Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs with the New York Philharmonic in the world premiere of a new work by Project 19 composer and frequent BYC collaborator, Olga Neuwirth.
With Project 19 composer Olga Neuwirth’s premiere, the New York Philharmonic’s hotspots festival begins, spotlighting vibrant Berlin.
About Project 19
100 years ago, American women gained the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment. This year, we commissioned 19 women to write 19 new pieces — the single largest women-only commissioning initiative in orchestral history.
The multi-season Project 19 launches in February 2020 with a three-week festival featuring six World Premieres: three for orchestra, three for chamber ensemble. The Orchestra premieres two more Project 19 commissions in June 2020, and 11 more premieres will follow in future seasons.
Project 19 will also feature a collaboration with the Academy of American Poets to commission 19 new works by women poets and a site-specific production of Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All — an opera on the life of Susan B. Anthony with a libretto by Gertrude Stein — co-presented with The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MetLiveArts performance series and The Juilliard School.
About hotspots festival
The final three weeks of the New York Philharmonic 2019–20 season shine a light on three hotspots of classical music innovation: Berlin, Reykjavík, and New York.
Berlin: where the bohemian and underground thrive.
Reykjavík: where Europe’s tectonic plate meets North America’s, where Björk and Sufjan Stevens cross paths with Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner.
New York City: where leading artists from around the globe convene.
The festival features World Premieres by Berlin-based Olga Neuwirth; Nico Muhly, co-founder of Reykjavík’s Bedroom Community collective; and Sarah Kirkland Snider, co-founder of the Brooklyn-based New Amsterdam Records. It wouldn’t be a new-music festival without Sound ON and Nightcap, featuring the composers of these three World Premieres. It all culminates in a season finale not to be missed.
Born in Graz, Austria, Olga Neuwirth attended the Vienna Academy of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and studied painting and film at San Francisco Art College. Her composition teachers included Adriana Hölszky, Tristan Murail, and Luigi Nono. She sprang to international prominence in 1991, at age 22, when two of her mini operas with texts by Nobel Prize–winner Elfriede Jelinek were performed at the Vienna Festwochen.
Highlights of her presentations worldwide include two Salzburg Festival portrait concerts (1998); her multimedia opera Baa-Lambs Fest (1993 / 1998) after Leonora Carrington; Clinamen / Nodus for Boulez and the London Symphony Orchestra (2000); serving as Lucerne Festival composer-in-residence (2002 / 2016); the World Premiere of her music-theatre work Lost Highway (2003), after David Lynch (English National Opera, 2008; South Bank Show Award); and the operas The Outcast — Homage to Herman Melville and American Lulu, based on Berg’s Lulu (2010 / 11).
Olga Neuwirth’s works have explored a range of forms and genres: operas, radio plays, sound installations, art works, photography, and film music. She often fuses live-musicians, electronics, and video into audio-visual experiences. Her numerous prizes include being the first woman to receive the Grand Austrian State Prize in the music category (2010).
Her immersive electronics / space / ensemble work Le Encantadas (2014) has received multiple performances throughout Europe. Masaot / Clocks without Hands, for the Vienna Philharmonic under and Daniel Harding, was premiered in 2015, and reprised by co-commissioner Carnegie Hall, conducted by Valery Gergiev; The Cleveland Orchestra, under Franz Welser Möst, performs it in autumn 2019.
The BBC Proms programmed Aello-ballet mecanomorphe in 2018 for Claire Chase and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Neuwirth’s Orlando, a new opera after Virginia Woolf, will be premiered at Vienna Staatsoper in December 2019 — she is the first woman commissioned in the house’s 150-year history.