Marilyn Nonken – piano
Jeffrey Means – conductor
Pianist Marilyn Nonken joins forces with the Boston-based ensemble Sound Icon to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the birth of Gérard Grisey, a founder of spectral music whose sudden death in 1998 robbed the musical world of brilliant musical visionary. Grisey’s magnum opus, VORTEX TEMPORUM (1996), is a rarely heard work for de-tuned piano and five instruments alongside new commissions by younger composers inspired by Grisey. Richard Carrick, Nina C. Young, Christopher Trapani, Marcos Balter, Victoria Cheah, Brian Erickson, and Edmund Campion offer new ways of exploring the scordatura piano, and examining the influence of spectralism on today’s younger voices.
Founded in 2011, Sound Icon is a sinfonietta committed to performing the most significant progressive works of the past few decades. Through ambitious programming performed to the highest standards, Sound Icon engages audiences in dialogues about what progressive music is and can be: music that redefines rules, experiences, and expectations. Led by conductor and artistic director Jeffrey Means, Sound Icon has worked with prominent composers such as Philippe Leroux and Salvatore Sciarrino and performed works by Gérard Grisey, Helmut Lachenmann, Beat Furrer, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Fausto Romitelli among others. In tonight’s performance, Sound Icon joins Marilyn Nonken, a foremost interpreter of spectral piano music, in an exploration of sound, color, and space. Renowned for her performances and recordings of composers as diverse as Michael Finnissy, Alvin Lucier, Charles Ives, Morton Feldman, and Pierre Boulez, Marilyn Nonken has recorded the complete piano music of Tristan Murail and Joshua Fineberg; she is also known for her book “The Spectral Piano: From Liszt, Scriabin and Debussy to the Digital Age” (Cambridge 2014).