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On December, 2008

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  • December 2, 2008
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World Premiere of Tobias Picker’s String Quartet No. 2 in New York

The American String Quartet performs the world premiere of Tobias Picker's String Quartet No. 2 on January 17 at Merkin Concert Hall of New York City's Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts, presented by the Manhattan School of Music. The composer elaborates on the piece's inception:

Following the premiere of my opera An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, the President of the Manhattan School of Music, Robert Sirota, called me and told me that the American String Quartet had asked him to commission me as part of the school's 90th anniversary celebration. I was very excited because this meant that the first new music I would write after my largest piece ever would be a string quartet for my alma mater. I had originally thought to give the American String Quartet a transcription of some songs, but after hearing them play so beautifully I decided to create something entirely new (at least for me) and to take advantage of the opportunity to re-invent myself through the genre of the string quartet. I embraced the chance to return to chamber music with gusto because I saw this not only as an opportunity to incorporate everything I'd learned writing four grand operas into an intimate genre but also as the starting point of a new direction in my compositional thinking. 20 years separate my first and second quartet and it is not difficult to hear the evolution between the two.

The American String Quartet performs String Quartet No. 2 in two follow up performances at Brooklyn's Bargemusic on January 24 and 25.

 

To find out more on the music of Tobias Picker go to www.schott-music.com and www.tobiaspicker.com.

Visit www.kaufman-center.org to learn more on the American String Quartet's performance of String Quartet No. 2.

 

Tobias Picker
String Quartet No. 2 (2008)
Commissioned by Ruth Widder for the Manhattan School of Music and the American String Quartet
13'

 

  • December 2, 2008
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Tobias Picker’s Suite for cello and piano and Collected Works for Solo Piano Now Available in Edition Schott

Schott Music is proud to announce new publications of Tobias Picker's Suite for cello and piano, edited by cellist Lyn Harrell and pianist Simon Mulligan, and his Collected Works for solo piano edited by Ursula Oppens, now available in Edition Schott. The Suite for cello and piano was commissioned for Lyn Harrell by a consortium of ten organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, the Ravinia Festival, San Francisco Performances and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Inspired in part by poems of E.E. Cummings, Salvatore Quasimodo and W.D. Merwin, the work received its world premiere by Mr. Harrell in San Francisco's Herbst Theater in January 1999.

The Collected Works for solo piano encompasses the diverse range of Tobias Picker's writing for piano from the virtuosic challenges of his Four Etudes for Ursula to the lyrical simplicity of Old and Lost Rivers... when soft voices die ..., and The Blue Hula. An ideal companion to this new piano anthology is the newly released Wergo recording Keys to the City, the complete solo piano works of Tobias Picker performed by Ursula Oppens. Picker comments on his long time collaboration with Ms. Oppens:

My life-long friendship with the legendary pianist Ursula Oppens began in 1973. I was 19. She was 29. We met in New York when she attended a performance of an early chamber concerto of mine. Ursula was the principal pianist for Speculum Musicae, then the premier new music ensemble in the United States. I heard her perform often and saw a great deal of her socially as she, along with many other renowned musicians, was also a friend of my composition teacher at the time, Charles Wuorinen. A few years later during a post-concert party at the pianist Paul Jacob's New York apartment following Speculum's premiere of my Sextet No.3, Ursula took me aside and asked me if I would write a piece for her. I was 22 and thrilled to have another commission. That piece would become "...when soft voices die...".

 

Contact your favorite online music retailer to order Tobias Picker's Suite for cello and piano, and theCollected Works for solo piano.

Go here to order the Wergo recording Tobias Picker - Keys to the City.

To learn more on the music of Tobias Picker, go to www.schott-music.com and www.tobiaspicker.com.

 

Tobias Picker
Suite (1999) ED 30004
for cello and piano
edited by Lyn Harrell and Simon Mulligan

Tobias Picker
Collected Works ED 30009
for solo piano
edited by Ursula Oppens

Tobias Picker - Keys to the City WER 66952
Four Etudes for Ursula *
Old and Lost Rivers
Three Pieces
 *
Where the Rivers Go *
... when soft voices die ...
The Blue Hula *
Keys to the City (version for two pianos)*

* First Recordings