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Featuring the JACK Quartet and String Fellows from Around the World, the Barnes Ensemble to Present Premiere Performance on October 8

September 18, 2017

Philadelphia, PA—The Barnes Foundation has announced its musical programming for fall 2017, bringing into dialogue performers from around the world with the Barnes’s renowned collection. Inspired by Albert Barnes’s unconventional approach to arranging art, the Barnes Ensemblean innovative contemporary music collective—will make its debut performance on Sunday, October 8, as part of a nine-day festival featuring rehearsals, educational engagements, and collaborations across Philadelphia. The Barnes Foundation’s fall lineup also includes the next concert in its Solo Series, which features leading international musicians performing as unaccompanied soloists.

“We are thrilled to present a thought-provoking array of musical performances this fall that explore the connections between diverse musical forms,” said Dr. Martha Lucy, deputy director for education & public programs and curator. “We look forward to introducing the Barnes Ensemble as part of a series of events celebrating the Barnes’s fifth anniversary in Philadelphia and other performances that pay homage to Dr. Barnes’s deep love of music.”

The Barnes Ensemble is composed of the renowned JACK Quartetwhich serves as the core of this new musical collectiveand 20 young professional String Fellows selected from around the world through a competitive application process. Robert Whalen, co-artistic director of the Barnes Ensemble, will conduct. At the premiere concert on October 8, the Barnes Ensemble will perform an array of 20th- and 21st-century musicfeaturing chamber and orchestral repertoireweaving together cultures, instrumentations, and ensemble sizes to explore formal connections in sound.

The debut concert program features works by living composers, including the world premiere of Clara Iannotta’s dead wasps in the jam-jar (ii) (2017) and works by Barnes Ensemble composers-in-residence Chaya Czernowin (Anea for string octet) and Eric Wubbels (Viola Quartet), as well as 20th-century masterworks such as Ligeti’s Ramifications and Scelsi’s Natura Renovatur.

 The Barnes Ensemble festival and premiere concert are part of a constellation of special events and programs this fall celebrating the Barnes’s fifth anniversary in the heart of Philadelphia. The Barnes Ensemble performances are generously supported through the PNC Arts Alive initiative

Additionally, on November 8, the Barnes’s Solo Series returns with the Philadelphia premiere of George Crumb’s Metamorphoses with pianist Margaret Leng Tana highly anticipated concert that showcases the work of iconic American composers Henry Cowell, John Cage, and George Crumb, with Mr. Crumb in attendance.


BARNES ENSEMBLE FESTIVAL (September 30–October 8)
The Barnes Ensemble premiere concert on October 8 is the culmination of nine days of rehearsal, educational engagement, and collaboration across Philadelphia, and will present an array of 20th- and 21st-century music. Musicians from around the world will gather in Philadelphia beginning on September 30 to participate in workshops, master classes with Barnes Ensemble invited composers Chaya Czernowin and Eric Wubbels, and chamber concerts—many of which are free and open to the public. They will perform an Open Rehearsal at the Barnes on Wednesday, October 4, along with several rehearsals at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and will visit schools within the School District of Philadelphia for educational initiatives and performances, ultimately reaching over 1,000 students.

BARNES ENSEMBLE PREMIERE CONCERT: “Ramifications” Sunday, October 8, 7 pm; $30, members $20, students $10. For more information, visit the website.

The fellows include nine individuals, two quartets, and one trio. Among the individual fellows is Hannah Nicholas, a Philadelphia native and Principal Viola of the Central City Opera Orchestra in Colorado. The two quartets are the Argus Quartet—quickly gaining a reputation as one of today’s most dynamic and versatile young ensembles—and the Ligeti Quartet, a group that has been at the forefront of modern and contemporary music since its formation in 2010. The trio, Ensemble Chartreuse, is composed of violinist Myra Hinrichs (Chicago), violist Carrie Frey (New York), and cellist Helen Newby (San Francisco). For the full list of String Fellows, visit the website.

March 5–9, 2018: Percussion ensemble featuring renowned percussionist Steven Schick.
June 11–16, 2018: Chamber orchestra program featuring Steven Schick conducting Gerard Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil with Barnes Ensemble co-artistic director Katherine Skovira.

For more information about the Barnes Ensemble Festival, please visit the website.

Wednesday, November 8, 8pm 
$30; $20 members; $10 students

The Solo Series, which debuted in January 2017, features leading musicians from around the world performing as unaccompanied soloists. On November 8, the Barnes will present the next concert in the series: Cowell, Cage, Crumb—Pioneers of the Avant-Garde Piano, with pianist Margaret Leng Tan performing the Philadelphia premiere of University of Pennsylvania Professor Emeritus George Crumb’s Metamorphoses, his first cycle for piano in more than 40 years. At its world premiere in Washington D.C., the performance was hailed as “intensely probing and often incantatory, as if conjuring up whole new worlds from the dark, elusive depths . . . Tan played through them as if the fate of the world depended on it” (Washington Post).

The 2017–18 Barnes Ensemble performances are generously supported through the PNC Arts Alive initiative.

The Solo Series is sponsored by WRTI.

The Barnes Foundation is a non-profit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned masterworks by such artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and non-Western art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.

The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” Since moving to the heart of Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes has expanded its commitment to teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways, investing in original scholarship relating to its collection and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its program.

As the Barnes celebrates five years on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in 2017, the Foundation continues to increase its public programming and initiatives in service to the Philadelphia community, the region, and visitors from across the country and the globe. 

The Barnes Foundation is open Wednesday–Monday, and tickets can be purchased on-site, online, or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on our website.


Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications
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