Posted by Arlene & Larry Dunn » Add Comment »
Scott J. Hunter is a modern renaissance man. Raised in a musical family, he majored in science in college, but continued avidly singing contemporary repertoire. A pediatric neuropsychologist in clinical practice and on the faculty at the University of Chicago, he is also an energetic advocate of the contemporary music and art scenes in Chicago. He serves on the board of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and as VP and Chair of Programming for the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Scott has an enviable art collection of diverse works. Many reflect “being on the outside,” related to gender, race, and status. He debuts his first curated gallery exhibition PSYCHOSEXUAL: An exploration of the abstracted gesture at the Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago, April 6 – May 25, 2013.
Your exhibit focuses on “gesture” in art; how does “gesture” tie visual and musical art together?
The gesture in visual art and music is quite captivating. In art, this is an action or response across mediums which reflects the artist’s emotional or psychological state. The gesture may be something small–a simple direct brushstroke–that is both evocative and referential. It may be the broader actions taken by the sculptor where each touch, each fingerprint, serves to unleash a response.
Similarly, the gesture is a referential element in music. When the composer identifies, and records on the score, a tonal relationship or set of phrases that evoke a mood or idea, he or she is offering a gesture that is then considered and interpreted by the performers. A wonderful example of this is Marcos Balter’s Descent from Parnassus, composed for flutist Claire Chase. Inspired by Cy Twombly’s work of the same name, it interweaves vocal and tonal gestures, evoking a progression across time and space. Moments within the piece radiate emotion–sadness, anger, fear–much as each gesture in Twombly’s painting guides the viewer down a multilayered path.
Scott Hunter (right) and Andrew Rafacz with Tom Burr’s “his personal effects (white, six)”, 2012 (courtesy of the artist and Bortolami Gallery, NY)
Posted by Daniel Kushner » 1 Comment »
Nadia Sirota may very well become known as the most important violist of her generation.
With elite technical prowess and a hyper-attentive ear for the composer’s intent, her musical presence can be regularly heard in new music ensembles such as ACME and yMusic, and in collaboration with numerous bands. Her passionate advocacy of contemporary classical music has extended to her award-winning WQXR radio show “Nadia Sirota on Q2.” Perhaps most significant of all is the growing body of work for solo viola that Sirota has commissioned from composers.
Nadia Sirota – Photo by Samantha West
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Posted by Matt Mendez » Add Comment »
Can gnarly, upmarket mid-century modernism really make nice with the populist mores of the “alt-classical” trend? What can the Williamsburg School hipsters possibly have in common with an older generation of bespectacled composition professors, whose creative paradigm they’ve seemingly rendered obsolete? Has any sense of stylistic continuity actually been preserved in American composition over the last seventy-five years, or did early minimalism — no matter the constant assertions that style no longer matters and that the Downtown/Uptown binary “is so eighties” — truly represent an irrevocable breach, separating “academic” serialism and vernacular-inspired neo-romanticism by an unbridgeable chasm? These were just some of the riddles posed by an utterly fascinating, one-of-a-kind song recital given on February 16 at the Lower East Side’s Spectrum by tenor Charles Blandy and pianist-composer Rodney Lister, where rarely-heard cycles by Virgil Thomson, Arthur Berger, and Lister himself were juxtaposed with a welcome array of newer cultivars by Stephen Feigenbaum, Jefferson Friedman, David T. Little, Nico Muhly, and Randall Woolf.
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Posted by Sam Reising » Add Comment »
Interval 6.2 | Solos, Duos, & Trios: Alex Mincek Curates
The Wet Ink ensemble will present an evening of works for solo, duo and trio combinations by Simon Steen-Andersen, Ben Hackbarth, Sam Pluta, and Ted Hearne.
Monday, March 4 at 7:30 PM
New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, New York, New York 10011
Dissonant Abstraction | Arnold Schoenberg and Morton Feldman
In conjunction with the MoMA exhibition Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925, Bang on a Can presents a pair of concerts that reveal how pioneering European composers of 100 years ago forever changed the music in New York. Each concert pairs two composers—an early-20th-century innovator, and a New Yorker they influenced. The music is performed by alumni and faculty of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, a program dedicated entirely to the creation, study, and performance of the most adventurous music of our time. This second evening in the series features one of Arnold Schoenberg’s shortest, oddest, most intense pieces, Herzgewächse, a shockingly expressive vocal miniature originally written for Vasily Kandinsky’s journal The Blue Rider. Morton Feldman’s meditative work Three Voices, for solo voice and two prerecorded solo voices, a luxurious, introspective setting of a poem by Frank O’Hara, has a much slower tempo than the Schoenberg piece, but is ultimately no less intense.
Monday, March 4 at 6 PM
Tickets $10; $8 members and corporate members; $5 students, seniors and staff of other museums
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY
coLABoratory: Playing It UNsafe (Workshop IV) | American Composers Orchestra
coLABoratory: Playing It UNsafe is the first and only professional research and development lab to support the creation of cutting-edge new American orchestral music through no-holds-barred experimentation, encouraging composers to do anything but play it safe.The composers participating in coLABoratory this season are Du Yun, Troy Herion, Raymond J. Lustig, Judith Sainte Croix, and Dan Visconti. This concert marks the fourth workshop of the series.
Tuesday, March 5 at 10 AM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing, NY
Ashley Bathgate & Bonjour
Ashley Bathgate and Bonjour perform at Spectrum. Ashley Bathgate performs music by Jacob Cooper, Yoav Shemesh, Peteris Vasks, Steve Reich, and Evan Ziporyn. Bonjour performs the music of Florent Ghys.
Wednesday, March 6 at 7:30 PM
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow street, 2nd floor, New York, NY
Amphibian presents the NY premiere of Augusta Thomas’ Sun Songs
Amphibian presents the New York premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’ Sun Songs: Three Micro-Operas based on texts of Emily Dickinson featuring soprano Cyndie Berthézène and the Temple University Percussion Ensemble with video by John Gurrin. This concert also features the world premiere of Matthew Greenbaum’s surreal, ecstatic Headshot for video animation and electronic sound along with the New York premiere of Andrew Taylor’s On Coming Out and a piece by James Tenney. Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid’s short film, Meshes of the Afternoon, will be screened
Thursday, March 7 at 8 PM
Tickets $15, $10 Students & Seniors
The Hi Art! Gallery, 227 West 29th Street, New York, NY
loadbang presents ‘Threshold’ at the DiMenna Center
loadbang will be presenting ‘Threshold,’ a concert featuring world premieres by composers Helmut Oehring, Martin Iddon, David Smooke, David Brynjar Franzson, and music of Scott Worthington. This program explores the concept of the ‘Threshold’ in multifarious ways: sound on the brink of silence, pitch on the brink of noise, and pitches falling between cracks of tonality.
Friday, March 8 at 8 PM
Tickets $15 general, $10 students/seniors
The DiMenna Center – Cary Hall, 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY
Claire Chase, the Brooklyn-based flutist and 2012 MacArthur Fellow, offers a rare solo recital spanning more than a half century of innovations in the repertoire for solo flute, from Berio’s 1951 virtuoso masterpiece and Brecht’s 1962 fluxus “flute solo” consisting of a single action, to her new recording of the ten tape tracks heard on Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint, to the premieres of three stunning new works she has commissioned recently by emerging composers Mario Diaz de Leon, Marcos Balter, and Evan Johnson. In between selections, Chase offers seven different interpretations of Pauline Oliveros’ 2008 game-piece “A Fluting Moment,” creating a seamless 70-minute tour de force solo performance.
Friday, March 8 at 8 PM
Tickets $15, members/students/seniors $10
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
A Century of New York Psalms, featuring Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms
Three new works commissioned by the Manhattan Choral Ensemble from James Bassi, Christian Carey, and Martha Sullivan will be premiered alongside illustrations by New York artist Brett Helquist (best known for the children’s books A Series of Unfortunate Events), bringing to life these ancient poems in one of New York’s most beautiful churches. Following music by John Corigliano, Virgil Thomson, and Bobby McFerrin, the program will conclude with Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.
Saturday, March 9 at 8PM
Tickets $35 Premium Reserved / $25 General / $15 Senior/Student
The Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 East 88th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues New York City
Liaisons II: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano
Anthony de Mare
Returning for the second round of Sondheim-inspired piano works based on some of the master’s greatest songs, pianist Anthony De Mare presents music by leading composers from the musical theater, film, popular music and the concert world including, among others, Adam Guettel, Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, Phil Kline, Frederic Rzewski, and Jason Robert Brown. The evening will include an on-stage discussion with Stephen Sondheim led by Mark Eden Horowitz, author of the critically acclaimed Sondheim on Music.
Saturday, March 9 at 7 PM
Tickets $55; Members $47; Under 30 $15
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway New York, NY
Posted by Andrew Lee » 2 Comments »
This is a review that I hadn’t intended to write. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Bruce Brubaker perform live a few times before. When he emailed me that he was coming to Denver for a January 22, 2013 concert at the Newman Center and had a comp ticket waiting for me, I had planned on simply enjoying the evening. I wasn’t worried about a review because I wasn’t sure what I might add to the vast amount of ink and pixels from the finest sources that have already been devoted this artist. And yet, within the first minute of his program, I was already mentally writing this review. If this review is worthwhile, it might be because it is from the perspective of a pianist who has also devoted himself to similar repertoire. But really, this performance was about seeing a fantastic artist completely in his element, and regardless of the medium, that should be enough for you to know that it was an incredible evening.
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