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The 76th Season of Concerts 2017–2018
Blue Dress

March 4 at 3:30
West Building, West Garden Court

ETHEL, a postmodern, indie-classical quartet, pays special homage to the brilliant, gorgeous, and masterful women who are making their musical mark on the 21st century. Sometimes fierce, sometimes seductive, always full of creativity, composers like Anna Clyne, Missy Mazzoli, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Julia Wolfe are warriors and champions of music today. Repertoire by these women—including the first performances of Wolfe’s bluegrass-inspired Blue Dress for String Quartet—is performed with music named by the composers as their personal sources of inspiration. Clyne’s favorites include rock legend Stevie Nicks, while Mazzoli draws creative strength from Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, one of the leaders of the worldwide wave of alt rock bands. Wolfe cites the timelessness of Aretha Franklin, who continues in her role as standard-bearer for so many of today’s musicians. Amplified quartet arrangements of works by these powerhouses are paired with the works of Clyne, Mazzoli, and Wolfe. By exploring new compositions by three of today’s most influential composers side by side with the groundbreaking music of their muses, ETHEL offers a distinctive and stirring read on their interconnections.

Photo by Erin Patrice O'Brien

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