This past Saturday, the Talea Ensemble hosted Strasbourg's Ensemble Linea at the Rose Studio in NYC. Members of both groups took part in a concert that was intended to be a sort of cultural exchange. The French/American program featured two world premieres and a US premiere.
The value of this exchange cannot be overstated. Contemporary music groups play an important role in bringing new and exciting compositional voices to the attention of the public. I have long applauded Talea for regularly programming the works of many important non-American composers. This year alone they have devoted concerts to Hans Abrahamsen (Denmark), Unsuk Chin (Korea) and Olga Neuwirth (Austria). Saturday's concert included works by French composers Florent Motsch, Brice Pauset, Frédéric Durieux and Gérard Grisey as well as Americans Anthony Cheung and Charles Wuorinen.
As part of their brief American tour, Ensemble Linea will participate in the June in Buffalo festival with performances on the 9th and 11th. On the latter concert they will repeat Pauset's electrifying Quatre Variations (2007) and Gérard Grisey's Talea (1986). If you can't make it to Buffalo, check out Ensemble Linea's YouTube channel which includes the performance below of Hyun-Hwa Cho's Puzzle. Talea likewise has a YouTube channel and I have embedded a video of Anthony Cheung playing his own solo piano work Running the (Full) Gamut (hat tip to Christian Carey and his File Under? Blog for alerting me to this excellent performance).