POSTPONED Bag Size Policy: The City of Phoenix is postponing the Symphony Hall and Orpheum Theatre bag size policy until our 2023/2024 season.

REVERB: Contemporary Music Festival

REVERB: Contemporary Music Festival

Reverb Contemporary Music Festival by the Phoenix Symphony

Tito Muñozconductor
Jennifer Kohcurator
Members of The Phoenix Symphony

REVERB enters its second year with an exciting and varied program of new works curated by Grammy Award winning violinist Jennifer Koh. REVERB features works by Missy Mazzoli, Wang Lu, Patrick Castillo, Jessie Montgomery, Frederic Rzewski, Vijay Iyer, and J.S. Bach. Performances will take place at Central United Methodist Church, 1875 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix.

“I felt much more engaged with the musicians, conductor and guest artists in the smaller space at the church … The selection and performance of contemporary music was fantastic. Plus, it’s wonderful that you have performances at a price for those who normally cannot afford to attend.”    —2022 REVERB patron
“What a great opportunity to hear new symphonic music.”  —2022 REVERB patron
“I hope you have more of these, as it is a gift to the community.”  —2022 REVERB patron

20 Questions with Tito Muñoz & Jennifer Koh:

Wednesday, January 18
Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685 – 1750)
Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
Jennifer Koh, violin
Missy Mazzoli
(b. 1980)
Dissolve, O My Heart
Jennifer Koh, violin
Wang Lu
(b. 1982)
Patrick Castillo
(b. 1979)
Tria Peccata  
Missy Mazzoli
(b. 1980)
Jennifer Koh, violin
Friday, January 20
Jessie Montgomery
(b. 1981)
Frederic Rzewski
(1938 – 2021)
Coming Together
Nathan De’Shon Myers, vocals
Vijay Iyer
(b. 1971)
Jennifer Koh, violin

The Curator / Performer

About Jennifer Koh

Recognized for intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance, violinist Jennifer Koh is a forward-thinking artist dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting equity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects and has premiered more than 100 works written especially for her. Her quest for the new and unusual, sense of endless curiosity, and ability to lead and inspire a host of multidisciplinary collaborators, truly set her apart.

Her critically acclaimed series include Alone TogetherBach and BeyondThe New American ConcertoLimitlessBridge to Beethoven, and Shared Madness. Coming this season to Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Cincinnati’s Music Hall, The New American Concerto is Ms. Koh’s ongoing, multi-season commissioning project that explores the form of the violin concerto and its potential for artistic engagement with contemporary societal concerns and issues through commissions from a diverse collective of composers. In February and March 2022, she premieres the sixth commission in the project—Missy Mazzoli’s Violin Concerto with the National and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, and gives the New York premiere of Lisa Bielawa’s violin concerto Sanctuary at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. In April 2022, Ms. Koh premieres a new work—Everything Rises—in collaboration with bass-baritone Davóne Tines, to be presented by UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Everything Rises is a musical drama borne of Ms. Koh’s and Mr. Tines’ experiences as artists of color whose collective exploration led them back to their family histories—to the stories of Ms. Koh’s mother, a refugee from North Korea during the Korean War, and Mr. Tines’s grandmother, who holds vivid memories of anti-Black discrimination and violence dating back many years.

Additional highlights of Ms. Koh’s season are two new recordings on Cedille Records: Alone Together—winner of a 2022 Grammy Award in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category—and the complete box set of her Bach & Beyond trilogy. Originally launched as a commissioning project and virtual performance series, Alone Together was developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the financial hardship it placed on many in the arts community. The project brought composers together in support of the many freelancers among them—with the more established composers each donating a new micro-work for solo violin, while also recommending a fellow freelance composer to write their own solo violin micro-work on paid commission from Ms. Koh’s artist-driven nonprofit ARCO Collaborative. Her Bach & Beyond recording series, originally released by Cedille Records in three installments (2012, 2015, 2020), was released as a three-disc box set in September 2021. These recordings explore the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas to the music of 20th- and 21st-century composers.

Ms. Koh regularly performs a broad range of concertos that reflects the breadth of her musical interests from traditional to contemporary. She has been heard with leading orchestras around the world including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; the Cleveland, Mariinsky Theatre, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Philharmonia (London) Orchestras; the Atlanta, Baltimore, BBC, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Nashville, National, New Jersey, New World, NHK (Tokyo), Pittsburgh, RAI National (Torino), St. Louis, Seattle, and Singapore Symphony Orchestras; and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, among other ensembles.

Ms. Koh is also an active lecturer and teacher. She has been on faculty at the Mannes School of Music since 2018, is a Creative Associate at Juilliard, and has held residencies at Brown, Cornell, Duke, and Tulane Universities, as well as at the Curtis Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory and College, and University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of ARCO Collaborative, which advocates for inclusivity in classical music. Established in 2014, ARCO Collaborative commissions, develops, and produces new musical works that highlight artists of color and women composers in collaborations that bring forth stories previously unheard in Western art forms. She is also a member of Composers Now’s Distinguished Mentors Council and the board of the League of American Orchestras.

Born in Chicago of Korean parents, Ms. Koh began playing the violin by chance, choosing the instrument in a Suzuki-method program only because spaces for cello and piano had been filled. She made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11. She was Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year and has also been recently recognized as a Virtuoso Award honoree by Concert Artists Guild in 2020 and “A Force of Nature” by the American Composers Orchestra in 2019. She was a top prize winner at Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition, winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir.

Note: Programs, dates, times, and prices are subject to change.

The Composers

About Missy Mazzoli

Recently deemed “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” (NY Times) and “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out NY), Missy Mazzoli has had her music performed by the Kronos Quartet, LA Opera, eighth blackbird, the BBC Symphony, Scottish Opera and many others. In 2018 she became one of the first two women, along with Jeanine Tesori, to receive a main stage commission from the Metropolitan Opera, and was nominated for a Grammy award. She is Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and from 2012-2015 was Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia. Upcoming commissions include works for Opera Philadelphia, the National Ballet of Canada, Chicago Lyric Opera and Norwegian National Opera. Her works are published by G. Schirmer.

About Wang Lu

Composer and pianist Wang Lu writes music that reflects a very natural identification with influences from urban environmental sounds, linguistic intonation and contours, traditional Chinese music and freely improvised traditions, through the prism of contemporary instrumental techniques and new sonic possibilities.

She is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Brown University, after receiving her doctoral degree in composition at Columbia University and graduating from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. Wang Lu’s works have been performed internationally, by ensembles including the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW, Minnesota Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, American Composers Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, Holland Symfonia, Shanghai National Chinese Orchestra, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Musiques Nouvelles, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, International Contemporary Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Dal Niente, Third Sound, Yarn/Wire, Curious Chamber Players, The Crossing Choir, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Argento, the Aizuri Quartet, the New York Virtuoso Singers, Momenta Quartet and violinists Miranda Cuckson, Jennifer Koh, pianist Shai Wosner and Joel Fan among others.

A 2020 recent recipient of the Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond award from American Academy of Arts and Letters Wang Lu has also received the Berlin Prize in Music Composition (Spring 2019 residency) and was a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and she has received commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation at the Library of Congress and the Fromm Foundation at Harvard. She won first prize at Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne’s Young Composers Forum in 2010 and shared the Tactus International Young Composers Orchestra Forum Award in 2008. She was selected for a Tremplin commission by IRCAM/Ensemble Intercontemporain in 2010 and the International Composition Seminar with the Ensemble Modern in 2012. She has also received two ASCAP Morton Gould awards.

Wang Lu’s music was programmed on festivals such as the 2022 New York Philharmonic’s Sound On series curated by Nadia Sirota, 2014 New York Philharmonic Biennial, MATA Festival, Cresc. Biennale in Frankfurt, Gaudeamus Music Week, Tanglewood, Cabrillo Music Festival, Beijing Modern, Pacific and Takefu festivals in Japan, Mostly Mozart, Aspekte Festival in Salzburg, Mizzou International Composers Festival, and the Havana New Music Festival. She has also been a resident at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and Hermitage Artist Retreat. Collaborations have included an installation at Brown University’s Cohen Gallery with artist Polly Apfelbaum and an evening of poetry and music with poet Ocean Vuong. In 2019, her music was featured on portrait concerts at Miller Theater with ICE and Yarn/Wire, with Ensemble Recherche in Paris, and with Ensemble Mosaik plus soloists Ryan Muncy and Wu Wei in Berlin. In 2021, her projects include Aftertouch a flute electronic and video piece for Claire Chase’s Density 2036; a solo piano work Lacuna for Shai Wosner in honor of Chinese American architect I.M. Pei; a new work for the LongLeash trio supported by New Music USA; November Airs for the Talea Ensemble commissioned by the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University; At Which Point a new choir and electronic work for The Crossing, and episode V of TV opera desert in, produced by the Boston Lyric Opera.

Wang Lu is the current Vanguard Emerging Opera Composer at the Chicago Opera Theatre (2020-22). On March 4th her full-length chamber opera The Beekeeper in collaboration with librettist Kelley Rourke was concert premiered at Chicago’s Athenaeum Center.

Her upcoming projects include a new chamber work commissioned by the Berlin Based Ensemble Mosaik, and a commission from the Barlow Foundation for soprano and large ensemble with the Seattle Modern Orchestra.

Of her portrait album Urban Inventory, released in March 2018, Alex Ross wrote in the New Yorker, “I’ve listened at least a dozen times to the composer Wang Lu’s new album, “Urban Inventory” (New Focus Recordings), and remain happily lost in its riotous maze of ideas and images. Every moment is vividly etched, drenched in instrumental color, steeped in influences that range from ancient Chinese folk music to the latest detonations of the European avant-garde… The sense of loneliness that emerges at the end of “Cloud Intimacy” lurks behind all of Wang Lu’s meticulous frenzies: it is of a piece with the essential solitude of composing, of sitting in silence and dreaming of a music that has never been heard.

About Patrick Castillo

Patrick Castillo leads a multifaceted career as a composer, performer, writer, and educator. His music has been described as “restrained and reflective but brimming with a variety of texture and sound that draws you into its world” (I Care If You Listen) and has been presented at festivals and venues throughout the United States and internationally, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Schubert Club, Birdfoot Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, June in Buffalo, the Santa Fe New Music Festival, Queens New Music Festival, Hot Air Music Festival, National Sawdust, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Bavarian Academy of Music (Munich), the Nuremberg Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Havana Contemporary Music Festival.

Recent season highlights include commissions and premieres by the Jasper String Quartet, Areon Flutes, the Experiential Orchestra, Apex Concerts (Reno, NV), Emerald City Music (Seattle, WA), String Theory at the Hunter (Chattanooga, TN), and the Manhattan Choral Ensemble; as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center premiere of Incident for violin and piano, performed by Alexander Sitkovetsky and Wu Qian. In 2017 and 2019, Patrick Castillo appeared as Composer-in-Residence at the Birdfoot Festival (New Orleans, LA). The 2020-21 season features premieres by violinist Jennifer Koh, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, the Delphi Trio, flautist Jill Heinke, and others.

Patrick Castillo is variously active as an explicator of music to a wide range of listeners. He has written for New Music Box, Q2 Music, Minnesota Public Radio, and other publications, and provided program and liner notes for numerous concert series and recording companies. He has been a guest lecturer at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, for whose Late Night Rose series he serves as host; Fordham University; the University of Georgia; the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass (Kentucky); String Theory at the Hunter (Chattanooga, TN); and ChamberFest Cleveland. From 2010 to 2013, he served as Senior Director of Artistic Planning of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is founding composer and managing director of “forward-looking, expert ensemble” Third Sound (The New Yorker) and Executive Director of contemporary music collective Hotel Elefant. In 2021, he was appointed Vice President of Artistic Planning of the New York Philharmonic.

Patrick Castillo holds degrees in composition and sociology from Vassar College, where his teachers included Lois V Vierk, Annea Lockwood, and Richard Wilson. He has also participated in master classes with John Harbison, Alvin Lucier, Roger Reynolds, and Charles Wuorinen. While at Vassar, Patrick Castillo served as composer-in-residence for the Mahagonny Ensemble, a collective of performers specializing in twentieth-century music. His Requiem aeternam for mixed chorus and chamber ensemble, composed for the Mahagonny, was awarded the 2001 Jean Slater Edson Prize. He has also been the recipient of the Brian M. Israel Prize, awarded by the Society for New Music for his chamber work Lola.

The Quality of Mercy, an album of Patrick Castillo’s vocal chamber music featuring mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer, has been praised as “affecting and sensitively orchestrated… [a] gorgeous, masterfully crafted canvas” (Cleveland Classical), and is available on innova Recordings.

About Jessie Montgomery

Jessie Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, poetry, and social consciousness, making her an acute interpreter of 21st century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post).

Her growing body of work includes solo, chamber, vocal, and orchestral works. Some recent highlights include Shift, Change, Turn (2019) commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Coincident Dances (2018) for the Chicago Sinfonietta, and Banner (2014)—written to mark the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner”—for The Sphinx Organization and the Joyce Foundation, which was presented in its UK premiere at the BBC Proms on 7 August 2021.

Summer 2021 brought a varied slate of premiere performances, including Five Freedom Songs, a song cycle conceived with and written for Soprano Julia Bullock, for Sun Valley and Grand Teton Music Festivals, San Francisco and Kansas City Symphonies, Boston and New Haven Symphony Orchestras, and the Virginia Arts Festival (7 August); a site-specific collaboration with Bard SummerScape Festival and Pam Tanowitz Dance, I was waiting for the echo of a better day (8 July); and Passacaglia, a flute quartet for The National Flute Association’s 49th annual convention (13 August).

Since 1999, Jessie has been affiliated with The Sphinx Organization, which supports young African American and Latinx string players and has served as composer-in-residence for the Sphinx Virtuosi, the Organization’s flagship professional touring ensemble.

A founding member of PUBLIQuartet and a former member of the Catalyst Quartet, Jessie holds degrees from the Juilliard School and New York University and is currently a PhD Candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University. She is Professor of violin and composition at The New School. In May 2021, she began her three-year appointment as the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

About Frederic Rzewski

Frederic Rzewski’s biography on The Living Composers Project.

About Vijay Iyer

Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” Vijay Iyer has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in twenty-first-century music. A composer and pianist active across multiple musical communities, Iyer has created a consistently innovative, emotionally resonant body of work over the last twenty-five years, earning him a place as one of the leading music-makers of his generation.

He received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, a Grammy nomination, the Alpert Award in the Arts, and two German “Echo” awards, and was voted Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year four times in the last decade. He has been praised by Pitchfork as “one of the best in the world at what he does,” by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.”

Iyer’s musical language is grounded in the rhythmic traditions of South Asia and West Africa, the African American creative music movement of the 60s and 70s, and the lineage of composerpianists from Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk to Alice Coltrane and Geri Allen. He has released twenty-four albums of his music, most recently UnEasy (ECM Records, 2021), a trio session with drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Linda May Han Oh; The Transitory Poems (ECM, 2019), a live duo recording with pianist Craig Taborn; Far From Over (ECM, 2017) with the award-winning Vijay Iyer Sextet; and A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) a suite of duets with visionary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.

Iyer is also an active composer for classical ensembles and soloists. His works have been commissioned and premiered by Brentano Quartet, Imani Winds, Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and virtuosi Matt Haimowitz, Claire Chase, Shai Wosner, and Jennifer Koh, among others. He recently served as composer-in-residence at London’s Wigmore Hall, music director of the Ojai Music Festival, and artist-in-residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A tireless collaborator, he has written big-band music for Arturo O’Farrill and Darcy James Argue, remixed classic recordings of Talvin Singh and Meredith Monk, joined forces with legendary musicians Henry Threadgill, Reggie Workman, Zakir Hussain, and L. Subramanian, and developed interdisciplinary work with Teju Cole, Carrie Mae Weems, Mike Ladd, Prashant Bhargava, and Karole Armitage.

A longtime New Yorker, Iyer lives in central Harlem with his wife and daughter. He teaches at Harvard University in the Department of Music and the Department of African and African American Studies. He is a Steinway artist.

Composer Missy Mazzoli and Jennifer Koh discuss Procession in this video from the Cincinnati Symphony:

Composer Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together performed by Ensemble Bayona:

Jennifer Koh and the International Contemporary Ensemble, 2017 world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Trouble:

Jan 18-20

Central United Methodist Church
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