New Music by Iranian Women Composers
New Music by Iranian Women Composers
WhenSaturday, February 8, 2020, 7:30 PM
SponsorAsian Art Museum
VenueFreer Gallery of Art
Event LocationFreer, Meyer Auditorium
CostAdvance tickets for concerts in the Meyer are $6 each (select your seats). Remaining tickets are distributed at no charge beginning one hour before each performance.
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Related ExhibitionMy Iran: Six Women Photographers

In person: composers Aida Shirazi, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, and Golnaz Shariatzadeh 

Hear the Washington premieres of new works composed by Iranian-born women and performed by an outstanding wind and percussion ensemble from New York. Composers Anahita Abbasi, Aida Shirazi, and Niloufar Nourbakhsh established the Iranian Female Composers Association in 2017 and presented their inaugural concert at New York’s cutting-edge venue National Sawdust. They coproduced a second concert last summer as part of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. Their music and a work by Golnaz Shariatzadeh make up this program.

Niloufar Nourbakhsh won a 2019 Female Discovery Grant from Opera America, and her music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Seal Bay Festival, SPLICE Institute, and University of Tennessee Contemporary Music Festival. Aida Shirazi’s music has been featured at the New Music Gathering, SPLICE, the Tehran Contemporary Music Festival, Klasik Keyifler, Bilgi New Music Days, and Sesin Yolculuğu. Her works have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Miranda Cuckson, Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Ensemble Dal Niente, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Empyrean Ensemble, Lydian String Quartet, and Bilkent Symphony Orchestra. Winner of a prestigious Morton Gold ASCAP Young Composers Award, Anahita Abbasi has composed works performed at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Ircam (Manifeste Academy), Matrix (Experimental studio des SWR), the Impuls Festival, the Time of Music, and the Atlas Festival. She was awarded a scholarship from Experimentalstudio des SWR in Freiburg.

Documentary videos about the composers are shown between pieces in the program, and three of the composers—Aida Shirazi, Golnaz Shariatzadeh, and Niloufar Nourbakhsh—will be on hand to introduce their works in person. The complete program comprises ephemera by Aida Shirazi (for clarinet and percussion), Seven Impressions by Anahita Abbasi (for voice and percussion), Sitting on a Broken Periphery by Golnaz Shariatzadeh (for flute, clarinet, and percussion), and Firing Squad by Niloufar Nourbakhsh (for oboe, clarinets, saxophone, and bassoon with electronics).

The ensemble for this concert features soprano Alice Teyssier, whom the Los Angeles Times has called “an arresting soprano, in all senses.” She has appeared with the San Diego Symphony, International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, San Francisco New Music Players, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, and 21st Century Consort. Saxophonist Ryan Muncy has been praised for his “superb” performances by the New York Times as well as his ability to, as the Chicago Reader noted, “show off the instrument's malleability and freakish extended range as well as its delicacy and refinement.” His debut solo album was called “absorbing” (Alex Ross) and “one of the year's best albums” (Time Out New York). The ensemble also features New York new music specialists Rebekah Heller on bassoon, Ross Karre on percussion, Campbell MacDonald on clarinet, Christa Robinson on oboe (TBC), and Joshua Rubin on clarinet.

The event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition My Iran: Six Women Photographers.

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