Watch the premiere recording of Moonshot for string quartet by composer Alistair Coleman, written for and performed in this film by the Abeo Quartet.
The piece is inspired by a triptych of paintings by artist On Kawara depicting the three milestones of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Painting I: 16 July 1969 "Launch"; II: 20 July 1969 "Lunar landing"; and III. 21 July 1969 "The day people on Earth came together to celebrate humanity's first steps on the Moon".
Moonshot was commissioned by and premiered at the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland, where the triptych is on display. The film was made at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, inside the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar where the Discovery Space Shuttle is on permanent display. The video was produced for the Smithsonian Year of Music 2019 and released during the museum's year-long celebration of Apollo at 50. The premiere concert will be broadcast on WETA 90.9FM (Washington, DC's classical music station) on Monday 27 January at 9pm.
i. July 16, 1969, "Launch"
ii. July 20, 1969, "Lunar landing"
iii. July 21, 1969, "The day people on Earth came together to celebrate humanity's first steps on the Moon"
Ludvig Gudim, violin
Njioma Grevious, violin
James Kang, viola
Drew Cone, cello
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar, National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, December 2019
Alistair Coleman is a young composer from Washington, DC. Recently, he was appointed the Composer-in-Residence of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale. This season, commissioned projects include a concerto for violinist Soovin Kim, a concerto for Grammy-award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey, and a sonata for Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombonist of the New York Philharmonic. Alessi premiered the new work on-tour in China in the summer of 2019 and will tour Japan this fall. In 2020, Alistair's trumpet sonata will be released on a new album by Chris Gekker. Upcoming projects include a new string quartet for the Abeo Quartet in collaboration with the Glenstone Museum, Four/Ten Media, and the Smithsonian Institution.
His music has been programmed broadly, including commissions and performances by the "President's Own" United States Marine Band, Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, baritone Randall Scarlata, Houston Brass Band, Washington Master Chorale, Boston University Chapel Choir, National Cathedral Choral Society, and musicians from the Baltimore and National Symphonies, Carnegie Hall's Ensemble Connect, and Minnesota Opera Orchestra.
With three published works, Alistair is the youngest composer ever published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company in its one-hundred-year history. He has received awards and honors from ASCAP, American Composers Forum, and the National YoungArts Foundation. Alistair was featured on the National Public Radio show, "From the Top" with Host Christopher O'Riley in 2018.
Alistair was a fellow at the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, and studied at the Atlantic Music Festival, Curtis Young Artists Program, Oberlin Composition Workshop, and the New York Summer Music Festival. His teachers have included Richard Danielpour and David Serkin Ludwig, faculty members at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Currently, Alistair is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School on the George Gershwin Scholarship. At Juilliard, he studies with Robert Beaser, takes academic coursework at Columbia University, and engages in mentorship with President Emeritus Joseph W. Polisi.
As a teacher and advocate, Alistair serves on the boards of the Maryland Music Educators Association and Opportunity Music Project NY, and worked with Strathmore Hall to launch music programs for underserved communities in Maryland. At Juilliard, Alistair is a Teaching Fellow in the Ear Training Department. He maintains a private teaching studio and mentors students of Vermont's Music-COMP program.
The Abeo Quartet, silver medal winner of the 2019 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, has been featured in New York at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall and on WQXR's Midday Masterpieces. The quartet also won the Judges Special Recognition Award at the 2019 Plowman Chamber Music Competition. Abeo, formed at Juilliard, has recently performed at the Kennedy Center's Reach Festival, The Glenstone Museum in Potomac and in Norway's Vertavo Festival, playing seven works by Haydn.
The quartet won a Montreal International String Quartet Academy fellowship, studying with members of the Alban Berg Quartet, Quatuor Ebene, Takács String Quartet and the Artemis Quartet. Abeo also has had coachings with pianist Joseph Kalichstein and the Calidore String Quartet. Formed in 2018 at the Juilliard School, the Abeo Quartet has studied under the tutelage of Joseph Lin and Astrid Schween as part of the Juillard Honors Chamber Music Program.
When they were first year Juilliard students, Ludvig, Njioma, James, and Drew immediately recognized and discovered their natural chemistry as well as each other's passion for chamber music when they began sight reading together. The quartet chose the name Abeo / ah - bey - oh, representing an expression of joy in a Nigerian dialect, to reflect their love for playing chamber music and sharing it with others.
|Ludvig Gudim, violin|
|Njioma Grevious, violin|
|James Kang, viola|
|Drew Cone, cello|