Argento Chamber Ensemble
The Argento New Music Project’s fierce emotional commitment onstage and relentless determination to master all technical aspects of its repertoire has inspired world renowned composers such as Tristan Murail, Beat Furrer, and Georg Friedrich Haas to repeatedly name Argento as the best interpreter of their music in the United States. Argento first gained prominence at New York’s “Sounds French Festival” in 2003, and was shortly thereafter invited to work closely with Elliott Carter and Pierre Boulez for the opening concert of the French American Cultural Exchange. From its inception, Argento has dedicated itself to a thorough command of the microtonal challenges of contemporary Spectral composers, an effort that culminated with Argento’s first CD “Winter Fragments,” which won the prestigious Geijutsu Academy Award for best recording in 2010.
Argento has given world premiere performances of works by leading composers such as Tristan Murail, Helmut Lachenmann, Bernhard Lang, Sebastian Currier, Fred Lerdahl, and Philippe Hurel, as well as exciting emerging composers including Sabrina Schroeder, Murat Yakin, Erin Gee, Yoni Niv, Victor Ádan, Hila Tamir, Sang Song, Daniel Iglesias, and many others. Argento brought one of the most influential recent masterpieces of contemporary music, in vain, by Georg Friedrich Haas, to New York, at a time when the composer was unknown and unperformed in America. Argento’s US premieres include works by Salvatore Sciarrino, Luca Francesconi, Michael Jarrell, Olga Neuwirth, Enno Poppe, Gerard Pesson, Mathias Spahlinger, Gerard Grisey, and Eva Reiter. Equally important, Argento introduced American composers to foreign audiences in its many performances at international festivals throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Argento’s recent highlights include a performance with the legendary soprano Frederica von Stade at Weill Hall in Sonoma, and the world premiere performances of the following works: Ann Cleare’s eyam ii, commissioned by the Arts Council of Ireland and premiered at the Library of Congress; Jerome Combier’s Conditions de Lumiere, commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation and premiered in both New York and Paris; and Beat Furrer’s spazio immergente, commissioned by the Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg and premiered in its entirety at the composer’s first American portrait concert at Carnegie Hall.
Under the direction of Michel Galante, Argento has become an essential source of adventurous new music – Alex Ross, New Yorker.