The Mivos Quartet is dedicated to performing the works of contemporary composers and presenting new music to a wide audience. The New York string ensemble has put together a spectacular programme for the asphalt Festival.
The first part, ‘Inspired by …’, features ‘luminous animal’ by Michael Catranis, ‘Glance / I don’t Belong Here’ by Hannah Kendall and ‘Mirror Mirror’ by Peter Kramer – three young, up-and-coming composers from the contemporary US music scene. Each piece is inspired by a work of art from a different medium – poetry, photography and prose. The composers each approach the originals in a unique way, creating music that expresses their own artistic voice and language.
The second set is titled ‘Improvisation / Experimentation / Exploration’ and features three pioneers of contemporary music. Featured is ‘Sixfivetwo’ by Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Threadgill, who uses improvisation as a key element to his music. Although most of this piece is notated, each member of the quartet is given space to improvise. ‘String Quartet No. 4’ by Sofia Gubaidulina follows, combining transcendental mysticism, graphic notation, experimental percussion and dramatic contrasts to create one of the most iconic compositional languages of new music. Her fourth string quartet adds pre-recorded, ethereal electronics to give the music even more sonic depth. In ‘String Quartet 2.5 – Playing With Seeds’ by George Lewis, the composer, improviser, trombonist, scientist and electronic music pioneer weaves together the various threads of his multi-faceted musical life. His kaleidoscopic work treats the string quartet like a four-headed hydra, moving apart and together in every possible combination.
Since its founding in 2008, the Mivos Quartet has worked closely with an ever-growing group of international composers representing different aesthetics of contemporary classical composition. The string quartet has performed at renowned concert series such as the New York Phil Biennale, Wien Modern, the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, Shanghai New Music Week (Shanghai, China), Música de Agora na Bahia (Brazil), Aldeburgh Music (UK) and Lo Spririto della musica di Venezia (Italy). Mivos has been a guest at the asphalt Festival several times and has played numerous compositions by Bojan Vuletic.
Mivos is committed to commissioning and premiering new music for string quartet and strives to work closely with composers over long periods of time. Each year the quartet also awards the Mivos/Kanter String Quartet Composition Prize, established to support the work of emerging composers, and the I-Creation Prize, a competition for composers of Chinese descent. In addition to expanding the string quartet repertoire, Mivos is also dedicated to collaborating with guest artists, exploring multimedia projects with live video and electronics, and performing improvised music. The quartet is a recipient of the 2019 Dwight and Ursula Mamlok Prize for Interpreters of Contemporary Music.