Bergamot Quartet is fueled by a passion for exploring and advocating for the music of living composers, continually expanding the limits of the string quartet’s rich tradition in western classical music. With a priority given to music by women, they aim to place this new, genre-bending music in meaningful dialogue with the histories that precede it with creative programming, community-oriented audience building, and frequent commissioning.
Bergamot values partnership and collaboration as a vital element of their creative work. Highlights of their 2022 season are releasing their debut album on New Focus Recordings featuring a work by member Ledah Finck with percussionist Terry Sweeney as guest artist; a co-commission of Darian Thomas with Sō Percussion as part of Sō’s Flexible Commissions project, to be released as a collaborative album in late 2022; and a collaboration with Princeton University’s doctoral composers, whose work Bergamot will premiere in March. In addition, Bergamot is particularly excited about helping young people discover their potential as music creators. Recent engagements include being the 2020-2021 virtual ensemble-in-residence for the Junior Bach program at the Peabody Institute and for MATA Jr. 2021, and workshopping/performing undergraduates’ pieces at Towson University and University of Maryland Baltimore County. Their upcoming performances include a residency with Peabody Conservatory, and various appearances at New York City venues including LunÀtico, Mise_en Place, and Carnegie Hall with the Mannes Sounds Festival.
Bergamot Quartet is Ledah Finck and Sarah Thomas, violins; Amy Tan, viola; and Irène Han, cello. Founded at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore in 2016, Bergamot Quartet is based in New York City and is currently the Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the Mannes School of Music.
Ledah Finck, Sarah Thomas, Irene Han, Amy Tan
Find us on Instagram @bergamotquartet
TRIADS: Arrangements in Site and Sound
TRIADS: Arrangements in Site & Sound explores the relationships between performances of classical music, physical sites, and the communities surrounding them. This performance series, film, and art installation premieres a newly commissioned work by composer Ledah Finck. Inspired by the embedded histories and acoustic languages of three separate locations—Clifton Mansion, B. Willow, and NomuNomu—different elements of Finck’s composition will be performed at each of these sites over the course of three nights. The project will culminate in a film installation, by Rachel Schmidt, at In/29 (In Progress) that assembles these fragments and presents the piece in its entirety.
Performed and presented in collaboration with Bergamot Quartet, Pants Trio, and Mind on Fire, this project uses classical music as a case study to question how the built environment implicates bodies and reinforces traditional hierarchies. Ultimately, TRIADS: Arrangements in Site & Sound subverts traditional methods of performance and consumption by breaking down the whole, scattering its components across space and time, and then reconstructing it through site-specific sound recordings and visual explorations.
"...there are solo tracks as well as passages by pared-down versions of the group. Luminous crescendos that exude a natural radiance. Poetic reveries that thrill with their commitment to pith. Frenzied drama that manages to exude grace. Simple taps and gurgles that conjure the natural world. 'String Solo No. 2' actually works as a percussion piece, with Tal Yahalom tapping a parade of feels from his guitar. One section of 'Contraband Peanut Butter' finds Ledah Finck’s violin drone stabilizing a swirl of hubbub just aching to boil over. Dunston has a way with suspense, and his design game is strong. At some points, it’s as if Air were interpreting Anthony Davis’ I’ve Known Rivers or Leroy Jenkins’ Legend of Ai Glatson. Or both at once."
-Jim Macnie, Jazztimes
THE WITCHES are Ledah Finck on violin/viola and vocals and Louna Dekker-Vargas on flutes and vocals. We are an experimental duo that transcends the limitations of two treble instruments through a blend of free improvisation, arrangements of everything from Telemann to Stockhausen to Paul Motian, and works we commission from living composers. Our performances might be unified by a theme, such as our 2019 "Visions of Pythia" which explored the mystic othering of women throughout the ages through the eyes of an ancient Greek oracle, or our 2016 set of commissions called Behind the Curtain, celebrating womens' roles as patrons of the arts. Or they might be an improvised dialogue with and reactions to a sonic or physical environment. Our SoundCloud page contains a wide index of improvised music. We are currently accepting proposals from visual artists who might be interested in collaborating on a multimedia video or installation involving these recordings.
earspace is a contemporary performance ensemble dedicated to creating invigorating multi-sensory performances of music worth believing in. We seek to expose the inherent potentials within every moment and space, cultivating visceral reactions unique to every manifestation. Through our projects, we explore the extremities of contemporary performance and work to bring audiences closer to the music they experience. earspace has performed across the Triangle at CAM Raleigh and Carolina Performing Arts, and less typical venues like the Google Fiber Space, as well as other venues across North Carolina.
earspace's core members are Vincent Povaszay, conductor and codirector; Richard Drehoff, piano, tech, and codirector; Philip Snyder, flutes; Andy Hudson, clarinets; Ledah Finck, violin; Lena Vidulich, viola; Erin Snedecor, cello; Daniel Brottman, piano and horn; Victoria Nelson, percussion.