Ashberyana: A Musical Celebration of Poet John Ashbery

John Zorn: Girls on the Run
Joan Tower: Holding a Daisy and Or like a…an Engine
Josquin des Prez/Charles Wuorinen: Josquiniana for string quartet
Erik Satie: Three Distinguished Waltzes of a Jaded Dandy
Charles Wuorinen: Ashberyana
Readings from the work of John Ashbery

Julia Fox, soprano; Daniel Belcher, baritone; Brentano String Quartet (Mark Steinberg, violin; Serena Canin, violin; Misha Amory, viola; Nina Lee, cello); William Lang, trombone; Sarah Rothenberg, piano; Matthew Strauss, percussion; Kazem Abdullah, conductor

 Da Camera joins forces with renowned American composers and musicians to celebrate John Ashbery’s legacy with works that reflect his playfulness, wit and humor. The greatest American poet of his generation, Ashbery visited Houston for a Da Camera concert during Sarah Rothenberg’s first season as artistic director. Joan Tower’s Holding a Daisy was written for Rothenberg, as was Charles Wuorinen’s Ashberyana, recorded by Da Camera for Naxos.

From Sarah Rothenberg’s moving tribute to John Ashbery
“No program on this Da Camera season evokes as many personal memories as tonight’s musical tribute to the great American poet John Ashbery (1927-2017).  Touching on many years of friendship and going back to my earliest days at Da Camera, the phrase that inspired our season theme, “time future contained in time past,” seems particularly true as I look back on the interweaving connections and memories that lie behind the music and poetry we hear tonight.
I first met John Ashbery in upstate New York in the 1990’s when I was teaching at Bard College.” Continue reading

 “bright, vibrant baritone … an uncommonly wide range which encompassed some astonishingly easy, ringing high phrases.” – Opera Today on Daniel Belcher

 “It is a remarkable achievement when music as abstract as this can grab and not let go of the listener’s attention. …Ashberyana… is a striking work” – American Record Guide