Perhaps best-known for their critically-acclaimed performances of folk-inspired compositions and their exploration of the intersection between folk and contemporary classical music, the Apollo Chamber Players have also been making a name for themselves with 20X2020 – a project that began in 2014 and that has set them on a course to commission 20 new works by 20 composers by the year 2020.
For Apollo's No. 9 commission of 20X2020, composer Christopher Walczak has written Four Dreams, a string quartet inspired by the Australian Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime. Its World Premiere is the centerpiece for the concert, Ex Nihilo: Out of Nothing, which juxtaposes musical interpretations of creation myths from different cultures – including chamber arrangements of Franz Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Creation (Part 1), representing Judeo-Christian beliefs, and Darius Milhaud's La Création du Monde, inspired by African folklore.
Listen to our conversation about spirituality, diversity and new music in my interview with Apollo's Matthew Detrick, Whitney Bullock and Matthew Dudzik, and composer Christopher Walczak.
Watch performances by Apollo Chamber Players and guest artists in Houston Public Media's Geary Studio, where they performed selections from their upcoming concert.
Musical excerpts used in the interview:
- Walczak: Four Dreams (mvt 1); Apollo Chamber Players; recorded in HPM's Geary Performance Studio
- Haydn: The Creation (“The Marv'lous Work" & "With Verdure"); Apollo Chamber Players, Sonja Harasim & Adam LaMotte (violins), Deborah Dunham (bass), Lynelle Rowley (soprano); recorded in HPM's Geary Performance Studio
- Milhaud: La Création du Monde (excerpts); Jupiter String Quatet; Wu Han, piano; Music@Menlo LIVE, 2010
Apollo Chamber Players and guest artists present Ex-Nihilo: Out of Nothing – Creation Stories Through Music, featuring the World Premiere of Four Dreams by Christopher Walczak, on Saturday, January 7, 2017, 8pm at MATCH (Midtown Arts and Theater Houston).