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Modern Art Orchestra | New York


Symphony Space | 2537 Broadway at 95th Street
November 11, 2015 | 6.15PM | 8.30PM
TICKETS | $16 in advance | $20 on the day of show
The NY performance features special guest Dave Liebman, legendary saxophonist & NEA Jazz Master
Modern Art Orchestra performs at Kennedy Center in Washington DC on November 9, followed by two shows at Symphony Space in New York on November 11 The 20-piece big band visits music from Bartók to the present day, including a dazzling reorchestration of Allegro Barbaro. Featuring: premieres by a new generation of Hungarian composers; U.S. premiere by Péter Eötvös, written for MAO; a work by Hungary's best-known minimalist László Melis and Big band arrangements of works by Bartók and Ligeti

Monday, November 9, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater
2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC
Tickets: $16

Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 6:15 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theater
2537 Broadway, New York, NY
Tickets: $16 in Advance; $20 Day of Show
“I immensely enjoyed my recording with the orchestra. The music was challenging and the musicians' professionalism was inspiring. Hungarian culture is steeped in great music and this group continues this grand tradition.”— Dave Liebman, saxophonist, NEA Jazz Master

Hungary's internationally renowned MODERN ART ORCHESTRA performs a pair of concerts on November 9 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and November 11 at Symphony Space in New York City, presented by the Hungarian Cultural Center New York. The performances herald the return of the ensemble to the U.S. following their 2014 outing, which saw MAO triumph on both the West and East Coast. The New York show will feature as special guest the jazz saxophone legend Dave Liebman.
These performances take on three generations of Hungarian composers. Béla Bartók's Allegro Barbaro is a tour-de-force even on the piano; performed this time in a big band setting, it fuses the intensity of modernism and jazz to yield an experience that is at times literally breathtaking. The program also features music from two of Hungary's great post-war classical composers: György Ligeti and Péter Eötvös, including the U.S. premiere of Eötvös's recent composition Paris, Dakar, which he dedicated to Modern Art Orchestra.

Most prominently featured on this program, however, are the youngest generation of composers, reflective of MAO’s roots in contemporary improvised music and including several key contributors to the ensemble, as well as bandleader Kornél Fekete-Kovács (himself a composer of international renown, beyond being a standout trumpet player). A very special addition to the setlist is a piece by Hungary's best known composer of minimalist music, László Melis, whose Tales of Uncle Pépin is a rare treat for the musically adventurous.

Péter Eötvös: Paris-Dakar
Farkas-Fenyvesi: Preambolo
Béla Bartók: Allegro Barbaro
László Melis: Pepin bácsi meséi
Kristóf Bacsó: Variations On A Folksong
János Ávéd: Fractalized
Gábor Cseke: On My Own
Gábor Subicz: On Big Band Piece
Kornél Fekete-Kovács: Aqua
Kornél Fekete-Kovács: 42 Questions
Kristóf Bacsó: Maslow’s Homage A Nino Rota
Kornél Fekete-Kovács: Traffic Choral
The Visitor


Zsoldos Bela's Timpani Concerto
Kristóf Bascó's Lunar Dance


"This is all about the culture of sound, if you know what I mean. I mean the quality of the ears, of hearing. So that we do not wear only two pieces of mushrooms on the sides of our head. That is why it is so important for us in Hungary what Kornél Fekete-Kovács is doing together with the Modern Art Orchestra." — Péter Eötvös, composer

“The Modern Art Orchestra was a pure pleasure to perform with. Totally professional, eager to perform and a wonderfully inspired sound. All four concerts were remarkable. I look forward to returning in a few years.” — Mike Garson, pianist

“My brief time with the Modern Art Orchestra was spent in the spirit of great creativity. I love the approach and soul of this wonderful orchestra.” — Kurt Elling, vocalist

Modern Art Orchestra, residing in Budapest, Hungary, is one of Europe's most renowned big bands. Since its formation in 2005, the brass ensemble has been a melting pot for the artistry of highly qualified young musicians in Hungary's classical and jazz music scenes. Founder and director of the band, Hungary's leading trumpeter Kornél Fekete-Kovács, established the first line of musicians with the dream of running a contemporary big band which would focus on playing compositions by some of the country's best contemporary creative musicians, where being "jazz" or "contemporary classical" would be revealed as artificial distinctions. Already during its first years of activity, Modern Art Orchestra received several masterpieces from world renowned composers dedicated to the group.
Soon after its inception, MAO gained the status of an internationally renowned chamber orchestra that is engaged in many genres of music including jazz, pop, classical and contemporary. It has had countless successful projects together with the world's leading jazz musicians, including America's symbols of jazz artistry. The orchestra has collaborated with saxophonists Bob Mintzer and Dave Liebman, trumpeter Wallace Roney, organ player Rhoda Scott, singers Julian Joseph, Kurt Elling, the New York Voices, Harlem Gospel Choir and pianist Mike Garson. In recent years, the orchestra accepted an invitation from maestro Ennio Morricone, composer of original scores to such classics as A Fistful of Dollars, to perform as the ensemble for his Lifetime Achievement Tour in Europe's biggest concert halls.
Modern Art Orchestra's repertoire contains more than 15 hours of music uniquely composed for, dedicated to and premiered by the band. Another large part of the repertoire is built on a selection of compositions which reflect their musical roots in contemporary improvised music: big band orchestrations of music by George Frideric Händel, Béla Bartók, Gioacchino Rossini and Franz Schubert, as well as the best of the European jazz repertoire. Several band members are accomplished composers and mainstays on the contemporary jazz and crossover classical scene. MAO regularly performs the exciting compositions by such new generation talent, pieces which merge jazz sensibilities with a knack for orchestration and brilliant solo musicianship.
During its decade-spanning career, Modern Art Orchestra has garnered praise across many genres, but has been most noted for its fusion of big band orchestration with contemporary jazz and contemporary classical music. Whenever they take the stage, the audience is treated to a unique mix of individual instrumental brilliance, erudite but also powerful orchestration and a fearless engagement with scripted music that includes minute rendition as much as improvised segments.

Kornél Fekete-Kovács graduated in 1998 from the Jazz Faculty of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, where he currently teaches. As a trumpet player, Fekete-Kovács has been one of the busiest musicians in his homeland, and has been a featured solo artist or session musician on more than one hundred recordings. As an arranger, he is highly sought after in the contemporary, jazz and pop music scene in Europe.
Fekete-Kovács founded the Budapest Jazz Orchestra, and was its director until 2005. He has played in renowned international ensembles such as the IASJ Big Band (Copenhagen), the EBU Big Band (Amsterdam-Budapest), Brande International Music Workshop Orchestra (Denmark), the UMO Jazz Orchestra (Finland), the Central European Jazz Connection, as well as the Finnish-Hungarian Jazz Workshop.
After several short pieces, Fekete-Kovács wrote his first full length composition, Budapest Jazz Suite in 2001. It was released on CD by BMC Records (performed by the Budapest Jazz Orchestra). His second full length piece written for big band, The Wayfarer, was debuted a year later by the EBU Jazz Orchestra. The work was recorded with a solo appearance by world renowned saxophone player David Liebman (Human circle – The Wayfarer, BMC CD 088). The Oak and the Bee premiered in 2006 at the MOL Budapest Jazz Festival, performed by the Modern Art Orchestra, with special guest artist trumpet player Wallace Roney.
Kornél Fekete-Kovács has collaborated with Dave Liebman, Johnny Griffin, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Gary Willis, Wallace Roney, Julian Joseph, Herbie Mann, Marilyn Mazur, Kyle Gregory, Ray Anderson, Butch Lacy and Mario Gonzi, an activism made evident by various live and studio recordings and a rare reputation as a musician's musician.

David Liebman is considered a renaissance man in contemporary music with a career spanning four decades. He has played with many of the masters including Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, McCoy Tyner and others; authored books and instructional DVDs which are acknowledged as classics in the jazz field; and recorded as bandleader in styles ranging from classical to rock to free jazz. He is the recipient of the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts; he has been named a Jazz Educators Network (JEN) Legends of Jazz; as well as receiving multiple Grammy nominations. He is a Downbeat/Jazz Times Critics Poll winner (soprano sax); member of the French Order of Arts and Letters; holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland); is the founder (1989) and artistic director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ); and has performed on over 500 recordings with over 200 among these featuring him as leader/co-leader. His recordings also attest to his mastery of composing music, with several hundred self-penned pieces available on CD.


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