The Duplexity Project presents
Elissa Cassini, violin & Ashley Bathgate, cello
performing "New Beginnings"
6pm doors • 7pm show
Celebrated violinist Elissa Cassini and powerhouse cellist Ashley Bathgate come together to present an evening of music composed by living female composers. Presented by the Duplexity Project, which assembles virtuosic duos for innovative recitals encouraging dialogue between artists and audiences, the evening will include the New York premiere of Helena Winkelman’s Rondo with a Janus Head, as well as Ravel’s masterful Sonata for Violin and Cello. Enjoy the fusion of these two performers as they unify their energetic forces to create a dynamic night of music.
A “truly communicative” (The New York Times) and “impeccable and powerful soloist” (Neue Musik Zeitung), Franco-American violinist Elissa Cassini’s captivating performances explore the full expressive range of the violin. Her concerto appearances span the favorite classics, from Beethoven, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Sibelius to Philip Glass’s “American Four Seasons”, performed with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne under Laura Jackson. Her passion for new music was sparked when Pierre Boulez invited her to the Lucerne Festival in 2009. She has since collaborated with internationally acclaimed composers such as Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Alexandre Lunsqui, Philippe Leroux, Tristan Murail, and Kaija Saariaho. Elissa’s premieres include Conditions de Lumière, a concerto by Jérome Combier, with the Argento Ensemble in New York, Ensemble Cairn in Paris, and the NEM in Montreal; Nicolas Bacri’s Concerto Op. 116, with the Orchestre de Massy in France; Anders Eliasson’s Concerto for Strings, with the Arcos Chamber Orchestra at the Berlin Konzerthaus; the Brazilian premiere of Philippe Leroux’s (d’)Aller, with the Camerata Aberta conducted by Guillaume Bourgogne; and Jérôme Combier’s Anima Foglia at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York. New York audiences have also heard Elissa perform in Zankel and Merkin Halls, Miller Theatre, and Le Poisson Rouge.
In addition to her activities as a soloist, Elissa is a passionate chamber musician and has appeared at international festivals such as Ravinia in Chicago, Prussia Cove in England, and Stift Festival in Holland, performing with artists including Gary Hoffman, Itzhak Perlman, Elisabeth Leonskaja, and Anthony Marwood. Elissa was appointed Artistic Director of the Musique dans les Vignes festival in Angers, France. She is also regularly invited as guest concertmaster with leading European orchestras such as the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Lyon, and the Estonian Festival Orchestra under Paavo Järvi. Outside the classical realm, Elissa enjoys cross-genre musical encounters and has shared the stage with notable musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Gilberto Gil, Kaki King, and Sting, performing on his If On a Winter’s Night album, released at Saint Peters Church in New York.
Seeking to transcend the traditional recital format, Elissa has created the Duplexity Project, an international series of virtuoso instrumental duos presenting bold and innovative cross-genre programming. Since its launch in 2015, Duplexity has attracted notable musicians such as Philip Setzer from the Emerson Quartet and presented programs such as Ravel Un-Ravel-ed with Ashley Bathgate (Bang On A Can – New York), Bar Talk with Daniel Rowland (Brodsky Quartet – London), and Re-Inventing Bach with flutist Roy Amotz (Meitar Ensemble – Tel Aviv). Duplexity’s forays into dance, drama and new media promote an evolving dialogue between artists and their audiences.
American cellist Ashley Bathgate has been described as an “eloquent new music interpreter” (New York Times) and “a glorious cellist” (The Washington Post) who combines “bittersweet lyricism along with ferocious chops” (New York Magazine). Her “impish ferocity”, “rich tone”, and “imaginative phrasing” (New York Times) have made her one of the most sought after performers of her time. The desire to create a dynamic energy exchange with her audience and build upon the ensuing chemistry is a pillar of Bathgate’s philosophy as a performer. Her affinity to dynamism drives Bathgate to venture into previously uncharted areas of ground-breaking sounds and techniques, breaking the mold of a cello’s traditionally perceived voice. Collaborators and fans alike describe her vitality as nothing short of remarkable and magical for all who are involved. Bathgate is a member of the award winning, internationally acclaimed sextet Bang on a Can All-Stars and the chamber music group HOWL. She is also a founding member of TwoSense, a duo with pianist Lisa Moore, and Bonjour, a low-strung, percussive quintet.
In 2014 Bathgate premiered a new cello concerto by Australian composer Kate Moore with the ASKO|Schönberg ensemble at the Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht, NL. She subsequently recorded an album of Moore’s works for solo cello, entitled Stories For Ocean Shells, which was released as her debut solo album on Cantaloupe Music. In 2015 she also gave the world premiere of What Moves You, a collaborative performance project with jookin’ dance sensation Lil Buck at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, NC. Most recently, Bathgate commissioned the composer collective Sleeping Giant to write her a six-movement suite for solo cello entitled ASH, which was premiered in 2016. Both ASH and her latest album, 8 Track, featuring new multitrack works by Alex Weiser and Emily Cooley as well as a new version of Steve Reich’s Cello Counterpoint, will be commercially released this coming season. Bathgate’s radio/television appearances include performances on BBC Radio 3, WKCR, WMHT, WQXR’s Meet the Composer podcast with Nadia Sirota, NPR’s Performance Today, WYNC’s New Sounds Live, SiriusXM, and Late Night and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Her recorded work can be found on Albany Records, Cantaloupe Music, Innova Recordings, La-La Land Records, Naxos, Nonesuch, Starkland, and Uffda Records.
Originally from Saratoga Springs, NY, Bathgate began her cello studies with the late Rudolf Doblin, principal cellist and assistant music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic in the 1950’s. After his passing, she resumed her tutelage with Ann Alton at Skidmore College. From there she continued on to study at Bard College with Luis Garcia-Renart (B.M.) and then at the Yale School of Music with renowned cellist Aldo Parisot (M.M. & A.D).
Bathgate resides in New York City.