SELF-PORTRAITS 1964, UNFINISHED by Martin Bresnick, with The Crossing

Led by Donald Nally, the “adventurous, fiercely talented choir,” The Crossing, “combines an embrace of the new, a social conscience and fearless technique.” For this performance, the multiple Grammy® Award-winning new music group is joined by the PRISM Quartet, “a bold ensemble that set the standard for contemporary-classical saxophone quartets.” The program features the world premiere of Self-Portraits 1964, Unfinished by Martin Bresnick, a composer known for “music that seems at once ancient, elegiac and awesomely new.” (The New York Times)

Our souls are like
Those orphans whose
Unwedded mothers
Die in bearing them:

The secret of
Our paternity
Lies in their grave, and
We must there to learn it.

– 1. Herman Melville, Moby Dick
2. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
in Martin Bresnick’s Self-Portraits 1964, Unfinished

The philosophical observations of Melville, Joyce, Hardy, and Hopkins come together in Martin Bresnick’s Cento (a new poem, constructed of previously existing poems). The result is a tumultuous journey of questioning, whimsy, and stoicism. Not only one of the most renowned composers of our time, Martin is also one of the most significant teachers of composition, numbering as his students many of the ‘household names’ of music today. A reunion with the saxophone quartet PRISM, with which we won our first Grammy.

This program follows the release of Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century, The Crossing and PRISM’s ECM recording that won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance.

Church of the Holy Trinity
1904 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

March 24, 2023
7 PM


Box office contact info:
Annenberg Center, Penn Live Arts: 215.898.3900