Soprano Tony Arnold and pianist Jacob Greenberg, both members of the highly acclaimed new music collective the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), will perform on Tuesday, April 2 at 8 p.m. in Brooks Concert Hall at the College of the Holy Cross. The performance is free and open to the public.
The program includes “Harawi,” an epic song cycle by renowned French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-92) inspired by Quechua love songs of the South American Andres, and the premiere of a new work by Chris Arrell, assistant professor of music at the College. “Scored for soprano, piano and computer, ‘Of Three Minds’ is a setting of five sections from Wallace Stevens’ poem ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,’” says Arrell. “Inspired by Japanese haiku, each of the poem’s 13 sections presents the reoccurring image of a blackbird as the focal point for a concise study in vivid landscape and nuanced inflection. At times dominating the foreground and at other times adding subtle coloration, the electronics in ‘Of Three Minds,’ like Stevens’ winged cynosure, serve to distinguish each song with unifying the cycle.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, “anything sung by soprano Tony Arnold is worth hearing.” Hailed by the New York Times as “a bold and powerful interpreter,” she has gained international acclaim for sparkling and insightful performances of the most daunting contemporary scores. With longtime collaborator Jacob Greenberg, Arnold took first prize in both the Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition and the Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition. She has received critical acclaim for her performances with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW, L.A. Philharmonic New Music Group, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She has perfomed all over the world including Germany, Mexico, Switzerland, Korea, and Italy. Since 2003, she has served on the faculty of the University at Buffalo. In 2009 she was the Howard Hanson Visiting Professor of American Music at the Eastman School in Rochester, N.Y.
Greenberg’s work as a soloist and chamber musician has earned worldwide acclaim. He is a longtime member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom he has performed throughout North and South Americas and Europe. As the ensemble’s director of education, he leads The Listening Room, an initiative in city public schools that teaches the materials of experimental music composition. Greenberg’s solo concert series, “Music at Close Range,” shows his equal commitment to classics of the repertoire.