

Highlights of past and upcoming seasons are concerts with the Tonhalle Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta and Kremerata Baltica, the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, the Munich, Zurich and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, the Czech Philharmonic, the Melbourne- and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, the Radio Symphony Orchestras Berlin, Stuttgart and Helsinki as well as Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, among others. He performs under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner, Neeme Järvi, Sir Roger Norrington, Mario Venzago, Dennis Russell Davies, Adam Fischer, Vladimir Fedossev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Zinman and Andrej Boreyko.

He feels a deep commitment to contemporary composers, and works together with György Kurtág, Jörg Widmann, Moritz Eggert, Sofia Gubaidulina, Thomas Adès, HK Gruber, Thomas Larcher and Fazil Say. His current chamber music partners are Alexander Lonquich, José Gallardo, Pekka Kuusisto, Barnabás Kelemen, Antoine Tamestit and the Quatuor Ebène. His two most recent recordings—of the Haydn concertos with the Potsdamer Kammerakademie and concertos by Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Gulda—were highly acclaimed worldwide. Nicolas Altstaedt plays a violoncello by Nicolas Lupot (Paris 1821) loaned to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

>> http://www.nicolasaltstaedt.com/


Nicolas Dautricourt is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant and engaging French violinists of his generation. In 2012, Dautricourt was invited to join the prestigious Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center in New York, and has at major venues around the world (Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Wigmore Hall in London, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Boston Gardner Museum, Teatro Nacional de Belém, Copenhagen Concert Hall, Ongakudo Hall Kanazawa, Nagoya Shirakawa Hall, Sendai city Hall… ), and in France (Salle Pleyel, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Cité de la Musique, Metz Arsenal, Musée d’Orsay, Opéra du Rhin, Grand Théâtre de Provence, etc.).

Nicolas Dautricourt, who is appreciated for his “sensitivity and passionate manner”, is particularly fond of chamber music, which he has performed with Yuri Bashmet, Léon Fleisher, Augustin Dumay, Gérard Caussé, Michel Dalberto, Gary Hoffman, Anne Gastinel, Giovanni Bellucci, Dana Ciocarlie, Bertrand Chamayou, Emmanuel Rossfelder, the Psophos and Parisii Quartets, and the Wanderer Trio.

Also very much interested in jazz, he works regularly with bassist Jean-Philippe Viret, pianists Antoine Hervé or Dominique Fillon, vibraphonist Pascal Schumacher, guitarist Nelson Veras, and the accordionist Richard Galliano as a member of the Tangaria Quartet the Piazzolla Forever project, in such festivals as Jazz à Vienne, Marciac, Sud-Tyroler Jazz Festival, San Javier, Copenhagen, Athens…

Nicolas Dautricourt has recorded Karol Szymanowski’s complete works for violon and piano (Saphir Records), Ernest Chausson’s Concerto for violin, piano and string quartet coupled with Felix Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for the Calliope label. Both recordings received unanimous critical acclaim.

He has been a finalist and prize-winner at numerous international violin competitions, such as the  Henryk Wieniawski Competition in Poznan, the Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade, the Rodolfo Lipizer in Gorizia and the Gian-Battista Viotti in Vercelli Competitions, Nicolas Dautricourt studied from 1993 violin and chamber music at the Paris Conservatoire with Jean-Jacques Kantorow and Jean Mouillère, respectively, and was unanimously awarded a premier prix in each of those disciplines, the latter with the Kinsky String Quartet.

He went on to follow the advanced course (violin), while studying composition with Isabelle Duha at the Conservatoire of Issy-les-Moulineaux, where he was awarded another premier prix. He has also studied with prestigious masters such as Philipp Hirschhorn, Tibor Varga, Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, Gérard Poulet and Hermann Krebbers, and has taken part in masterclasses given by the Borodin and Hagen Quartets.

>> http://www.nicolasdautricourt.com/


Austrian composer Thomas Larcher's compositions take an immediate hold on the listener. Notable for their quality of invention, confidence, momentum, and directness of expression, his works have been described as occupying a new middle ground in the contemporary music scene, somewhere between the complexity of the avant-garde and the newer wave of simplicity. Larcher describes elements in his compositions as the "adherence to specific (key) notes... in an energetic, straining-at-the-leash rhythmic movement that whips things up to obsessive speeds, and moments of exhausted, deceptive peace".

After studying piano and composition in Vienna, he embarked on a career combining composition, performing, teaching and festival management. Thomas Larcher was already well known as a pianist in the area of classical, primarily contemporary music, during his studies. In this capacity, he played with important orchestras and conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Dennis Russell Davies and Franz Welser-Möst. His love of new music led him to found and manage the Klangspuren Festival (1994-2003) and the Musik im Riesen Festival (since 2004).

As a pianist, Larcher considers the opportunity to delve into the world of another composer as the most intensive possibility. He finds that there is no better way to so precisely and assiduously immerse oneself in a work and in the cosmos of another composer, with all his limitations and strengths, than to play one of his pieces: "I think that is very interesting and have also already learned a lot from it as a composer."

In the last few years Thomas Larcher has begun to place more emphasis on his role as a composer. Pieces have thus been composed for the London Sinfonietta, the Artemis Quartet, Heinrich Schiff, Matthias Goerne and Till Fellner, as well as works commissioned for, among others, the Lucerne Festival, the South Bank Centre in London, and the Zaterdagsmatineen (Saturday matinees) in Amsterdam.

When the French Diotima Quartet performed at the ACFNY in January 2011, they played Larcher’s piece Madhares, of which the New York Times’ Allan Kozinn had the following to say: “The quartet closed its program with Thomas Larcher’s spacious, five-movement “Madhares” (2007), a work it recorded for an ECM compilation of Mr. Larcher’s music, released last year. It is an extraordinary piece: […] it is rich in effects, and its language can be abstruse, even terrifying.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/19/arts/music/19string.html)

A recording of that concert is available on our >> website.



The year 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Austrian Cultural Forum’s landmark midtown building, which was designed by the late Raimund Abraham, as what Herbert Muschamp of the New York Times called a "lucidly rational modern glass tower" that provides a “gateway into the tradition of modernity associated with Vienna at the turn of the last century.” A host of different events and series throughout the year commemorate these past ten years on many different levels.

Ten concerts featuring newly commissioned works and dedications by contemporary composers form the musical focal point of these special anniversary programs. While most of the featured composers are Austrian, the performers are renowned Austrian and American contemporary ensembles, such as Klangforum, Talea Ensemble, ICE Ensemble, and the JACK Quartet.

The ten concerts, which will take place throughout the year, reflect the gateway to modernity associated with Austria in the ten years following this most recent turn of the century.Composers such as Bernhard Lang, Kurt Schwertsik, Manuela Kerer, and Thomas Larcher are at the forefront of cutting-edge creativity, and as such the ideal representatives of what contemporary Austrian music has to offer.