Dream House Quartet featuring Katia & Marielle Labèque, Bryce Dessner & David Chalmin.
Katia and Marielle Labeque, David Chalmin, Bryce Dessner of Minimalist Dream House. Photo still from video by Marian Lacombe.

Dream House Quartet

Letters to the Future: Dream House Quartet with Arooj Aftab and Ash Fure

On View: April 23-April 23, 2023

The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, New York, NY


6:00 pm

Dream House Quartet will make their US debut on April 23, at The Town Hall, in a concert presented in collaboration with The Kitchen, and produced by ArKtype. In Dream House Quartet, Katia and Marielle Labèque—who have “transformed the piano duo…playing, and enlarging, the two-piano repertory for over 50 years” The New York Times—join Grammy Award–winning guitarist, classical composer, and The National founding member Bryce Dessner and composer, musician, and producer David Chalmin to perform radical new commissions from visionary composers and pivotal contemporary works from the last half-century.

The one-night-only performance features Dream House Quartet alongside an intergenerational lineup of other groundbreaking musicians (to be announced at a later date), and includes the North American premiere of Thom Yorke’s first classical composition, Don’t Fear the Light. The concert also features world premieres by Dessner and Chalmin along with works by Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, and more to the Quartet’s unique electric guitar and piano arrangement. Special guests include Grammy Award–winning Pakistani singer, composer, and producer Arooj Aftab. The evening will begin with a pre-show panel with William Robin and Kerry O'Brien on the occasion of their new book, On Minimalism.

Proceeds from the event will help fund The Kitchen’s future, in a moment of reimagining for the influential interdisciplinary organization as its storied Chelsea home on 19th Street undergoes renovations, on the heels of its fiftieth anniversary. This momentous transformation provides an opportunity for the organization to continue to expand its understanding and vision of experimentation and what it means to foster the next generation of the avant-garde. In their contribution to the ongoing Capital Campaign enabling The Kitchen’s renovation, The Quartet likewise takes this moment to support future generations of artistic innovators.

The Kitchen’s Capital Campaign also paves the way to increased access for artists and audiences alike through a major website relaunch; a more robust education program; improved accessibility of its archive; and more. As construction continues on the organization’s building, The Kitchen has found a temporary home at Westbeth Artists Housing—a generative meeting with another epicenter of the New York and international avant-garde. This moment has also provided The Kitchen an opportunity to explore the meaning of an arts institution operating beyond walls—having also presented work throughout the city and within the digital realm. This concert at The Town Hall further expands The Kitchen’s embrace of a multiform existence that reflects the disciplinary fluidity of the work it supports.

In joining forces to present Dream House Quartet, The Kitchen and The Town Hall continue a history of collaborations between the two storied institutions. In 1992, Celebrate The Kitchen, a twentieth-anniversary benefit event with performances by Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Tom Rubnitz, and Blue Dot Chorus, took place at The Town Hall, followed by a dance party at The Kitchen. The Kitchen returned to The Town Hall in 2004 for a gala honoring Thomas Buckner and Robert Hurwitz, with performers including Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros, and Steve Reich.

On Minimalism Book Launch
April 23, 4:30 pm
Acclaimed authors William Robin, Kerry O'Brien, in conversation with special guests

When composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich began creating hypnotically repetitive music in the 1960s, it upended the world of American composition. But minimalism was more than a classical phenomenon—minimalism changed everything. On Minimalism, a new book published by University of California Press on April 25, moves from the style's beginnings in psychedelic counterculture through its present-day influences on ambient jazz, doom metal, and electronic music. Kerry O'Brien and William Robin look beyond the major figures to highlight crucial and diverse voices—especially women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ musicians—that have shaped the genre.

A portion of each ticket support's The Kitchen's mission for generations to come. The top-tier ticket includes limited-issue merchandise. Please contact Rayna Holmes, Institutional Advancement and Special Projects Manager, [rayna@thekitchen.org](mailto:rayna@thekitchen.org).



Formed in 2018, Dream House Quartet fuses decades of musical mastery of classical and contemporary forms, featuring luminaries Katia and Marielle Labèque on dueling pianos, along with acclaimed composer-guitarists Bryce Dessner (The National) and David Chalmin (innocence, la terre invisible). They presented their first project in 2019 at Paris Philharmonie with guest Thom Yorke followed by a tour in Lyon, London, and Hamburg Elb Philharmonie. The second half of this project was dedicated to the world premiere of Thom Yorke ’s composition « “don’t fear the light” and a new song “gawpers.” Those pieces were Yorke’s first composition for Katia & Marielle and classical concert halls.

Arooj Aftab is a Grammy award–winning Pakistani singer, composer, and producer based in the United States. She works in various musical styles and idioms, including jazz, minimalism, and Urdu poetry. She has been named one of NPR’s Top 100 composers, and has been featured on several best concerts lists, including in The New York Times. Her Vulture Prince album was met with critical acclaim from The Guardian, Time Magazine, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Aftab has performed at major international music festivals including Coachella, Glastonbury, Primavera Sound Barcelona, Roskilde Festival, and Montreal Jazz Festival. She has also performed at Performance Art Centers such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, and The Broad. Aftab is a 2023 United States Artists Fellow and a recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music.

The Town Hall has played an integral part in the electrifying cultural fabric of New York City for more than one hundred years. A group of Suffragists’ fight for the Nineteenth Amendment led them to build a meeting space to educate people on the important issues of the day. During its construction, the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, and on January 12, 1921, The Town Hall opened its doors and took on a double meaning: as a symbol of the victory sought by its founders, and as a spark for a new, more optimistic climate. In 1921, German composer Richard Strauss performed a series of concerts that cemented the Hall’s reputation as an ideal venue for musical performances. Since, The Town Hall has been home to countless musical milestones: the US debuts of Strauss and Isaac Stern; Marian Anderson’s first New York recital; Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker introducing bebop to the world in 1945; Bob Dylan’s first major concert in 1963; and many more.