The University of Washington Modern Music Ensemble, Cristina Valdés, director, performs works by Marc Andre Dalbavie, Betsy Jolas, and Pierre Boulez. With special guest conductor Seattle Symphony Music Director (and head of conducting at UW) Ludovic Morlot and faculty cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir.
Marc Andre Dalbavie: Palimpseste
Betsy Jolas: Wanderlied for solo cello and ensemble
Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello
Pierre Boulez: Dérive 2
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Director Bio: Cristina Valdés
Considered one of today’s foremost interpreters of contemporary music, Cristina Valdés is known for presenting innovative concerts with repertoire ranging from Bach to Xenakis. She has performed across four continents and in venues such as Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre, Jordan Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Ms. Valdés has appeared both as a soloist and chamber musician at festivals worldwide including New Music in Miami, the Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva in Mexico City, Brisbane Arts Festival, the Festival of Contemporary Music in El Salvador, Havana Contemporary Music Festival, and the Singapore Arts Festival.
An avid chamber musician and collaborator, Ms. Valdés has toured extensively with the Bang On a Can “All Stars”, and has performed with the Seattle Chamber Players, the Mabou Mines Theater Company, the Parsons Dance Company, and Antares. She has also been a featured performer on both the Seattle Symphony’s Chamber Series and [UNTITLED] concerts.
Cristina has appeared as concerto soloist with the Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Seattle Philharmonic, Philharmonia Northwest, the Eastman BroadBand, and the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, she performed the piano solo part of the Ives 4th Symphony with the Seattle Symphony.
Cristina Valdés joined the faculty of the UW School of Music in Fall 2014 as an artist in residence in the keyboard program.
Ludovic Morlot, guest conductor
The French conductor Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. Amongst the many highlights of his tenure, the orchestra have won two Grammy Awards and gave an exhilarating performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014, as reported in the The New York Times: ‘The performance Mr. Morlot coaxed from his players was rich with shimmering colours and tremulous energy.’
During the 2016/17 season Ludovic and the Seattle Symphony will continue to invite their audiences to ‘listen boldly’, presenting Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, completing their cycle of Beethoven Symphonies and Piano Concertos and several world premieres including compositions by Agata Zubel and Gabriel Prokofiev. All of this will be complemented by the Seattle Symphony’s highly innovative series; Sonic Evolution and [untitled]. This season will also see the release of several more recordings on the orchestra’s label, Seattle Symphony Media. A box set of music by Dutilleux was recently released to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
This season, Ludovic will return to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic and make his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra. He has regular relationships with the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony and has also conducted the symphony orchestras in Cleveland and Philadelphia. Ludovic has a particularly strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra having been Seiji Ozawa Fellowship Conductor in 2001 and subsequently appointed assistant conductor for the orchestra and their Music Director James Levine (2004-07). Since then he has conducted the orchestra in subscription concerts in Boston, at Tanglewood and on a tour to the west coast of America.
In Europe, Ludovic will this season make his debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, in the closing concert of the prestigious Wien Modern Festival. He will also make his debut with the Netherlands Radio and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras as well as returning to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Last season’s engagements included the DSO Berlin and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London and on tour in Germany. Other recent notable performances have included the Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Tonhalle, Budapest Festival, Orchestre National de France, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras. Ludovic served as conductor in residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon under David Robertson (2002-04).
Ludovic Morlot was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years (2012-2014). During this time he conducted several new productions including La Clemenza di Tito, Jenufa and Pelléas et Mélisande. Concert performances, both in Brussels and Aix-en-Provence, included repertoire by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Britten, Webern and Bruneau.
Trained as a violinist, Ludovic studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then at the Royal College of Music as recipient of the Norman del Mar Conducting Fellowship. Ludovic was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music. He is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.
Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello
“Riveting” (New York Times) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto and Iceland Symphonies, and her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe and Asia. Following the release of her debut recording of Britten’s Suites for Solo Cello on Centaur Records, she has performed in some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall. The press have described her as “charismatic” (New York Times) and praised her performances for their “emotional intensity” (Los Angeles Times).
As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets, and has performed at numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro (with whom she has toured). She is cellist of Frequency and the Manhattan Piano Trio, and founding member and co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed New York-based chamber ensemble Decoda.
Along with masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Thorsteinsdóttir is inspired by music of our time and enjoys collaborating with living composers. In addition to working with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition “Bow to String”, she has premiered dozens of works, including pieces by Peter Schikele, Paul Schoenfield, Kendall Briggs and Jane Antonia Cornish.
Thorsteinsdóttir has garnered top prizes in international competitions, including the Naumburg Competition in New York and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. Her principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Tanya L. Carey, Colin Carr and Joel Krosnick. Thorsteinsdóttir currently serves on the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle, where she teaches cello and chamber music
Thorsteinsdóttir was a fellow of Ensemble ACJW—The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education—performing chamber music at Carnegie Hall and bringing classical music to New York City Public Schools.
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Thorsteinsdóttir moved to the states as a child—however, she still has family in Iceland and enjoys returning, both for concerts and family visits.