Composer Olga Neuwirth’s Lost Highway Suite—derived from her opera of the same name, itself inspired by David Lynch’s cult classic film—evokes a mysterious tone and structure in a concert performance featuring immersive surround sound. Using a 64-speaker Ambisonic dome, built around the audience in the EMPAC Concert Hall, the suite distills Neuwirth’s 2003 opera to its instrumental core. Mixing live performance with electronic sounds that swirl around the listening space, Lost Highway Suite creates a hallucinatory experience not unlike the warped plotline and surreal characters of the Lynch epic.
Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth (born 1968) gained international recognition at the age of 22 for two mini-operas based on works of Nobel Prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek. Since then, she’s written several music theater pieces including her first dramatic work, Bählamms Fest (also based on one of Jelinek’s works), The Outcast, American Lulu, and Hommage á Klaus Nomi.
Performances and commissioning activities during the 2018-19 concert season are made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Amphion Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Pacific Harmony Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, The Casement Fund, BMI Foundation, as well as public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE.