about new CD

A few people have asked me about my process and intentions with the pieces on my latest CD “Melting the Darkness” (CD available from the Store page, digital release by Urlicht on Nov. 11). So I thought I’d take a quick moment to write some more about these things.

Unlike most of my CDs, the programs of which were each recorded in one chunk of a couple consecutive days, this CD was recorded over three years. This was because a couple of the pieces were being written, and because I was seeking opportunities to perform the pieces before … Continue Reading

Interview with MusicaClasicaBA

I took a great trip this August to Buenos Aires with my organization Nunc to perform a couple concerts of Mario Davidovsky’s music at the Teatro Colón. You can see news from that adventure at Nunc’s website: http://nuncmusic.org/news/

The concerts had a wonderfully warm response and as follow-up, I did this interview on August 20 with MusicaClasicaBA.On their website, you can scroll down for the English version – I’m also posting it below:

BA logo

 

 

 

Last august 15th we went to the CETC … Continue Reading

Liner notes for Melting the Darkness CD

“Melting the Darkness”

Notes by MC (Nov. 6, 2013)

This album ventures into regions of the art of violin-playing the significance of which is now becoming clear. Devoted entirely to microtonal compositions for violin and pieces for violin with electronics, this CD explores works of seven composers who have been challenged by these areas of discovery to create intriguingly fresh and surprising sound worlds.

Like opera singing and ballet dancing, the violin-playing tradition as situated within the Western classical heritage is a tremendously rich vein of history and achievement. It has involved a collective cultivation of craft and technique, an establishing of certain … Continue Reading

About Mario Davidovsky: concert tribute June 7

My group counter)induction is presenting a concert of Mario Davidovsky’s music on June 7 at Subculture. I wrote this essay below, which will appear on c)i’s blog and in abbreviated form in the program booklet. (Also my organization Nunc will be performing his music at the Teatro Colon on August 15-17.)

counter)induction is thrilled to close this season with a concert tribute to the great Argentine-American composer Mario Davidovsky. Mario, who turned 80 this year, has been a central figure in contemporary music since … Continue Reading

Cultured Cleveland review

A very thoughtful review by Frank Kuznik of my April 1 solo concert at Cleveland’s Transformer Station was apparently not archived on Cultured Cleveland‘s website, so I am posting the full text below. While I feel well-appreciated by this reviewer, I should say that, given the many styles of composing and expression these days, I think there is new music that can be, and has been, described as stylish and/or charming. But it is true that some of the music I play is not usually perceived or played that way. Another great review of … Continue Reading

Carter/Sessions/Eckardt CD reviewed in the NY Times

ARIAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times has reviewed my CD with Blair McMillen of duos by Carter and Eckardt and the Sessions Solo Sonata:

“The violinist Miranda Cuckson and the pianist Blair McMillen, who are individually brilliant and adventurous artists, bring out the best in each other in their frequent collaborations, including their latest recording of contemporary works. Their incisive, animated playing cuts through the density and complexity of Carter’s Duo for Violin and Piano to reveal the music’s wit and fancifulness. Jason Eckardt wrote his glistening, jittery and playfully frenetic “Strömkarl” … Continue Reading

Interpreter of Music

From an April 2014 interview with Cleveland Classical:

Cuckson finds it very meaningful and exciting to feel that she’s at the forefront of keeping music moving forward. “It’s not just preserving all of the amazing and wonderful things that were created in the past. But this music is still developing and achieving great things. I love being part of that.”

She also says on her website that she is enthusiastic about the role that she plays as a performer in the collaborative creative process. “I put that on my website because it is something that I … Continue Reading

interview about Michael Hersch’s music

new Carter/Eckardt/Sessions CD

My new CD of Elliott Carter’s Duo, Roger Sessions’ Sonata for solo violin and Jason Eckardt’s new duo “Strömkarl” with  pianist Blair McMillen, can be purchased now on my website. See the Store page.

Official commercial release is March 3 but you can take a listen anytime now by buying it directly from me.

ARIAL

 

 

Mutations CD with Vijay Iyer

 

IyerLast September, I was delighted to play on Vijay Iyer’s new CD, his first for ECM Records. When I got the call, I knew somehow that beautiful experiences were ahead for me. The central piece of the album is “Mutations I-X” for piano and string quartet. I had a marvelous time working with Vijay, a brilliant, inspiring and wonderfully warm person, and terrific colleagues Michi Wiancko, Kyle Armbrust and Kivie Cahn-Lipman. And it was a tremendous pleasure and honor to meet Manfred Eicher, with whom I’m very happy to say … Continue Reading

Thoughts about music at the new year

 

Here’s to- music as a lifelong endeavor and part of personal growth- the passion of music- the flow of music in time- the mathematics and science of music- music’s ability to express anything- the physicality of playing music- the physicality of the dance in music- the disembodied selflessness of feeling in the moment that you are only in service of the music, of wanting that phrase or sound to express what it wants to express, of making the music “happy”- the communality and liveliness of a concert … Continue Reading

Carter, Sessions, Eckardt to be released on this website in January (release by Urlicht AudioVisual March 3)

I am glad to be able to share with you soon my latest recording. I hope you will find it enjoyable, mind- and ear-opening, rewarding listening.  Following are my liner notes:

(December 3, 2013 by M.C.)

This CD presents three major works by American composers: Elliott Carter’s Duo (1973), Roger Sessions’ Sonata for Violin (1953) and Jason Eckardt’s Strömkarl (2012). The Carter and Sessions are landmark works in the violin repertoire and in American classical music, and I am truly delighted to bring them together on this recording. Sessions’ Sonata, the composer’s first piece using dodecaphonic … Continue Reading

Nunc concert on December 14

Nunc December 14, 2013, 8pm at Tenri Cultural Institute, 43 West 13 Street, NYCtickets $15/students $10

On Saturday, December 14, at 8:00pm, music organization Nunc (director, Miranda Cuckson) will present a concert of chamber music at Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City. The program:

 Sofia Gubaidulina:  Dancer on a Tightrope, for violin and piano (1995)

Cenk Ergün:  Dolce Far Niente, for violin and piano (2013)

Gilad Cohen:  Trio for a Spry Clarinet, Weeping Cello and Ruminating Harp (2010)

Alexander Goehr:  Manere, Op. 81 for clarinet and violin (2008)

Anton Arensky: Quartet Op. 35 for violin, viola and two cellos (1894)

 

Performers will be … Continue Reading

Recital at Mannes College, Oct. 24 at 8pm

I’m playing a recital this Thursday night, October 24 at 8pm, at Mannes College, where I am on the college faculty. I hope those of you who are in town can come and hear it! Here is the program, with program notes by me:

 

Miranda Cuckson, violin

with Yegor Shevtsov, piano 

Mannes Concert Hall, 150 West 85 street, NYCadmission freeOctober 24, 8pm

 

Sonate pour violon et piano (1917)     Claude Debussy (1862-1918)Sonata for violin and piano  (1996)    Steven Mackey (b. 1956)

****intermission******

 Fantasy-Variations for solo violin (1962) Donald Martino (1931-2005)Sonata … Continue Reading

Ralph Shapey’s Dotted Rhythms

 

Ralph Shapey’s Dotted Rhythms: a Violinist’s Point of View

by Miranda Cuckson  

            For the violinist, Ralph Shapey’s compositional output offers an abundance of challenges, and a wealth of strikingly expressive music, much of which has gone largely unheard. Shapey wrote for the violin throughout his life, producing a large catalogue of works for the instrument. These include eight solo pieces, most of them multi-movement; seven pieces for violin and piano; six works for violin with orchestra or ensemble, including the Invocation-Concerto (1959) and a concerto entitled The Legends (1999); and duos with viola, cello, and voice. He also … Continue Reading

My meeting with Henri Dutilleux

Henri Dutilleux was one of the great artists of the last century and a wonderful man, and I treasure my memories of meeting him and playing for him in Paris one summer. Following the very saddening news of his death, Sequenza21 asked me to write about my visit with him. My little essay is now posted here on the Sequenza 21 site, also here on Tumblr (with larger photos). (A note: M. Dutilleux wrote the date wrong in his dedication on my score. It was 2001.)

Continue Reading

new music, new musicians, new entrepreneurs: March 3 concert with Fonema Consort in Chicago

I’m going soon to Chicago to play two concerts: the exciting Ralph Shapey tribute on March 1 that I wrote about in my last blogpost and a concert on March 3 with young new-music group Fonema Consort.

Last season, Fonema Consort came to New York to perform and I was asked to play as their NY-based guest artist. It was a delight to meet these young musicians, so gifted and thrilled about the music they were playing, the excitement of putting on their own shows, sharing their discoveries with new listeners and friends. It has been terrific lately to see so … Continue Reading

Shapey concert at Contempo, University of Chicago

I am really thrilled to perform and present, with my organization Nunc, a concert tribute to Ralph Shapey on March 1, on the Contempo series at the University of Chicago. There is info on Nunc’s website here.

More on it this event soon – for now, here is the note I recently sent them for the program book. If you’re in the Chicago area, I hope you’ll join us!

 

I was truly delighted when Shulamit Ran and Elsa Charlston asked me to put together this concert of Ralph Shapey’s music for … Continue Reading

viola for sale

I am selling a viola made by French luthier Charles Enel in 1931: excellent condition, 16 1/4 inches, beautiful tone. Please email me to inquire. It is at Adam Crane’s shop in New York City, if you want to call him and try it out there. Thank you.

nunc concert January 18

Following a very lovely and successful benefit house concert for nunc yesterday, I’m looking forward to nunc’s concert this Friday, January 18 at 8pm. It’s a really interesting, fun, riveting program that I think you’ll enjoy greatly- and it’s FREE.  Do come!

I’d love to see you there! My program notes are below. 

nunc presents

“Got to be Modernistic”

a chamber music concert

with Miranda Cuckson, director, violin and viola

and

Joseph Brent, mandolin; Alex Lipowski, percussion; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Mary Nessinger, mezzo-soprano; Matei Varga, piano; Ning Yu, piano

at Mannes Concert Hall150 West 85th Street 

Program:

Quasi hoquetus (1984)  for … Continue Reading

Nono CD release JANUARY 4 and 5

The release events for my Nono CD were postponed because of hurricane Sandy. I’m glad to say we’ve rescheduled them for January 4 and 5. I am also very gratified and excited that the recording has been named one on the Best Classical Recordings of 2012 by the New York Times.

Hope you’ll join us! We’ll have CDs there for sale. Please see my previous blog posts for more info and thoughts.

Schedule:

CD release Event: January 4

Artists’ Event: January 5

 

Date and time: Friday, January 4, 2012, *7 PMPlace: Spectrum121 Ludlow Street, Second Floor, New York, NYTickets: $15 … Continue Reading

Nono CD release!

I am really thrilled that my CD of Nono “la lontananza” will be released early next month. It has been a truly great thing to work on. To any of you in New York City on Nov 2 and 3, I hope you can join us for some really interesting and exciting performances and discussions to celebrate the release. Please see my blog posts from last year to read some thoughts on this very moving and multi-layered piece.

From the press release:

 

“la lontananza nostalgica utopica futura” distills Nono’s manifold lifelong preoccupations – philosophy, politics, history, theater, text, spatialization, improvisation, … Continue Reading

A new season

Dear everyone,

Hope you all had a wonderful summer! I had a really great time playing at various festivals, enjoying lots of really involving, moving and fun music and some lovely locations. Now shifting gears somewhat to focus on the year ahead..  performances are now posted on my calendar page. This year there are a number of things pending, which I will post and fill you in on as they get finalized – such as a CD release concert in the spring for my Sessions/Carter/Eckardt CD on Meyefi Records (which will feature full performances of the pieces … Continue Reading

July 13 Bargemusic “Here and Now”!

Hi Everyone,

New and recent violin music, coming up!  On Friday, July 13, I am going to perform a solo violin recital at NYC’s Bargemusic. I hope you’ll come and enjoy it! It is such a great pleasure to play at this unique venue by the Brooklyn Bridge and I particularly love it there in the summer. I’m playing on the “Here and Now” series, which features contemporary works. I’m pleased about the program I am presenting, as the pieces are all by composer friends (or family) with whom I’ve worked. In most cases, I have known them for some years and … Continue Reading

program notes for Phillips Collection recital April 15

Hello, everyone. Happy Spring.

I am performing a recital with Aaron Wunsch at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC on April 15 at 3pm. Here are program notes I wrote for it. Hope you enjoy! Come and hear if you are in the area!

Phillips Collection link

Miranda

 

This recital program, consisting of the Violin Sonatas of Leos Janácek and Richard Strauss and a suite of transcriptions by Ross Lee Finney, presents two streams of commonalities among the works to be performed. One is the composers’ nationalistic use of folkloric material, and the other is the flowering of an ornate, stylistically individual … Continue Reading

c)i concert March 4: Nono’s string quartet and Schoenberg

My ensemble counter)induction is playing a program of three great works on Sunday March 4 at the Italian Academy at Columbia University. Called “Where Words Leave Off”, the concert comprises Lachenmann’s ”Dal Niente” for clarinet, Luigi Nono’s string quartet “Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima” and Schoenberg’s “Ode to Napoleon” for reciter and piano quintet, with Paula Robison narrating. These works explore the combining of text and music in unusual ways (ie. words not sung, but spoken or thought), and music as a vehicle for political message. (Narration is used sometimes in musical works, but this is one of the most effective instances I … Continue Reading

new year…

Happy new year!

A reminiscence: New Year’s Eve was the birthday of Nathan Milstein, whom I played for when I was 13. Around that time, he used to give a week of masterclasses in Zurich each year. Someone gave him a tape of me playing at a Juilliard concert and he invited me to come. Corey Cerovsek and I were there along with about a dozen college students. Over the week, I played movements of the Tchaikovsky concerto and Beethoven Op. 30 No. 3 sonata, Wieniawski D major Polonaise and Zigeunerweisen. (I brought Bach but didn’t get to play it).  On the … Continue Reading

Bargemusic recital November 17

I am excited to perform at Bargemusic this Thursday, November 17. As part of the “Here and Now” series, I am playing a contemporary music program: six pieces, all by living composers, three of whom will be present. The composers, four men and two women, are of several generations and come from the US, France, Israel, Germany, Austria and Cuba. They are all really terrific. Four of these pieces are for violin, one is violin with electronics, and one is for viola.

Below are program notes by the composers themselves, and two by me, which I wrote for previous performances of … Continue Reading

Hersch at Merkin Hall, October 18

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow, Tuesday October 18 at 8pm, my organization nunc presents a concert of Michael Hersch’s music at Merkin Hall in New York. I hope you can come because this will be a very special experience. Michael is playing selections from his striking and beautiful solo piano work, The Vanishing Pavilions. It is his first piano performance in NY since 2001. I have been collaborating with Michael on his music for performances and recording, and it has been a very meaningful part of my music-making in the last few years. My CD, the wreckage of flowers with pianist Blair McMillen, was released … Continue Reading

recital at New Music New College, Sept. 24

I’m going tomorrow to Sarasota, Florida to perform a solo recital on Saturday (Sept 24) on the new-music concert series New Music New College. There’s an Artist Conversation on Friday at 3:30 about the program. I’m very delighted to have been asked to play there and really excited about the program. Stephen Miles, the series director, asked me to come up with a mix of older and newer works, so I decided on two pairings of pieces, plus a stunning opener! That opener is Iannis Xenakis’ “Mikka S” – a taut, intense approx. 4-minute piece that mostly involves continuous glissandos … Continue Reading

more on “La lontananza…”

A follow-up on the Nono performance:

It was a remarkable experience to perform it live, to move around the space and  inhabit the character of the wanderer while dealing with the abstraction of the sounds and timbres: the fragile held tones, the rough outbursts and offhand-sounding phrases, pacing my breaths for the singing, and hearing the tape material emerging gently or jumping out from the speakers. Walking among the audience really took away that “fourth wall” to me – I saw and felt the people in the room as part of the scenario, as participants in the drama.

On Tues. and Wed., … Continue Reading

Nono’s “La lontananza”

I hope everyone had a very good summer! I’m back in New York now and busy with various concerts and pieces. Very soon, on Saturday, September 17, I’m playing Luigi Nono’s great work “La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura” for violin and 8-track tape- I’m thrilled! This is part of the New Spectrum foundation’s whimsically-titled “Nono, Muchmore Warped festival”, an evening of music by “composers with amusing names”: Pat Muchmore, Richard Warp and Luigi Nono. Info is here: http://www.sequenza21.com/calendar/2011/08/nono-muchmore-warped-festival-7-pm-saturday-17-september-2011/

Following sets of exciting new works by Pat and Richard (with great players including Taka Kigawa and Ken Thomson), … Continue Reading

post on counter)induction’s blog about this Friday’s concert at Bargemusic

http://counterinduction.blogspot.com/2011/05/miranda-cuckson-on-fridays-show-at.html

Greetings, welcome to my website!

This past Wednesday night, my two CDs of Ralph Shapey’s violin music were featured on KKFI, Kansas City radio. Host Michael Pettengell recorded his interview with me by phone about a week ago, and the interview was played in full on Wednesday’s show along with some Shapey works. I’m always really delighted to have the chance to talk about this music, about which I feel strongly. There is no podcast or archived recording, but I am being sent a CD of the interview and will try to put it up on this website for you ASAP. Next week at the … Continue Reading