John heiss Microcosms world premiere

Williams hall - new england conservatory - boston, ma

june 12 @ 8PM

Excelsa Quartet (Laura Colgate & Audrey Wright, violins; Valentina Shohdy, viola, Kacy Clopton, cello) was formed in January, 2009 at New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. On June 12, 2015, the quartet returns to NEC's Williams Hall to present the premiere of "Microcosms" -- a work they commissioned from longtime NEC composer John Heiss.

Excelsa Quartet is thrilled to be commissioning and premiering John Heiss's first composition for string quartet. The piece, titled Microcosms, will be given its world premiere on June 12, 2015 at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. NEC holds special importance for Excelsa, as it was the school where they formed in 2009, and also where they established a deep admiration for the musical genius of faculty member Heiss. In addition to its premiere in Boston in June, Excelsa is scheduled to perform Microcosms at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit, MI later that month. Further plans include performing and recording it in their home base just outside of Washington, DC in Fall 2015.

Microcosms, although only 10 minutes in length, contains as much depth as a late Beethoven quartet. It is full of energy, poignant beauty, and the wit and whimsy that is so characteristic of Heiss's compositional style.

As a young string quartet, the chance to collaborate with a living composer on a commissioned work is not only an incredibly exciting experience, but an invaluable one as well. Excelsa strives to engage with the ever-changing community around us by breaking boundaries with repertoire and maintaing a sense of freshness in performing classical music. Working one-on-one with John Heiss provides an opportunity to present the world around us with fresh new music, and gives us assurance that classical music will march on in our society with great relevance and vitality.

About John Heiss:

John Heiss is an active composer, conductor, flutist, and teacher. His works have been performed worldwide, receiving premieres by Speculum Musicae, Boston Musica Viva, Collage New Music, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Aeolian Chamber Players, Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, and Alea III. He has received awards and commissions from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Fromm Foundation, NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, ASCAP, and the Guggenheim Foundation. His principal publishers are Boosey & Hawkes, E.C. Schirmer, and Elkus & Son.

Starting in the 1970s, Heiss has directed many NEC festivals dedicated to composers or themes, and has spearheaded visits to NEC by many composers, including Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Berio, Carter, Messiaen, Schuller, and Tippett. (www.necmusic.edu)