Washington, D.C. readers may have noticed that the new music scene in the District has been exploding lately.  This week brings another significant event when New York’s Cygnus Ensemble makes its Washington debut at the Library of Congress.  The concert, part of a mini-residence by Cygnus at the Library, is presented as a tribute to legendary violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler.  Rarely heard music by Kreisler from the Library’s Fritz Kreisler collection will be performed, featuring guest violinist Miranda Cuckson on Kreisler’s own Guarneri del Gesù violin.

Most notably for new music fans, the concert features the world premiere of Harold Meltzer’s Kreisleriana, for violin and piano, commissioned by the Library of Congress’ McKim fund.  The concert also features Meltzer’s Pulitzer-Prize finalist work Brion, commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for the Cygnus Ensemble.

The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium.  There will be a pre-concert discussion by Mr. Meltzer and Cygnus founder William Anderson at 6:15 p.m. at the Library’s Whitall Pavillion.  No tickets are required for the pre-concert talk.  Tickets to the main concert are free but require reservations and may be obtained by contacting Ticketmaster online or at 202.397.7328.

3 thoughts on “Cygnus Ensemble at the Library of Congress”
  1. What is getting its World Premiere is the performance of all three quartets together as a single work. The Third Quartet was premiered by Daedalus in December 2009. I will bring this to the attention of The Phillips so it is corrected. (I’m the quartet’s manager.)

  2. hmm … a point of clarification:

    “Fred Lerdahl’s Third Quartet, a Pulitzer Prize finalist written for the quartet, will have its world premiere at the Phillips, rounding out a cycle of three works written over the course of more than thirty years intended both as individual pieces and as a unified set to be performed together.”

  3. I believe that the mention of a mini-residence, above, refers to the Cygnus Ensemble returning to the Library of Congress on March 7 to perform works by the late DINA KOSTON, CHESTER BISCARDI, DAVID CLAMAN, FRANK BRICKLE, and MARIO DAVIDOVSKY (the world premiere of his Ladino Songs).

    Violinist Miranda Cuckson herself also returns to D.C.’s Phillips Collection (with pianist Aaron Wunsch) on Sunday afternoon April 15th for a 2oth c. recital including folk song transcriptions by ROSS LEE FINNEY (for those who haven’t seriously procrastinated on their taxes).

    Those readers here who are only somewhat familiar with the D.C. new music scene should also note two other Phillips Collection concerts : the Daedalus String Quartet performing all three quartets of FRED LERDAHL (April 22) and MICHEL VAN DER AA and soloists from the International Comtemporary Ensemble (May 10).

    (Lerdahl’s Third SQ, like Harold Meltzer’s work ‘Brion’, was a Pulitzer finalist.)


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