Helen Grime in New York
Posted on 13 October 2015
The intricate miniature worlds conjured by the American artist Joseph Cornell provided the starting point for Helen Grime's string trio Aviary Sketches, which receives its US premiere at New York's Alice Tully Hall on November 10.
Co-commissioned by the Wigmore Hall and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the piece will be performed by Arnold Sussman (violin), Matthew Lipmann (viola) and David Finckel (cello).
Cornell (1903-1972) was a pioneer of assemblage and Grime was drawn to the artist's miniature boxes, the contents of which are often ambiguous and verge on the surreal. Each of the five movements of Aviary Sketches takes its character from a different Cornell work, which the composer describes as "immediate and alluring but also rich in association".
This is not the first time that Grime, whose work is often influenced by literature and the visual arts, has drawn inspiration from Cornell - her 2012 orchestral work Night Songs was sparked by the artist's "melancholy yet fantastical" creations.
Read more about Aviary Sketches here.
This is the first of several significant performances of Helen Grime's music taking place in the US during the coming season. In March Stefan Asbury will conduct the New World Symphony in the US premiere of A Cold Spring in Miami.