CURATED RECITALS AND PROJECTS
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
A recital program about Empire/Identity with pianist Kunal Lahiry
VENUES: Wigmore Hall (2023), Hugo Wolf Akademie Stuttgart (2022), LIFE Victoria Festival Barcelona (2022), Christophori Salon Berlin (2022), The Aix-en-Provence Festival (2021)
CONCEPT: A program that explores diverse perspectives of our colonial history through music and poetry of the last hundred and fifty years. Thematically, these songs are about the search for identity at the height of Empire. Some songs are about a dominant power imposing an identity where it doesn't belong; others convey the struggles of oppressed voices trying to find their way.
REPERTOIRE: Mahler, Kurt Weill, Ilse Weber, Schönberg, Chen Yi, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Teodoro Varcarcel, Messiaen, Montsalvatge, Kamala Sankaram, Ernesto Lecuona
COMMISSIONS: Uyghur art songs by Zubaida Azezi (b.1990)/Edo Frenkel (b.1988)
A recital program about Joy with mezzo Fleur Barron, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, and pianist Julius Drake.
VENUES: Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (2024), Hugo Wolf Akademie Stuttgart (2024), U.S. and European tour in planning (2024)
CONCEPT: TARARA! is a program for voice, pipa and piano that explores JOY as a state of being through dance rhythms and danse macabre in diverse folk idioms from South America, Europe, China, and Central Asia. We know joy partly because we also experience its counterpoints of pain and grief, so some songs are exuberantly joyful, others offer reflections on loss and death (danse macabre), and yet others explore the razor’s edge between the two states
REPERTOIRE: Lorca, Guastavino, Ginasta, Falla, Huang Ruo, Brahms, Charles Trenet, Central Asian folksongs (Kazakh, Tatar, Uyghur), Chinese folksongs, Italian traditional songs.
COMMISSION: Fang Man (b.1977)
SPRING SNOW: Kabuki/Winterreise
A project involving Fleur Barron, actor/dancer Suleiman Suleiman, pianist Julius Drake, shamisen player Hibiki Ichikawa and movement director Sonoko Kamimura
VENUES: U.S. and European tour currently in planning for 2024-2025 season.
CONCEPT: This project “SPRING SNOW” is a meditation on sound and silence, solitude and communion, love and loss, explored through the intertwined narratives of “Yasuna”, one of the great kabuki plays dating back to 1818, and Schubert’s iconic “Winterreise”, conceived a decade later in 1827. Grief splinters the psyches of both Schubert’s Wanderer and Yasuna, compelling a journey into the darknesss and depths of Self. This is where our performance begins: two individual paths that converge and inspire each other in beautiful ways.
REPERTOIRE: Schubert's Winterreise intertwined with original shamisen music, kabuki dance and theater, and an original prologue.
A recital program exploring home/homeland/belonging
VENUES: Leeds Lieder (2021), Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (2022), Philadelphia Chamber Music Society (2023), Spivey Hall (2023), Het Concertgebouw (2023)
CONCEPT: A program that juxtaposes poetry and music by Eastern and Western creators around the interconnected motifs of home/homeland, childhood and dreams. For you, is the notion of "home" an internal state-of-being, a physical place, a geo-political space?
REPERTOIRE: Berg, Brahms, John Cage, Dvorak, Chen Yi, Charles Ives, Huang Ruo, Fang Man, Mussorgsky, Zubaida Azezi/Edo Frenkel and Alex Ho.
COMMISSIONS: Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo (b.1977), British-Chinese composer Alex Ho (b.1990), Zubaida Azezi (b.1990)/Edo Frenkel (b.1988), Chinese-American composer Chen Yi (b.1953).
A recital program about cultural bridges and personal identity
VENUES: Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (2024)
CONCEPT: This programme interweaves songs by Chinese and western composers and explores traditional yin-yang imagery of moon, sun, night, water, the seasons, light, and darkness. The repertoire blends Chinese folksongs from my childhood; works by leading voices of Asian art song; settings of Chinese poets by western composers; and yin-yang songs by composers dear to my heart, like Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. My hope is for these juxtapositions to serve as cultural bridges, illuminating beautiful resonances between varied styles and soundworlds. Many of the Chinese works are in Mandarin, but a few are in English, reflecting the stories of artists who have emigrated to the West and the complexity of Asian identity.
REPERTOIRE: Schubert, Zhao Jiping, Brahms, Chen Yi, Mahler, Huang Tzu, Alice Ping Yee Ho (b.1960), Constant Lambert, Ding Shande, Charles Ives, Huang Ruo (b.1975), John Duke, Bun-Ching Lam (b.1954), Schumann, Kai-Young Chan (b.1987)
A program exploring Asian identity via works in Mandarin, Cantonese, Uyghur, and English
VENUES: Aural Compass Projects (2021), Cincinnati Song Initiative (2021), Arizona Song Series (2022)
CONCEPT: A multi-disciplinary recital program featuring mezzo Fleur Barron, pianist Myra Huang, dancer Lauren Hermann and cellist Coleman Itzkoff that explores what it means to "belong" in different spaces and how one's Asian identity relates to our sense of home, safety and self. Repertoire comprises works by Asian composers and poets.
REPERTOIRE: Chen Yi, Kai-Young Chan, Kamala Sankaram, Bun-Ching Lam, Huang Tzu, Raymond Yiu, Chihchun Lee, Fang Man, Huang Ruo, Chinese Folksongs
COMMISSION: "Bright Fear", a song collaboration between Hong Kong Chinese composer Raymond Yiu and Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan.