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Tesla Quartet announces “Alternating Currents” Commissioning Project
27 May 2020
Kerwin Young

Announcing: “Alternating Currents” Commissioning Project

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the financial difficulties many freelance composers and performers are facing, we are happy to announce the Tesla Quartet “Alternating Currents” commissioning project. We have selected 12 freelance composers whose work has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic to write short works for string quartet, and we will record these new compositions and premiere them on our social media channels under our “Quarantunes” video series. The Tesla Quartet is delighted to be partnering with the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music to grant $500 to each composer. We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of New Music USA and the New Music USA Solidarity Fund in helping to identify composers-in-need.

  • Eliza Bagg – Los Angeles, CA
  • Kevin Day – Arlington, TX
  • Adeliia Faizullina – Los Angeles, CA
  • Beatrice Ferreira – Montreal, QC
  • Gilbert Galindo – Queens, NY
  • Grey Grant – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Clifton Ingram – Boston, MA
  • Bonnie Lander – Baltimore, MD
  • Adam Maalouf – Brooklyn, NY
  • Leyna Marika Papach – St. Paul, MN
  • Kalia Vandever – Brooklyn, NY
  • Kerwin Young – Fairburn, GA

In the spirit of togetherness and collaboration, each composer has been asked to create an original work of one to three minutes based on the Andante cantabile movement from Beethoven’s String Quartet in A major, Op. 18 No. 5. Composers are encouraged to use the theme or any of the movement’s variations as inspiration for their own works. This new set of variations will ultimately become a new complete work that we will be able to perform alongside Beethoven’s original music. It’s the Tesla Quartet’s own little 250th birthday present.

Because of social distancing precautions, the quartet will record their parts in isolation and edit the video together to create the complete work. The composers are also encouraged to embrace the technological constraints of live video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype to design works that specifically take advantage of issues of latency. The Tesla Quartet will premiere the first new quartet in mid-June. A complete schedule of release dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Tesla Quartet’s “Alternating Currents” commissions are supported by the Tesla Quartet in partnership with the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and support from private donors. Special thanks to New Music USA, the New Music USA Solidarity Fund, and the GLFCAM for nominating these composers.

Be sure to follow our social media channels to stay current on all the project updates and composer features. We can’t wait to share this brand new music with you!

As always, stay safe and wash your hands.

Ross, Michelle, Edwin and Serafim

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