“When considering seminal creators in American history, Ives is one of the most interesting subjects. He’s an innovator, an American original who embodies so many of the ideals we claim as culturally significant. His compositions were essential in defining, and revolutionizing, American music. Through its Celebrating American Composers series, Strathmore applauds the unparalleled contributions of this most exceptional composer.” – Eliot Pfanstiehl, Strathmore Founder and CEO.
This weekend the Strathmore and Post-Classical Ensemble will present a weekend dedicated to the work of one of America’s most transformational composers – Charles Ives – including concerts, performances, workshops and discussions with experts including renowned piano virtuoso Jeremy Denk and baritone William Sharp. A part of the Strathmore’s Celebrating American Composers series, a sweeping year-long exploration of the dynamic talents and innovations that have shaped American music and its diverse genres, and as an encore to its ambitious Stravinsky Project in 2010 – The Strathmore, in partnership with Post-Classical Ensemble, will embark on The Ives Project, a cross-disciplinary three-day exploration of the work, life, influences and impact of the iconic New Englander Charles Ives from Thursday, November 3 through Saturday, November 5, 2011. This immersive experience will convene actors, scholars and musicians, including two of the most eminent exponents of Ives’ music—the pianist Jeremy Denk and baritone William Sharp—to tell the story of Ives through live performances, rare recordings, readings from his private diary and letters and expert lectures.
An irrefutably transformative force in American music and innovative composer, Ives had little public exposure during his career and remains relatively obscure to the concert-going public. “Though regarded by many as America’s pre-eminent concert composer, Ives remains little-known to the concert-going public”, Post-Classical Ensemble Artistic Director Joseph Horowitz shared. “His music retains an esoteric taint. In part, this results from its belated discovery by modernists who cherished complexity. Today, in post-modern times, the opportunity is ripe to rediscover Ives as a turn-of-the-century Connecticut Yankee rooted in Transcendentalism and Progressivism – a product, however original, of his own time and place.”
The Ives Project runs this weekend – November 3-5, 2011 at the Strathmore in Bethesda, MD and will include the following events:
- Ives Masterclass with Jeremy Denk — Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 4 p.m.; Location: Mansion at Strathmore; Admission: Free (tickets required); Piano virtuoso and, “One of the best pianists of his generation” (Denver Post), Jeremy Denk, will guide piano students in the intricacies of performing Ives’ music and mainstays of the American repertoire.
- Ives Plays Ives — Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.; Location: Mansion at Strathmore; Admission: Free (tickets required); Post-Classical Ensemble Artistic Director Joseph Horowitz and pianist Jeremy Denk present and discuss rare recordings of Ives performing his own music.
- Charles Ives: A Life in Music (Concert) — Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 8 p.m.; Location: Music Center at Strathmore; Admission: Tickets $15 – $25 (Stars Price $13.50–$22.50); Featuring Jeremy Denk, piano; William Sharp, baritone; Carolyn Goelzer and Floyd King, actors; Post-Classical Ensemble with Angel Gil-Ordóñez, conductor; written and directed by Joseph Horowitz; This theatrical concert weaves music and readings from the composer’s essays and letters in a guided tour through this American original’s life and work—his passionate courtship, his fierce Transcendentalism and his cranky politics. An original script written by Joseph Horowitz helps to define the composer’s life through his relationships with close confidantes, peers and family. This event includes a post-concert discussion with artists and scholars. Performance features Jeremy Denk, piano; William Sharp, baritone; Floyd King and Carolyn Goelzer, actors; and Post-Classical Ensemble with conductor Angel Gil-Ordóñez.
- Beethoven and Ives — Friday, November 4, 2011 at 8 p.m.; Location: Music Center at Strathmore; Admission: Tickets $15 – $45 (Stars Price $13.50-$40.50); Featuring Jeremy Denk, piano and William Sharp, baritone; Hailed at its 1939 premiere as “the greatest music composed by an American, and the most deeply and essentially American” (New York Herald-Tribune), the four movements of Ives’ landmark Concord Sonata are dedicated to iconic New England literary figures Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau and the Alcotts. This performance of the work incorporates readings by these great voices of American literature. In tribute to Ives’ lifelong admiration for Beethoven, the concert concludes with Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata. The performance features Jeremy Denk, piano and William Sharp, reader. Audience members can join a post-concert discussion with the artists.
- Interpreting Ives — Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm.; Location: Music Center at Strathmore – Room 402; Admission: Tickets $15 (Stars Price $13.50); 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Lecture/performance with Joseph Horowitz on Ives and the 21st Century; Jeremy Denk on Ives and Beethoven ~~ 4:30 – 5:15 pm: Reception and mingling with the artists ~~ 5:15 – 6:30 pm: Tom Owens on Ives’ letters; William Sharp performs and discusses the parlor sources of Ives’ songs; In this intimate immersion experience, definitive Ives authorities Joseph Horowitz, Jeremy Denk, Tom Owens and William Sharp build an understanding and image of the celebrated composer by exploring his relevance in the 21st century and relationship to revolutionary musical predecessors.
- Ives and Other Innovators — Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.; Location: Mansion at Strathmore; Admission: Tickets $30 (Stars Price $27); Featuring compositions by Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, Charles Ives and Caleb Burhans. Known for its “viscerally exciting performances” (The New York Times), the JACK Quartet is dedicated to presenting bold new music. The intrepig ensemble performs the music of Ives juxtaposed with works by contemporary composers. The performance also includes a post-concert discussion with the artists.
For additional information visit The Ives Project at Strathmore. To purchase tickets, visit The Strathmore or call (301) 581-5100.
Strathmore and Post-Classical Ensemble Present The Ives Project
Thursday, November 3 through Saturday, November 5, 2011 (Times Vary)
The Music Center at Strathmore : 5301 Tuckerman Lane or The Mansion at Strathmore : 10701 Rockville Pike (North Bethesda, MD 20852)
Times, Prices and Locations Vary – Be sure to check the Ives Project schedule