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July 5th, 2012
Inspired by Auguste Rodin, French Composers to Debut New Compositions in Rodin Museum Garden

Spectral music performances are set for July 22 and 28, 5:30 until 8:00 p.m.

In celebration of the July 13 reopening and of the sculptor’s vision that inspired its founding, the Rodin Museum will provide a verdant setting for two special outdoor performances this summer by two French pioneer composers of spectral music, Tristan Murail and Philippe Hurel. With the sculptor’s art serving as the composers’ springboard, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has commissioned the compositions, titled Spectral Impressions. Murail’s work will debut at the Rodin Museum on July 22 and Hurel’s will debut on July 28. These concerts in the gardens are 5:30-8:00 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 215-235-SHOW or at

On Friday, July 6, members of the critically-acclaimed Argento Chamber Ensemble will perform a short Spectral Impressions preview set during the popular Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Later in July, when Spectral Impressions is performed outdoors at the Rodin Museum, audiences will notice new changes around them in the gardens. These include the return, for the first time in decades, of major sculptures to their original niches on the building, to positions on the pathways, and into the arches of the gate that faces the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Spectral Impressions: Music of Tristan Murail
July 22
Tristan Murail is a leading exponent of French spectral music, which focuses on musical color, electronic sound, and impressionist aesthetics. Previously the head of music composition at Columbia University, Murail was recently appointed composer-in-residence at the Salzburg Mozarteum. The concert at Rodin will include the premiere of a new work entitled “The Bronze Age,” specifically commissioned and composed for the occasion and setting, which will benefit from a state-of-the-art surround sound system. Other Murail works will include solo works performed by violist Stephanie Griffin, who was noted for her “full throttle performances” by the New York Times, and pianist Joanna Chao. Works for electronics and ensemble will be conducted by Michel Galante, described by the Times as “able to transform these warring qualities into readings that make even relatively static pieces sound dynamic and charged.” One of these works is “Winter Fragments”, a coloristic homage which is the title track for Argento’s Geijutsu Academy Award winning CD.

This program, including commissioning and presentation, has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project and by the French American Cultural Exchange through The French-American Fund for Contemporary Music.

Spectral Impressions: Music of Philippe Hurel
July 28
The Argento Chamber Ensemble will perform three works by Hurel, considered to be on the heavy metal edge of spectral music. He achieves both an exciting sense of risk and a driving intensity by creating repetitive grooves that are similar to certain Jazz grooves. He then transforms these musical materials both in terms of color and also contrapuntally. Clarinet soloist Carol McGonnell will give the world premiere of Phasis (version for clarinet and chamber orchestra of 15 musicians). Time Out New York recently hailed Carol McGonnell as “clarinet genius” and the Los Angeles Times described her work as “elastic, exacting and stupendous.”

This program, including commissioning and presentation, has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project and by the French American Cultural Exchange through The French-American Fund for Contemporary Music.

Ticket prices:
$25.00 ($20.00 Members)
To purchase tickets for both the July 22nd Murail Concert and the July 28th Hurel Concert at a discounted rate ($45.00 ($41.00 Members)), please call the Ticket Center at (215) 235-7469 weekdays between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Beverages (non-alcoholic) and light snacks available for purchase.

Thinker Package: Concert with VIP Tour of the Rodin Museum with the Associate Curator of the Rodin Museum, Jennifer Thompson, from 5:00pm – 5:30 pm and a “Meet & Greet” with the Conductor, Tristan Murail, from 8:00pm – 9:00pm.  $75.00

Crescendo Package: Concert with “Meet & Greet” with the Conductor, Tristan Murail, from 8:00pm – 9:00pm.  $50.00

About Tristan Murail
Recently appointed composer-in-residence at the Salzburg Mozarteum, Tristan Murail, who just completed a 12 year tenure as head of music composition at Columbia University, is performed by leading ensembles and orchestras all over the world, such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and the New York Philaharmonic. One of the most influential composers for younger generations, Murail is considered a vanguard exponent music that focuses on musical color, electronic sound, and “impressionist” aesthetics.

About Philippe Hurel
Philippe Hurel composes mostly orchestral and chamber works and his work has been performed across Europe. He studied musicology at the Université de Toulouse from 1974-79 and composition with Betsy Jolas and Ivo Malec at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1980-83. He also had private studies in musical computer science with Tristan Murail in Paris in 1983. His honors include the Pensionnaire à la Villa Médicis à Rome (1986-88), the Förderpreis der Siemens-Stiftung in Munich 1995, for Six miniatures en trompe l'oeil, the Prix des Compositeurs from SACEM (2002), and the Prix de la Meilleure Création de l'Année from SACEM 2003, for Aura. Mr. He worked as a music researcher at IRCAM in 1985-86 and 1988-89. He taught composition at IRCAM from 1997-2001. He also served as composer-in-residence to both the Arsenal de Metz and the Philharmonie de Lorraine from 2000-02. With Pierre André Valade he founded the new music ensemble Court-circuit in 1990 and has since served as its artistic director.

About the Argento Chamber Ensemble
Argento is a 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 musical inquiry through education, mentorship, technology, and dialogue. The group’s international reputation has resulted from its strong history as a chamber ensemble, the technically demanding work it performs across the world, and its commitment to intellectually rigorous interpretation. 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 the music of Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Hurel, Fred Lerdahl, Katerina Rosenberg, and Alexandre Lunsqui.  For more information about Argento, visit

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