Old and New: Nadia Sirota, Liam Byrne, & Guests
event Old and New: Nadia Sirota, Liam Byrne, & Guests thumbnail
$25; Member $20; 30 and Under (with I.D.) $18

Pairing the old and the new, this program features music for viola (Nadia Sirota) and viol (Liam Byrne and guests) by Renaissance masters and works by leading contemporary composers, including a world premiere by David Lang, commissioned by Symphony Space.

Evening also includes Nadia in discussion with David Lang.


From the Curator

"This concert is all about new and old things for viols and viola. In putting together this residency I became obsessed with the oddly satisfying timbre that comes from pairing a relatively dark, mid-range instrument: the viola, with bass viols — early, fretted baroque instruments that play quite a bit lower, but sound a whole ton brighter. It’s a weird, beautiful thing that’ll be explored deeply in the Dennehy world premiere on the 5th. This concert I am thinking of as a kind of study for that show. We’ll be playing old music by Byrd and Gibbons and Picforth and new music by Nico Muhly and David Lang and everything is SO GORGEOUS. It’s gonna be weird." -Nadia Sirota



Slow by Nico Muhly

In nomine by William Byrd

Two Fantasias by William Byrd

Fantasia by Orlando Gibbons

Duo by Alexander Agricola/Johannes Ghiselin

broken by David Lang (world premiere, commissioned by Symphony Space)

In nomine by Picforth

just for 3 singers, viola, cello, and percussion by David Lang (US premiere)


About the Artists

“A one-woman contemporary-classical commissioning machine” (Pitchfork), violist Nadia Sirota is best known for her singular sound and expressive execution, coaxing works and collaborations from the likes of Nico Muhly, Daníel Bjarnason, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Judd Greenstein, Marcos Balter, and Missy Mazzoli. Nadia's podcast, Meet the Composer from Q2 Music, explores the work of living composers through her interviews and musical selections. She was awarded the 2010 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in Radio and Internet Broadcasting for her previous show on Q2 Music.

Nadia is a member of yMusic, Alarm Will Sound, and ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), and has lent her sound to recording and concert projects by such artists as Grizzly Bear, Jónsi, and Arcade Fire. As a chamber musician, Nadia has collaborated with such artists as Joseph Kalichstein, Itzhak Perlman, and the Silk Road Ensemble, as well as with members of Kronos Quaret, the Chiara Quartet, and the Peabody Trio.

She received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she performed as co-founder of the AXIOM ensemble, initiated the Castleman/Amory/Huang studio’s New Music Project, and created the Juilliard Plays Juilliard program for student composers and performers. Nadia is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.


Liam Byrne has been praised in The Times for his “nuanced and expressive, stylish virtuosity” and by The Guardian for his “glittering performance.” Liam’s solo viol work regularly explores lesser known corners of 16th and 17th century repertoire as well as the compositions of living composers. He has had new solo works written for him by Edmund Finnis, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson, and others.

For several years, Liam was a member of the renowned viol consort Fretwork. He has also performed and recorded with the Dunedin Consort, The Sixteen, Le Concert d’Astrée, i Fagiolini, Concerto Caledonia, and the viol consorts Phantasm and Concordia, among many others.

Liam has worked with a wide variety of non-classical artists including Damon Albarn, Nils Frahm, Martin Parker, and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond). He played a musical role in the creation of several large-scale operatic works: Damon Albarn’s Dr. Dee (2011-12), Shara Worden’s You Us We All (2013), and Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Wide Slumber (2014).

Liam received his BMus and Performer’s Diploma from Indiana University and his MPhil in Musicology and Performance from Magdalen College Oxford. He is on the faculty of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


Many thanks to Louth Contemporary Music Society for permission to perform David Lang's just.

In partnership with Q2 Music. Access Q2 Music's 24/7 stream of the best in new music at q2music.org

With support from the Isaiah Sheffer Fund for New Initiatives.


This concert is part of the Composers Now Festival. The Composers Now Festival celebrates living composers, the diversity of their voices, and the significance of their musical contributions to our society. During the month of February, the Festival brings together dozens of performances presented by venues, ensembles, orchestras, opera companies, dance companies and many other innovative events throughout New York City.


Photos (4)

Videos (1)