Music Series: Opus87

Sunday, Mar 10, 2019 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Opus87 is a Manhattan-based piano quartet specializing in classical and contemporary chamber music. Formed by friends at the Manhattan School of Music in 2016, opus87 continues to explore the piano quartet repertoire together. The group is comprised of violinist Francesca Abusamra, pianist Brian Daurelle, cellist Thea Mesirow and violist Dudley Raine.

The members of opus87 hail from across the country and have made it a core part of their mission to bring high-quality chamber music to their home states and other communities. They aspire to bring fresh and exciting music to new audiences. While their programming centers around the classics of the piano quartet repertory, they reserve a special place for new and neglected music. Through collaboration with living composers, they seek to expand the body of works for their instrumentation. In addition to contemporary music, they seek to find and share lesser-known gems of the quartet repertoire with their audiences.

opus87's recent concert engagements include a chamber opera premiere as part of Victoria Bond's 'Cutting-Edge Concerts' series, a program exploring the New York-Czech connection at Manhattan's historic Parish of Calvary-St. George's, and a summer east coast tour with stops in Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia, culminating in a performance at Merkin Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC. Their upcoming projects include commissioned works from composers Thomas Feng and Chelsea Komschlies.

The Shack Sackler Foundation is the primary benefactor of this music series.

Partner & location: Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East

Based in New York City, Francesca Abusamra is a violinist dedicated to creating an engaging and accessible musical experience. She is a founding member of the opus87 Piano Quartet, an ensemble that aims to bring both new music and classical repertoire to a variety of audiences. Their recent east coast summer tour included everything from performing in the rural woods of Maine to their culminating performance at Merkin Hall; their repertoire spanned from Haydn and Schumann to Walton and Weir.

As a prizewinner in the American Protégé concerto competition, Ms. Abusamra performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She has also performed in the Detroit Symphony’s Orchestra Hall, playing the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with DSO Assistant Concertmaster Hai Xin Wu and chamber orchestra.

Ms. Abusamra is passionate about performances that interact with other artistic disciplines. Recently, she performed Hindemith Solo Sonata No. 2. in a collaboration with choreographer Allison Armstrong of Golden Hour Dance where live solo violin interacted with dancers. Abusamra also participated in a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Gloria at Symphony Space with the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Orchestra, together with Dakshina Indian Dance Company.

She also enjoys orchestral performances, regularly serving as principal second violin in the MSM orchestras. Ms. Abusamra is joining the Symphony of Westchester as a section violin beginning this season. She currently studies with Peter Winograd, first violinist of the American String Quartet, at Manhattan School of Music.

Brian Daurelle is a pianist, composer and sound artist based in New York City. Originally from Salt Lake City, Brian moved East to pursue classical training with Nina Svetlanova, a noted pedagogue in the Russian-German tradition of piano playing. The rich musical scene of New York allowed him to pursue his passion for new and experimental music; in 2016, he joined the Manhattan School of Music's resident contemporary ensemble, TACTUS, which presents 12 concerts of contemporary music each year. He is a founding member of opus87 piano quartet.

As a committed chamber musician, Brian has kept a foot in the world of traditional classical chamber music while also participating in many groups dedicated to new music. His ensemble Scorrevole commissioned and premiered three new works at the Cortona Sessions in Italy, and the opus87 piano quartet received its first commissioned work from award-winning film composer Charles Sydnor. He has worked with such composers as Hans Tutschku, Kate Soper, Eric Wubbles, Alvin Singleton, Reiko Füting, Marjorie Merryman, Nina C. Young, Zosha di Castri, Mary Kouyoumdjian, David Adamcyk, and Suzanne Farrin.

Apart from the piano, Brian is an adept user of the Max MSP programing environment. He has composed two concert electro-acoustic works for his colleagues; 'Nature Mort', for clarinet and live electronics, and 'traCiel', for cello and live electronics, as well as a number of purely acousmatic pieces. In addition, he has produced or assisted with electronics on pieces such as Luigi Nono's 'Ha Venido' and Philippe Leroux's 'Voi(Rex)'. Brian's focus is on creating flexible and reactive sonic environments for live performance and improvisation, and on allowing musicians to idiomatically extend the capabilities of their instruments.

Thea Mesirow is a cellist with a diverse musical background and an artistic sensibility. Motivated by a passion for connecting with people through sound, she performs contemporary and classical music, as well as rock, pop, musical theatre, and recording for film.

As both a soloist and collaborator Thea has been fortunate enough to work with composers such as Michael Pisaro, Reiko Füting, Annie Gosfield, and Sophia Gubaidulina, among others. In their debut season her duo, Berrow Duo, alongside flutist Leia Slosberg, had their international debut in Montreal, QC, a weekly pick by I Care if You Listen, a performance presented by Metropolis Ensemble, and a performance as part of NYU’s Music Department Conference. She is a member of The Nouveau Classical Project and Quartet121, and has performed at venues throughout LA and New York including the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Redcat, Roulette, and National Sawdust.

Thea received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts where she studied with Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick. She completed her Masters at the Manhattan School of Music in May of 2017 where she studied with Fred Sherry. She is inspired by artistic collaboration, Jane Austen, Animal Welfare Activism, and glitter.

Dudley Raine, IV, is a New-York based violist who is classically trained and also experienced in many styles of music, including contemporary and traditional irish music. Dudley is a founding member of the opus87 piano quartet, and in addition to his classical roots, advocates for new music and commissions to be programmed in the ensemble’s concerts. He has performed at Carnegie Hall on multiple occasions with the New England Symphonic Ensemble with conductors from across the country. Dudley has also recorded music for an independent film, performed in a fashion show, and played in the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival.

In his upcoming projects, Dudley will curate a concert featuring scordatura works for solo viola, and perform in his own chamber arrangement of the Franck violin sonata. Dudley can be seen performing for SPN Events, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, as a resident artist in the City Concert Society, and in the resident ensemble at Calvary Church.

As part of the opus87 piano quartet, Dudley’s recent engagements include premiering composer Eric Salzman’s final stage work. His quartet was presented in the Calvary Chamber Series, as well as in the Bradley Backstage concert series in Fryeburg, Maine. Raine has appeared in masterclasses with Craig Mumm, Jeffrey Irvine, Sheila Brown and Susan DuBois. Dudley has attended summer music programs including the Chautauqua Institute, Cortona New Music Sessions, and Wintergreen Summer Music Academy.

Saugatuck Congregational Church

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