Everybody knows Beethoven. But if you haven't heard anything about Matthew Aucoin just yet, you will soon.
Named a MacArthur Fellow in 2018, Aucoin's music will be part of the 2019-2020 season announced this week by the Union College Concert Series. Original music composed by Aucoin and commissioned by the UCCS, the work will have its world premiere at Memorial Chapel on the campus of Union College on Nov. 3.
"A major highlight of the season is our commissioned work by American composer Matthew Aucoin for the Brentano Quartet," said UCSS director Derek J. Delaney. "We will present its world premiere on Nov. 3, and co-commissioners include leading presenters throughout the country, Carnegie Hall, La Jolla Music Society and the Da Camera of Houston."
Along with Aucoin's work being performed by the Brentano Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Yale, the UCCS will be celebrating Beethoven's 250th birthday with a series of concerts in March of 2020 performed by the Belcea Quartet, based in London, and the Dover Quartet, which serves as the quartet-in-residence for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.
"The Beethoven String Quartet Cycle was conceived to celebrate the composer's 250th birthday," said Delaney. "I sought to offer it to the public as an immersive experience -- not unlike attending a Wagner's 'Ring Cycle' -- rather than spreading it out over the course of the season. The quartets are a testament to Beethoven's genius, and an opportunity to witness his artistic development throughout his storied life.
"Two world-class ensembles, the Belcea and Dover quartets," added Delaney, "will perform Beethoven's 16 quartets in two intensive periods within five weeks. We will also be adding preconcert discussions to further deepen the audience's experience of this repertoire."
Paul Lewis, an English pianist affiliated with Wigmore Hall in London, will open the 2019-2020 season on Sunday, Oct. 20. Along with Beethoven's 33 Variations, Lewis will perform works by Haydn and Brahms. Other musicians slated for the 2019-2020 season include pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Jeremy Denk and Benjamin Grosvenor, and vocalist Paul Appleby.
[email protected], with Grace Clifford on violin and Joseph Liccardo on piano, will take the Memorial Chapel stage on Oct. 27, and then the Bretano's Quartet will play Aucoin's new work on Nov. 3.
Aucoin was born and raised in the Boston area and went to Harvard, where he studied poetry, graduating summa cum laude in 2012. He went on to receive a graduate degree from The Juilliard School, and has since served as a conductor with the Metropolitan Opera, the Los Angeles Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Tickets for the 2019-2020 season go on sale Friday. For information, contact Delaney at (518) 388-6574 or visit www.unioncollegeconcerts.org.
Oct. 20, 3 p.m. Sunday: Paul Lewis, piano, will perform Haydn, Brahms and Beethoven
Oct. 27, 3 p.m. Sunday: [email protected], Grace Clifford, Violin; Joseph Liccardo, piano, will perform Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Debussy and Chausson
Nov, 3, 3 p.m. Sunday: Brentano Quartet, will perform Mozart, Aucoin and Ravel
Nov. 24, 3 p.m. Sunday: Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, will perform Beethoven, Carter and Debussy
Dec. 8, 3 p.m. Sunday: Roman Rabinovich, piano, will perform Zipoli, Debussy, Satie, Gershwin, Granados and Stravinsky
Dec. 14, 3 p.m. Saturday: Boston Camerata, will perform Puer Natis
Jan. 26, 2020, 3 p.m. Sunday: American Modern Opera Company, will perform Aucoin, Ives, Berg and Schubert
Feb. 9, 3 p.m. Sunday: Jeremy Denk, piano, will perform Bach
Beethoven Quartet Cycle (a)
March 20, 7:30 p.m. Friday: Belcea Quartet (cycle I)
March 21, 3 p.m. Saturday: Belcea Quartet (cycle II)
March 22, 3 p.m. Sunday: Belcea Quartet (cycle III)
March 29, 3 p.m. Sunday: Benjamin Grosvenor, piano, will perform Rameau, Beethoven, Liszt
Beethoven Quartet Cycle (b)
April 19, 3 p.m. Sunday: Dover Quartet (cycle IV)
April 25, 3 p.m. Sunday: Dover Quartet (cycle V)
April 26, 3 p.m. Sunday: Dover Quartet (cycle VI)