February 28, 2014

New Music Ensemble, Ariadne Clarinetist Join Forces

Argento Ensemble, Michel Galante, conductor, will perform Brian Ferneyhough's La Chute D’Icare with clarinet soloist Carol McGonnell on March 12.


Trio Ariadne’s three-concert spring series continues on March 12 when members of the New York-based Argento Chamber Ensemble share their passion for new music in a featured performance of Brian Ferneyhough's La Chute d'Icare. Trio Ariadne clarinetist Carol McGonnell will perform the demanding solo part. The British-born Ferneyhough has been called the father of the “New Complexity “style of composition.

The Argento Chamber Ensemble’s core of nine dedicated members regularly expands to perform and record chamber orchestra works utilizing up to 30 musicians. Championing cutting-edge contemporary composers and framing classical repertoire in new contexts, the Argento Chamber Ensemble has established a reputation for delivering unforgettable performances. 

The concert, under the direction of composer and conductor Michel Galante, takes place at 7:30 p.m. on March 12 in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center. Admission is free, however tickets are required. To reserve seats click on the link below or call the university box office at (707) 664-4246. Regular parking charge of $5 will be in effect. 

Trio Ariadne’s next concert takes place on April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Weill Hall. Details HERE.

Program March 12

Michel Galante – Megalomania (2012), Taka Kigawa, solo piano
Tristan Murail – Feuilles à travers les cloches (1998)
Brian Ferneyhough – La chûte D’Icare (1988), Carol McGonnell, solo clarinet
Gustav Mahler / Arnold Schoenberg Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (1885/1920), Sharon Harms, soprano solo
Matthew Ricketts – After 9 (2012, 2014)
Arnold Schoenberg – Entrückung (1908)

Tickets to March 12

Tickets to April 4


Argento Chamber Ensemble

Conductor - Michel Galante
Soprano - Sharon Harms
Flute - Emi Ferguson
Oboe/English horn - Michelle Farah
Clarinet/Bass clarinet - Carol McGonnell
Percussion - Matt Ward
Piano - Taka Kigawa
Violin - Emilie-Anne Gendron
Violin - Ken Hamao
Viola - Stephanie Griffin
Cello - Paul Dwyer
Bass - Lisa Dowling

The Argento Chamber Ensemble is the performance arm of the Argento New Music Project. Consisting of nine dedicated members, the ensemble regularly expands to perform and record chamber orchestra works of up to 30 musicians, and has established a reputation for delivering unforgettable performances.

Argento spearheaded Lunar Movements in 2010, and again in 2012, series of weekend concerts exploring modes of musical écriture that stem from Schoenberg's 1912 Pierrot Lunaire. The Ensemble has toured widely in the US and abroad in festivals including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the International Festival of Spectral Music in Istanbul, Turkey, the American Festival of Microtonal Music in New York, Sounds French Festival in New York, The Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland, and the International Festival of Electro-acoustic music, Shanghai. Tours to Asia and the Middle East included collaborations with non-Western musicians such as singer Kani Karaça.

The group has worked closely with leading composers such as Pierre Boulez, Tania Leon, Tristan Murail, Elliott Carter, Philippe Hurel, Gerard Pesson, Joshua Fineberg, and Philippe Leroux, and has collaborated with younger emerging composers internationally and at leading universities such as Columbia, Princeton, and Stonybrook.

Michel Galante, conductor
Michel Galante has performed as principal, guest, and assistant conductor with orchestras and ensembles in the US, Canada, and Europe. He is a doctoral candidate in composition at Columbia University. His composition awards include Hertz, Fulbright, and Mellon fellowships, and prizes from ASCAP and the Composer's Guild.

Trio Ariadne

Instructing, performing for, and living amongst Sonoma State University students over the course of a full year, Trio Ariadne—comprised of Elizabeth Joy Roe, Carol McGonnell, and Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir—provide a link between three campus units: the Department of Music, the Office of Residential Life, and
the Green Music Center. This innovative collaboration—created through a new partnership with New York’s Carnegie Hall—fuses instruction, outreach, residency, and performance, bringing college students together with some of the nation's finest post-graduate musicians.

Carol McGonnell, clarinet
Dublin-born Carol McGonnell was recently hailed as "an extraordinary clarinetist" by the New York Times. She is known for the expressive power of her playing of standard repertoire, and also enjoys exploring cutting-edge developments in new music. She recently performed as soloist in both John Adams’ “In Your Ear” Festival at Carnegie and in LA's Monday Evening Concerts, curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has also participated at the Marlboro Music Festival, Vermont, and performed at the inaugural concert of Zankel Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. Carol has performed as soloist with the Ulster Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Knights Chamber Orchestra and with ensembles including the Zankel Band, Ensemble Modern, Camerata Pacifica and the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert. She has been broadcast on Irish national television and radio, Lyric FM, BBC 3 and American national public radio.

Carol is a founding member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble, a dynamic New York group that has recently released a CD of the music of Tristan Murail on the Aeon label. The recording was listed among the top ten classical recordings of 2007 by Time Out New York. Last October, for the Irish Consulate in New York, she devised a program called New Music, New Ireland, New York, which was presented at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. That concert included the premiere of Cassini Void, a new clarinet concerto written for her by Irish composer Ian Wilson; in November she played in Miller Theatre's Portrait Concert of Irish composer Gerald Barry. She has guest-curated the music program for the Kilkenny Arts Festival and is on the advisory board of the Argento New Music Project. Carol is artistic director of Music for Museums, in association with the National Gallery of Ireland and including museums such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the LA Getty. She studied in Ireland with Brian O'Rourke and in New York with Charles Neidich. She is one of the sixteen handpicked fellows of the inaugural phase of The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute.

Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello
“Charismatic” (NYTimes) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir recently made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for which the LA Times praised her “emotional intensity.”  Following the release of her recording of Britten´s Suites for Solo Cello, last season she performed in some of the world´s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall.  This season will mark her debut with the Toronto Symphony and starting in the fall of 2013, Sæunn is Artist-in-Residence at Sonoma State University´s Green Music Center in California.

2013-2014 will also be Sæunn´s inaugural season as cellist of the Manhattan Piano Trio, beginning with her debut concert at the Chautauqua Music Festival.  An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets. She has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured. Sæunn is a founding member of Decoda; a group that seeks to revitalize the world of chamber music through refreshing concert experiences, creative education, and community engagement.

Along with the masterpieces of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Sæunn is constantly inspired by works composed in our time and enjoys working with living composers.  In addition to working closely with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition Bow to String, she has premiered dozens of works, including new pieces by Peter Schickele, Paul Schoenfield, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir and Kendall Briggs. Sæunn has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the 2008 Naumburg Competition in New York and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Tanya L. Carey and Joel Krosnick.

Sæunn is a graduate of The Academy, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, performing chamber music at Carnegie Hall and bringing classical music to students in the New York City Public Schools.   She is currently a doctoral candidate at the State University of New York, Stony Brook as a student of Colin Carr.

Elizabeth Joy Roe, piano 
Hailed “brilliant” by The New York Times, pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe was named one of the classical music world's “Six on the Rise: Young Artists to Watch” by Symphony Magazine. The recipient of the prestigious William Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award, she has appeared as recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician at major venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Ravinia Festival, the Seoul Arts Center, Beijing Concert Hall, Salle Cortot (Paris), Teatro Argentino (Buenos Aires), the Adrienne Arsht Center (Miami), the Banff Centre (Canada), and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany).

A Chicago native, Ms. Roe was only 13 years old when she won the grand prize at the IBLA International Piano Competition in Italy. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School as a full scholarship student of Yoheved Kaplinsky, graduating with Scholastic Distinction. Her multifaceted career includes performance broadcasts on NPR, PBS and KBS; editorial work for Alfred Music Publishing; world premieres of new music; and a diverse range of collaborations and projects. A Universal Classics / Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, her debut solo album Images Poetiques was released in 2010, and her latest recording (of the Britten and Barber Piano Concerti) will be released later this year. She has also established a groundbreaking piano duo partnership with Greg Anderson: the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo has attracted global attention for their dynamic performances, chart-topping albums, and self-produced music videos (viewed by millions on YouTube). Additional career highlights include the Carnegie Hall premiere of Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for the composer's centennial celebration; presentations at leadership symposia like the EG (Entertainment Gathering), Imagine Solutions Conference, and Chicago Ideas Week; an artistic residency sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Argentina; and a two-year Visiting Artist residency at Smith College.

Committed to arts advocacy, Ms. Roe was one of the inaugural fellows of The Academy, Carnegie Hall’s fellowship program, in which she performed with Ensemble ACJW, taught at PS 131Q in Queens, and co-directed the Children's Music Campaign NYC. She has also partnered with the Van Cliburn Foundation for an educational residency, curated an interactive performance project featuring Juilliard pianists, served as an adviser to the PianoArts North American Competition, and given numerous community engagement concerts and master classes nationwide. In recognition of her educational and leadership endeavors, she was awarded the McGraw-Hill Companies’ Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach. Ms. Roe is a Steinway Artist and Soros Fellow.


Carol McGonnell
Sæunn Thorsteinsdottir 
Elizabeth Joy Roe
Argento Ensemble



Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928