Tag Archive: Hotel Elefant

Hotel Elefant’s “speakOUT,” featuring composer Paola Prestini

Paola Prestini

Hotel Elefant’s spring concert continues their third season theme “speakOUT,” representing artists who are utilizing music to reflect on issues both personal and political. Not only will the program “speakOUT” by focusing on these issues, but the program itself will raise its voice by featuring an all-female cast of composers, presenting innovative work by featured composer Paola Prestini along with emerging composers Lainie Fefferman and Leaha Maria Villarreal. The ensemble will perform Prestini’s Yoani, with a libretto by Royce Vavrek, including a brand new movement from the work, and Inngerutit; the world premiere of Lainie Fefferman’s Hotel Elefant-commissioned piece Impostor Syndrome; and the world premiere of Leaha Maria Villarreal’s This is How We Love.

Hotel Elefant: Light and Dark, at Roulette, September 23, 2013

Hotel Elefant play Leaha Maria Villareral's Dark Matter

The so-called “major” institutions in New York have not been entirely oblivious to the music that is being written now, for example Alan Gilbert’s New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center, although they seem to be flagging somewhat in the past season or two. It was demoralizing to see the superb Tully Scope Festival, which did an admirable job of surveying and balancing the most important trends in music as it is practised today, from Les Arts Florissants to Tyondai Braxton, vanish after one season. It has fallen to smaller, younger organizations to make the music of our own time and place heard. ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), now ten years old, is perhaps the most visible of these, and it is to the credit of both Lincoln Center and the young virtuosi of ICE that they maintain a presence a various Lincoln Center series, like Mostly Mozart and White Lights. (But I still wish they’d resurrect Tully Scope—perhaps with a more attractive name!) We can only count ourselves lucky that a symbiosis exists between the larger, older organizations and upstarts like ICE, and that they make the effort to bring their work to a larger audience, but it is clear where the leadership lies.