Symphony Space Live Hear It ALL
Now Playing:
Sequitur: David Foster Wallace
facebook icon twitter icon google plus icon
Listen Everywhere

Symphony Space Live is now on Soundcloud so our programs can easily be played on any mobile device!

Having trouble listening in Safari? Here are instructions on how to play Soundcloud in Safari.

Follow Us

This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 02/10/2011 at Symphony Space.

In a theatrical presentation of text in combination with music, Sequitur devotes their performance of Eric Moe's "Tri-Stan", featuring mezzo soprano Mary Nessinger, and Randall Woolf's "Everything is Green", with pre-recorded narration by Rinde Eckert, to the musical treatment of David Foster Wallace texts.




Randall Woolf

Everything is Green

Pre-recorded narration by Rinde Eckert

Paul Hostetter, conductor


Eric Moe


Mary Nessinger, mezzo-soprano

+ About the Artists

Audiences and critics have praised Sequitur for innovative contemporary music programming and brilliant performances at Joe’s Pub, Miller Theatre, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, The Knitting Factory, Theatre 80 St. Marks, Bargemusic, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, Music Gallery in Toronto, and the Redhouse in Syracuse. Exploring connections with theater, cabaret, and text has been Sequitur’s special province, prompting Time Out New York to write that Sequitur was the “perfect ensemble” for theatrical music. This summer, American Record Guide advised you to “sit back and listen to these new-music virtuosos show their stuff; it is very impressive.” Sequitur’s nine recordings on Albany, Koch, and Naxos, have been widely acclaimed; two have been named to The New York Times’ list of the best 25 classical releases of the year. Co-directed by Sara Laimon and Harold Meltzer, Sequitur has offered more than 80 world and American premieres by composers as diverse as Thomas Adès, Harrison Birtwistle, Eve Beglarian, Martin Bresnick, David Del Tredici, David Lang, Tania León, David Rakowski, and Fredric Rzewski.

Mary Nessinger is rapidly gaining attention for her critically acclaimed performances of some of last and this century’s most dynamic works and for her astute interpretations of standard repertoire. The New York Times has praised her “remarkable fluidity and beauty of tone” and described her interpretive skills as “a tour de force of characterization.” Nessinger has been heard as a soloist at Carnegie, Alice Tully, Avery Fisher, and Merkin Halls, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Freer Gallery, Jordan Hall, and the Gardner Museum. She has appeared internationally in London, Berlin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

Nessinger has devoted herself to the performance of new music and has enjoyed a close working relationship with innovative composers including Lee Hyla, John Harbison, Haflidi Hallgrimsson, George Rochberg, Bernard Rands, George Crumb, Simon Bainbridge, Jason Eckardt, Pia Gilbert, and Ezra Sims. Her collaborative work has found her performing with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New Millennium Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, the Brentano, Colorado, Pacifica, and Orion String Quartets. She has participated in the Santa Fe, Chamber Music Northwest, Marlboro, Music from Angel Fire, Aspen, Skaneateles, Tannery Pond, Crested Butte, Portland (Maine) Chamber Music, and New England Bach Festivals. Nessinger has been a soloist with the Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, and London Symphonies, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

Nessinger obtained her Bachelor of Music degree at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, and afterwards studied at the Eastman School with Seth McCoy and Jan DeGaetani, and in New York with Chloe Owen. She now serves on the faculty of Princeton University and Vassar College.


Eric Moe, composer of what the NY Times calls “music of winning exuberance”, has received the Lakond Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, commissions from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Fromm Foundation, Koussevitzky Foundation, Barlow Endowment, and Meet-the-Composer, and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Bellagio, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, Ragdale Foundation, Montana Artists Refuge, Carson McCullers Center, and the American Dance Festival. Also a pianist and keyboard player, Moe has premiered and performed works by a wide variety of composers, from Anthony Davis to Stefan Wolpe. His playing can be heard on recordings of the music of John Cage, Roger Zahab, Marc-Antonio Consoli, Mathew Rosenblum, Jay Reise, and Felix Draeseke. A founding member of the San Francisco-based EARPLAY ensemble, he currently co-directs the Music on the Edge new music concert series in Pittsburgh. Moe studied composition at Princeton University and at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh.


Randall Woolf studied composition privately with David Del Tredici and Joseph Maneri, and at Harvard, where he earned a Ph.D. He is a member of the Common Sense Composers Collective. He is composer-mentor for the Brooklyn Philharmonic. In 1997 he composed a new ballet of Where the Wild Things Are, in collaboration with Maurice Sendak and Septime Webre. A recording of the work is available on He works frequently with John Cale, notably on his score to American Psycho. Cale and Woolf collaborated on a performance of the songs from Cale’s solo album Paris 1919, by Cale and his band with orchestral arrangements by Woolf. The new version was performed at London’s Royal Festival Hall in March 2010, and subsequently in Melbourne, Brescia (Italy), Los Angeles, and Paris. His works have been performed by Kathleen Supové, Kronos Quartet, Jennifer Choi, Timothy Fain, Mary Rowell, Todd Reynolds, Ethel, conductor and flutist Ransom Wilson, Present Music, Fulcrum Point, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and others. His most recent CD, Modern Primitive, performed by Ransom Wilson, The Pack, Todd Reynolds and others, is available on


Paul Hostetter, conductor

Mary Nessinger, mezzo-soprano

Erin Lesser, flute

Christa Robinson, oboe

Jo-Ann Sternberg, clarinets

Sycil Mathai, trumpet

Daniel Grabois, horn

Matthew Gold, percussion

Margaret Kampmeier, piano

Andrea Schultz, violin

Daniel Panner, viola

Greg Hesselink, cello

+ About the Music

Everything Is Green is a monologue: a middle-aged man, living in a trailer park, is trying to explain to his young, two-timing girlfriend why he must leave her. The author, David Foster Wallace, creates a portrait of the speech and grammar of the narrator at once poetic and true to life. It was his insight into the local language’s poetic powers that drew me to this story. As Wallace finds beauty and subtlety of meaning in this ‘outsider English,’ I felt drawn to try to do the same in sound. My piece uses transfigured country music and sounds of nature to create a musical diorama of this man’s world.

Tri-Stan, a sit-trag/concert monodrama for mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger and ten players (flute, oboe, clarinet/bass clarinet, horn, trumpet, percussion, piano, violin, viola, and cello), is a setting of “Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko” by David Foster Wallace, a piece of short fiction from his collection Brief interviews with hideous men, an updated retelling of the myth of Echo and Narcissus. The classical myth is imbedded in a complex (and very funny) matrix of mass-media and high culture; 1980’s-TV meets grand opera, featuring video projections by multi-media artist Suzie Silver.

Explore the Archive