In pop culture, music videos abound when a new album is released. But this doesn’t happen often in classical music culture. It should. Take five minutes to watch this compelling film that features composer Missy Mazzoli’s Vespers for Violin performed by violinist Olivia De Prato. It’s directed by James Darrah who set the film within a ruminative desert ethos.
While viewers will take away what they want, the film seems to leave you wondering if it’s laughing at the idea of “Vespers” – an ancient service stemming from the Catholic Church taking place at dusk.
As the film opens, it is light, airy, and reflective. But as it progresses, darkness creeps in, leading to “the morning after” type scene.
What’s most jolting is a quick glance by the dancer—directly into the camera—as if to taunt the viewers and mock their fervent reverence.
Hear Olivia De Prato live on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 6 PM. The Pop-Up Concert at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street) will feature a cast of talented musicians and friends. Olivia performs as both a soloist and chamber musician in a program of virtuosic new works.
The concert is a celebration of De Prato’s debut solo album, Streya, released in March 2018 on New Focus Recordings. From the album, De Prato performs Reiko Füting’s tanz.tanz for solo violin and the acoustic version of Taylor Brook’s Wane for solo violin with four violinists – Ludovica Burtone, Pala Garcia, Marina Kifferstein, and Elena Moon Park. The program also features different works by three other composers from the album. De Prato will perform Missy Mazzoli’s Dissolve, O my Heart for solo violin, and will be joined on stage by violist Victor Lowrie for his new Duo and by clarinetist Ned Rothenberg for a special improvised duo.
About Olivia De Prato
Internationally recognized as a soloist and chamber musician, Austro-Italian violinist Olivia De Prato has been described as “flamboyant...convincing” (The New York Times) and an “enchanting violinist” (Messaggero Veneto, Italy). After moving to New York City, she quickly established herself as a passionate performer of contemporary and improvised music, breaking boundaries of the traditional violin repertoire, and regularly performs in Europe, South America, China, and the United States.
Her chamber music activities include appearances the Bang on a Can Marathon in NYC, the Lucerne Festival with Pierre Boulez, the Ensemble Modern Festival, June in Buffalo, the Wien Modern Festival, the Shanghai New Music Week, and Lincoln Center Festival with Steve Reich and Brad Lubman. In 2010 and 2011 she toured Europe and South Africa with Grammy-award winner Esperanza Spalding and the Chamber Music Society ensemble on violin and viola. De Prato is a member of the new music ensembles Signal and Victoire and is the co-founder and first violinist of the Mivos Quartet, which focuses on the performance of contemporary string quartets.
As a guest artist, she has presented solo and chamber music masterclasses for young musicians and composers at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, UC San Diego, Princeton University, New York University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and internationally at Universidad Eafit (Colombia), Shanghai Conservatory (China), Universidad Salvador (Brazil), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore), and MIAM University (Turkey).
De Prato has collaborated closely with composers Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez, Anthony Braxton, Chaya Czernowin, Peter Eötvös, Luca Francesconi, Beat Furrer, Dai Fujikura, Michael Gordon, Helmut Lachenman, David Lang, Brad Lubman, Philippe Manoury, Benedict Mason, Meredith Monk, Krystof Penderecki, Bernard Rands, Steve Reich, Ned Rothenberg, Julia Wolfe, and Georg Friedrich Haas. At the Lucerne Festival Academy 2007 she worked with composer Peter Eötvös on his new Violin Concerto "Seven" conducted by Pierre Boulez.
Her discography includes recordings on Tzadik, New Amsterdam Records, Sunnyside Records, New Focus Recordings, Mode, Cantaloupe, Porter Records, and Harmonia Mundi. She also self-released a live recording of Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto with the Filarmonica de Staat Sibiu (Romania).
Olivia De Prato studied at the University of Music and Arts in Vienna and received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the Eastman School of Music. She received her Master of Music as a member of the first graduating class from the Contemporary Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music.
About James Darrah
Working at the convergence of opera, theater, and film, Los Angeles based artist JAMES DARRAH brings together disparate creators and mediums for community-focused collaborations that pair narrative heft and intimate character studies with abstracted, enigmatic realizations of time and space.
This multifaceted focus has quickly led him to be recognized as “a gifted young American director" (Chicago Tribune), with an unconventional body of directing, design and curatorial work that "injects real drama" (New York Times) into new theater and opera productions, films, events, installations, and music videos. He is the artistic director of Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival, a new artist and team-driven performance series and first-of-its-kind creative residency. In its April 2018 debut, the ONE Festival was hailed for work that “expands the boundaries of the form with artist-led events” (The Wall Street Journal).