This Is America - Part 4
Performance
Johnny Gandelsman

This Is America: Part IV

featuring a Hop Commission and Resident Artist
July 20, 2024
Jul 20
Saturday 6:00 PM
Bema Outdoor Amphitheater 2h00m

In the final concert of his residency, Gandelsman premieres the Hop-commissioned new composition by Gonzalo Grau and completes his 27-piece anthology.

23/24 Hop Presents

This is America comes as a response to the turbulent year of 2020 and celebrates America's rich cultural tapestry as seen through the perspectives of contemporary US-based composers.

Over the course of a year-long residency at the Hop, violinist and former member of Silkroad Ensemble Johnny Gandelsman performs the entire anthology for the first time and expands the project with four new Hop-commissioned pieces. Grau will be in attendance to shed light on his new work.

Funded in part by the Marion and Frederick B. Whittemore '53 T'54 Distinguished Artists Series Fund and the Roesch Family Fund. Photos: courtesy of the artists

Johnny Gandelsman
Grammy award-winning violinist and producer Johnny Gandelsman's musical voice reflects the artistic collaborations he has been a part of since moving to the United States in 1995. The New Yorker has called Johnny "revelatory," placing him in the company of "radically transformative" performers like Maurizio Pollini, Peter Serkin and Christian Zacharias. As a founding member of Brooklyn Rider and a former member of the Silkroad Ensemble, Johnny has closely worked with such luminaries as Bela Fleck, Martin Hayes, Kayhan Kalhor, Yo-Yo Ma and Mark Morris. Gandelsman integrates a wide range of creative sensibilities into a unique style amongst today's violinists. Johnny's recording of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, which reached #1 on the Billboard Classical Chart, and made it onto NY Magazine and NY Times Best of the Year lists. A passionate advocate for new music, Johnny has premiered dozens of new works and has been producing records since starting his label, In a Circle Records in 2008. Recent credits include the Silkroad Ensemble's critically-acclaimed recording of Osvaldo Golijov tone poem in voices Falling out of Time (In a Circle Records); Brooklyn Rider's Healing Modes and The Wanderer (In a Circle Records); and Sing Me Home, a Grammy-award winner for Best World Music album (Sony). Johnny also produced music for Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Bottstein's film The US and the Holocaust. Johnny was born in Moscow into a family of musicians. His father Yuri is a violist, his mother Janna is a pianist, and his sister Natasha is a violinist as well. He lives in New York.

Christina Courtin
Christina Courtin's Situation Station, recorded four years after the release of Varsity, can best be described as a tapestry of her musical and life experiences. As she weaves together her dual worlds, the singer-songwriter and classically trained violinist guide listeners through somber plains and heartbreak, all the while surrounding them with warmth, joy, and hope. She has also been a collaborator and side(wo)man to many artists and groups, most recently including Bonnie Prince Billy, Planetarium, Doyle Bramhall II, Lee Ann Womack, Nico Muhly, Dr. Dog, Lisa Loeb, Sara Barellies, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. She is a featured soloist for the films Chappaquiddick and Free State of Jones, and occasionally writes music for This American Life. As an educator, Christina has led a Songwriting Composition Seminar at Dartmouth College for undergraduates as well as an Independent Study for graduate students, and was also a teaching fellow and performer at Sing-Sing Correctional Facility through the Musical Connections Program at Carnegie Hall.  www.christinacourtin.com

Rhiannon Giddens
The acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens uses her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present. A MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient, Giddens co-founded the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, and she has been nominated for six additional Grammys for her work as a soloist and collaborator. Giddens's forthcoming album, They're Calling Me Home, is a twelve-track album, recorded with Turrisi in Ireland during the recent lockdown; it speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical "call home" of death, which has been a tragic reality for so many during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Giddens's lifelong mission is to lift up people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been erased, and to work toward a more accurate understanding of the country's musical origins. Pitchfork has said of her work, "few artists are so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration," and Smithsonian Magazine calls her "an electrifying artist who brings alive the memories of forgotten predecessors, white and black." www.rhiannongiddens.com

Marika Hughes 
Marika Hughes is a native New Yorker, a cellist, singer and a storyteller on The Moth. Marika has worked with Whitney Houston, Lou Reed, Anthony Braxton, David Byrne, Adele, Henry Threadgill, D'Angelo, Idina Menzel, Nels Cline, Somi and Taylor Mac, among many others. She was a founding member of the Bay Area-based bands 2 Foot Yard (Two Foot Yard, Tzadik 2003 & Borrowed Arms, Yard Work, 2008) and Red Pocket (Thick, Tzadik 2004). She is a master teacher and director for Young Arts and a teaching-artist at Carnegie Hall's Lullaby Project. She currently holds the cello chair at the Broadway show, Hadestown. Marika has self-released three albums: The Simplest Thing (2011), Afterlife Music Radio (2011) and New York Nostalgia (2016). She happily leads her bands Bottom Heavy and The New String Quartet and is the co-founder and co-director of Looking Glass Arts, an artist residency and youth education program in upstate New York. With a commitment to a sliding scale fee structure, LGA is democratizing access to the space, time and natural beauty critical to artistic and educational growth. Marika lives in the countryside of Kings County.  www.marikahughes.com

Dana Lyn
Brooklyn-based musician Dana Lyn has performed at New York's Lincoln Center, Beacon Theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, as well as folk festivals and dive bars the world over. A violinist/fiddler, violist, pianist and enthusiastic bass player, she is at home in a wide range of musical genres and has worked with Tony Award-winning musicians Stew and Heidi Rodewald, actor-directors Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio, Imani Uzuri, Somi, D'Angelo and the Vanguard, 2017 MacArthur Fellow Taylor Mac, Bruce Springsteen, the Elysian Fields, Irish poet Louis de Paor, Killer Mike and the Walkmen. As a composer, she has received commissions from the Brooklyn Rider, the National Arts Council of Ireland, the Inception Orchestra, the Apple Hill String Quartet, the Portland Chamber Music Festival, A Far Cry, the Irish Arts Center, Palaver Strings and the New Orchestra of Washington, among others. Her arrangements for fiddler Martin Hayes and the Brooklyn Rider were featured on WNYC's New Sounds and she contributed string arrangements to Catherine Russell's Grammy-nominated record Alone Together and Cherish the Ladies' PBS special An Irish Homecoming. danalynmusic.com

Tomeka Reid 
Described as a "New Jazz Power Source" by the New York Times, cellist and composer Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original, versatile and curious musicians in Chicago's bustling jazz and improvised music community over the last decade. Her distinctive melodic sensibility, always rooted in a strong sense of groove, has been featured in many distinguished ensembles over the years. Reid has been a key member of ensembles led by legendary reedists like Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, as well as a younger generation of visionaries including flutist Nicole Mitchell, vocalist Dee Alexander, and drummer Mike Reed. She co-leads the adventurous string trio HEAR IN NOW, and in 2013 launched the first Chicago Jazz String Summit. In the Fall of 2019 Tomeka Reid received a teaching appointment at Mills College as the Darius Milhaud chair in composition. www.tomekareid.net

Terry Riley 
California composer Terry Riley launched what is now known as the Minimalist movement with his revolutionary classic IN C in 1964. This seminal work provided a new concept in musical form based on interlocking repetitive patterns. Its impact was to change the course of 20th-century music and its influence has been heard in the works of prominent composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams and in the music of Rock Groups such as The Who, The Soft Machine, Tangerine Dream, Curved Air and many others. Terry's hypnotic, multi-layered, polymetric, brightly orchestrated eastern flavored improvisations and compositions set the stage for the prevailing interest in a new tonality. terryriley.net

Akshaya Avril Tucker 
Akshaya Avril Tucker is a composer, cellist and Odissi dancer, whose work is inspired by the music and dance traditions of South Asia. Her recent commissions include solo works for Johnny Gandelsman and Robert Howard, and chamber works for invoke and Density512. Her music has been performed by the Refugee Orchestra Project at National Sawdust, and by Vent Nouveau, Johnny Gandelsman and Joshua Roman. She is a current Composer Fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. Akshaya holds an MM in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA in Music from Brown University. In 2018, she received honorable mentions from National Sawdust's Hildegard Competition and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. In 2017, she received a Rainwater Innovation Grant from the University of Texas to collaborate with Hindustani vocalist Saili Oak. Akshaya has performed Odissi dance worldwide with Nataraj Dance Company under Guru Ranjanaa Devi. She is Programs Manager at Shastra, an organization dedicated to connecting the musical communities of India and the West. www.akshayatucker.com

"Rich in diversity but united by interpretative beauty and belief…potentially one of the important recordings of our time"

Gramophone

“Intoxicating…kaleidoscopic invention...Gandelsman is attuned to the precise nature of each artist, and tailors his sound to each one…quietly impressive"

The New York Times
Artist in Residence: Johnny Gandelsman
Johnny Gandelsman

The Hop will present his entire This is America anthology for the first time, including four Hop commissions with guest composers visiting for each concert. Gandelsman will expand the original 24-...

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Richard Move
2023/24 Season

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