February 8, 2012 , 8pm, Suggested donation $10

Argento will perform a rich program of leading modern composers: France's Philippe Hurel, Germany's Enno Poppe, Switzerland's Heinz Holliger, as well as a world premiere by composer David Fulmer. Hurel's reckless ensemble work Figures libres and Poppe's mini-clarinet concerto Holz share a sense of rhythmic violence, instrumental virtuosity, and spectral harmonies. The works of Holliger, Poppe, and Fulmer are all focused on singular voices, performed respectively by violist Stephanie Griffin, clarinetist Carol McGonnell, and saxophonist Elliot Gattegno. As a compliment to this focus on a singular voice, Argento will also perform Schoenberg's arrangement of Mahler's "Songs of a Wayfarer," sung by New York City Opera's acclaimed soprano Tharanga Goonetilleke.


Philippe Hurel, Figures libres

Gustav Mahler, arranged by Arnold Schoenberg, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Featuring Tharanga Goonetilleke, soprano

Enno Poppe, Holz

Featuring Carol McGonnell, clarinet

David Fulmer, Verlöschend, 2011 (world premiere)

Featuring Eliot Gattegno, solo saxophone

Heinz Holliger, Trema

Featuring Stephanie Griffin, viola


Argento is New York’s virtuoso ensemble dedicated to innovative musical performance and discovery of daring artistic paths. Championing cutting-edge contemporary composers, as well as framing classical repertoire in new contexts, Argento inspires the public’s musical inquiry through education, mentorship, technology, and dialogue. The group’s international reputation is the result of its strong history as a chamber ensemble, the technically demanding work it performs across the world, and its commitment to intellectually rigorous interpretation. Argento is the founding curator and principal ensemble at the annual Moving Sounds Festival and Concert Series. Argento has long-term artistic relationships with leading composers including Pierre Boulez, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Lang, and Fabien Lévy, and has recorded music of Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Hurel, Fred Lerdahl, Katerina Rosenberg, and Alexandre Lunsqui. For more information about Argento, visit


David Fulmer, Verlöschend

Verlöschend is the third part of Fulmer's On Night cycle for soprano saxophone and ensemble,and is the only movement that is unaccompanied. Lasting only a few minutes, this intimate and quiet movement includes a wide variety of extended techniques for the instrument. Verlöschend was composed for saxophonist Eliot Gattegno.

Heinz Holliger, Trema

In Holliger’s words, this work is“a slowly moving progressive harmony is covered over by a series of constantly trembling tone lattices that are moving irregularly in all directions. These lattices are produced by means of an exactly specified arpeggio and tremolo technique of the bow. The music that penetrates the lattices is very fast moving and many-layered, quasi running simultaneously in various time levels.”

Philippe Hurel, Figures libres (for 8 instruments)

"What I wanted to show in the title,” Hurel writes, “is that certain emblematic figures escape the constraints given at the start: the idea that it is possible for an artist or athlete... to find within the formalized discourse of a network of constraints his own space of freedom.” Hurel’s idiom here is jazzy and rhythmic, yet also intensely spectral.

Enno Poppe, Holz (for 8 instruments)

Holz was originally a solo clarinet piece, but it was then turned into a mini-clarinet concerto, The piano part is actually a keyboard part that has many, many microtones in it. The performance also incorporates tuned gongs.


Composer David Fulmer is emerging as one of the most unique musicians of his generation. He is the winner of the 14th International Edvard Grieg Competition for Composers, the first American ever to receive this highly acclaimed award. He is also a winner of an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, a BMI Composer Award, and the Charles Ives Award (Scholarship) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Praised by The New York Times as a “keen, clear leader,” who has led “tour de force performances,” conductor Michel Galante founded the Argento Chamber Ensemble in 2000, and has since conducted in North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, leading orchestras and ensembles including the Janáček Philharmonic, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Collegium Musicum Choir and Orchestra, Ensemble Courage of Dresden, the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, and TACTUS. He earned his DMA in composition from Columbia University in 2010, where he studied with Tristan Murail, and has recently completed commissions for the Kate Weare Dance Company and violinist Viviane Hagner. He is also the orchestra director at the College of New Jersey.

Saxophonist Eliot Gattegno has been hailed by Fanfare Magazine as a “hugely sensitive musician” and by The Boston Globe as “having superior chops backed up by assured musicianship.” He has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Japan’s Aichi Arts Center Concert Hall, and Los Angeles’s Zipper Concert Hall on the Monday Evening Concert Series. Gattegno holds a BM and MM from the New England Conservatory, a DMA from the University of California, San Diego, and was a postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University.

Soprano Tharanga Goonetilleke is a native of Sri Lanka. She graduated with her Artist Diploma for Opera Studies from the Juilliard Opera Center. She received a Master of Music in Voice and Opera from the Juilliard School. She is also an Associate of the Trinity College of Music, London, England. In addition to extensive operatic experience, she is also a performer of oratorio and of contemporary music. She has sung the soprano solo for “The War Requiem,” by Solbong Kim, at the Seoul Arts Center in 2007, as well as “A Garden by the Sea” by the same composer in 2008 in New York. She also performed “In Sweet Music,” by William Schumann, with members of the New Jersey Symphony 2009 and the New York FOCUS! 2010. In the US, she has been judged a winner in both the New York and South Carolina districts at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She is also a winner of the the Palmetto Opera competition in Columbia, SC. At Juilliard, she was awarded the Makiko Narumi Memorial prize.

Canadian violist Stephanie Griffin has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, and as a champion of Indonesian composer Tony Prabowo. Reflecting her wide-ranging musical interests, performances have led her across the globe to Indonesia, Belgium, Estonia, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Turkey. Ms. Griffin has recorded for Siam Records, Aeon, Koch International, Arte Nova, Harmolodic, Firehouse 12, and Centaur.

Recently hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “elastic, exacting, stupendous,” clarinetist Carol McGonnell has performed in the inaugural concert of Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and appeared with Midori in Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series. She has performed as soloist with the Ulster Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, RTE Concert Orchestra, and Ensemble Modern, Camerata Pacifica, the Zankel Band and the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert. She has been broadcast on RTE, Lyric FM, BBC, WQXR and NPR. She has been a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival. She is a founding member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble and is artistic director of Music for Museums, in association with the National Gallery of Ireland and including museums such as the Metropolitan, the Isabella Stewart Gardner and the J.P. Getty.

Organized by: Czech Center New York, Argento New Music Project