Visiting Artist SeriesMiranda Cuckson and Nunc
The Williams College Department of Music presents Miranda Cuckson and Nunc on Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus. This includes an open rehearsal on Monday, April 18 at 1 p.m., master classes the same day at 4:15 p.m., their concert at 8 p.m., as well as a composition reading on Tuesday, April 19 at 1:10 p.m. All of these free events are open to the public.
The program includes a number of works by living composers: Shulamit Ran (b. 1949) Birkat Haderekh for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (2015) and Inscriptions for violin (1991); Jay Schwartz (b. 1965) Music for Violin, Violoncello and Piano (2007); Tôn-Thất Tiết (b. 1933) Three Intermezzi for bassoon, percussion and harp (1987); Williams College professor Ileana Perez Velazquez (b. 1964) “Night Songs” for bassoon, clarinet, harp and piano (2014), and Lightning Whelks for violin, cello, clarinet, bassoon, piano and percussion (2016, world premiere)
Nunc includes Miranda Cuckson, violin/director; Chris Gross, cello: Nuno Antunes, clarinet; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Molly Morkoski, piano; Jacqueline Kerrod, harp; Bill Solomon, percussion. Nunc is conducted by Benjamin Grow.
Nunc (Latin for “now”) is an organization devoted to presenting high-caliber performances of music of current, recent and older eras, through distinctive programming that highlights their innovations and contributions. By including contemporary and newly commissioned compositions in a context of historical continuity and evolution, Nunc enhances our sense of immediacy of the present and reveals the interrelation of works across time and divergent philosophies. Comprising a flexible collection of performers and artists, rather than a fixed ensemble roster, Nunc exposes listeners to important styles and developments up to those of our own day.
Nunc was founded in 2007 as “Transit Circle” by artistic director and violinist/violist Miranda Cuckson, and was renamed and incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2012. Since its inaugural concert in New York City, it has presented several programs per season, including a number of world and United States premiere performances. The New York Times wrote that the organization “has a lineup likely to appeal to anyone who keeps tabs on the contemporary music world…these musicians are so thoroughly at home with [the repertory] that they made even the toughest of these works sing…the players found the fun in it.”
In demand as soloist and chamber musician, Miranda Cuckson is renowned for her performances of a wide range of repertoire, from early eras to the most current creations. She is one of the foremost and most active violinist-interpreters of contemporary music. She leads a busily active life as a performer in major concert venues like Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, 92nd Street Y, Miller Theatre, and the Lincoln Center and Bard Festivals, as well as at universities, galleries and informal spaces. Following her CD of concertos by Korngold and Ponce, she made several recital CDs of American music, for which she was awarded grants from the Copland and Ditson funds: by Ralph Shapey (two-CD set), Donald Martino and Ross Lee Finney, and the wreckage of flowers featuring music by Michael Hersch. Her CD of Luigi Nono’s “la lontananza nostalgica utopica futura was named a Best Classical Recording of 2012 by The New York Times. She has worked with many of today’s finest composers including Carter, Haas, Dutilleux, Sciarrino, Adams, Crumb, Lachenmann, Saariaho and Davidovsky. Over the last decade or so in New York, she has been involved in many adventurous music organizations in the city, as frequent performer and as presenter of concert events.
Miranda Cuckson says about the group, “Nunc is a long-term aspiration and interest of mine, a sandbox for me to play in and a way, I feel, to be a thoughtful, contributing artist, not just playing well but dealing with the repertoire and its various main streams and intriguing tributaries, thinking and making sense of it and discovering the specifics that give them their communicative power. As Nunc’s director, I look forward to lots of fascinating, moving, fun performances, discussions and projects. It’s extremely satisfying to have ongoing collaborations with people that continue to evolve and develop and I hope to continue and nurture those.”