June 16, 2021
Osvaldo Golijov: Tenebrae
Invoke: Doorway (written by Nick Montopoli)
Jocelyn C. Chambers: Enigma for the Night
Adding banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and voice to the string quartet, Invoke is reinventing classical music. Encompassing traditions from across America, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism, the vibrant ensemble is fueled by its passion for storytelling. Weaving all of these styles together to form a unique contemporary repertoire, Invoke performs original works composed by and for the group.
Described as “...not classical but not, not classical … beautiful, adventurous, American and immediately engaging” by former SiriusXM Classical Producer David Srebnik, Invoke successfully dodges even the most valiant attempts at genre classification.
Invoke was selected to be the young professional string quartet-in-residence at the University of Texas at Austin from 2016-2018. The group also participated in the Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford and was selected as an artist-in-residence at Strathmore, the Emerging Young Artist Quartet at Interlochen, and the Fellowship String Quartet at Wintergreen Performing Arts. In 2018 Invoke was named a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York; received first prize at the M-Prize International Chamber Arts competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and received first prize in the Coltman Competition in Austin, Texas.
Invoke has shared the stage with some of the most acclaimed chamber groups in the country, including the Westerlies, Miró and Ensō quartets, and the U.S. Army Field Band. Additional performance highlights include Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Green Music Center; a concerto appearance with the Brevard Sinfonia; a residency at the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Institute; and performances on the NextNOW Festival at University of Maryland and Festival Amadeus in Montana. Invoke has also appeared with musicians from various genres, including chamber rock group San Fermin, indie group Never Shout Never, and Washington, D.C. beatboxer/rapper/spoons virtuoso Christylez Bacon.
Invoke’s discography includes its debut album, Souls in the Mud (2015), featuring works by composer Danny Clay as well as original works composed by the group; Furious Creek (2018), featuring original compositions and arrangements; and Fantastic Planet (2021), an original soundtrack composed by the group inspired by the 1973 French animated feature. Fantastic Planet is a companion album to the summer 2019 commission by the Austin Chamber Music Festival. The album features Invoke’s standard instrumentation, as well as the addition of the electric cello and the igil, a horsehead fiddle from Tuva, Siberia.
Invoke is strongly committed to championing diverse American voices through commissioning and highlighting new music. Invoke’s ongoing commissioning project, entitled American Postcards, asks composers to pick a time and place in American history and tell its story through the group’s unique artistry. The ensemble has commissioned eight new works since 2017, including the latest addition to the initiative, The Lessons of History, by Jonathan Bingham, which premiered in summer 2021.
In addition to American Postcards, Invoke has performed and recorded numerous world premieres, including works by Joseph C. Phillips Jr., Armando Bayolo, and Geoff Sheil. The group’s recording credits appear on bassist/composer Ethan Foote’s solo album, Fields Burning; singer/songwriter Marian McLaughlin’s Spirit House; jazz/soul singer Rochelle Rice’s EP, Wonder; and many more.
Support for this performance is provided by the Elizabeth McIntosh Mitchell Trauger Excellence Fund.
This is the first performance by Invoke at the Moss Arts Center.