MALLARMÉ CHAMBER PLAYERS PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 19, 2022 Media inquiries, photo/interview requests: or Suzanne Rousso 919-413-3120

Dynamic Duos makes their Durham debut. A mini-festival featuring winning ensembles from a statewide call for talent…

DURHAM, N.C. – CALL FOR TALENT: The Durham-based Mallarmé Chamber
Players, a 38-year-old chamber music ensemble based in Durham, NC has selected four duos as recipients of the Dynamic Duos: Call For Talent. The duos will each receive $1000 for their performance presented in concert by Mallarmé. Three of the winning ensembles will perform in various venues in Durham in three consecutive Tuesdays this June 2022 in what we are calling the “Dynamic Duos in Durham” mini-fest. (The fourth duo will perform as part of the 2023 NC HIP Music Festival in February 2023.)

A new directive from the Mallarmé board in the fall of 2020 was to explore ways to diversify our offerings musically and the personnel who perform on our concerts. They asked: “couldn’t our performances better reflect our community while representing a high artistic standard?” Since Mallarmé has no core of musicians, we typically choose our performers based on the repertoire for a given concert and the musician’s expertise and ability to perform that repertoire. Most of our performers are based in North Carolina and are personally known by or recommended to artistic director Suzanne Rousso. They are either freelance musicians, university professors or symphony players with an occasional guest brought in from out of state. For a successful performance, in addition to being at the top of their technical game, players are put together for a concert with a knowledge of their ways of working, temperaments, and level of commitment to a project.

However, understanding there are many musicians who are new to the state, recent graduates or those who perform in non-classical genres, Mallarmé developed this talent search to challenge our status quo. The goal was both to discover North Carolina musical talent and to expand on the style and genre of our usual programming. North Carolina musicians of any type, including jazz, folk and rock were asked to apply, especially members of the LBGTQ, African American and Latino communities. Applicants were asked to propose a 60-minute program and to provide artist bios and musical examples of the specific artists that judges could watch online.

Mallarmé Artistic Director, Suzanne Rousso, soprano Andrea Edith Moore and percussionist/ Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill Juan Álamo were the adjudicators for the program. Groups were chosen based on both performance skills and the interest by the judges in the proposed program. Additionally, the ensembles they selected demonstrated a history of working together – an obvious dynamic between the two performers was essential in addition to their individual artistry and compelling proposed programs.

The groups picked to perform for the upcoming Dynamic Duos in Durham mini-fest will be performing in small, iconic venues in Durham, NC that will support and enhance each specific program. This includes PS118 Gallery, The Fruit and the Sharp Nine Gallery. They are:

  1. “A New Perspective” Duo bassoonists Brianna Cantwell and Winfred Felton are currently students of Saxton Rose at UNCSA in Winston-Salem. They proposed a program “diving into the world of modern bassoon music.” The program called will feature contemporary music by underrepresented composers including Reena Esmail, Tyson Davis, Katy Abbott and Sofia Gubaidulina. Although undergraduates, Brianna and Winfred show incredible skill and enthusiasm for their chosen repertoire.
  2. Self-described as a “modern folk” duo Early Gray with pianist Owen Dodds and guitarist Drake Duffer expands the definition of chamber music. Their music is popular in genre with classical overtones as they explore the full depth of their instruments with interesting and unique textures and sounds. The duo met as students at UNCSA as high schoolers and went on to receive undergraduate degrees. Owen and Drake perform all original and improvised music often in collaboration with video or visual art. “Our music leans heavily on the full artistic expression of our members as we assume the role of composer, performer, poet, and artist, and not one more than another…. The many influences we bring to the music, and to each other, make our co-written material rich with classical and folk flavors.” Hear it from the artists directly
  3. The piano and percussion duo of Ingrid Nora Knight and Gastón Reggio first met in spring of 2021 when Gastón moved to Raleigh after studying jazz in Brazil. Hailing from opposite ends of the Western Hemisphere, they bonded over a love for Brazilian & Argentinian music as well as straight ahead jazz. Ingrid is originally from Boone, NC and is currently a graduate composition major at NC Central University. Gaston is originally from Uruguay and now calls Raleigh, North Carolina home.

The fourth group selected is the folk duo of Sue Richards on Celtic harp and Robin Bullock on guitar, cittern and mandolin. They will perform as part of the 2023 NC HIP Music Festival in February 2023.

Brianna Cantwell and Winfred Felton – bassoon
Tuesday, June 7, 2022 7:00 pm
PS118 Gallery, 118 W Parrish Street, Durham NC 27701

Zinfandel – Reena Esmail (1983)
Tableau No. IV – Tyson Davis (2000)
Selective Hearing – Camila Agosto (1995)
Multisonics (selections) – Katy Abbott (1971)
Duo Sonata – Sofia Gubaidulina (1931)

Original music by Owen Dodds and Drake Duffer
Tuesday, June 14, 2022 7:00 pm
The Fruit, 305 S Dillard St. Durham, NC 27701

“Folk Song”
“Flying Kites”
“Half Past Eleven”
“Aluminum Overcast” WATCH
“Way On”

Ingrid Nora Knight and Gastón Reggio
Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:00 pm

Sharp 9 Gallery, 4608 Industry Lane, Unit L Durham, NC 27713

“Libertango” – Astor Piazzolla
“Escualo” – Astor Piazzolla WATCH
“Milonga Gris” – Carlos Aguirre
“Baião do Caminhar” – Rafael Martini
“Nação Primeira” – Hercules Gomes
“Apucarana” – Hercules Gomes
“El barrio, el Candombe” – Carlos Aguirre

There is a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for students at each concert at the door. Masks are required.

More info:

The Mallarmé Chamber Players are an ensemble of professional musicians based in Durham, North Carolina, whose mission is to enrich the lives of their community through outstanding chamber music. The ensemble distinguishes itself by its innovative educational programs, its commitment to creative collaboration with other organizations, its creation of significant new work, and its dedication to serve a diverse population.

Mallarmé annually presents a series of concerts that features great, diverse and multidisciplinary chamber music. Mallarmé performs everything from Bach on period instruments to commissioning and performing brand new works. In 2010, Mallarmé released, to great acclaim, a CD on Albany/Videmus records of chamber music by African American composers.

Mallarmé is unique in that they use the wonderful musical talent North Carolina has to offer to perform with the ensemble depending on the needs of the repertoire. Most of Mallarmé’s musicians are members of professional organizations like the NC Symphony, freelance players or faculty members of the numerous institutions of higher learning.

Mallarmé is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c) 3 organization. The 2020/21 concert season was made possible in part by grants from the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund and the North Carolina Arts Council. ##