June 29, 2017
Season Preview: American Brass Quintet

Hailed by Newsweek as “the high priests of brass,” the American Brass Quintet is internationally recognized as one of the premiere chamber music ensembles of our time, celebrated for peerless leadership in the brass world. As 2013 recipient of Chamber Music America’s highest honor, the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award for significant and lasting contributions to the field, ABQ's rich history includes performances in Asia, Australia, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Canada and the United States; a discography of nearly 60 recordings; and the premieres of over 150 contemporary brass works. Committed to the development of brass chamber music through higher education, the American Brass Quintet has served as Ensemble-in-Residence at The Juilliard School since 1987 and the Aspen Music Festival since 1970.  Its latest album, Perspectives, released in January 2017 on Summit Records, is described by the American Record Guide as “another outstanding ABQ release”; The Gramophoneopines, “the American musicians bring utmost cohesion, balance and expressivity to each of the scores they perform with ear-catching intensity and finesse.”

Upcoming season highlights include a U.S. tour across 15 cities in 13 states. Among these appearances are debut performances at Bing Concert Hall, presented by Stanford Live, and at Moore Musical Arts Center in Bowling Green, OH, the hometown of the Quintet’s trumpet player, Kevin Cobb.  Throughout the season, the Quintet will resurrect an ABQ signature piece, Music for Brass Instruments by Ingolf Dahl, while continuing to commission and promote new chamber works by established and rising composers.  Praised by Julian Menken as "... the most outstanding work in brass repertory," Dahl’s Music for Brass Instruments is regarded as the source of the modern revival of the brass quintet.  This fifteen-minute composition, thoroughly American-sounding, merges jazzy figurations seamlessly with Baroque-style.

Collaborations with John Zorn
In October, the American Brass Quintet returns to the Guggenheim for a repeat performance of John Zorn's Commedia dell’arte, a suite of five miniatures for multiple ensembles inspired by the Commedia dell’arte characters Harlequin, Colombina, Scaramouche, Pulcinella, and Pierrot. Presented with special choreography, the ABQ’s segment is the jovial, quasi-minimalist “Pulcinella.” Commedia dell’arte features a wide range of compositional styles spanning minimalism, post-bop jazz, avant-garde and more.

October 22 & 23, 2017 at 9 PM
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
 Pulcinella from Commedia dell’arte

This season marks the 30th anniversary of the American Brass Quintet as the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Juilliard School.  As a special celebration, the Juilliard School commissions Philip Lasser, currently on the school’s faculty, for a piece dedicated to the Quintet.  A visionary composer native to French and American traditions, Lasser is known for his unique way of blending the colorful harmonies of French Impressionist sonorities and the dynamic rhythms and characteristics of American music.  The new piece will be premiered on November 6, 2017 at Juilliard’s Paul Hall, with additional works to be announced.

Monday, November 6, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Paul Hall, The Juilliard School
New Commission (world premiere)

Click for additional U.S. concert dates

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