22
Jul

5 Questions to Tobias Picker (Composer)

On July 20, 2014, the Glimmerglass Festival presented the premiere of a new version of composer Tobias Picker and librettist Gene Scheer’s An American Tragedy, originally commissioned by and premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 2005. Nine performances in total will be presented until August 24. We asked Picker five questions…

You have said that you knew the Dreiser novel, An American Tragedy, had to be your subject when the opportunity to write an opera for the Metropolitan Opera arose. What was it about the story that made it a particularly good subject, a good pairing, for the Met’s commission?

I felt it was the greatest story for the greatest  American opera company because it goes to the heart and the heartbreak of the ‘American Dream’.  The gap between rich and poor during the Great Depression, is no less relevant today than it was just before the Great Depression when Dreiser wrote the novel. At the core of the story is a doomed love triangle with an unconventional conclusion. A poor boy from the Midwest with dreams of making a success of himself goes about it completely the wrong way in large part due to a rigid fundamentalist upbringing. He makes terrible mistakes and pays the ultimate price. An American Tragedy is the dark side of the American Dream.

Tobias Picker - Photo by Harry Heleotis

Tobias Picker – Photo by Harry Heleotis

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21
Jul

This week: concerts in New York (July 21 – July 27, 2014)

The Knights

The Knights

The Knights perform music by Gyorgy Ligeti, Bela Bartok, Sufjan Stevens, Ljova, and Igor Stravinsky.
Tuesday, July 22 at 7:30 PM
Free
Historic Naumburg Bandshell, Concert Ground, Central Park, New York, NY
..:: Website

SoSI in NYC

So Percussion (photo credit: Janette Beckman)

So Percussion (photo credit: Janette Beckman)

So Percussion with guests Matmos, Kid Millions, and Brian Chase.
Wednesday, July 23 at 6:30 PM
Tickets $12
Silent Barn, 603 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
..:: Website

Hitomi Honda, piano

Program to include J.S. Bach English Suite No.3 in G minor (BWV 808), as well as some works by living composers, including a piece by Brian Erickson.
Wednesday, July 23 at 7 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

Cliff Kerr: American Debut

Pianist/composer Cliff Kerr makes his American debut.
Wednesday, July 23 at 8:30 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

Gold Bolus Recordings release party

Gold Bolus Recordings throws a release party with performances by the artists that will cover avant-opera, geographically generated vocal minimalism, chamber pop, immense drones with oboes, and more.
Saturday, July 26 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $10
JACK, 505 1/2 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY
..:: Website

She, After

Daniel Felsenfeld

Daniel Felsenfeld

Daniel Felsenfeld’s opera, She, After follows two famous literary characters: Nora from Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play, “A Doll’s House,” and Alice from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Only, these operas start where the traditional stories – the ones we’re familiar with – end. Nora has just left her husband, and Alice has grown old and is trapped in Wonderland. What will happen next? What will become of these women, after?
Saturday, July 26 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $25, $20 students/seniors
Scholes Street Studio, 375 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY
..:: Website
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16
Jul

5 questions to The Westerlies (New Music Brass Quartet)

Following the release of their debut album “Wish The Children Would Come On Home”, The Westerlies made their way back to the west coast from New York for the summer, and celebrated Canada Day with a performance at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. We asked 5 questions to The Westerlies.

The Westerlies

The Westerlies

How has geography influenced your music and your musical approach?

The four of us grew up in Seattle which is a very laid back, nature-oriented place. This has certainly shaped us as individuals, and in turn our music reflects the environment in an organic way. On the other hand, we all moved to New York to study music and it is a really intense city - super busy, super exciting, but chaotic. New York is essentially the opposite of Seattle, so our music comes from and is informed by these polar extremes of our living experience.

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14
Jul

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

SyndaKit | Elliott Sharp

SyndaKit is an algorithmic composition, an instruction set for a self-organizing system based on bird flocking, the way RNA molecules combine and reproduce, the lateral transmission of data  in African drum choirs, and the computer game “cellular automata” also known as “artificial life.”  SyndaKit creates organisms that groove in unison, that need to mutate and transform, that become static and decay.
Wednesday, July 16 at 7 PM and 9 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

Stephane Ginsburgh, piano + Kurt Ralske, video

Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman

The music of Morton Feldman.
Thursday, July 17 at 7 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

Jessica Meyer, violist & composer

Spectrum presents a preview of Jessica Meyer’s solo show entitled “Sounds of Being”: a surround-sound sensory experience where the music allows the listener to access a certain series of feelings framed by personal stories and anecdotes.
Thursday, July 17 at 9:30 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

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10
Jul

HK Gruber’s Appealing “Gloria — A Pig Tale” Opens NY Phil Biennial

ny-phil-biennial-logoOn Thursday, May 29, 2014, Alan Gilbert, the young and enterprising maestro of the New York Philharmonic, introduced New York City to the first ever NY Phil Biennial. Modeled after an established tradition typically associated with the world of visual art, the Philharmonic’s effort similarly celebrated contemporary works and their composers in various venues around the city. This connection to the art world made it all the more fitting, therefore, that the kick-off event in this new endeavor occurred deep inside the hallowed halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on the stage of the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. The chosen repertoire was Austrian composer HK Gruber’s slapstick, barnyard opera, ‘Gloria — A Pig Tale,’ which uniquely brought together forces comprised of the Juilliard School’s Axiom ensemble (conducted by Gilbert) and visionary production company Giants Are Small, led by director Doug Fitch. To further compliment the first ever NY Phil Biennial, this production was also the first time such a colorful and elaborately staged production was attempted within the lecture hall setting of the Grace Rainey Rogers, a venue that continues to garner attention for progressive and innovative programming under the leadership of Concerts and Lectures General Manager Limor Tomer.

 HK Gruber's Gloria – A Pig Tale, led by Alan Gilbert at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Photo by Chris Lee)

HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pig Tale, led by Alan Gilbert at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Photo by Chris Lee)

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