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Marcos Balter


Pessoa for six bass flutes (2013)

Pan (2017-18) a 90-minute musical drama for solo flute, live electronics, and an ensemble of community musicians

Marcos Balter



Described as “sumptuous” (Los Angeles Times), “minutely crafted” (Chicago Tribune), and “spellbinding” (New York Times), Marcos Balter’s music is primarily rooted in experimental manipulations of timbre and hyper-dramatization of live performance. With recent appearances at Carnegie Hall, Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, and Sala São Paulo, his upcoming projects include collaborations with Bill T. Jones, yMusic, International Contemporary Ensemble, Deerhoof, and Sound Icon. Winner of Harvard’s Fromm Composition Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim, Tanglewood/Leonard Bernstein, and Civitella Ranieri foundations, he is an Associate Professor of Music Composition at Montclair State University. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he currently lives in New York City. 



Program Notes

The goat-god Pan is one of only two Greek deities said to have been put to death. But how can an immortal figure die at all? Should we understand the death of a god not as a contradiction in terms, but rather as the end of an epoch, or a system of values? If so, then what is it that dies with a figure like Pan — and is such a death a cause for grief, celebration, or something else entirely?

PAN, a 90-minute piece for solo flute, live electronics and mass community participation, is a meditation on ambiguity and the discomfort it brings. Pan is himself the consummate in-betweener. He is half man and half beast; as a demigod, his realm lies somewhere between heaven and earth. He is the symbol of fecundity and the creative urge; he is the weaver of melodies and the guardian of the wilderness. But he is also a cunning predator, whose lust and rapacity drives him to unspeakable deeds.


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