Ellis Island. Photo courtesy of the New-York Historical SocietySunday, March 18, 3 pm at Carnegie Hall

Ellis Island to JFK
Concert & Dialogue

American music continually enriched by immigrant composers.

American Composers Orchestra
Dennis Russell Davies, conductor
Leon Fleisher, piano
Jin Hi Kim, komungo

JIN HI KIM: Eternal Rock (World Premiere, ACO Commission)
TANIA LEÓN: Desde...
(World Premiere, Commissioned by ACO with support from the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Inc.)
LUKAS FOSS: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
ARNOLD SCHOENBERG: Variations for Orchestra

A pre-concert discussion with the composers, free to ticket holders, begins at 1:45 pm. The performance concludes with a dialogue with composers and the audience.

Tickets: $46, $35, and $16Carnegie Hall
Call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.
Tickets are also available on the Internet at www.carnegiehall.org, or at the Carnegie Hall box office.

About "Ellis Island to JFK"

On Sunday, March 18, 2001 at 3pm in Carnegie Hall, American Composers Orchestra presents "Ellis Island to JFK," a program that explores the continual enrichment of American music by immigrant composers. The afternoon features two world premieres and ACO commissions: Desde&ldots;, a new work by Cuban-American composer-conductor Tania León, and Eternal Rock by Korean-American Jin Hi Kim. The latter work features Ms. Kim as komungo (traditional fretted Korean zither) soloist. Also on the program is the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand by German-American Lukas Foss, performed by Leon Fleisher, and Arnold Schoenberg's monumental Variations for Orchestra. Dennis Russell Davies will conduct.

Ms. León has a close and long-term relationship with ACO and its audiences. As the orchestra's Latin American Music Advisor, she has been the guiding force behind Sonidos de las Américas, ACO's six annual festivals of music from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Cuba, that introduced music by nearly 100 contemporary Latin American composers. Ms. León's own music combines the sophisticated rhythms of her home country with rigorous and incisive harmonic and melodic development. Last season she created a sensation in Europe with her opera, A Scourge of Hyacinths, developed in collaboration with Robert Wilson, which had ten performances by the Grand Theatre de Genève, with more planned in Europe and Latin America. Last summer her new work Horizons received its premiere at the Tanglewood Festival.

Jin Hi Kim's Eternal Rock is her first orchestral commission. The work combines Eastern and Western instruments exploring a sound-world that crosses ethnic, national, stylistic, and ontological boundaries. Eternal Rock is the latest in Ms. Kim's series of compositions based on her "Living Tones" concept-an improvisational approach deeply rooted in Korean Shamanistic music in which each tone is alive, embodying its own individual shape, sound and subtext.

Ms. Kim was trained as a traditional komungo player in her native Korea, and later studied composition at Mills College. She is also co-developer of the world's only electric komungo, creating interactive multimedia pieces for that instrument and MIDI computer systems. She has performed her compositions with the likes of the Kronos Quartet, Xenakis Ensemble, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has worked with such leading improvisers as James Newton, Oliver Lake, Evan Parker, and Elliott Sharp. Her music has been performed at major festivals throughout the world, including the Next Wave, Darmstadt, and Lincoln Center Festivals. She also collaborated with virtuosos of the Indian sitar, Japanese koto, African drum and Australian didgeridoo on her "Komungo Around the World" CD project. Josef Woodard of The Los Angeles Times calls her work, "new music/world music at its finest, beyond political correctness, into the realm of the sublime, where words and cultural postures fall away."

In advance of her orchestral premiere, Ms. Kim will perform in ACO's "Composers OutFront" series at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater on Friday, March 9th, 2001 at 8:30 pm. There she will perform komungo and electric komungo solos, plus her Nong Rock for string quartet and komungo, commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Kronos Quartet. That program also features Ms. Kim's improvisational ensemble, Quagmire, with William Parker on bass and the famed Oliver Lake on saxophone.

Born in Berlin, Lukas Foss was awarded the Gold Medal for Music of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in May of 2000, recognizing his position as one of the 20th century's major musical figures. His Piano Concerto for the Left Hand was written in 1994 for the program's soloist, Leon Fleisher, commissioned by the Boston Symphony for its Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert at Tanglewood. Fleisher, a foremost interpreter of piano left-hand literature, meets the many challenges posed by Foss in the three-movement work, especially in the fugal last movement which includes a cue for the orchestra to shout an homage from the composer to the pianist: "Here's to L.F from L.F."

Rounding-out the program is Arnold Schoenberg's landmark Variations for Orchestra, a work from 1926-28, that solidified the composer's 12-tone techniques around a grand traditional form. This performance marks ACO's debut performance of the Schoenberg masterpiece.

Tickets & Info:

Tickets for the March 18, 2001 concert at Carnegie Hall are $46, $33, and $16. Tickets may be purchased through CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, by visiting Carnegie Hall's website at www.carnegiehall.org, or at the Carnegie Hall box office, 57th Street at 7th Ave. The concert is preceded by a discussion with the composers, free to ticket-holders, at 1:45pm. A post-concert audience dialogue will follow the concert.