Photo Credit: Pascal Perich
Longleash (violin, cello, piano) is a group with a traditional instrumentation and a progressive identity. Inspired by music with unusual sonic beauty, an inventive streak, and a truthful cultural voice, Longleash extends a love of classical chamber musicianship to the interpretation of contemporary music, crafting performances that are both dynamic and thoughtfully refined. An “expert young trio” praised for its “subtle and meticulous musicianship” (Strad Magazine UK) and for navigating “an incredible breadth of musical styles with technical expertise and expressive innovation” (Feast of Music), Longleash has quickly earned a reputation in the US and abroad for innovative programming, artistic excellence, and new music advocacy. Longleash believes in an inclusive concert culture, and strives to engage uninitiated listeners, challenge more experienced audiences, and curate well-balanced programs featuring the music of women and men from diverse cultural backgrounds.
In 2015-2016, Longleash balances a full performing schedule with ongoing commissioning projects, recording projects, and the trio’s own summer festival, The Loretto Project. The current season has Longleash performing at venues as widely varied as EMPAC, the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany, The Kaufman Center, and ShapeShifter Lab, among others. New commissions for the 2015-2016 season include new works by Suzanne Farrin (USA) and Adam McCartney (Ireland). Longleash returns to Nerinx, Kentucky in the summer of 2016 for the second installment of The Loretto Project.
A celebration of adventurous new music, the Loretto Project features an intensive week-long composition workshop and new music concert mini-series. Longleash created the Loretto Project in order to support the work of promising young composers of varied backgrounds, and to foster a meaningful cultural exchange between disparate American cultural communities. In 2015, the first annual Loretto Project brought together graduate composition fellows with master teachers for private lessons, workshop rehearsals, and a masterclass at the beautiful Loretto Motherhouse in idyllic Nerinx, KY. As artistic directors and the ensemble-in-residence, Longleash performed free public concerts of music by leading and emerging American composers, as well as new works by the Project’s composition fellows. Unique in its focus on nurturing young composers, the Project affords them a tuition-free opportunity to work intensively with professional musicians specializing in this repertoire. The trio looks forward to the Project’s second installment in 2016, with concerts at the Loretto Motherhouse, the University of Louisville, and Dreamland – Louisville’s exciting new venue for experimental music.
Longleash has worked closely with many internationally renowned composers, including Beat Furrer, Klaus Lang, Reiko Füting, and Nils Vigeland, and has given world and US premieres of works by Younghi Pagh-Paan, Ken Ueno, Lisa Streich, Chris Swithinbank, and Yukiko Watanabe, among others. Recent commissions include Brontal Symmetry by Scott Wollschleger, with a recording release projected for 2016. The trio’s work on behalf of American composers was recently recognized by Columbia University’s Alice M. Ditson Fund for American music, awarding the trio a performance grant for Spring 2015. Longleash cares deeply about supporting young and emerging composers, and has enjoyed presenting lectures and composition readings at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, Rutgers University, and Ohio University.
The trio’s inaugural 2014-15 season began with concerts at San Francisco’s Center for New Music and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, as well as a live performance on WUOL Louisville Public Radio. The trio was one of four international groups selected for fully-funded participation at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Festival in Norway, where they performed works by American and Scandinavian composers and received guidance from members of the Alban Berg Quartet, Ysaÿe Quartet, and ATOS Trio. Subsequently, Longleash enjoyed a residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire, as well as numerous concerts in the New York City area. The trio continued its summer season with a series of concerts at the Green Music Center in Northern California, as part of an artist residency with pianoSonoma. Longleash’s first annual Loretto Project in Nerinx, KY concluded the their inaugural season.
The trio’s first public performances took place at the Kunstuniversität Graz (Austria) in 2013.
Longleash is Pala Garcia (violin), John Popham (cello), and Renate Rohlfing (piano). Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Kentucky, and Hawaii respectively, their converging paths led them to New York City, where they received their training at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. Their individual eclectic interests and musical versatility have guided them to collaborations and guest work with a diverse group of artists and ensembles, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Either/Or Ensemble, Falu, Gabriel Kahane, Frederica von Stade, Los Angeles Opera, Klangforum Wien, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Slavic Soul Party!, and many others.