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Marilyn Shrude 75th Birthday Celebration


December 2, 2021, 8:00

$20 (click here for tickets)

Dimenna Center for Classical Music

450 West 37th Street, Manhattan (map)


Lost Dog New Music Ensemble

New Thread Quartet

Momenta Quartet

and guest artists

John Sampen - saxophone

Ariadne Greif - soprano

Lost Dog presents an all-star concert, featuring three of

New York's most dynamic new music ensembles, in celebration

of the 75th birthday of distinguished American composer

Marilyn Shrude.

Including performances of:

Sotto Voce (2012)
A Window Always Open on the Sea (1990)
Within the Wall (2018; 2021)


energy flows nervously ... in search of stillness (2015)
Evolution V (1976)
John Sampen, alto sax

Secrets (2004)
Ariadne Greif, soprano

In accordance with New York State policy, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required. Masks must be worn in all public areas of the Dimenna Center.

The concert celebrates Shrude’s 75th birthday, a ground-breaking composer, known for music of exquisite texture and detail. Her catalog features a large body of chamber and orchestral works, and a particular interest in saxophone. She is the first woman to receive the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award for Orchestral Music (1984) and the Cleveland Arts Prize for Music (1998).

The music of composer Marilyn Shrude is characterized by its warmth and lyricism, rich timbre, multi-layered constructions, and complex blend of tonality and atonality. The result is a bright, shimmering and delicately wrought sound world that is at once both powerful and fragile. Her concentration on color and the natural resonance of spaces, as well as her strong background in Pre-Vatican II liturgical music, give the music its linear, spiritual, and quasi-improvisational qualities. (Natvig - New Grove)

Shrude taught both Lost Dog director Garth Sunderland and New Thread’s tenor saxophonist Erin Rogers. Both Sunderland and Rogers have long felt that Shrude’s dazzling music should have greater presence in New York, and have discussed a concert like this for years. The works on the program span from 1976’s Evolution V, with one of the world’s leading concert saxophonists John Sampen as guest soloist, to the world premiere of a new version of 2018’s Within the Wall. Shrude’s catalog of music is deep and varied, and the chamber music presented here reflects that diversity – both with regards to instrumentation and aesthetic.

Sunderland states:
“I’ll never forget hearing Marilyn’s trio A Window Always Open On The Sea for the first time, a work whose mysteries and depths meld her exquisitely detailed craftsmanship with a fathoms-deep well of emotion. As a teacher, Marilyn’s nurturing heart and wise counsel have had an incredible impact on multiple generations of American composers, and it’s always been frustrating to me that her own extraordinary music isn’t more widely known. In this 75th birthday concert, featuring three terrific ensembles, world-class soloists, and major works from the entirety of Marilyn’s career, we hope to let New York audiences in on the secret of this marvelous and pathbreaking American composer.”

The New Thread Quartet has been called “adventurous” and “rule-breaking” by NewMusicBox. The sax quartet has commissioned and premiered over 40 works developing impactful new music for the saxophone, and earning a reputation for its close collaborative work with composers.


Called “an outstanding young string quartet with and exceptionally broad range” by the New Yorker, the Momenta Quartet is similarly committed to new music, and known for its “diligence, curiosity, and excellence” (New York Times). The Momenta Quartet performs Shrude’s setting of Emily Dickinson’s poem Secrets with soprano Ariadne Greif, described by the New York Times as "a beautiful and physically fearless young singer." 

This event marks the final concert for Lost Dog New Music Ensemble, and will give audiences an opportunity to celebrate all it has accomplished. For over 15 seasons Lost Dog has been an ambassador and advocate for contemporary music in its home borough of Queens and throughout the city. The ensemble has presented over 35 world premiere performances of music by American composers, as well as many US and East Coast premieres by major international composers.

Marilyn Shrude

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