Evelyn Huber & Sirius Quartet: Para un Mejor Mundo
out NOW on GLM Music
It all adds up to a magical, dazzling kaleidoscope of musical possibilities, just as the extraordinary, unconditional encounter of a string quartet with a harp provides. Sometimes delicately elaborate tone braids, sometimes spontaneous dialogues between the instruments, sometimes elegiac impressions, sometimes dynamic rhythm attacks. A sound universe that has not yet been heard like that. And the new, indeed, often has what it takes to make the world a little better – “para un mejor mundo”.
Last fall, we had the pleasure of starting a new project with the fantastic Munich-based harpist Evelyn Huber. After a really nice run of concerts in Germany, it became clear that the project needed to continue and so we immediately started making plans for an album together. In May, we spent a week together at one of our favorite spots, Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, Germany and Para un Mejor Mundo is the result. The album is a mixture of music composed by Evelyn and members of the quartet, as well as some music composed specifically for the 5 of us by some very accomplished friends. The album has been released through the German label GLM Music, and can be ordered HERE. Evelyn plays, improvises, and writes beautifully, and we love the pairing of harp with string quartet. We will be supporting the album's release with a German tour in November, including concerts in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, and Bonn among others.
New World, our latest album, has dropped! The album is available via Zoho Music as well as all digital download and streaming platforms. Read more about the album below:
SIRIUS QUARTET: NEW WORLD
Both a charged reaction to recent political events and a celebration of the perserverance of hope and spirit, New World features 9 new compositions and arrangements from members of the quartet.
On August 23, Sirius Quartet releases New World on ZOHO Records. Called an ensemble that “works comfortably at the intersection of post-minimalist classical composition and post-bop jazz” by the Detroit Free Press, the quartet’s visceral compositions and arrangements provide ample space for improvisation. The politically-charged and topical album explores themes of immigration, discrimination, and being an agent of change.
The title track “New World, Nov. 9, 2016” was the Grand Prize winner for the New York Philharmonic’s “New World Initiative” composition competition in 2017. Composer/violinist Gregor Huebner balances idyllic and hopeful themes of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“New World” Symphony) with the fiercer passages found in the Shostakovich String Quartet No.8 that allude to tensions between the composer and the Soviet Union. “With two immigrant violinists, we in the quartet feel that it’s important to create music that speaks to the moment in which we live and gives hope,” says composer Huebner.
Huebner’s “#STILL” is based on the devastating song “Strange Fruit,” first recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939. Eighty years later and institutionalized racism remains endemic. Composer/violinist Fung Chern Hwei describes the opening work, “Beside the Point” as his “declaration of struggle against discrimination.” Cellist/composer Jeremy Harman’s “Currents” maintains an often vague sense of menace throughout, prodding the listener out of any complacency. The Beatles’ iconic “Eleanor Rigby” and Radiohead’s “Knives Out,” both arranged by Huebner, showcase the group’s fierce improvisational acumen. Recorded in Germany over two years, New World is the quartet’s first full-length since 2016’s Paths Become Lines. The album is both an impassioned lament for the state of a nation and beyond, and a beautiful and hopeful call to action.
Last fall marked our 2nd annual Progressive Chamber Music Festival, which featured stellar performances by Theo Bleckman and Ben Monder, Mark Feldman and Mario Forte, Anthony Coleman and some of our other favorite NYC based musicians. Alas, the time has come for round 3!
This year, in addition to brining the PCMF back to NYC, this time at Spectrum (which you can find more info about HERE.), We are thrilled to launch our inaugural Progressive Chamber Music Festival Munich!
Going down on October 17th and 18th at Milla Club, one of our favorite venues in the city, Munich’s vibrant creative music scene will be on full display. Don’t miss it!
Milla Club, Sirius Quartet and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Present: 2018 Progressive Chamber Music Festival Munich
Diskotäschchen Mattias Götz
Paranormal String Quartet
Sirius Quartet Ft. Marlis Peterson
Munich Composer Collective
October 17th + 18th, 2018
Holzstraße 28, 80469 München, Germany
Last fall marked our 2nd annual Progressive Chamber Music Festival, which featured stellar performances by Theo Bleckman and Ben Monder, Mark Feldman and Mario Forte, Anthony Coleman and some of our other favorite NYC based musicians. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the festival! Alas, the time has come for round 3!
This year, we are bringing the festival to Spectrum in Brooklyn, and we couldn't be more excited about the line-up. Besides some of our favorite NYC-based artists, headlining night 2 of the festival will be Germany's Neue Vocalsolisten! Additionally, This year we are also launching our inaugural Progressive Chamber Music Festival: Munich! We hope you can join us for some world-class genre smashing music making! Pre-order one or two-day passes HERE for a discounted price and be entered into a drawing to win our PCMF 2018 Care Package: A collection of albums by each of the artists involved in the festival!
Sirius Quartet Presents: The 2018 Progressive Chamber Music Festival: NYC
NYC has long been an incubator for cross-genre pollination and experimentation in all corners of the music community, not least of all in the classical and jazz scenes. From the minimalism of Reich and Glass in the 60s and 70s to the experimental genius of Zorn and the Knitting Factory scene of of the 80s and 90s, there has been an unparalleled openness to break down walls and assumptions of what so-called "art" music can be and how it should be presented.
As these lines continue to blur and fade into one another, there continues a steady stream of artists and ensembles continuing to carry the torch and push the boundaries. The 3nd annual Progressive Chamber Music Festival, curated by the Sirius Quartet, will feature two evenings of such ensembles, each with unique identities and a shared desire to define chamber music on their own terms. The festival, spread across two days in November at Brooklyn'sSpectrumwill put NYC's vibrant and eclectic music scene on full display. These are chamber music ensembles of the 21st century, not defined by genre, nor limited by the distinction between concert and popular music, and blurring the lines between performer, composer, and improviser. This is progressive chamber music.
Sirius Quartet Presents: 2018 Progressive Chamber Music Festival
David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg: Breath and Hammer
Rob Mosher's Brooklynburg
November 10th + 11th, 2018
70 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
46 Barrow St, New York, NY 10014
We are afraid so. Check out Gregor's arrangement of Ann Peebles' I Can't Stand The Rain. We've gotta thank the usual suspects, Phillipe Ohl and Johannes Wohlleben for the killer video and audio work, respectively. Watch it HERE.
Yet another video from our session at Bauer Studio in Ludwigsburg, Germany, This is a new piece of Chern Hwei's, Beside the Point (...and you thought is was over). Big thanks to Phillipe Ohl and Johannes Wohlleben for the video and audio work. Check it out HERE.
We recently got to spend some quality time in Bauer Studio in Ludwigsburg, Germany, recording some new material that will be on the next Sirius record. Percussionist and videographer Phillipe Ohl did a killer job of capturing this rendition of Gregor's latest piece, New World: November 9th, 2016. Check it out HERE.
Thanks to Frank Oteri and his blog New Music Box for featuring Sirius Quartet in a recent article in which we discuss the idea of "progressive chamber music" and how we define ourselves both as a quartet and as creative musicians in the 21st century.
We are happy to announce that we will be showcasing at this year's Chamber Music America Conference in NYC!! We are psyched to be returning to the conference along with many other first rate chamber ensembles from all over the US! We will be performing on Saturday, Jan 6th at 1:30pm. If you will be attending the conference, we hope to see you there!
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our violinist Gregor Huebner has won the Grand Prize in the New York Philharmonic’s New World Initiative Composition Challenge! The contest was open to all NYC-based composers with the challenge being to create an original composition based on one or more themes from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, to celebrate both the 175th anniversary of the NY Phil as well as their 1893 premiere of the work.
Some words from Gregor:
“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the Grand Prize for New York Philharmonic’s New World Initiative Composition Challenge for my composition “New World, Nov 9. 2016.” The contest winners will be recognized at the Concerts in the Parks on June 14, 2017.
I entered the composition contest to create “a work that contained or referenced themes from Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World.”
I began composing the piece the day after the presidential election in November 2016 and the influence of that historic moment is definitely reflected in the composition. It’s quite a different musical view of the New World for an immigrant in Dvorak’s time and an immigrant like myself today. References from Dvořák and Shostakovich are embedded in a musical journey throughout the rich and international cultural world of New York City.”
About The New World Initiative
During its 175th anniversary season (2016–17), the New York Philharmonic will celebrate New York City and its role as home to the Orchestra and as an adopted home for many. The New World Initiative (NWI) evolves from a major event in the Philharmonic’s history: the 1893 World Premiere of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World — the first major work composed in New York that became immediately and enduringly popular. The complete work represents a yearning for new beginnings while also looking back to where we came from. Through the NWI, the Philharmonic will engage with New Yorkers citywide by making the New World Symphony a cultural touchstone for as many New Yorkers as possible.
We are thrilled to announce the addition of 3 fantastic artists to the roster of the 2017 Progressive Chamber Music Festival taking place October 14-15th at Greenwich House Music School in NYC. Allison Loggins-Hull, Mark Feldman, and Tanya Kalmanovitch will all be bringing their forward-thinking music to the festival and we could be happier to have them! More details to come soon, but we hope to see you there!
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New Video! Check out Gregor's arrangement of Eleanor Rigby, filmed at the Alchemical Lab in NYC earlier this year. Thanks to Simon C.F. You and Suzuki for the shooting and editing and Rozhan Razman at Riro Music for audio recording and mixing.