On Tuesday, September 28, 2010, the New York Foundation for the Arts and innova recordings celebrate 25 Years of New York New Music with the release of The NYFA Collection. The recording features works by 52 NYFA fellows and includes Lisa Bielawa’s quartet, The Trojan Women, recorded by the Miami String Quartet.
Lisa Bielawa’s The Trojan Women is written in three movements, each based on the particular sufferings of women who lost husbands and sons in the notorious brutality of the Trojan War – “Hecuba,” “Cassandra,” and “Andromache.” This version for string quartet was composed in 2000 based on musical materials from Ms. Bielawa’s 1999 score for Euripides’ tragedy, The Trojan Women, and was premiered by the Miami String Quartet at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Ms. Bielawa says that the piece was inspired by “the nature of public and private grieving.”
About Lisa Bielawa: Born in San Francisco into a musical family, Lisa Bielawa played the violin and piano, sang, and wrote music from early childhood. She moved to New York two weeks after receiving her B.A. in Literature in 1990 from Yale University, and became an active participant in New York musical life. She began touring with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992, and in 1997 co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers.
Recent highlights include performances of Ms. Bielawa’s chamber music in New York at Judson Memorial Church, The Brooklyn Museum, and Symphony Space. Her work, Chance Encounter, a piece comprising songs and arias constructed of speech overheard in transient public spaces, has been performed by soprano Susan Narucki and The Knights in Seward Park in Lower Manhattan and at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; and by Ms. Narucki, the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, and the Rome-based Blue Chamber Orchestra on the banks of the Tiber River and as part of the opening of the celebrated new MAXXI Museum in Rome. Additional highlights included the world premiere of Portrait-Elegy, written for pianist Bruce Levingston, in New York; the world premiere of The Project of Collecting Clouds at Town Hall in Seattle by cellist Joshua Roman and chamber ensemble; and the world premiere of In medias res, a concerto for orchestra commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the culmination of Ms. Bielawa’s three-year residency with that orchestra.