COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

Roomful of Teeth and Dublin Guitar Quartet; 01/30/2020

Thursday, January 30

Roomful of Teeth and Dublin Guitar Quartet

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

This collaborative concert features the Middlebury debuts of the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and the world-renowned Dublin Guitar Quartet. Together they perform the East Coast premiere of a new, intimate arrangement of Vermont native Nico Muhly’s How Little You Are. Originally commissioned in 2015 for three guitar quartets and massed choir, the work is based on texts written by pioneer women during the 19th century. In addition to this powerful 40-minute work, each ensemble also performs individual selections.  A Nelson Fund event.

Pre-concert lecture by composer Nico Muhly at 6:15 PM in MAC 125.

Tickets: $30 General public/$25 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

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The Dublin Guitar and Roomful of Teeth will perform a new chamber arrangement of Nico Muhly's "How Little You Are." 


MAZZOLI Vesper Sparrow

BRITTELLE Psychedelics

Roomful of Teeth

GLASS String Quartet No. 2, Company 

DESSNER Aheym (Homeward)

Dublin Guitar Quartet

* intermission *

MUHLY How Little You Are

Dublin Guitar Quartet

Roomful of Teeth

Dublin Guitar Quartet • Roomful of Teeth • Nico Muhly, composer

Dublin Guitar Quartet

Brian Bolger, Pat Brunnock, Chien Buggle, Tomas O'Durcain

Described by The Irish Times as "a quartet with a difference", the Dublin Guitar Quartet is the first classical guitar quartet entirely devoted to new music. Since its formation at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama, DGQ has worked to expand the limited repertoire by commissioning new works and adapting modern masterpieces from outside of the guitar repertoire. 

With the help of eight and eleven-string guitars, the quartet has created an original catalogue of arrangements by composers such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt and György Ligeti. DGQ's work has brought the attention of some of the world's leading composers. Recent activity includes a release on Philip Glass's Orange Mountain Music label and a new 55-minute commission by Michael Gordon. The quartet performed alongside the Grammy-award winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Conspirare and the Texas Guitar Quartet in a premiere of How Little You Are by Nico Muhly in Austin, Texas in 2015. DGQ is also included on a recent recording performing Arvo Part's Summa. The quartet worked with the composer in making the arrangement and received guidance during the recording process. The arrangement is published by the composer's own publisher Universal Edition.

In 2010 the quartet was involved in a very special performance of Repentance for cello, guitars and double bass by celebrated Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina. The composer was present as they joined the Russian cellist Ivan Monighetti in a concert in St. Peter's Church, Drogheda. DGQ's recording of this work was released on the LCMS label in 2012. In 2008, the quartet was honored to share the stage with legendary American composer Philip Glass in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dundalk. In 2010, the DGQ performed their transcriptions of the entire set of Philip Glass quartets to great acclaim. 

Other performance highlights include a four-city tour of Colombia and two tours of North America in 2013-14. DGQ has performed at the prestigious chamber music venue Wigmore Hall in London. They have also performed in many of the leading venues in the US including The Phillips Collection, Celebrity Series of Boston, and Subculture, Symphony Space and Lincoln Center in New York. 

The DGQ are developing the electric side of the guitar quartet repertoire with works like Nagoya Guitars and Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich, and a recent commission for electric guitar quartet, Amplified by Michael Gordon. This was premiered at the David Lang/Bang on a Can-curated festival of new music at the National Concert Hall, Dublin in February 2015.

The Dublin Guitar Quartet is supported by Music Network and the Arts Council of Ireland.

Roomful of Teeth

Abigail Lennox, soprano • Martha Cluver, soprano • Eliza Bagg, alto • Virginia Kelsey, alto • Eric Dudley, tenor • Avery Griffin, baritone • Dashon Burton, baritone-bass • Cameron Beauchamp, bass • Brad Wells, artistic director

Roomful of Teeth is a GRAMMY-winning vocal project dedicated to reimagining the expressive potential of the human voice. Through study with masters from vocal traditions the world over, the eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an ongoing commissioning process, forges a new repertoire without borders.

Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, Roomful of Teeth gathers annually at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Massachusetts, where they’ve studied with some of the world’s top performers and teachers in Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, Broadway belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean P’ansori, Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music, Persian classical singing and Death Metal singing. Commissioned composers include Rinde Eckert, Fred Hersch, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), William Brittelle, Toby Twining, Missy Mazzoli, Julia Wolfe, Ted Hearne and Ambrose Akinmusire, among many others.

Nico Muhly, composer
Nico Muhly (b.1981) is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tallis Scholars and St. John’s College, Cambridge and others, he has written more than 100 works for the concert stage, including the opera Marnie (2017), which premiered at the English National Opera and was staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018. 

Muhly is a frequent collaborator with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and, as an arranger, has paired with Sufjan Stevens, Antony and the Johnsons and others. His work for stage and screen include music for the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie and scores for films including the Academy Award-winning The Reader. Born in Vermont, Muhly studied composition at the Juilliard School before working as an editor and conductor for Philip Glass. He is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes (2006) and Mothertongue (2008). He lives in New York City.

Artist website:

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax