Friday, October 6, 2017

National Chamber Ensemble Celebrates Music of Spain, October 14th

Bowen McCauley Dance (Photo: Jeff Malet)

From our friends at the National Chamber Ensemble...

National Chamber Ensemble’s Night in the Garden of Spain Celebrates Music of Granados, Turína, and More, Saturday, October 14 at 7:30 PM at Gunston Arts Center

Featuring Premiere of Commissioned Work by Bowen McCauley Dance

The National Chamber Ensemble opens its eleventh season with Night in the Garden of Spain - a repertoire of classical Spanish masterpieces - on Saturday, October 14 at 7:30 PM at the Gunston Arts Center.

General admission tickets are $36 for adults and $18 for students, plus applicable service charges. Tickets are available online at Group discounts for 10 or more are available by calling (703) 685-7590. Season subscriptions, which include all five concerts, are currently on sale and priced at $135 through September 14, and $145 thereafter. For more information, please call (703) 685-7590 or visit All concerts are followed by a reception with the artists.

"For the season opening, I wanted to present an exciting program we had not done before, as well as feature a collaboration with one of our favorite companies, Bowen McCauley Dance,” explains Artistic Director Leo Sushansky. “I am so happy to present a program that spotlights the best and most famous composers of Spain. The classical music of Spain has its own unique and enticing qualities, drawing on folk song and dance elements. It is the perfect program to unite music and dance. This year marks the 150th birthday of Enrique Granados, one of the great Spanish masters, and we are thrilled to perform some of his most beautiful works."

The evening’s program is scheduled to include Granados’ Piano Trio Op. 50, as well as two piano pieces from his Goyescas, Op. 11 (subtitled Los Majos Enamorados, or “The Gallants in Love”). Piano Trio Op. 50 was written during a time when Granados was establishing himself as a composer and pianist, and performing as part of a trio with the cellist Pablo Casals.

The music of Casals is featured with a rendition of “Song of the Birds,” a Catalonian folk song which Casals performed at the end of each concert beginning in 1950 to protest what he felt was continued oppression in Spain by General Francisco Franco.

Manuel de Falla’s “Suite Populaire Espagnole” began as a set of Spanish songs for voice and piano. They proved immediately and enduringly popular, prompting arrangements for a variety of instruments, including one (by prodigy Paul Kochański) for violin and piano. Featuring elements of Spanish flair and folk music, the piece is a perfect musical backdrop for the premiere choreography of Lucy Bowen McCauley, commissioned especially for this composition and performed by Bowen McCauley Dance.

Night in the Garden of Spain also features “Asturias,” by composer and piano virtuoso Isaac Albéniz, and Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 67 by Joaquin Turína. Albéniz became one of the most influential figures in Spanish music history with his native folk music and nod to flamenco stylings. Turína’s professional and personal friendships with de Falla and Albéniz led him to compose in a more consciously Spanish style.

The artists performing include Sean Neidlinger (cello), Carlos César Rodríguez (piano), Leo Sushansky (violin), and Uri Wassertzug (viola.)

National Chamber Ensemble's internationally acclaimed musicians have redefined the meaning of chamber music by incorporating tango, jazz, klezmer, opera, ballet, modern dance, and multimedia into programs with traditional classical masterpieces. The Ensemble has also hosted premiere works by top contemporary classical composers such as Lowell Liebermann, Gary William Friedman, Dick Hyman, and Alexander Goldstein.

The remainder of the 2017-18 NCE season includes Holiday Cheer on December 16, The Romantic Violin for Two on February 10, Strings Fever - Brahms and Mendelssohn on March 24, and Today’s Classical and Jazz Masters on May 19.

About Gunston Arts Center:
Gunston Middle School and Community Center – Theater 1
2700 South Lang Street, Arlington 22206
Parking: Free on-site

About National Chamber Ensemble:
The National Chamber Ensemble was founded in 2007 to provide opportunities to appreciate and enjoy the art of chamber music, bringing together performers, audiences, and composers. Through its performances and commissions of original musical works, NCE presents a full range of chamber music repertoire from the classics to the contemporary. Its internationally-acclaimed musicians provide outstanding performances of chamber music in an intimate setting. The Ensemble has presented several world premieres and hosted visiting guest artists such as international clarinet star Julian Milkis (the only pupil of Benny Goodman), opera diva Carmen Balthrop, and America's most often performed and recorded living composer Lowell Liebermann, among others. Over the years, NCE has collaborated with Ballet Nova, Choralis Children's Choir, Russian Chamber Art Society, and Bowen McCauley Dance. NCE strives to build a sense of closeness between performers and audience that enhances the feeling of community and a deeper musical experience.

The National Chamber Ensemble is supported in part by the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.

The National Chamber Ensemble is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Bowen McCauley Dance:
For 20 years Bowen McCauley Dance has energized broadly diverse audiences with inventive and vibrant choreography - a fusion of contemporary and classical techniques set to a sweeping range of musical styles. Showcasing the founding Artistic Director Lucy Bowen McCauley’s choreography, this award-winning company is renowned for its spirited dancers, use of live music, the professionalism of its dance performances, and its extraordinary outreach programs for socio-economically diverse communities. Ranging from free family-friendly programs to ticketed concerts, BMD performs regularly throughout Northern Virginia and the greater DC area.