14
Apr

This week: concerts in New York (April 14 – April 20, 2014)

Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble

Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble on tour, 1/2

Americas Society will host a concert by the Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble (ICCE).
Monday, April 14 at 7 PM
Free for Americas Society members, $20 for nonmembers, $10 for students with ID
Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue, New York, NY
..:: Website

On The Art Of Curation | MATA Festival

A panel discussion on the art of curating a concert program led by MATA’s outgoing Artistic Director Yotam Haber with special guests Melissa Smey, Chris McIntyre, Amelia Lukas, Mark Peskanov.
Wednesday, April 16 at 7 PM
RSVP to info@matafestival.org
BMI, 7 World Trade Center, New York, NY
..:: Website

Voices Up! New Poems Set to Music

Tigue

Music by TIGUE Percussion, Kyle Vegter, and Lawrence Kramer.
Wednesday, April 16 at 7:30 PM
Free
Fordham University—Lincoln Center, NW Corner 60th St. and Columbus Ave., 12th Floor Lounge, New York, NY
..:: Website

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11
Apr

Andriessen 75: A Retrospective at Strathmore Mansion

Strathmore-logo-250wThe retrospective, that staple of the visual arts world, ought to be more popular in new music circles. As was the case with this informal soirée, once again featuring Louis Andriessen’s two most sympathetic collaborators, mezzo-soprano Cristina Zavalloni and violinist Monica Germino, an intelligently programmed autobiographical portrait concert usually says more about a composer’s practice than any of the official PR boilerplate. It was all that at Strathmore Mansion, in North Bethesda, MD on April 8, 2014, in the third installment of the “Andriessen 75″ festival. A peregrination through some of the lesser known byways of the Dutchman’s output – with a few choice cameos from “friends” – it penetrated to the core of the Andriessen ethos in a way that yet another rendition of Hoketus or De Staat never could have.

Composer Louis Andriessen (photo: © Francesca Patella)

Composer Louis Andriessen (photo: © Francesca Patella)

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11
Apr

Sean Hickey’s Cursive: another rewarding release on Delos

Delos LogoMichigan born and educated both there and in New York, Hickey divides his time between composition and his demanding “day” job as National Sales and Business Development Director for Naxos records. He has written works for orchestra, including a symphony, large scale concerti, chamber works and compositions for solo instruments and voices. His compositions are decidedly conservative in form and sound thus are approachable and always have something to say.

Following a well received disc featuring concertos for Cello and Clarinet by American composer Sean Hickey, Delos records has released a second disc this time focusing on his piano and chamber music. British pianist Philip Edward Fisher performs in the lion’s share of the works. Julia Sakharova, violin joins Fisher in “Ampersand” while Brandon Patrick George, Anne Lanzilotti, and Meredith Clark, perform “Pied-a-Terre” for Flute, Viola and Harp.

Sean Hickey

Sean Hickey

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10
Apr

No Revolution in Monica Germino’s Roadmaps and Diaries II

Atlas-LogoAn unaccompanied violin recital is a daunting proposition. Without pianistic relief, the listener can tire of the nonstop bariolage. Sans sparring partner, the fiddler is left without a safety net. “Roadmaps and Diaries II,” a touring program devised by electric violinist extraordinaire Monica Germino, split the difference in a performance at Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 2014. This was emphatically a solo affair, but Germino was in constant interplay with a host of spectral doppelgängers – “multiple Monicas,” as the subtitle to Julia Wolfe’s With a Blue Dress On puts it – with most of the pieces calling for back-tracking and the AV wizardry of Frank van der Weij. Ironically, the lone exception was Louis Andriessen’s bracing XENIA. Germino was a member of the Asko Ensemble during the nineties, cutting her teeth on works like Andriessen’s Writing to Vermeer. After she embarked on a solo career, the Hague School padrone wrote La Passione and La Girò for her “trembling violin with electric strings.” Yet “Roadmaps and Diaries II” is Germino through and through: this isn’t the Andriessen aesthetic, not really.

Monica Germino and Frank vander Weij (photo: Elizabeth Melchior)

Monica Germino and Frank van der Weij (photo: Elizabeth Melchior)

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9
Apr

Iconoclast Andriessen’s La Commedia at National Gallery of Art

national-gallery-of-art-logoPerformance spaces don’t get much more “official” than the National Gallery of Art’s palatial West Garden Court in Washington, D.C. Like much of this spectacular, taxpayer-subsidized receptacle for the world’s great artistic treasures, the Garden Court is a monument to democracy’s civilizing force. It’s also an alibi for political power, for an avaricious capital’s investment in the status quo. So it was impossibly ironic that the Garden Court would play host to Louis Andriessen, onetime founder of a “socialist orchestra,” the man who famously dreamed “that musical innovation” might “represent a danger to the State” – one, moreover, who hasn’t mellowed with old age. In 2011, he denounced the epoch’s fetish for “progress,” “economic growth as God,” as so much “bullshit.” Yet there was Andriessen on Sunday April 6, 2014, just before the Great Noise Ensemble’s performance of La Commedia, his summa of a six-decades-long compositional career, lost in thought in front of the Gallery’s most important recent acquisition, Gerrit van Honthorst’s Het concert, conveniently on display in the Garden Court foyer.

Composer Louis Andriessen (photo: Francesca Capatella)

Composer Louis Andriessen (photo: Francesca Capatella)

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9
Apr

New Music recap of Big Ears 2014 in Knoxville, TN

big-ears-2014-logoAfter a four-year hiatus, Big Ears Festival returned to Knoxville from March 28 to 30, presented by AC Entertainment, the same folks that present Bonnaroo and Forecastle. And in this festival family, Big Ears plays the role of red-headed, stepchild (but, one loved enormously by its father/founder, Ashley Capps). It’s the stylistic outlier, but makes a strong case that a festival devoted to weird music, in a small, southern city, can be successful.

So Percussion & Buke and Gase - Photo by Daniel Gilliam

So Percussion & Buke and Gase – Photo by Daniel Gilliam

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