THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT & the PENTATONE Oxingale Series present
Cellist MATT HAIMOVITZ’s latest recording:
PRIMAVERA II the rabbits
Featuring the Next 13 of 81 World Premiere Recordings Of New Works for Solo Cello
BREAKING NEWS: Charline von Heyl’s Primavera 2020 and THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT
To Be Featured in the prestigious Venice Biennale Arte 2022 (Apr-Nov 2022)
Release Date: February 4, 2022 (PENTATONE Oxingale Series, PTC 5186293)
David Balakrishnan | Nia Imani Franklin | Gordon Getty | Jennifer Jolley | Texu Kim | Sky Macklay
Missy Mazzoli | Nico Muhly | Niloufar Nourbakhsh | Tomeka Reid | Juri Seo | Nina Shekhar | Alex Weston
Press downloads available upon request.
Marfa, TX – On February 4, 2022, multi-Grammy nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz’s latest recording, PRIMAVERA II the rabbits, will be released on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series. The new digital album features the next 13 of 81 new pieces written for Haimovitz, commissioned by THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT, also featuring Haimovitz’s new arrangement of Josquin de Prez’s Kyrie (from Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae). The project asks composers to respond to Sandro Botticelli’s enigmatic painting, Primavera, and the prophetic large-scale triptych, Primavera 2020, by contemporary artist Charline von Heyl. Haimovitz recorded the album in May 2021 at von Heyl’s artist studio near downtown Marfa, Texas. More information about the project, composers, and pieces is available at THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT’s online hub, www.theprimaveraproject.com.
ABOUT THE ALBUM:
PRIMAVERA II the rabbits is the second of six albums in a momentous series encompassing 81 world premieres for solo cello. This digital album presents 13 new commissions by THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT for groundbreaking, multi-GRAMMY nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz. Each composer responds to Sandro Botticelli’s enigmatic painting, Primavera, and the prophetic large-scale triptych, Primavera 2020, by world-renowned contemporary artist Charline von Heyl. The album also features Haimovitz’s new arrangement of Josquin de Prez’s Kyrie (from Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae).
PRIMAVERA II the rabbits begins where PRIMAVERA I the wind left off, referencing the time of Botticelli. Haimovitz plays all four parts of his arrangement of Josquin des Prez’s Kyrie from Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae, bridging to Missy Mazzoli’s deconstruction of Josquin in her haunting Beyond the Order of Things (After Josquin). Haimovitz also overlays the four cellos of Texu Kim’s Beseeching, entwining Native-American rain dance drumming and old Korean melodies in voices of desperation and hope.
The album takes its name from the rabbit trilogy motif in Charline von Heyl’s work. In Primavera 2020, the rabbits join the dancing graces, referencing centuries of symbolism: eternity, rebirth, fertility, and vitality. Niloufar Nourbakhsh depicts this communal ecstasy in her Cyclical Rabbits, incorporating Persian modes and oud-like strumming.
As with the first album, PRIMAVERA II the rabbits celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the American contemporary landscape. From Nico Muhly’s Spring Figures which leads our mind’s eye through the upward, rhythmic trajectory of the paintings to the soaring Volplaning by Tomeka Reid; from the pathos of Gordon Getty’s Spring Song to the abstraction of Nina Shekhar’s A negative space, an exploration of timbre and overtones. The contrapuntal serialism of Juri Seo’s Two Rhapsodies of Spring – the first violent in its ushering of Spring, the second a gentle Sarabande – is juxtaposed with David Balakrishnan’s channeling of Jimi Hendrix in his Theme and Variants. Sky Macklay’s 1 3 2 3 is a journey through the groupings of figures in the Primavera paintings; Nia Franklin’s Afro-dite focuses on the goddess Venus and women’s complex roles in our shared humanity. Alex Weston’s Sandro/Charline: Both embraces Bach-like strains in a rondo form, and Texas-based composer Jennifer Jolly re-imagines Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, and Stravinsky in a raucous, unrelenting Compulsive Bloom.
PRIMAVERA II the rabbits | Matt Haimovitz, cello | PENTATONE Oxingale Series
- Kyrie (from Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae) by Josquin des Prez (arr. Matt Haimovitz) (2:36)
- Beyond the Order of Things (After Josquin) by Missy Mazzoli (4:32)
- Cyclical Rabbits by Niloufar Nourbakhsh (6:12)
- Volplaning Tomeka Reid (5:28)
- Spring Figures by Nico Muhly (4:56)
- Two Rhapsodies of Spring by Juri Seo (7:25)
- Spring Song by Gordon Getty (1:56)
- Theme and Variants by David Balakrishnan (3:39)
- 1 3 2 3 by Sky Macklay (5:26)
- Afro-dite by Nia Imani Franklin (6:04)
- Compulsive Bloom by Jennifer Jolley (4:25)
- Shandro:Chaline:Both by Alex Weston (7:20)
- A negative space by Nina Shekhar (5:13)
- Beseeching by Texu Kim (4:40)
Total Duration: 01hr 03min
Executive Producers: Matt Haimovitz & Jeffrianne Young, M.D.
Produced by David Frost
Editing & Mixing: David Frost
Recording Engineer: Brian Losch
Mastering Engineer: Silas Brown
Cover Art: Detail of Charline von Heyl’s Primavera 2020, used with kind permission
Feb 4: Milton, MA, Milton Academy (virtual), world premieres of Jorge Sosa, Laura Schwendinger, program includes works by Vijay Iyer, Juri Seo, Missy Mazzoli, & J.S. Bach.
Feb 26: San Francisco, CA, SF Performances (live), world premieres of Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Tomeka Reid, David Balakrishnan, program includes works by Gordon Getty, Vijay Iyer, Missy Mazzoli, & J.S. Bach.
April 9: Boston, MA (live) tbd
April 10: Salem, MA (live) tbd
April 17-26: Venice, Italy, Venice Biennale Arte 2022 (live), various venues
April 28: Brooklyn, NY, National Sawdust (live)
May 11-June 1: Germany (live), various venues
June 6: Cleveland, OH (live), The Aronson Cello Festival
June 23-29: Eugene, OR (live), Oregon Bach Festival
For additional event details, see: www.theprimaveraproject.com/events
THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT is an exploration of music and art as sources of influence and inspiration for each other. During this time of global pandemic and social upheaval, both Primavera paintings’ composition, characters, symbolism, nature and flora, darkness and light, mythology, identity, and spirituality are ripe for new interpretation. The project’s commissions began with nine composers, incorporating a variety of musical languages. Each composer recommends colleagues to be considered until a total of 81 composers are selected. The distinct and diverse contemporary compositional voices bridge the centuries, expanding and redefining the range and repertoire of the solo cello. All 81 resulting pieces will be recorded for commercial release, with Haimovitz recording the fourth album of the ongoing series in Marfa, Texas later in 2022. PRIMAVERA III will be released in May 2022.
The project is co-directed by Matt Haimovitz and Dr. Jeffrianne Young. The seeds of the project were planted in spring 2019, when Haimovitz and Young visited the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., and encountered an exhibition of Charline von Heyl’s work. They were immediately drawn to the multi-layered musicality of her paintings, and her whimsical imagination intertwined with literary and historical references. In summer 2019, they experienced a similar epiphany with Botticelli’s Primavera on a visit to the Uffizi in Florence. That fall, Haimovitz and Young reached out to von Heyl, who expressed an appreciation of music and invited them to visit her studio in Marfa, Texas. In late December 2019, the three met – their lively conversation centered around the enduring relevance of Botticelli’s painting.
Haimovitz and Young asked von Heyl if she would ever consider reimagining the Botticelli Primavera painting for the 21st Century, and discussion about the idea of commissioning new cello works inspired by the artwork began. Less than two months later, days before the pandemic lockdown, von Heyl had completed her Primavera 2020.
“The world has been fractured and on the brink long before the pandemic decimated the performing arts,” says Haimovitz. “The musical commissions of THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT celebrate our golden age of musical diversity and richness. Each new piece – like the blossoming flowers, figures, and symbols of Charline von Heyl’s and Sandro Botticelli’s Primaveras – has been a ray of light, offering us hope for renewal of the human spirit.”
Young says, “I felt a sense of kinship from the very first conversation with Matt and Charline. There was a generosity of ideas between the three of us, how together we could bring to life a world of music engaging the old and new Primavera paintings. Haimovitz and von Heyl are incredibly curious about the world beyond their studios and areas of artistic expertise. They both delve deeply into historic and contemporary artistic and cultural references, delighting in how the project’s new works create dialogue and inspiration for composers, artists, performers and each of us in the audience.”
Renowned as a musical pioneer, multi-Grammy-nominated cellist MATT HAIMOVITZ is praised by The New York Times as a “ferociously talented cellist who brings his megawatt sound and uncommon expressive gifts to a vast variety of styles” and by The New Yorker as “remarkable virtuoso” who “never turns in a predictable performance.” He brings a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, champions new music, and initiates groundbreaking collaborations, as well as creating innovative recording projects. In addition to his touring schedule, Haimovitz mentors an award-winning studio of young cellists at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal and is now the first-ever John Cage Fellow at The New School’s Mannes School of Music in New York City.
Haimovitz made his debut in 1984, at the age of 13, as soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. At 17 he made his first recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for Deutsche Grammophon. He has gone on to perform on the world’s most esteemed stages, with such orchestras and conductors as the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, the English Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal with Kent Nagano.
Haimovitz’s recording career encompasses more than 20 years of award-winning work on Deutsche Grammophon (Universal), Oxingale Records, and the PENTATONE Oxingale Series. His honors include the Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Grand Prix du Disque, and the Premio Internazionale “Accademia Musicale Chigiana.” He studied with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School and graduated magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University. Haimovitz plays a Venetian cello, made in 1710 by Matteo Gofriller.
CHARLINE VON HEYL (German, b. 1960) studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and participated in the Cologne art scene in the 1980s before moving to New York in 1995. She is a painter whose practice encompasses drawing, printmaking and collage. Von Heyl’s work takes inspiration from a vast and surprising array of sources – including literature, pop culture, metaphysics and personal history. She has been the subject of several survey museum exhibitions, most recently held at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Museum Dhont Dhaenens, Deurle; and the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg.
Past survey exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; the Tate Liverpool; Kunsthalle Nürnberg; Bonner Kunstverein; and the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia. Her work can be found in collections around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Kunstmuseum Bonn; and the Tate Modern, London.
Charline von Heyl lives and works in New York and Marfa, Texas.
JEFFRIANNE YOUNG, M.D. is a board-certified eye surgeon with a longstanding interest in music and the arts. She studied violin and piano intensively in high school, attending both Eastern Music Festival and Tanglewood High School orchestra programs. A winner of MacPhail’s Concerto Competition for Violin in 1987, Dr. Young’s performance was recorded for broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio. She also performed a Haydn piano concerto with the MacPhail Orchestra on tour in West Berlin in 1988.
Dr. Young studied art history at Wellesley College before transferring to Harvard University where she continued her studies in art history and fulfilled pre-med requirements, performed as a violinist in the Bach Society Orchestra, and graduated cum laude with a BA in Fine Arts. After attending medical school at the University of Minnesota and completing her ophthalmology training at Yale University, she spent sixteen years in private practice in Des Moines, Iowa.
Dr. Young has served on a variety of boards in music, art, education and healthcare advocacy. She was a founding board member of Salon 4700 at the Des Moines Art Center, creating innovative events featuring contemporary artists and exhibitions. In 2017, she graduated from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s prestigious Leadership Development Program. She has served as President of the Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology, and various roles on the board of trustees at Bergman Academy. Dr. Young currently serves on a national healthcare advocacy board and Central Iowa’s Harvard Schools Committee. She is currently writing a screenplay.