New Music for New York is the theme of the Museum of Modern Art’s annual summer concert series, which takes place in the Sculpture Garden. Juilliard produces two of the concerts and Jazz at Lincoln Center produces the other two; our final one takes place on July 24.
The program that night features the Cavatina, a quartet of current Juilliard students and alums: Randall Goosby and Mariella Haubs, violins; Jameel Martin, viola; and Jia Kim (subbing for Yi Qun Xu, the group’s regular cellist). The concert opens with Akira Nishimura’s Quartet No. 3, “Avian” (1997); Nishimura said he was inspired to write it by a torrent of birdsong that he heard in Australia.
Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń (b. 1985), a composer, flutist, pianist, and improvisor on the faculty of the Katowice (Poland) Academy of Music, also creates computer graphics and investigates the possibilities of linking music and art. She says that the second item on our program, String Quartet No. 3 (2013), subtitled “I Find My Song,” was “written by itself from the spirit of time, thoughts, intuition, and divinity.”
James Primosch (b. 1956), who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote String Quartet No. 3 (1999), our last piece. His style is marked by relative conservativeness combined with remarkable freedom, and he cast this quartet as an extended theme and variations interrupted by a fantasia and cadenzas.
Faculty member Joel Sachs has directed Juilliard students in free outdoor concerts at the Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden series since 1993.