Donnacha Dennehy's Tessellatum
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The final concert of Nadia Sirota's Fuse Project residency showcases the world premiere of Tessellatum for viola, viol consort, and electronics by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy (co-commissioned by Symphony Space). The program also features pieces by members of the Bedroom Community. Sirota is joined on stage by Liam ByrneNico Muhly, and friends.

This event will be webcast live on Q2 Music at q2music.org.


From the Curator

"The world premiere of Tessellatum, a new 40-minute work by Donnacha Dennehy for four bass viols, solo viola, and backing track. Liam, Donnacha, and I recently got back from Iceland where we just finished recording this piece. All of the sounds in the work are acoustic, and yet, because Donnacha likes to slip back and forth between equal temperament and "just" intonation, which uses the harmonic series to build up timbre and harp on resonance, the piece feels almost electronic. These moments of slipping in and "out-of-tune" effectively un-moor the ear. By the end of the work, the harmonic tunings feel second nature, even more perfect than the equal tempered bits. The piece was written for 11 viols and 4 violas, recorded entirely by myself and Liam. For this show, we'll pull the most important threads out of the tapestry and perform them live with the help of three other viol players who have had to add to and split their frets in order to attain the microtones written into the piece. I am BEYOND excited for this. The first half of the concert is a joyful exploration of the work of Bedroom Community, and will pull pieces from the past 10 years of BedCom. I'll be joined on stage by Nico Muhly, Liam Byrne, and other friends." -Nadia Sirota



Music by Bedroom Community Composers, to be announced from stage
Liam Byrne, viol
Nico Muhly, piano and electronics
Nadia Sirota, viola


Tessellatum by Donnacha Dennehy (world premiere, co-commissioned by Symphony Space and Irish Arts Center)
Doug Balliet, Liam Byrne, Loren Ludwig, and Zoe Weiss, viols
Nadia Sirota, viola


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.


Nico Muhly is a composer of chamber music, orchestral music, sacred music, opera, ballet, and music for collaborators across a variety of fields. He has been commissioned by St. Paul’s Cathedral and Carnegie Hall, and has written choral music for the Tallis Scholars and the Hilliard Ensemble, songs for Anne Sofie von Otter and Iestyn Davies, an encore for violinist Hilary Hahn, and a viola concerto for Nadia Sirota. The Metropolitan Opera recently commissioned him to compose Marnie for its 2019-2020 season, based on Winston Graham’s 1961 novel that was adapted into an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Nico has scored ballets for choreographer Benjamin Millepied, including the most recent work for Paris Opera Ballet, and films including The Reader, Kill Your Darlings, and Me, Earl And The Dying Girl, in addition to arranging music by Antony & the Johnsons and the National. His debut CD Speak Volumes (2007) was the first of many collaborations with the artists of Reykjavik’s Bedroom Community label, and with singer/songwriter Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), he is half of the gamelan-inspired song project Peter Pears. He lives in New York City.


In partnership with Irish Arts Center and 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.