FLUX QUARTET

Tom Chiu, violin; Conrad Harris, violin; Max Mandel, viola; Felix Fan, cello

Sponsored by Eric Lasley

Monday, August 5, 2019, 7:30 PM

White Box Live Arts, Liberty Station

2590 Truxton Rd #205

San Diego, CA

Tickets at the door: $20/$10 for students

 

The FLUX Quartet is "one of the most fearless and important new-music ensembles around" (San Francisco Chronicle), and has performed to rave reviews in venues worldwide, including the Tate Modern with BBC Radio3, Park Avenue Armory, Kennedy Center, Mount Tremper Arts, EMPAC, Walker Art Center, and Carnegie's Zankel Hall, as well as international festivals in Australia, Europe, and Asia.

 

FLUX has also premiered new works on numerous experimental incubators, including Roulette, The Music Gallery, and Mount Tremper Arts. FLUX’s radio appearances include NPR’s All Things Considered, WNYC’s New Sounds and Soundcheck, and WFMU’s Stochastic Hit Parade. The group’s discography includes recordings on the Cantaloupe, Innova, New World, Passin Thru, and Tzadik labels, in addition to two acclaimed releases on Mode encompassing the full catalogue of Morton Feldman’s output for string quartet.

 

Strongly influenced by the "anything-goes" philosophy of the fluxus art movement, violinist Tom Chiu founded FLUX in the late 90s. The quartet has since cultivated an uncompromising repertoire that combines twentieth-century iconoclasts such as John Cage, Conlon Nancarrow, Giacinto Scelsi, and György Ligeti with today's visionaries, including Oliver Lake, Michael Hersch, David First, Alvin Lucier, Michael Schumacher, Sean Shepard, Wadada Leo Smith, Julia Wolfe, Matthew Welch, and others. Having premiered over 100 new works, FLUX has been awarded grants from the American Composers Forum, Aaron Copland Fund, Meet-The-Composer, New Music USA, and Chamber Music America. FLUX also discovers emerging composers from its many college residencies, including Wesleyan, Dartmouth, Williams, Princeton, Bard, and the College of William and Mary.

 

The spirit to expand stylistic boundaries is a trademark of the FLUX Quartet, and to that end the quartet avidly pursues interdisciplinary projects, resulting in acclaimed new works with choreographers Pam Tanowitz and Christopher Wheeldon, avant balloonist Judy Dunaway, digital collective The OpenEnded Group, and visual artist Matthew Barney. In the upcoming season, FLUX will perform and record the full string quartet output of Toshi Ichiyanagi, widely acknowledged as an influential pioneer of the Japanese avant-garde.

 

BIOS

 

TOM CHIU, Violin

Acclaimed for his broad contributions to contemporary music and sound art, violinist/composer Tom Chiu has performed over 200 premieres by musical pioneers including Virko Baley, Michael Byron, David Chesky, Ornette Coleman, Fast Forward, David First, Dan Joseph, Leroy Jenkins, Oliver Lake, Wadada Leo Smith, Alvin Lucier, Michael Schumacher, Henry Threadgill, Matthew Welch, and the late Muhal Richard Abrams. Chiu has created collaborative works with choreographers Pam Tanowitz and Eun-Me Ahn, film/video artists Ken Jacobs and Phill Niblock, vocalists Thomas Buckner and Jaap Blonk, balloonist Judy Dunaway, Sculptor Ernesto Neto, and Mabou Mines co-founder Lee Breuer. A recent recipient of the Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant, Chiu has dedicated compositions to Joan La Barbara, Max Mandel, Bobby Few, Sylvere Lotringer, the Downtown Ensemble, Music For Homemade Instruments, and the OpenEnded Group, with performances at BBC, Park Avenue Armory, Mount Tremper Arts, EMPAC, Roulette, Bang-On-A-Can Marathon, Noguchi Museum, Walker Art Center, Museum of the Moving Image, MOMA PS1, and Anthology Film Archives. His extensive discography includes recordings for the Asphodel, Innova, Koch, Mode, Mutable Music, New Focus, New World, Sombient, and Tzadik labels. Chiu holds degrees in chemistry and music from Yale and Juilliard, and appears frequently as a cultural commentator and consultant in a variety of artistic formats, most recently as panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA).

 

CONRAD HARRIS, Violin

Conrad Harris has performed new works for violin at the Darmstadt Ferrienkurse fur Neue Musik, Gulbenkian Encounters of New Music, Radio France, Warsaw Autumn, and New York's Sonic Boom Festival. In addition to being a member of the Flux Quartet, he is concertmaster of the New York based S.E.M. Ensemble and the Ostravska Banda, founded in the Czech Republic. He has performed and recorded with such artists as DJ Spooky, Jean-Claude Risset, and Tiny Tim, as featured violinist on his final recording "Prisoner of Love." A solo CD featuring premiers by Alvin Lucier, David Behrman, Robert Ashley, and Gordon Mumma will soon be released on Mode Records. He has also recorded for Asphodel, Vandenburg, CRI, and Vinyl Retentive Records.

 

MAX MANDEL, Viola

Max Mandel is one of the most acclaimed and active chamber musicians of his generation. Comfortable in many styles and genres, Mr. Mandel's current group affiliations in addition to FLUX include The Caramoor Virtuosi, The Silk Road Ensemble, The Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, The Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, The Kirby String Quartet, The Smithsonian Chamber Players, The Knights, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble. Private studies at the University of Toronto and the Juilliard School were with Steven Dann and Samuel Rhodes. Mandel is a fan of all kinds of music from Mozart to Feldman to Ghostface and considers himself very fortunate to have collaborated with great artists in many genres from Vera Beths to Ornette Coleman to Kirk Hammett of Metallica. Mr. Mandel plays on a 1973 Giovanni Battista Morassi, generously loaned to him by Lesley Robertson of the St. Lawrence Quartet.

 

FELIX FAN, Cello

Felix Fan's versatility has made him one of the most sought after cellists of his generation. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, and Janos Starker, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Musikverein, and Royal Festival Hall. Fan's interest in contemporary music has led to collaborations with today's leading composers including George Crumb, Tan Dun, Oliver Knussen, Kaija Saariaho, and Charles Wuorinen. Appearances with the Bang on a Can All-Stars has allowed Fan to work with artists as diverse as Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. In 1998, Fan founded Muzik3, a performance series and commissioning foundation dedicated to the advancement of modern music with an emphasis on integrating theater, dance, and video. Muzik3 led to the formation of cello/percussion/piano trio Real Quiet, which has premiered over 20 works and recorded music by Marc Mellits (Endeavour Records) and David Lang (Naxos). In 2005, Fan performed a series of radio plays written by acclaimed screenwriters Charlie Kaufman and the Coen Brothers, starring actors Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Meryl Streep. Fan has also worked with innovative choreographers Karole Armitage, Shen Wei, and Christopher Wheeldon.