On the final night of their String Theories Festival, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn performs three recent works for string orchestra: a world premiere by the festival’s guest curator Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti alongside works by Caroline Shaw (Ent’racte) and Shelley Washington (Middleground).
Founded in 2007, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn has become an integral part of New York City’s vibrant and diverse musical landscape, bringing together creative instrumentalists, composers, and like-minded organizations and ensembles to collaborate on adventurous musical projects and present them to the public at an affordable price. The String Orchestra of Brooklyn has given more than 90 concerts and presentations of over 400 new and existing works for string orchestra, full orchestra, and chamber ensemble. They have received praise for their admirable commitment to the music of our time by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, I Care if You Listen, The New Yorker, and more.
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti is a “leading composer-performer” (The New York Times) dedicated to the music of our time. As a composer, Lanzilotti is interested in translating sounds from everyday life onto traditional instruments using nontraditional playing methods. Her compositions often deal with unique instrument-objects, such as her commissions from The Noguchi Museum involving sound sculptures or the Akari Light Sculpture installation. Lanzilotti has performed with contemporary music ensembles such as A Far Cry, Alarm Will Sound, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Ensemble Échappé, and Ensemble Signal. As a recording artist, she has played on albums from Björk’s Vulnicura Live and Joan Osborne’s Love and Hate, to Dai Fujikura’s Chance Monsoon. She was recently appointed Curator of Music at The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Shelley Washington writes music to fulfill one calling- to move. With an eclectic palette, Washington tells stories focusing on exploring emotions and intentions by finding their root cause. Using driving, rhythmic riffs paired with indelible melodies, she creates a sound dialogue for the public and personal discourse. Shelley performs regularly as a vocalist and saxophonist, primarily on baritone saxophone, and has performed and recorded throughout the Midwest and East Coast- anything from Baroque to Screamo. She holds degrees from Truman State University; a BA in Music focusing on saxophone, and a Masters of Arts in Education. She also holds a Masters of Theory and Composition from NYU Steinhardt, where she studied with Dr. Joseph Church, Dr. Julia Wolfe, and Caroline Shaw. As an educator, she taught for the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program, and was acting Artistic Director for the Noel Pointer Foundation, located in Brooklyn, NY. In the Fall of 2018 she began studies at Princeton University in pursuit of the PhD of Music Composition. Shelley is a founding member of the composer collective, Kinds of Kings.
Caroline Shaw is a New York-based musician—vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer—who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She was the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for Partita for 8 Voices, written for the Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth, of which she is a member. Recent commissions include new works for Renée Fleming with Inon Barnatan, Dawn Upshaw with Sō Percussion and Gil Kalish, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with John Lithgow, the Dover Quartet, TENET, The Crossing, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Calidore Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, the Baltimore Symphony, and Roomful of Teeth with A Far Cry. Caroline’s film scores include Erica Fae’s To Keep the Light and Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline as well as the upcoming short 8th Year of the Emergency by Maureen Towey. She has produced for Kanye West (The Life of Pablo; Ye) and Nas (NASIR), and has contributed to records by The National, and by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. Caroline loves the color yellow, otters, Beethoven opus 74, Mozart opera, Kinhaven, the smell of rosemary, and the sound of a janky mandolin.