Recorded at Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL
Video premiered on YouTube and Facebook
String Quartet (1919) Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983)
III. Final. Vif - Très rythmé - Un peu plus lent
Daughters of Sol (2017) Aftab Darvishi (b.1987)
Strum (2006, rev. 2012) Jessie Montgomery (b. 1981)
(a legacy) on our own terms, curated by Ciera McKissick
On display at Heaven Gallery until December 6
Featuring works by
Born just outside of Paris, Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1893) began studying piano and composition at a young age with her mother, and showed promising talent from the start. She eventually began studies at the Paris Conservatory, despite her father’s unwillingness to support her musical studies. In fact, Tailleferre was born Taillefesse, changing her name later in life to spite her father.
It was at the Paris Conservatory where she met 5 young men—including Darius Milhaud and Francis Poulenc— who would soon form the group of composers known as Les Six, with Tailleferre being the only female member. It was the premiere of her string quartet in 1919 that solidified her induction into this group.
Les Six sought to abandon the excessive romanticism and politics of German music in favor of classical forms that embodied a national French style. You’ll hear some of this in Taillferre’s String Quartet, with three distinct movements, returning themes, and a tender harmonic vocabulary.
Duration: 11 minutes
Aftab Darvishi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1987. She started playing violin at age five, and as she grew older, she got in touch with other instruments like the kamancheh (Iranian string instrument) and classical piano. Darvishi has studied Music Performance at University of Tehran, Composition at Royal Conservatory of The Hague and Composing for film and Carnatic Music (South Indian music) at Conservatory of Amsterdam.
Darvishi has presented her music in various festivals in Europe and Asia working with various ensembles. She has also attended various artistic residencies, such AiEP Contemporary Dance Company (Milan), Kinitiras studio (Athens), and Akropoditi Dance center (Syros). She is a former member of KhZ ensemble; an experimental electronic ensemble with supervision of Yannis Kyriakides that has performed in various festivals such as the Holland Festival. After her graduation, she has been regularly invited as a guest lecturer at the University of Tehran.
In 2014, Darvishi was short-listed for the 20th Young Composer meeting in Apeldoorn (Netherlands) and in 2015, she won the Music Education award from Listhus Artist Residency to hold workshops for presenting Persian music to music teachers at Music School of Fjallabyggd, Iceland. In 2016, Darvishi was awarded the prestigious Tenso Young Composers Award for her piece And the world stopped Lacking you... for a cappella choir.
“Daughters of Sol is inspired by a poem by contemporary Iranian poet Ahmad Shamloo. This piece contains gentle transitions and detailed changes, which leads to dissolving of different shades and colors. It is a constant evolution between shadows and lights. It is a journey about conveying gentle circular movements, which I think it resembles cycles of life. We evolve and dissolve in gentle and harsh conversions. We change colors, yet we tend to go back to our roots despite of our differences.” —Aftab Darvishi
Duration: 9 minutes.
Daughters of Sol by Aftab Darvishi was commissioned for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, a project of the Kronos Performing Arts Association. The score and parts are available for free online at kronosquartet.org.
Jessie Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice, placing her squarely as one of the most relevant interpreters of 21st-century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post).
Her growing body of work includes solo, chamber, vocal, and orchestral works. Some recent highlights include Five Slave Songs (2018) commissioned for soprano Julia Bullock by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Records from a Vanishing City (2016) for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Caught by the Wind (2016) for the Albany Symphony and the American Music Festival, and Banner (2014) – written to mark the
200th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner – for The Sphinx Organization and the Joyce Foundation.
The New York Philharmonic has selected Jessie as one of the featured composers for their Project 19, which marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting equal voting rights in the United States to women. Other forthcoming works include a nonet inspired by the Great Migration, told from the perspective of Montgomery’s great-grandfather William McCauley and to be performed by Imani Winds and the Catalyst Quartet; a cello concerto for Thomas Mesa jointly commissioned by Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, and The Sphinx Organization; and a new orchestral work for the National Symphony.
Jessie began her violin studies, at the Third Street Music School Settlement, one of the oldest community organizations in the country. A founding member of PUBLIQuartet and currently a member of the Catalyst Quartet, she continues to maintain an active performance career as a violinist appearing regularly with her own ensembles, as well as with the Silkroad Ensemble and Sphinx Virtuosi.
Duration: 6 minutes