March 25, 2002 – For Immediate Release :
Bob Becker, Bill Cahn, Robin Engelman, Russell Hartenberger, John Wyre
Announces the Commissioning of a New Work for Percussion Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra by
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
Premiere Tentatively Set for Spring of 2004 with the IRIS Orchestra
under the direction of its Principal Conductor, Michael Stern
NEXUS, the internationally acclaimed percussion group based in Toronto, is pleased to announce the commissioning of a new work for percussion and chamber orchestra by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. “We are absolutely delighted with this musical collaboration,” exclaims NEXUS member Bill Cahn. “We expect that this will be an important event for the music world – especially to anyone having an interest in contemporary music featuring percussion.”
Commissioned by the IRIS Orchestra, NEXUS, Kathleen Holt & Stephen Lurie, the Pearl Corporation and Adams Musical Instruments, the new work will receive it’s premiere performance at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre in Tennessee, the home of the IRIS Orchestra, in the Fall of 2004.
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
Widely considered to be one of America’s leading composers, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich was born in Miami, Florida in 1939. She studied at the Florida State University and The Juilliard School where her major teachers were Roger Sessions and Elliott Carter. Zwilich is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including the 1983 Pulitzer Prize in Music (the first woman ever to receive this coveted award), the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Chamber Music Prize, the Arturo Toscanini Music Critics Award, the Ernst von Dohnanyi Citation, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and 4 Grammy nominations.
NEXUS & Michael Stern
The artistic association between NEXUS and Michael Stern can be traced back to performances together with the symphony orchestras of Buffalo and Rochester (NY) in the 1970s and 80s. In September 1998 they collaborated in performances of Toru Takemitsu’s “From me flows what you call Time” in Germany and France with the SaarbrÃ¼cken Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The IRIS Orchestra
The IRIS Orchestra presented its inaugural concert under Michael Stern on September 19, 2000, and right from the start, it dedicated itself to supporting music by American composers, with visionary plans to commission at least one new American work each year.