Grammy Award-winning choir The Crossing performs the world premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaragua at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. and the New York premiere performance at Zankel Hall of the Carnegie Hall Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. Avant-garde cellist Maya Beiser joins The Crossing for the long-awaited premieres, which have been postponed due to the pandemic.
Travel Guide to Nicaragua, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, presents the story of composer Michael Gordon’s family and their journey as Jewish refugees traveling from Poland to Nicaragua. The autobiographical work stems from interviews about Poland recorded by Gordon’s father and uncle. At the intersection of memory and emotion, many of these interviews contain variations and contradictions, either from lost memory or from his father’s choice not to talk about his homeland “because most of this life, the people and the places, have been completely destroyed”. Travel Guide to Nicaragua is the second in a series of autobiographical works (after Anonymous Man) written by Gordon for The Crossing.
The world premiere of Travel Guide to Nicaragua is co-produced in partnership with Congregation Rodeph Shalom, further highlighting the work’s connections to Jewish history, culture and community. Congregation Rodeph Shalom, founded in 1795, is the oldest Ashkenazi congregation in the Western Hemisphere. As the only Reform congregation in downtown Philadelphia, Rodeph Shalom offers deep connections to the Jewish community through transformative study, prayer, and urban engagement.
“We are thrilled to partner with The Crossing and sponsor this world premiere,” said Rodeph Shalom Executive Director Jeffrey Katz. “This work expresses our deep Jewish value of welcoming the stranger, reflecting the story of Michael Gordon’s family and their journey as Jewish refugees traveling from Poland to Nicaragua.”
NICARAGUA TRAVEL GUIDE
Donald Nally, conductor
Maya Beiser, cello
Wednesday November 16, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
Congregation Rodeph Shalom | 615 Broad Street N | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tickets: $20 to $35
Ticket link: https://www.crossingchoir.org/events/2022-23/travel-guide-phl
Thursday November 17, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Carnegie Hall | 881 7th Avenue | New York, NY 10019
Tickets: $55 to $65
Ticket link: https://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2022/11/17/The-Crossing-Maya-Beiser-Cello-0730PM
Michael Gordon – Nicaragua Travel Guide
About the crossing
The Crossing is a Grammy Award-winning professional chamber choir directed by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. He is committed to working with creative teams to create and record substantial new choral works that explore and expand the ways of writing for choir, singing in choir and listening to choir music. Many of his nearly 150 first orders deal with social, environmental and political issues.
The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Beth Morrison Projects, Allora & Calzadilla, Bang on a Can, Klockriketatern and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Likewise, The Crossing often collaborates with some of the most prestigious venues and presenters in the world, such as the Park Avenue Armory, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, the National Sawdust, the David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center, the Disney Hall in Los Angeles. , the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Haarlem Choral Biennale in the Netherlands, the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, Winter Garden with WNYC and Duke, Northwestern, Colgate and Notre Dame Universities. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana.
Pledged to record commissions, The Crossing has released 27 releases, receiving two GRAMMY Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019) and seven Grammy nominations. The Crossing, along with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forum’s 2017 New Music Champion. They received the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, and the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America.
Recently, The Crossing extended its choral presentation to film, in collaboration with Four/Ten Media, in-house sound designer Paul Vazquez of Digital Mission Audio Services, visual artists Brett Snodgrass and Steven Bradshaw, and composers David Lang, Michael Gordon and Paul Fowler on live and animated versions of new and existing works. Lang’s protect yourself from infection and in nature and Paul Fowler’s Obligations, based on a poem by Layli Long Soldier, were created specifically to meet the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Crossing’s daily pandemic response series, Rising w/ The Crossing, a series of 72 live performances with liner notes by Nally, has been archived by the Library of Congress as “an important part of the collection and archives historical”.
The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artist Management. All of his concerts are broadcast on WRTI, Philadelphia’s classical and jazz public radio. Learn more at www.crossingchoir.org.
About Maya Beiser
Describing avant-garde cellist, producer and multifaceted artist Maya Beiser, The New York Times writes: “Adventurer Ms. Beiser has been dubbed the ‘Cello Goddess,’ which is no hyperbole: she summons from her instrument an emotional power so moving that even the most stoic spectators risk turning into sobbing sacks of flesh.” Passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, Maya Beiser has captivated audiences around the world, bringing a bold and unorthodox presence in contemporary classical music, experimenting with diverse musical styles and challenging conventional norms with her performances that cross borders. Hailed as “the reigning queen of avant-garde cello” by The Washington Post, she has was called a “cello rock star” by Rolling Stone and hailed as “a force of nature” by the Boston Globe.
Raised in the mountains of Galilee in Israel, by her Argentinian father and French mother, Maya spent her youth surrounded by Jewish, Muslim and Christian music and rituals, while studying the classical cello repertoire. At the age of 12, she was discovered by the late violinist Isaac Stern who became her mentor throughout her early career. Reimagining solo cello performance in the mainstream arena, Maya is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Southbank Center London, Royal Albert Hall. and the Barbican, the Sydney Opera House, the Beijing Festival, L’Auditori in Barcelona, the Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Concert Hall in Stockholm. Among the wide range of artists she has collaborated with include Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass, Tan Dun, Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Mark Anthony-Turnage, Shirin Neshat, Erin Cressida-Wilson, Bill Morrison, Robert Woodruff, Missy Mazolli, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn, Pontus Lidberg, Wendy Whelan, Lucinda Childs and Joe Hisaishi.
Maya’s critically acclaimed multimedia productions, World To Come, Almost Human, Provenance, Elsewhere: A Cello Opera and All Vows, have consistently been chosen for Best Critics of the Year lists. Highlights from past seasons include solo performances at Barbican’s Sound Unbound and Kings Place’s Cello Unwrapped festivals in London, Cello Biennale in Amsterdam, MANN Festival in Naples, Italy and Strings for Autumn Festival in Prague; two new premieres of concertos, the cello concerto by Mohammed Fairouz with the Detroit Symphony and Maya by Mark-Anthony Turnage with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Bowie Symphonic: Blackstar, a collaboration with Evan Ziporyn that reimagines David Bowie’s complete final album as a cello concerto, with performances in Boston, Barcelona, Central Park SummerStage in New York and a US tour in 2018; Spinning, a new collaboration with composer Julia Wolfe and visual artist Laurie Olinder, commissioned and created by Peak Performances at Montclair State University; his first solo performance at the BBC Proms; and the premiere of a cello concerto by renowned Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi at Carnegie Hall and in Tokyo, Japan. Maya is currently in the midst of a 20-city international tour of her production THE DAY, a music and dance star collaboration with Wendy Whelan choreographed by Lucinda Childs with music by David Lang, which premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in August 2019.
Highlights of Maya’s tours include performances at Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Celebrity Series in Boston, Ojai Music Festival, International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, and major venues and festivals in Paris, Amsterdam , Turin, Milan, Tokyo, Taipei, Athens, Mexico City, Havana, Bogota and Adelaide. She has performed with many of the world’s finest orchestras, performing new cello works, including the Detroit Symphony, Montreal Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Boston Pops, Sydney Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Nashville Symphony, the China Philharmonic, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Barcelona Symphony, the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, among many others.
Maya’s extensive discography includes twelve solo albums. His recent albums Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar (2020), delugEON (2019), Tranceclassical (2016), Uncovered (2014) and Provenance (2012), topped the classical music charts. She is the featured soloist on numerous film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with composer James Newton Howard for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening and After Earth, Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond and Snow. White and the Huntsman by Rupert Sanders. . His performance of The Coming World of Lang IV was featured on the soundtrack to Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning film La Grande Bellezza.
Maya Beiser is a 2015 American Artists (USA) Honored Music Member; a 2017 Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology; and was recently a presenting artist at the inaugural CultureSummit, held in 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Invited to present on the prestigious TED Main Stage in Long Beach, California, Maya’s 2011 TED Talk was watched by over a million people and translated into 32 languages. She has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts and All Things Considered, PBS News Hour and BBC World News. Maya is a graduate of Yale University and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.