Michael Hersch brings the U.S. premiere of his sprawling 11-hour new music cycle sew me into a shroud of leaves to National Sawdust for a powerful exploration of endurance.

May 13, 2023
9:00 am
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Michael Hersch brings the U.S. premiere of his sprawling 11-hour new music cycle sew me into a shroud of leaves to National Sawdust for a powerful exploration of endurance. The three-part cycle, composed over 15 years between 2001-2016, finds inspiration in poets Christopher Middleton, W.G. Sebald, and Marius Kociejowski. The ardent piece’s first and last parts are written for solo piano, while the central section is scored for horn and cello. Join us for the U.S. premiere of the work that Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called “a maximal experience that was absolutely overwhelming.”

About Michael Hersch

A composer of “uncompromising brilliance” (The Washington Post) whose work has been described by The New York Times as “viscerally gripping and emotionally transformative music ... claustrophobic and exhilarating at once, with moments of sublime beauty nestled inside thickets of dark virtuosity,” Michael Hersch is widely considered among the most gifted composers of his generation. Recent events and premieres include productions of his opera Poppaea at the Wien Modern and ZeitRäume Basel Festivals, his Violin Concerto, commissioned by Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, at the Lucerne and the Avanti Festivals. His acclaimed two-act monodrama, On the Threshold of Winter has had performances in New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Washington D.C. Recent commissions include his elegy I hope we get a chance to visit soon at the Ojai and Aldeburgh Festivals, and his work Agatha, which had premiere performances in Bern and Geneva as part of Hersch’s residency with the Camerata Bern. Major projects in 22/23 include those for Ensemble Phoenix Basel, and a new opera for Sarah Maria Sun, Schola Heidelberg and Ensemble Musikfabrik.

About Mariel Roberts 

American cellist Mariel Roberts is widely recognized not just for her virtuosic performances which seethe with “excruciating intensity” (The Whole Note), but as a “fearless explorer” in her field (Chicago Reader). Her ravenous appetite for collaboration and experimentation as an interpreter, improvisor, and composer have helped create a body of work which bridges avant-garde, contemporary, classical, improvised, and traditional music.

About Jason Hardink

"A fearless interpreter of large-scale piano works both modern and historical, pianist Jason Hardink’s recent debut at Weill Recital Hall was lauded for its audacious programming and pianism demonstrating “abandon and remarkable clarity” and a “capacity for tenderness and grace” (The New York Times).

About Jacob Rhodebeck

Jacob Rhodebeck is a pianist known for his tremendous command of the instrument and his enthusiasm for performing new and little known music.  Recently, Mr. Rhodebeck's performance of Michael Hersch’s 3-hour solo piano work, The Vanishing Pavilions was described as "astounding" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and “a searing performance” (The New York Times).

About Jamie Hersch

Jamie Hersch has been widely lauded for his artistry and virtuosic command in both the standard and contemporary repertoire. An active soloist and chamber artist, he has performed with many ensembles around the world.  With cellist Daniel Gaisford, he gave the world premiere of Michael Hersch's Last Autumn in Philadelphia. It was selected by The Philadelphia Inquirer as among the Best in Classical Music of that year. He currently serves as Associate Principal Horn with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

May 13

Michael Hersch's "sew me into a shroud of leaves"