Performing Suite for Violin and American Gamelan, Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan, and By the Numbers

The ICA and MIT present a centennial celebration of composer Lou Harrison. MIT’s Gamelan Galak Tika joins forces with violinist Johnny Gandelsman and pianist Sarah Cahill to present a program of Harrison’s groundbreaking works for gamelan and western instruments, performed on instruments built by the composer himself. The concert will also feature the world premiere of composer and MIT Professor Evan Ziporyn’s By the Numbers, an homage to Harrison for violin and piano.

Artist Biographies
  • Sarah Cahill
    Sarah Cahill, recently called “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by the New York Times and “a brilliant and charismatic advocate for modern and contemporary composers” by Time Out New York, has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated works to her include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, Evan Ziporyn, Julia Wolfe, and Ingram Marshall.

    Recent appearances include a concert at San Quentin of the music Henry Cowell wrote while incarcerated there, four performances at the San Francisco Symphony’s Soundbox, a residency at the Noguchi Museum, and concerts at Le Poisson Rouge and the Italian Academy in New York. She performs as a duo with violinist Kate Stenberg and has performed chamber music with the Alexander String Quartet, New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and many other chamber groups.

    Most of Sarah’s albums are on the New Albion label. She has also recorded for the CRI, New World, Tzadik, Albany, and Cold Blue labels. Her album A Sweeter Music is on the Other Minds label, and Pinna Records recently released her two-CD set of Mamoru Fujieda’s Patterns of Plants.

    She has recorded a five-CD set of Terry Riley’s solo and four-hand (with pianist Regina Schaffer) music, along with nine pieces she commissioned in honor for Riley’s 80th birthday, for the Irritable Hedgehog label, scheduled for release later this year. Her radio show, Revolutions Per Minute, can be heard every Sunday evening from 8 to 10 pm on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory and curates a monthly series of new music concerts at the Berkeley Art Museum.
  • Johnny Gandelsman
    Johnny Gandelsman’s musical voice reflects the artistic collaborations he has been a part of since moving to the United States in 1995. As a founding member of Brooklyn Rider and a member of the Silk Road Ensemble, Johnny has closely worked with such luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, Osvaldo Golijov, David Byrne, Bela Fleck, Kayhan Kalhor, Suzanne Vega, Mark Morris, Anne Sofie Van Otter, Alim Qasimov & Fargana Qasimova, Martin Hayes, and Joshua Redman. Gandelsman integrates a wide range of creative sensibilities into a unique style amongst today’s violinists, one that according to the Boston Globe possesses “a balletic lightness of touch and a sense of whimsy and imagination.” 

    Highlights of the past season include winning a Grammy award for Best World Music album as a member and producer of Silk Road Ensemble’s latest album, Sing Me Home; premiering newly commissioned Cinco Danzas for violin solo by Edward Perez in Minnesota, and performing Philip Glass’s Madrigal Opera in Brooklyn. 

    A passionate advocate for new music, Johnny has premiered dozens of works written for Brooklyn Rider and Silk Road Ensemble, including works by Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Vijay Iyer, Bela Fleck, Daniel Cords, Rubin Kodheli, Dana Lyn, Gabriel Kahane, Colin Jacobsen, Shara Worden, John Zorn, Christina Courtin, Ethan Iverson, Padma Newsome, Gregory Saunier, Evan Ziporyn, Bill Frisell, Paula Matthusen, Kyle Sanna, Gabriela Frank, Osvaldo Golijov and Lisa Bielawa, as well as a violin concerto by Gonzalo Grau, commissioned for Johnny by Community Music Works. 

    His upcoming season includes Lou Harrison’s centennial celebration in Boston, The release of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin on “In a Circle Records,” and U.S. tours with Silk Road Ensemble and Brooklyn Rider.

    Gandelsman was born in Moscow into a family of musicians. His father Yuri is a professor of Viola at Michigan State University, his mother Janna is a pianist, and his sister Natasha is a violinist as well.
  • Evan Ziporyn
    Evan Ziporyn’s musical work is informed by his 35+ year involvement with gamelan, and directly inspired by Lou Harrison’s visionary example. His groundbreaking compositions for cross-cultural ensembles have been commissioned and performed by Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad, Wu Man, Maya Beiser, Kronos Quartet, the American Composers Orchestra, Brooklyn Rider, and So Percussion. He shared a 2017 Grammy with Silkroad for Best World Music Album, and his work with the group will be featured in Ken Burns’ upcoming The Vietnam War. He has performed/conducted at major venues throughout the world, including (most recently) leading the Barcelona Philharmonic in the European premiere of his Blackstar Concerto, which he debuted at MIT with is own ensemble, the Ambient Orchestra. His Gorecki Project will be featured at this year’s Warsaw Autumn and Sacrum/Profanum Festivals. He co-founded the Bang on a Can All-Stars in 1992, performing with the group for 20 years, and producing and arranging their landmark recording of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports recording. He is also a longstanding member of the Steve Reich Ensemble; other collaborators have included Paul Simon, Ornette Coleman, Terry Riley, Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, Iva Bittova, Don Byron, Meredith Monk, and Ensemble Modern. At MIT he heads Music and Theater Arts and is Faculty Director of the Center for Art, Science and Technology.

About MIT Sounding

MIT Sounding is an annual performance series sponsored by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST). Curated by CAST Faculty Director Evan Ziporyn, Sounding seeks to present works that blur the lines between the traditional and the contemporary, and which present personal and compelling visions of new, evolving musics that defies genre. 

About CAST

The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) creates new opportunities for art, science, and technology to thrive as interrelated, mutually informing modes of exploration, knowledge, and discovery. CAST’s multidisciplinary platform presents performing and visual arts programs, supports research projects for artists to collaborate with science and engineering labs, and sponsors symposia, classes, workshops, design studios, lectures, and publications. The Center is funded in part by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Evan Ziporyn is Faculty Director, and Leila Kinney is Executive Director.  

Co-presented with MIT as part of the MIT Sounding concert series.


First Republic Bank is proud to sponsor the ICA’s 2017–18 Performance Season.

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