News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: April 1, 2004 (04-38)

PHOTO EDITORS: A high-resolution image to accompany this story is available at   /news/highresolutionimages/04/celloqt2.jpg
(photo caption -
ModernCelli, the cello quartet of the New York-based ensemble ModernWorks, is made up of cellists (left to right) Matthew Goeke, Madeleine Shapiro, the director, Eliot Bailen, and Dawn Avery.)

New York-Based Cello Quartet to Perform at Montgomery College
ModernCelli to Hold Workshop, Concert of International Music April 15 

             ModernCelli, the cello quartet of the New York-based new music ensemble ModernWorks, will hold a workshop and concert of international music on Thursday, April 15, at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus in the Music Building’s Recital Hall, 51 Mannakee Street.  The free workshop, from 4-5:30 p.m., will feature a discussion of composers and a demonstration of contemporary cello technique.  The evening concert will be from 8-9 p.m., with a suggested $5 donation.

ModernCelli, directed by Madeleine Shapiro, will present works for multiple cellos by American and Latin American composers writing in a variety of compositional and ethnic styles.  The program features the world premiere of Dawn Avery’s “Beasts” for four cellos, written specifically for the performance, and the area premiere of “Nonaah,” by the legendary jazz composer and performer Roscoe Mitchell.  ModernCelli’s concert includes the composition “Pizziquitaplas” by Venezuelan composer Paul Desenne.  The cello trio will create the mood of the Amazon rain forest with relaxed, rhythmic sounds.  Composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s piece draws from her Peruvian background, evoking the mysteries of the Andes Mountains.   

ModernCelli is Madeleine Shapiro, director/cello; Dawn Avery, Montgomery College professor and cellist; Eliot Bailen; and Matthew Goeke.  Formed in 1999, ModernCelli is in the forefront of performing compositions created for multiple cellos.  ModernCelli has presented United States and New York premieres of works by numerous composers, including Kaija Saariaho and Sofia Gubaidulina. ModernCelli also works with younger and less established composers, such as Gabriela Lena Frank, Dawn Avery, Tina Davidson and Jeffrey Mumford. 

The ensemble has been heard recently at the Rencontres d'ensembles de violoncelles de Beauvais (France), on WNYC's "New Sounds," and on the NorthRiverMusic concert series. ModernCelli has also appeared on New York's avant-garde Sonic Boom festival for four consecutive seasons, 1999-2002, and at the Museum of Arts & Design (NYC).  ModernCelli is busy recording its first CD, Celloxotique, which will highlight works for cello/cello ensemble in unusual combinations, including works with African percussion and Chinese bamboo flutes.

For questions about the ModernCelli workshop and concert, contact Dawn Avery, Montgomery College associate music professor and cellist, at 240-567-5035.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development and continuing education centers in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and  Silver Spring. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and non-credit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.