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"Natasha Farny and Eliran Avni are two very skilled musicians who are creating something greater with this new partnership. They cast a perfect and dreamy spell... I was absolutely entranced by the sensitivity and poetry of the way they shaped the music -- lovely ideas, with the exacting technique to carry out these musical visions. Even our cynical engineers were touched by the music!"

— Mona Seghatoleslami, WXXI Radio

EKSTASIS

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Photo By: Isabelle Wroblewski

Ekstasis: Ecstatic music-making

Music that lifts the spirit can be intensely joyful, profoundly moving, and unforgettable. Ekstasis is committed to creating juxtapositions and similarities through daring programming. We thrive on the contrast, intensity, and passion that we find in these compositions. We aim to share music that electrifies our audience and offers every possible emotion on the spectrum.

Natasha and Eliran met as students years ago at Juilliard. After some exciting performances in New York City and upstate NY, the two decided to embark on a new mission: to create compelling programming celebrating masterpieces alongside the secret jewels of lesser-known works.

With a focus on storytelling that pinpoints an aspect of the human condition or creates an atmosphere through sound, their concerts offer solo and chamber music works, and occasionally incorporate multimedia, readings, video, and visual art. In recent seasons, the duo promoted the music of minority composers with two programs called "Women's Voices" and “...From the Shadows.” These initiatives also included lectures, audio and video recordings. 

Additionally, the duo is very excited to premiere a double concerto by renowned Israeli-American composer, Avner Dorman. Commissioned by a consortium that includes the Fredonia Foundation and the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the duo began performances of this piece in the summer of 2022 at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and in fall of 2022 at the SUNY Fredonia School of Music. 

The 2022-2023 season will also include a chance to workshop and perform music with composer Chen Yi, and performances of "...From the Shadows" with music by George Walker, Henriette Bosmans, Lili Boulanger, Alexander Zemlinsky, and Alma Mahler. The duo will appear at Chautauqua’s Lenna Hall, Buffalo’s Friends of Vienna series, Grand Valley State University in Michigan, and at Arts in the Village series in Rehoboth, MA. Previous concerts with “...From the Shadows” included engagements with Arizona’s Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Ohio’s Holland Theater, and Maryland’s Resonance Chamber Music Series.

Since their debut in 2018, The Ekstasis Duo has appeared on distinguished series such as New York City’s Merkin Hall, Eastman's Morning Chamber Music Series, and Rochester’s "Live from Hochstein." During the summer of 2020, the duo recorded music for their upcoming debut CD, "Women's Voices," projected for release in 2023. This program inspired Ekstasis to give lectures online and in person both nationally and at an international conference in Lucca, Italy. A multimedia project involving live music and video occurred in 2021 as a result of winning Fredonia’s Kasling Award and a paper on women’s compositions for cello and piano was published in 2021 in the College Music Society Symposium. Postponed engagements due to COVID-19 include California’s L'Ermitage Foundation in Los Angeles and Tateuchi Hall at the Finn Center at Mountainview, New York’s Community School of Music and Arts, Bard College, The Eastman School of Music, and GetClassical Revelation Gallery. 

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Photos By: Isabelle Wroblewski

Praised as possessing both “ironclad technique” and “ample suppleness” by The New York Times, Eliran Avni is an emerging force in the contemporary classical music scene. Hailed as “The new hope of Israeli music” by Ma’ariv, he  made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 17. Since then, he has appeared as a soloist and chamber music collaborator throughout Europe, North and South America, as well as in his native Israel, and has played for live broadcasts for the Israeli and German broadcasting systems.

As a soloist, Eliran is known as a preeminent interpreter of the music of composer Avner Dorman.  Solo performance highlights include Dorman’s Azerbaijani Dance with the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta at Carnegie Hall, Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto with the Alabama Symphony, and the Grieg Concerto with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.

Full Bio

American cellist Natasha Farny has distinguished herself as a musician with significant versatility, sensitivity, and experience.  An accomplished soloist, Ms. Farny has performed with orchestras such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, as well as several local orchestras throughout the Western New York region. She has taken solo and chamber music tours across Germany, the Czech Republic, and Brazil, and has played at many national venues like the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago and Brooklyn’s Bargemusic “Here and Now” Series. Ms. Farny can be heard on recordings of chamber music with the Centaur label. She will release her solo CD of French cello music in 2019. A vibrant teacher, she has been invited to give master classes at various institutions, including Weimar’s Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Germany, the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Italy, and the Eastman School of Music.

Full Bio

 

Dorman's Double Concerto

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Ekstasis Duo to Premiere

New Work in Spring 2022

 

Rare double concerto for cello and piano is one of the few works in this idiom

A one-of-a-kind new work by award-winning composer Avner Dorman written for the Ekstasis Duo (cellist Natasha Farny and pianist Eliran Avni) will receive its premiere in the 2021-22 season. Made possible by a generous donation from Chris Granger and the Fredonia Foundation, and consortium member Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the double concerto for cello and piano and orchestra is one of the few concertos specifically written for cello and piano.

 

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write a concerto for the Ekstasis Duo,” stated Avner Dorman. “It’s rare to hear such a high level of musicianship paired with technical prowess from two performers, and to write for both of them is a dream come true. I look forward to how this piece comes together, and I have no doubt that we will create exciting, expressive, and heartfelt music together. It’s particularly exciting to collaborate again with my dear friend Eliran Avni, for whom I’ve written many pieces and who has recorded many of my piano and chamber works.” 

Click here for the complete press release

 

 

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Women's Voices Trailer

Women's Voices Trailer

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CALENDAR

 
 

PROGRAMS

...In the Shadows

Vibrant, joyous, and deeply moving program featuring under-represented composers.

 

Program: 

  • Lily Boulanger - Nocturne (1911)

  • George Walker - Sonata for Cello and Piano (1957)

Intermission 

  • Alexander Zemlinsky - Three Pieces (1891)

  • Alma Mahler - Five Songs (1911)

  • Henriette Bosmans - Sonata for Cello and Piano (1919)

 

Total:  70 minutes

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Women’s Voices

Celebrating the amazing talent of female composers from the 19th and 20th centuries, these stunning and brilliant works, coupled with selected readings from their letters, provide insight into their thoughts about music.

Program:

 

  • Louise Farrenc - Sonata in B-flat, Op. 46 

  • Clara Schumann - Three Romances, Op. 11

  • Lera Auerbach - Preludes nos. 7, 23 & 24

 

Intermission

 

  • Ellen Taaffe Zwilich - Lament 

  • Ethel Smyth - Sonata in A minor, op. 5 

  • Hommage à Nina Simone 

 

Total: 68 minutes

PDF

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Enchanted Fairy Tales

Take a fantastical musical journey with us through different lands and tales.

 

Program: 

 

  • Prokofiev - Andante from Cinderella 

  • Beethoven - "Magic Flute" Variations, WoO 46

  • Martinů - Variations on a Slovak theme 

  • Hindemith - Phantasiestücke, op. 8, no. 2 

  • Cassadó - Dance of the Green Devil 

 

Intermission

 

  • Caroline Mallonée - Crossings 

  • Janáček - Pohádka 

  • Rachmaninoff - Little Red Riding Hood for solo piano 

  • Cui - Orientale 

  • Debussy - Petite Suite 

  • Prokofiev - Cello Sonata, 2nd movement 

 

Total: 80 minutes

PDF

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              La Vie en Rose

An evening of Parisian masterpieces accompanied by readings of French poetry.

 

Program:

 

  • Louise Farrenc - Sonata in B-flat, Op. 46

  • Franchomme - Caprice no. 9 for solo cello

  • Ravel - Pièce en forme de Habanera

  • Ravel - Sonata op. posthume 

 

Intermission

 

  • Poulenc - Improvisation for solo piano 

  • Roland Dyens - Filmaginaires: Musique en quête d'image 

  • Debussy - Beau Soir

  • Poulenc - Sonata 

 

Total: 73 minutes

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German Romantics

In addition to the celebrated works, Ekstasis is excited to offer several hidden gems.

 

Program: 

  • Louisa A. Le Beau - Sonata in D 

  • Kurt Weill - Prologue, The Seven Deadly Sins for solo piano

  • Kurt Weill - Sonata 

 

Intermission

 

  • Hindemith - Phantasiestücke, op. 8, no. 2 

  • Brahms - Sonata in E minor, op. 38 

 

Total: 80 minutes

PDF

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Send in the Clowns!

As a subject, clowns are a perfect vehicle for exploring human states of being, such as comedy, tragedy, irony, and even insanity. We will juxtapose music with poetry by Surrealist poets and Shakespeare.

 

Program: 

 

  • Stravinsky - Suite Italienne 

  • Leoncavallo - Canio’s Lament from "Pagliacci"

  • Debussy - Sonata 

 

Intermission

 

  • Stravinsky - Petroushka, Danse Russe, Chez Petroushka for solo piano 

  • Sondheim - Send in the Clowns

  • Milhaud arr. Farny – Scaramouche 

 

Total: 60 minutes

PDF

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Rachmaninoff Soirée

Program: 

 

  • Prokofiev - Ballade Op. 15

  • Leocadya Kashperova -Sonata No. 2 in E minor 

Intermission

  • Rachmaninoff - Vocalise

  • Rachmaninoff - Etudes-Tableaux for solo piano

  • Rachmaninoff - Cello Sonata 

 

Total: 70 minutes

PDF

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CONTACT US

Please write to us at  EkstasisDuo @ gmail . com

MANAGEMENT | Unbound Artists

 

BOOKING | Greg Kastelman

Greg@unbound-artists.com 

415.501.0446

 

PRESS | Laura Grant 

​Grant Communications

Massachusetts - New York

MAIL: 272 Broadway #8

Methuen, Massachusetts 01844

917.359.7319

212.600.0649

Laura@grant-communications.com

 

 

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