Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. 14 in 1969 dedicating it to Benjamin Britten. A chamber symphony in eleven movements set to poetry by Apollinaire, Garcia Lorca and Rilke, he sought to portray the idea of unjust and premature death that aroused deep feelings of protest in him. Shostakovich emphasized, however, that it was not out of pessimism that he turned to this problem but in the name of life on this earth. In conclusion, the innocence and joy of youth are celebrated in two charming suites by Georges Bizet and Claude Debussy.
Shostakovich | Symphony No. 14, Op. 135
Bizet | Jeux d'Enfants Op. 22
Debussy | Petite Suite
Described by the New York Times as “a soprano of extraordinary agility and concentration,” and the Boston Globe as “sensational,” Mary Elizabeth Mackenzie has captured the attention of audiences throughout the United States.
A passionate performer of contemporary vocal music, Ms. Mackenzie has collaborated with Pierre Boulez, John Harbison, Richard Danielpour, and James Primosch; and works closely with young composers to develop and premiere new works for voice. As a chamber musician she has appeared with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, Collage New Music, the Continuum Ensemble, Ekmeles, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, The Juilliard School’s AXIOM Ensemble and New Juilliard Ensemble, Le Train Bleu, the Metropolis Ensemble, and the Talea Ensemble.
Notable solo appearances include Harbison’s Closer to My Own Life with the Albany Symphony; Elliott Carter’s Warble for Lilac Time with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; Jean Barraqué's Chant Aprés Chant with the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble at Alice Tully Hall; Boulez’s Improvisations sur Mallarmé Nos. 1 & 2 for the composer’s 85th birthday celebration at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre; Reinbert De Leeuw’s Im wunderschönen Monat Mai at the Bravo Vail Festival; Héctor Parra’s Hypermusic: Ascension at the Guggenheim Museum; Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 with the Borromeo String Quartet; and Pierrot Lunaire at Town Hall Seattle and the Rockport Music Festival. Ms. Mackenzie made her professional opera debut as Despina in Così fan tutte with Madison Opera, and has appeared as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Symphony.
Ms. Mackenzie's recordings include John Harbison’s Closer to My Own Life with the Albany Symphony (Albany), the debut recording of John Harbison's Songs After Hours (Albany), Cathedral Music with the 21st Century Consort singing James Primosch’s Sacred Songs and Meditations(Albany), Louis Karchin: To the Sun and Stars, performing To the Sun (Bridge), and The Opera America Songbook album, performing Richard Danielpour’s Homeward. A recording of cycles by Daniel Crozier, John Harbison, James Primosch, and Ned Rorem with pianist Heidi Louise Williams will be released in 2018 on Albany Records.
American Bass-Baritone Timothy Jones enjoys a reputation as a charismatic presence on operatic and concert stages throughout the United States, Europe and South America. The Boston Globe hailed his voice as “stentorian and honeyed” and the Chicago Tribune called his “complete connection with the text extraordinary.” The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review praised him for his theatricality, noting that he “relished the dramatic possibilities of the songs' text and music.” His eagerly anticipated performances combine intelligent musicianship, commanding vocal technique and a unique ability to connect with audiences. Highlights of the 2016-2017 season include performances with Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Ars Lyrica Houston, University of Houston Brahms Festival, and Houston River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.
A distinguished concert performer, Mr. Jones has soloed with the Cleveland Orchestra singing Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. He has also performed with Boston Baroque, Baltimore Symphony, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, Austin Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Portland Symphony, Saginaw Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Utah Symphony, Wichita Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony. His repertoire includes the Bach’s St. John Passion, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Verdi’s Requiem and “A Sea Symphony” by Vaughn Williams.
Mr. Jones is widely celebrated as an enthusiastic champion of new and contemporary music. His tour de force performance of “Eight Songs for a Mad King” by Peter Maxwell Davies was called “an amazing feat, making unnatural demands seem natural … bizarre behavior coalesced into a sympathetic portrayal.” (The Salt Lake Tribune) He has commissioned and premiered numerous compositions by composers Derek Beryl, Robert Avalon, James Balentine, Laura Carmichael, John Vasconcelos Costa, Kevin Puts, Marcus Maroney, Pierre Jalbert, Karim Al-Zand, Anthony Brandt, Kieren MacMillian, David Passmore, David Cutler, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Heuser, Doug Opel, and Jeffrey Nytch. His annual appearances with Kevin Noe and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble are a highpoint of the season. The Salt Lake Tribune raved over his performance of Argento’s “A Waterbird Talk” conducted by Keith Lockhart, stating “Jones was a marvelous singing actor…his wry enjoyment was contagious.” His performance of Pulitzer Prize Winning Composer Kevin Puts’ Einstein on Mercer Street is featured on PNME’s recent recording “Against the Emptiness”. Other recordings include “Drunken Moon” and “The World of Ruth Crawford Seeger”.
Mr. Jones is an alumnus of Centenary College and the University of Michigan. He is currently a professor of voice at the University of Houston Moores School of Music.