Baryshnikov Arts Presents: Shifting Ground

Music | Visual Art Commissioned by Baryshnikov Arts

April 25, 26, 27 at 7 PM
Jerome Robbins Theater
Baryshnikov Arts Center

Running time: 60 minutes

Alexi Kenney with visual art by Xuan. Photo by Lydia Murray

ABOUT THE WORK

Violinist Alexi Kenney and new media artist Xuan combine their creative forces in a multidisciplinary program that joins solo violin works from the 18th to 21st centuries with boundary-pushing projection art. Music by J.S. Bach and Nicola Matteis flows seamlessly into works by new voices such as Rafiq Bhatia and Angélica Negrón, as Xuan conjures immersive, imaginative landscapes on the themes of fracture and repair in response. 

Alexi Kenney is one of the most sought-after violinists of his generation, performing with some of the greatest orchestras of the world including those of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Dallas, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the Gulbenkian Orchestra. Xuan is a filmmaker and musician whose work traverses music and visuals and has been shown in galleries and festivals from Berlin and Zürich to Chicago and Hong Kong. 

Produced in collaboration with the Ojai Music Festival. 

PROGRAM

RAFIQ BHATIA Descent (2021)  

J.S. BACH Allemande from Partita in D minor, BWV 1004 (1720)  

PAUL WIANCKO Allemande from X Suite for Solo Violin (2019)  

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ANGÉLICA NEGRÓN The Violinist for violin and electronics, story by Ana Fabrega (2023)  

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J.S. BACH Grave from Sonata in A minor, BWV 1003 (1720)  

NICOLA MATTEIS Alia Fantasia (c. 1700)  

KAIJA SAARIAHO Nocturne for solo violin (1994)  

SALINA FISHER Hikari for solo violin (2023)  

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MARIO DAVIDOVSKY Synchronisms No. 9 for violin and tape (1988)  

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MATTHEW BURTNER Elegy from Muir Glacier, 1889–2009 for violin and glacier sonification (2017/2020)  

J.S. BACH Chaconne from Partita in D minor, BWV 1004 (1720)   

CREDITS

Violin: Alexi Kenney 

Projection Art: Xuan

Lighting Design: Jesse Campbell

Shifting Ground was first produced in 2023 with support from Marna Seltzer, Jane Cox, and Princeton University Concerts. Baryshnikov Arts presents the production with newly commissioned visual art. 

ARTISTS

Violinist Alexi Kenney is forging a career that defies categorization, following his interests, intuition, and heart. He is equally at home creating experimental programs and commissioning new works, soloing with major orchestras in the USA and abroad, and collaborating with some of the most celebrated musicians of our time. Alexi is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. 

Highlights of Alexi’s 2023/24 season include appearing as soloist with the Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee Symphonies, leading a program of his own creation with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and debuting a new iteration of his project Shifting Ground at Baryshnikov Arts and the Ojai Festival, in collaboration with the new media and video artist Xuan. Shifting Ground intersperses seminal works for solo violin by J.S. Bach with pieces by Matthew Burtner, Mario Davidovsky, Nicola Matteis, Kaija Saariaho, Paul Wiancko, and Du Yun, as well as new commissions by composers Salina Fisher and Angélica Negrón. The album version of Shifting Ground will be released in June 2024. 

In recent years, Alexi has performed as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, California Symphony, and Sarasota Orchestra, as well as in a play-conduct role as guest leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has played recitals at Wigmore Hall, on Carnegie Hall’s “Distinctive Debuts” series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, 92nd Street Y, Mecklenberg-Vorpommern Festival, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition, Alexi has been profiled by Musical America, Strings Magazine, and The New York Times, and has written for The Strad. 

Chamber music continues to be a major part of Alexi’s life, regularly performing at festivals including Caramoor, ChamberFest Cleveland, Chamber Music Northwest, Kronberg, La Jolla, Ojai, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Seattle, and Spoleto, as well as on tour with Musicians from Marlboro and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is a founding member of Owls, a new quartet collective with violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Gabe Cabezas, and cellist-composer Paul Wiancko. 

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Alexi is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he received an Artist Diploma as a student of Miriam Fried and Donald Weilerstein. Previous teachers in the Bay Area include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong. He plays a violin made in London by Stefan-Peter Greiner in 2009 and a bow by François-Nicolas Voirin. 

Outside of music, Alexi enjoys hojicha, modernist design and architecture, baking for friends, and walking for miles on end in whichever city he finds himself, listening to podcasts and Bach on repeat. 

Xuan is a new media artist, filmmaker, and pianist working at the intersection of music, visual art, and technology. A trained classical pianist with a passion for “visual music,” she actively develops innovative, cross-disciplinary projects that broaden the immersive scope of new music and performance. Her work encompasses experimental animation, abstract scenography, music videos, interactive installations, and large-scale projection mapping. Her music-driven films explore themes of femininity, power, inner conflict, and multicultural identity. She has collaborated with artists such as Glenn Kotche, Pierre Jodlowski, Nina Shekhar, Annika Socolofsky, Bec Plexus, Eighth Blackbird, Third Coast Percussion, Anzû Quartet, Akropolis Reed Quintet, ~Nois, Parhelion Trio, Rubiks Collective, and Ensemble Garage—which have led to live performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of South Carolina, Carnegie Mellon University, Constellation, SF Jazz, Le Poisson Rouge, Ad Astra Music Festival, the Mizzou International Composers Festival, and CAP UCLA’s Tune In Festival 2021. 

Xuan was selected to create projections for Art on the MART (2021), the largest permanent digital art projection in the world on the 2.5-acre façade of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, in collaboration with GRAMMY-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird and world-renowned composer Michael Gordon. Her interactive installations have been exhibited at the ErsterErster Gallery in Berlin, DE, the ibug Urban Art Festival in Reinchenbach, DE, and Design Biennale 2019 in Zürich, CH, the RESCUE Residency in Santo Stefano di Magra, Italy, Sound Forms 2021 in Hong Kong, and at the Rail Yards in Albuquerque, as part of OneBeat’s 10th Anniversary celebration in 2022. She was invited to be an Artist-in-Residence at the Digital Graffiti Festival at Alys Beach and ibug Festival for urbane Künst in 2023. An advocate for cross-disciplinary collaboration and multimedia performance, she has given lectures at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of South Carolina, Rochester Institute of Technology, and The New School. Additionally, she has taught experimental filmmaking at the Eastman School of Music since 2016. Xuan is a graduate of Eastman in piano performance and has studied Media Spaces at the BTK University of Art and Design in Berlin. She is honored to be a fellow of OneBeat 9 in 2022 and the Blackbird Creative Lab in 2018. 

ABOUT BARYSHNIKOV ARTS

Baryshnikov Arts, founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Mikhail Baryshnikov, is rooted in the belief that artists hold irreplaceable roles in our world, shaping perspectives, offering new approaches, and initiating crucial conversations in complex social, political, and cultural environments. Baryshnikov Arts supports extraordinary performers to experiment with unique artistic expression that asks audiences to view the world in new ways. We offer performance and commissioning opportunities, artist residencies, and more. President and Executive Director Sonja Kostich brings focus to cultivating and supporting new perspectives. With the recent rebrand of the organization in June 2023, Baryshnikov Arts expands its capacity to create multi-platform and collaborative havens for artistic expression, innovation and freedom, further committing to elevating and sharing the stories of artists of diverse cultures and histories. baryshnikovarts.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dave S. Hattem, Chairman
R. Jarrett Lilien, Treasurer
Steven C. Dupré, Secretary

Mikhail Baryshnikov
Jamie Bishton
Sandy Choi
Frank Cordasco
William James Earle
Sandra Foschi
Jennifer Frautschi
Slavka B. Glaser
Rebecca Goldring
Sonja Kostich
Steven M. Pesner
Darryl Pinckney
Shelley Washington
Andrew Zobler

STAFF

Mikhail BaryshnikovFounder and Artistic Director
Sonja KostichPresident and Executive Director

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
Rafayel Nagdimov, Director of Finance and Administration
Alexandra Cook, Administrative Manager

PROGRAMMING
Ashley Baer, Program Manager
Pedja Muzijevic, Artistic Administrator

DEVELOPMENT

Chani Sebazco, Development Manager
Apotheosis Events, Event Planning

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Lydia Murray, Marketing Manager
Dylan MacDowell, Social Media Associate

PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS
Tyler Benware, Director of Production and Operations
Jesse Campbell, Technical Director and Operations Supervisor
Natasha Bruno, Technical and Operations Manager

CONSULTANTS AND SPECIAL PROJECTS
Margot Becker, Grants Writer
Stephen Viksjo, Graphic Designer
Eric Wolfram, Web Developer
Sean Regan, Perfect Balance Bookkeeping, Inc., Bookkeeper

Special thanks to our production crew, front-of-house staff, and volunteers.

BARYSHNIKOV ARTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Baryshnikov Arts is grateful for the support of its generous individual and institutional donors.

Dabby and Ric Abel
John H. Abeles
Brian Adams
Deborah and Charles Adelman
Michelle A. Auerbach
Joanne and Tuvia Barak
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lisa Reinhart
Anna Baryshnikov and Teddy Bergman
Douglas Baxter and Brian Hastings
Carol Baxter and Loren Plotkin
Ariel Bengio
Marjorie Berman
Jamie Bishton/Norris and Debra Bishton Foundation
Philip Boroff and Michelle Kaske
Danielle and Thomas Canfield
James Carlson
Laura Cashel
Jesse Chin
Sandy Choi
Peri Clark
Millard Coffin
Anya and Peter Cole
Amy Collins
Theresa Cosmas
Margo Crespin
Anne F. Cutler
Nancy and Leon Dalva
Annette de la Renta
Rupert de Laszlo
Richard and Jennie DeScherer
Elizabeth DeVita
Janet A. Dewan
Robert Dorf
William J. Earle
Teresa Eggertsen
Sofia Elizalde
Erika Ellis
Estate of James H. Duffy
Apotheosis Events/Ryan Hill
Stefano Ferrari
Jennifer Fortner
Karen Freedman and Robert Weisberg
Jenia and Alex Fridlyand
Paul Ghiz
Jane Gladstone
Slavka B. Glaser
Rebecca Goldring
Tara and Daniel Goleman
Sharon Gonen
Nicholas Hare
Gary Hattem
Dave S. and Rita Hattem
Gemzel Hernandez and James Roe
Sylvia Hewlett
Huong M. Hoang
Rodney Hobbs
Sarah Hooker
Joan Hooker, in honor of Roger Hooker
Brody Howatt
Kelly Hubble
Sven Huseby
Pamela Ingram
Christopher Jones and Deb McAlister
Steven Katz
Oona Keating
Collen Keegan
Nadine and Leo Keegan
Karen Kochevar
Sonja Kostich
Olga Kovalishina
Miodrag Kukrika
Linda R. Larson
Anton LeRoy and Lisa Stefanelli-LeRoy
Leonard Levie
Jarrett and Maritess Lilien
Sioux Logan
Clinton Luckett
Cass and Nick Ludington
Carolyn Marks
David Marshall and Cheryl Yeager Marshall
Yukie Matsuno
Kevin McKenzie
Global Atlantic
Yosef Metal
Diane and David Milich
Catherine and Bill Miller
LeConte Moore
Ann Morning
Mark Morris
Mark R. Morris
Fred Nazem and Susie Gharib
Marty Nealon and Richard Allen
Franci Neely
Brian S. O’Neil
Adam J. Oestreich
Ahmet M. Oren
Zaza Pachulia
Paul Painter
Hubert Pedroli and Mary Tiegreen
Steven and Michelle Pesner
Darryl Pinckney
Joseph Plocek
Evelyn Polk
Millicent Powers
Elizabeth and Aidan Quinn
Rick Rarick
Thendara Foundation
Judy Ross
Isabella Rossellini
Karen Roth
Marc J. Rowan
Howard Sacks and Vesna Todorovic
John Sansone and Barbara Jordan
Laura Schoen and Robert Kaufman
Alan Schuster
Rb Schlather
Marty Secada
Joel Shapiro and Ellen Phelan
Wallace Shawn and Deborah Eisenerg
Edward Shenderovich and Olga Kouraptseva
Lois and David Sherwin
Denise Simon
Genevieve Springer
Matthew Steimel
Christina Sterner and Steven Poses
Madison and Glenn Stevens
Angèle Surault
Lisa Takemoto
Michael Tersigni and David Palachek
Julie C. Van Camp
Reginald Van Lee
Illiana Van Meeteren
Louis Venturelli
Nicola Walter
Deborah Elizabeth Ward
Shelley Washington
Julie Waterbury
Suzanne S. Weil
Linzee Weld
Jedediah Wheeler
David N. White
Vicente Wolf and Matthew Yee
David York
Andrew Zobler

A G Foundation
Alex Katz Foundation
Alphadyne Foundation
Arison Arts Foundation
Arnhold Foundation
Bloomberg Philanthropies
The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
The Enoch Foundation
Equitable Foundation;
Howard Gilman Foundation
Goldring Family Foundation
The Harkness Foundation for Dance
Irving Harris Foundation
Francena T. Harrison Foundation Trust
William Talbott Hillman Foundation
The Hyde and Watson Foundation
Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation
Consulate of Latvia in New York
The Marshall Frankel Foundation
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Mertz Gilmore Foundation
New Dramatist
Princess Grace Foundation – USA
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
The Jerome Robbins Foundation
The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation
The Shubert Foundation
Thompson Family Foundation

As of March 2024

Baryshnikov Arts is grateful for:

Funding of the Bloodlines Interwoven Festival made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts

Funding made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature


Yamaha is the official piano of the Baryshnikov Arts Center.