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Duo Noire

 

DUO NOIRE is a singularly innovative classical guitar ensemble which is blazing a path through genre-bending programming choices, cutting-edge premieres, and startlingly original arrangements. Consisting of the groundbreaking American classical guitarists Thomas Flippin & Christopher Mallett, Duo Noire has been hailed as a "virtuosic pair" and has performed across the U.S. and Asia in distinguished venues such as the Norfolk Music Festival, the 92nd Street Y, Peking University (Beijing), the Times Center, and the St. Louis Guitar Society as recurring Artists-in-Residence.

Their debut recording, Figments, featured music written for them by the award-winning Juilliard composer Raymond Lustig and was praised by I Care if You Listen for its "impressive technique...Flippin and Mallett definitely don't disappoint." The album has been featured on WNYC, WQXR, and Radio Arts Foundation St Louis. Additionally, the duo has been featured in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Classical Guitar Magazine (U.K.), Gendai Guitar (Japan), and on the cover of the Guitar Foundation of America's quarterly journal Soundboard.

Collectively, Flippin & Mallett’s playing has been called “lovely” (New York Times) and “superb” (Soundboard). They have each gathered a number of awards, including prizes from the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition, the Brownsville Guitar Competition, the East Carolina University Guitar Competition, the University of Chicago's Olga and Paul Menn Composition Prize, and Yale University's Eliot Fisk Prize for an "outstanding guitarist.” Master class performances include: The Aspen Music Festival with Sharon Isbin, the Peabody Summer Guitar Master class with Manuel Barrueco, Pepe Romero, Eliot Fisk, Christopher Parkening, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, among others.

Formed while both were attending the Yale School of Music as the first African American guitarists in the university's history, their name translates as both "black" and "quarter note.” In 2008, the duo was awarded a highly competitive Yale Alumni Ventures grant which funded an outreach tour across New England and reached over 2,500 underserved students.Currently, Flippin is on faculty at the Diller Quaile School of Music in NYC, and Mallett is on faculty at the University of California Santa Cruz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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News & Updates

 

January 2016
Flippin returns to National Sawdust w/ Alicia Hall Moran, Jason Moran (piano),
Brandon Ross (Electric gtr), Kaoru Watanabe (taiko), Prasanna and Shalini Lakshmi.

November 2015
Flippin opens a concert for Lawrence Dutton of the EMERSON STRING QUARTET.
Mallett has a feature interview in CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE & 
Gets glowing solo album review: "effortless..lovely."
Duo Noire interviewed on LOUISVILLE CLASSICAL MUSIC PUBLIC RADIO.

October 2015
Mallett Joins faculty of UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ.
Flippin appears on NYT and All That Jazz acclaimed album:
"HEAVY BLUE" by Alicia Hall Moran (produced by Jason Moran). 
Flippin performs at NYC's finest new music venue, NATIONAL SAWDUST.  

September 2015
Mallett gets stellar review in Soundboard (41 no.2) for his Debut Solo Cd.
"Crisply virtuosic...Get this disc: Mallett is a Player to watch." 

August 2015
Duo Noire featured photo in ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE. 

May 2015
5/21-5/25: Duo Noire CHINA TOUR

March 2015
Flippin interviewed on CLASSICAL GUITAR INSIDER podcast w/ Bret Williams.

JANUARY 2015
Duo Noire on the cover of SOUNDBOARD by the Guitar Foundation of america.

Press

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, Where Classical Guitar Meets Minimalism
"Figments, composed by Raymond Lustig and performed by the virtuosic pair, DUO NOIRE (Thomas Flippin and Christopher Mallett) is a unique and entrancing album that exists at the unusual intersection of minimalism and impressive classical guitar technique...The impressive technique displayed by DUO NOIRE is perfectly suited to Lustig's delicious compositions, and you wouldn't regret getting a hold of this; if you like acoustic guitar, bluegrass, minimalism, blues -or music at all- you'll definitely enjoy this excellently produced and mastered album."
 

SOUNDBOARD MAGAZINE, Mini-Review: Figments
"Figments is a substantial piece over half an hour in length...At times the effect is similar to the early minimalism of pulse-pattern works, but fragmenting much sooner than the music of Philip Glass or Steve Reich & Terry Riley...captured in crystalline sound...both composer Lustig and Duo Noire are to be congratulated for their work. I look forward to hearing more from them."


 

THE GUARDIAN, Voodoo review – a lost Harlem Renaissance opera soars
"Underneath that late-Romantic two-part vocal harmony, Freeman’s orchestra featured bluesy scales, gorgeously shaped on this night by the Harlem Chamber Players’ strings. Eventually, the stylistic threads converged...Throughout the night, this dynamic delivered one surprise after the next – as when [Flippin's] banjo plucked its way to a greater prominence in the orchestra, or when the rhythmic phrasing of a vocal line would close off with a subtle nod in the direction of American swing. This exquisite ambiguity mirrored the tensions at the core of the opera’s narrative..." 
 

SOUNDBOARD MAGAZINE, Mallett's Solo CD Review:
"Mallett, one half of Duo Noire (featured on the cover of Soundboard 40, No.3), begins his fine disc with powerful performances of two dances by Regino Sainz de la Maza...[they] have never sounded better. What follows is Dusan Bogdanovic's utterly charming Jazz Sonatina. Mallett plays it beautifully. Nikita Koshkin's 'The Porcelain Tower'...[is] an impressive work and performance...very fine, and crisply virtuosic...exceedingly well done. Get this disc: Mallett is a player to watch."
 

THE NEW YORK TIMES, 'Voodoo,’ by Harry Lawrence Freeman, Has First Staging Since 1928
"Years in the making, this “Voodoo,” a collaboration among the Morningside company, Harlem Opera Theater and the Harlem Chamber Players, conducted by Gregory Hopkins, is the fruit of much labor and love...And passages of the score, an intriguing if overcautious mixture of traditionally operatic and folk styles, are lovely: [Flippin's] banjo’s plangent astringency and the saxophone’s croon cut effectively through the textures of a standard orchestra."
 

CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE: Flippin's Solo CD Review 
"The opening Casseus trilogy is great stuff....these indeed, are three little gems...The Brouwer pairing is always a winner...tuneful and warmly evocative music [that is] beautifully played here...The Mompou...remains one of the 20th Century's most beautiful and original guitar works [and] Flippin does it full justice...With Flippin's own pieces...there are many beautiful moments...A fine recital with some attractively performed and recorded music." 

CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE, Norwegian Wood
"The superb guitarist...Christopher Mallett...[gave] a fine set."


 

"What a pleasure it was having DUO NOIRE on our series.  Not only was their musicianship brilliant , but also the diversity of their programming was exceptional.  The two provided delightful on-stage commentaries, adding tremendously to our audience's appreciation of each selection.  How gratifying it is to see young artists so devoted to their craft."  
-Music Programming Director, Placitas Artists Series
 

"DUO NOIRE were impeccable...charming musicians performing gorgeous, slow-blooming, stereophonic.guitar music. Everybody fell in love with them."    
Conrad WIndslow, Juilliard composer
 

"bringing a creative artist's vitality to all the music they perform, as if the music were being written before your very eyes." 
-Ray Lustig, Juilliard Composition Faculty

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Figments - Ray Lustig & Duo Noire

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, Where Classical Guitar Meets Minimalism (2014)
"Figments, composed by Raymond Lustig and performed by the virtuosic pair, Duo Noire (Thomas Flippin and Christopher Mallett) is a unique and entrancing album that exists at the unusual intersection of minimalism and impressive classical guitar technique...The impressive technique displayed by Duo Noire is perfectly suited to Lustig's delicious compositions, and you wouldn't regret getting a hold of this; if you like acoustic guitar, bluegrass, minimalism, blues -or music at all- you'll definitely enjoy this excellently produced and mastered album."


SOUNDBOARD MAGAZINE, Mallett's solo CD Review. (2015)
"Mallett, one half of Duo Noire (featured on the cover of Soundboard 40, No.3), begins his fine disc with powerful performances of two dances by Regino Sainz de la Maza...[they] have never sounded better. What follows is Dusan Bogdanovic's utterly charming Jazz Sonatina. Mallett plays it beautifully. Nikita Koshkin's 'The Porcelain Tower'...[is] an impressive work and performance...very fine, and crisply virtuosic...exceedingly well done. Get this disc: Mallett is a player to watch."

The Porcelain Tower

Something New

CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE: Flippin's solo debut CD review. (2012)
"The opening Casseus trilogy is great stuff....these indeed, are three little gems...The Brouwer pairing is always a winner...tuneful and warmly evocative music [that is] beautifully played here...The Mompou...remains one of the 20th Century's most beautiful and original guitar works [and] Flippin does it full justice...With Flippin's own pieces...there are many beautiful moments...A fine recital with some attractively performed and recorded music." 

Videos

Figments 7E / Harlem NY