Spring Figures (2021)
from the composer
Spring Figures is a short reaction to Charline von Heyl’s reimagination of Botticelli’s Primavera . The piece, for solo cello, takes its cue from the menace of the vertical lines of the background of the painting, which is reflected in unmoving and uncompromisingly high sustained notes. The rest of the piece is a series of ascending and descending and crabwise figures, establishing a sense of kinetic unrest. Spring Figures is dedicated to Matt Haimovitz.
Nico Muhly, born in 1981, is an American composer who writes orchestral music, works for the stage, chamber music and sacred music. He’s received commissions from The Metropolitan Opera: Two Boys, (2011) and Marnie (2018); Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Tallis Scholars, King’s College and St John’s College, Cambridge, Wigmore Hall, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, among others. He is an avid collaborator, and has worked with choreographers Benjamin Millepied at the Paris Opéra Ballet, Bobbi Jene Smith at the Juilliard School, Justin Peck and Kyle Abraham at New York City Ballet; artists Sufjan Stevens, The National, Teitur, Anohni, James Blake and Paul Simon; and has written film scores for The Reader (2008) and Kill Your Darlings (2013), and the BBC adaptation of Howards End (2017). Among his concerti are works for violin, (Shrink, for Pekka Kuusisto), organ (Register, for James McVinnie), viola (Nadia Sirota), and collaborates with the same artists as a composer and performer of chamber music. He has written vocal works for Iestyn Davies, Renée Fleming, and Nicholas Phan. He has collaborated with artists Maira Kalman and Oliver Beer, and has created site-specific pieces for the National Gallery, London, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and written articles for the Guardian, the New York Times, and the London Review of Books. Recordings of his works have been released by Decca and Nonesuch, and he is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes (2006) and Mothertongue (2008).