Debut Concert of Metropolis Ensemble featuring jazz great Marty Ehrlich


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The Metropolis Ensemble, a new chamber orchestra bringing together the talents of an emerging generation of performers who have already begun to reshape the sound and feel of music making in New York, will present their first concert on Thursday, February 16, 2006 at 8 pm at the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk Street. For its debut concert, “Voices of Night", the Metropolis Ensemble joins forces with two musicians, saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, “one of the premier melodicists of his generation," (NY Times) and tenor Daniel Neer, who exemplify new directions in music making.

Musical Director Andrew Cyr will lead a program of music by Aaron Copland, Benjamin Britten and Portland-based composer David Schiff in a unique venue whose haunting atmosphere will amplify the lyricism of the following works:

* Copland: Quiet City with Elizabeth Kieronski, English horn and Travis Heath, trumpet. * Britten: Serenade, with Daniel Neer, tenor and Alexander Gusev horn soloist. * Schiff: Singing in the Dark with Marty Ehrlich, solo alto saxophone, Mark Helias, bass and Michael Sarin drums.

The Metropolis Ensemble is dedicated to building artistic connections between composer, performer, and audiences in settings that will inspire a new generation of music lovers.

Singing in the Dark, the center-piece of the concert, is an “enthralling work" whose “music moves from a soulful incantation to a rhythmic dance, back to an even slower meditation based on fragments from the Jewish Day of Atonement services, to a song obliquely inspired by Duke Ellington" (David Stabler, The Oregonian). Schiff's music 'suggests a “Fourth Stream" approach, in which jazz crosses the line into postmodern, “non-jazz" compositional processes'. (Downbeat) In collaboration with Artistic Director Andrew Cyr for this performance by the Metropolis Ensemble, Schiff has re-scored the work for string orchestra, upright bass, and rhythm section. The bass and percussion parts, like solo alto saxophone, combine composed and improvised passages woven into more traditional writing for strings.

For more information visit www.metropolisensemble.org

DATE: February 16, 2006 TIME: 8:00 PM LOCATION: Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk Street (F train to Delancey Street) COST: $15.00, $25.00 TICKETS: To reserve please visit: www.metropolisensemble.org PERFORMERS: The Metropolis Ensemble, Andrew Cyr, musical director. Marty Ehrlich, saxophone. Daniel Neer, tenor.

About the performers:

A native of Maine and resident of New York City, Artistic Director Andrew Cyr holds degrees from Bates College, the French National Conservatory, and Westminster Choir College. He is currently Assistant Conductor of the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, lecturer in conducting at the Mason Gross School of Arts, Rutgers University, Artistic Director of the Hoboken Choir School, Adjunct Music Faculty of St. David's School, NY, NY, and Director of Music at Our Lady of Grace Church. As conductor, organist, and trumpeter, he has performed throughout Canada, the United States, France, and Hungary.

Marty Ehrlich is one of the most celebrated artists of his generation, critically acclaimed as both composer and player. Equally fluent on clarinet, saxophone, and flutes, Ehrlich has been hailed as “one of the most formidable multi-instrumentalists since Eric Dolphy...the jazz dream musician" (The Village Voice). The New York Times calls him “one of the premier melodicists of his generation," and The Nation “one of his time's most original thinkers (with) a rare and wonderful talent, a now yearning, now biting attack and a stunningly voice-like expressiveness." Jazz Zeitung states: “If there is a believable poetic sensibility in jazz, you will find it with Marty Ehrlich." The Jazz Journalist Association honored him as Wind Player of the Year in 2001 and as Clarinetist of the year in 2003. In 2004, Ehrlich was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Composition.

Daniel Neer recently made his Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts as tenor soloist singing Haydn and Mozart with the New York City Chamber Orchestra, and his Broadway debut in Baz Luhrmann's production of Puccini's La Bohme. He is also the co-founder of the JazzFaur Project, featuring innovative jazz arrangements of the songs of Gabriel Faur. A native of Ohio, Daniel received his training at The Ohio State University, University of Michigan and the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. Equally comfortable as a tenor or lyric baritone, Daniel has collaborated on many early music and contemporary music projects, in addition to over forty stage roles in regional opera, operetta and musical theatre. Alexander Gusev, French Horn, began his musical education at the age of 5, studying piano, before enrolling at the junior department of the Moscow Conservatory to study French horn. In 1990, he emigrated with his family to Israel and continued his studies at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. In 1995 he was appointed Associate Principal Horn of Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, a position which he held for 9 years. In 1997 he received a grant from the American/Israel Cultural Foundation to study at Mannes School of Music in New York with Philip Myers, Principal Horn of New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Composer-in Residence David Schiff is best known to New York audiences for his opera Gimpel the Fool. His music has been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Oregon Symphony and the Seattle Symphony, among others, and at the Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Aldeburgh Festivals , and Chamber Music Northwest. He is the author of books on the music of his teacher, Elliott Carter and on Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. His articles about music have appeared regularly in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly and the Times Literary Supplement.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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