World Premiere of Ciupinski’s Guitar Concierto

8.23.14:  [NEWLY UPDATED TO INCLUDE FULL-LENGTH VIDEO/RECORDING OF CONCIERTO.]

The world premiere of composer Jakub Ciupinski’s Guitar Concierto took place at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on April 6th and 7th with Mattias Jacobsson on solo guitar, accompanied by the Metropolis Ensemble under the direction of Grammy-nominated Conductor Andrew Cyr.

Written in four movements, the concerto, which features strings, percussion and harp, was commissioned this year by the Metropolis Ensemble with major funding provided by The Augustine Foundation.

Mattias Jacobsson performs the world premiere of composer Jakub Ciupinski's Guitar Concierto  with the Metropolis Ensemble under the direction of Conductor Andrew Cyr at Le Poisson Rouge.  Photo by Julia Crowe.

Mattias Jacobsson performs the world premiere of composer Jakub Ciupinski’s Guitar Concierto with the Metropolis Ensemble under the direction of Conductor Andrew Cyr at Le Poisson Rouge. Photo by Julia Crowe.




This gorgeous, 22-minute long piece starts out delicately before it spreads its wings and soars from a hauntingly eerie fun house madrigal with interplay between harp and guitar that intensifies and rocks out with percussion.  Here is the full recording:

Ciupinski remarks in the program notes how his early training and internship in a professional recorded studio exposed him to a variety of instruments and music genres.

“Every instrument sounds much louder in the live room compared to the typical monitoring levels in the control room. This rule was broken only once, when a classical guitarist walked into the studio… In a controlled acoustic environment, for the first time in my life, I realized how quiet this instrument really was. And how unique,” he says. “Over a decade later, my fascination for the classical guitar resurfaced when I heard Mattias Jacobsson perform. His rendition of Chopin’s music was mind blowing but what struck me most was not his phenomenal virtuosity. It was his tone. Under his fingers, every single note sounded special.

Guitarist Mattias Jacobsson with the Metropolis Ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge. Photo by Julia Crowe.

Guitarist Mattias Jacobsson with the Metropolis Ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge. Photo by Julia Crowe.

“Gradually, fueled by our frequent conversations, vision for a new guitar concerto emerged. At the same time I was in the process of simplifying my compositional language. Perhaps my old love for Górecki’s music inflamed my obsession with monolithic forms, slowly evolving textures and Slavic audacity. A concerto for the classical guitar seemed like a perfect opportunity to be unapologetically myself.”

This evening’s concerto was performed for solo guitar, harp, strings and percussion but Ciupinski has constructed the piece to be adaptable for performance with string orchestra, string quintet or solo guitar and live electronics.

Guitarist Mattias Jacobsson is from Stockholm, Sweden whose album Invocación (Avie Records) has been named Gramophone “Choice.”

For more details on Mattias.

Bridget Kibbey performed on harp and the Metropolis Artists appearing include:

Kristin Kee, Violin/Leader
Siwoo Kim, Violin
Francisco Fullana, Violin
Ken Hamao, Violin
Elly Suh, Violin
Karen Kim, Violin
Danny Kim, Violin
Jack Stulz, Viola
Caitlin Mary Lynch, Viola
Jay Campbell, Cello
Hiro Matsuo, Cello
Alice Yoo, Cello
Andrew Roitstein, Solo Bass
Rachel Calin, Bass
Britton Matthews, Percussion
Sean Statser, Percussion

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