Posts Tagged “contemporary music”

Jimmy Page power chords meet Yom Kippur prayers in All Vows, cellist Maya Beiser’s convention-flouting survey of her eclectic musical personality.

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Featuring 10 hours of rare performances by some of the most innovative musicians of our time with some of today’s most pioneering young artists.

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Q2 Music presents The Bang on a Can All-Stars’ Field Recordings release concert, featuring a complete album performance with several of the composers.

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ACO’s 24th Annual Underwood New Music Readings are open to the public free of charge, giving audiences a chance to look behind the scenes at the process involved in bringing brand new, stylistically diverse orchestral music to life. The first day of Readings, a working rehearsal, will be presented from 10am to 1pm on Wednesday, May 6; the second day of Readings will take place on Thursday evening, May 7, at 7:30pm, during which all selected pieces will be polished and performed in their entirety. ACO’s Artistic Director Derek Bermel directs the readings; George Manahan conducts. Mentor-composers are Gabriela Lena Frank and Kevin Puts. Free and open to the public. RSVP recommended.

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Annual Gala Concert, featuring Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major, Robert Sirota’s A Sinner’s Diary & Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence.

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Concerts on the Slope presents the world premiere of Composer-in-Residence Robert Sirota’s Spindrift. Sandbox Percussion, the visually and aurally stunning percussion quartet that commissioned Spindrift, will be performing the piece, as well as works by ensemble members Jonathan Allen and Victor Caccesse, plus works by David Crowell, Thomas Kotcheff, Natalie Dieterrich, Jason Treuting, and Lukas Ligeti. Concerts on the Slope performances are open to the public and no tickets are required; a free will donation is suggested. Sandbox Percussion is Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum, and Terry Sweeney.

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The Music of the Spheres Society welcomes back the acclaimed pianist Sara Davis Buechner for a program of music by and associated with famed violinist Efrem Zimbalist and his son, actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.Sara Davis BuechnerThe concert will take place at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church near Lincoln Center. The Society’s artistic director, violinist Stephanie Chase, is also featured. The esteemed musical instrument expert Stewart Pollens will give a pre-concert talk at 7:30 PM, included in concert admission, on “The Violin and Bad Science.”

Efrem Zimbalist (1890-1985) was among the premiere violinists of the early 20th century. At 12 he became a student of the world renowned teacher Leopold Auer, and made successful debuts with major orchestras – including the Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony – before his early 20’s. His first wife was a world-famous soprano, Alma Gluck, with whom he made a number of recordings.  An avid music arranger, Zimbalist added violin parts to a number of songs and was a champion of “early” music, often using his own arrangements of works in his recitals, in addition to composing original music for violin and piano.  In 1928 he began teaching violin at the esteemed Curtis Institute and was its director between 1941 and 1968.

Although remembered today for his acting roles, especially in television’s “77 Sunset Strip” and “The F.B.I.,” his son Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (1918-2014) also studied music seriously as a youth. He had already encountered success as an actor and producer on Broadway when the death of his first wife , from cancer at only 30, led him to retreat from acting. His father was then director of the Curtis Institute and encouraged Efrem Jr. to join him at Curtis in Philadelphia, where for a few years Efrem Jr. took on duties that at one point included Dean of Students. It was during this period of recovery that he composed his violin sonata – a work that his father featured on his own retirement recital in 1964.

This concert features rarely heard music either composed or arranged by both Efrems – including the virtuosic Fantasy on music by Rimsky-Korsakov – plus a favorite concert work for Efrem Sr., the Violin Sonata in D Minor by Johannes Brahms.

Selections from “Impressions for Piano” – Efrem Zimbalist, Sr.
Sonata for Violin and Piano – Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Fantasy from “Le Coq d’Or” – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Sonata No. 3, Op. 108 – Johannes Brahms

DATE: Friday, March 20, 2015; 8:15 PM
Christ & St. Stephen’s Church
120 West 69th Street, New York City
ADMISSION: $30, students and seniors: $20.  Advance tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets,

Sara Davis Buechner is praised on four continents as a musician of “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess” (New York Times) and “thoughtful artistry in the full service of music” (Washington Post). Ms. Buechner has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s prominent orchestras – including New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Saint Louis, San Francisco, and Montréal – and enjoys wide success throughout Asia, where she tours annually.

“One of the violin greats of our era” (Newhouse News), Stephanie Chase enjoys an international career with concert performances in twenty-five countries. As soloist, Ms. Chase has appeared with over 170 orchestras worldwide, among them the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, American Classical Orchestra, National Symphony (Mexico), Hanover Band, San Francisco Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Stewart Pollens

“The Violin and Bad Science” by Stewart Pollens

In recent years, scientists have attempted to discover the “secrets” of Stradivari and other important musical instruments makers. In a number of studies, faulty scientific methods and dubious experimental techniques have been employed; in others, legitimate double-blind evaluations of tonal qualities, acoustical measurements and dendrochronology have yielded results that have been misrepresented or fancifully interpreted.

Stewart Pollens is the former conservator of musical instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1974-2006) and the author of books including “The Early Pianoforte,” “Stradivari,” and the forthcoming “The Manual of Musical Instrument Conservation,” all published by Cambridge University Press.

The Music of the Spheres Society is now in its 14th year of “exploring the links between music, philosophy and the sciences” (New Yorker). Inspired by the Neo-Platonic academies of 16th and 17th-century Italy, which combined discourse with musical presentations, it was co-founded by Artistic Director Stephanie Chase with the mission of promoting classical music through innovative chamber music concerts and pre-concert lectures which illuminate music’s historical, philosophical and scientific foundations, in order to give greater context for music to the average audience member.  For more information about the Society, visit

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Promo graphic for Symphony Number One

Symphony Number One: Façade

BALTIMORE, MD  —  Symphony Number One will make their concert debut at Carriage House Baltimore on March 7 & 8, 2015 with the world premiere of Trope by James Chu. Led by conductor Jordan Randall Smith, the program will also feature William Walton’s Façade for chamber orchestra and reciter. Symphony Number One is a unique addition to Baltimore’s contemporary music scene. The group will oversee the commission, performance, and promotion of substantial works by emerging composers and program them alongside carefully selected works of the classical canon.


Façade is a set of “Entertainments” or short musical numbers written between 1926 and 1938 by English composer Sir William Walton (1902-1983). Walton sets nonsense poetry by Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964). Soprano Laura Whittenberger, will recite Edith Sitwell’s whimsical verses and Catarina Farreira will perform Walton’s dauntingly virtuosic solo cello part. Façade is scored for flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, percussion, cello, and reciter.

In the program’s featured World Premiere, tentatively titled Trope, James Chu augments the Walton chamber ensemble with a violin to round out the instrumental/vocal octet. This new work is Chu’s artistic response to Façade and builds on his previous theatrical work at Princeton University and at the Peabody Conservatory. This marks the second collaboration between Chu and Whittenberger; Smith previously conducted Whittenberger in the Peabody Opera Theater‘s 2013 production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites.

Production Details:

Saturday, March 7 at 8pm   Facebook | Google

Sunday, March 8 at 3pm     Facebook | Google

Carriage House Baltimore

2225 Hargrove Street (alley between N. Calvert and St. Paul) Baltimore, MD 21218

Admission is $0-15 (pay what you want) at

VIP admission by contributing to the orchestra’s crowdfunding campaign at Kickstarter.



May 8 & 9, 2015: Symphony Number One presents MOZART IN THE [urban] JUNGLE, featuring harpist Jordan Thomas and flutist Raoul Cho. The duo will be joining the orchestra for Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp. The program will open with Anton Webern’s one and only Read the rest of this entry »

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Music of the Americas is thrilled to present São Paulo-based new music group Camerata Aberta for the third time in concert at Americas Society featuring new pieces by Brazilian composers. Their debut album Espelho D’Água (Reflecting Pool, SESC, 2012) won “Prêmio Bravo!” in the Best Classical Music CD category.

Cassia Carrascoza flute            
Luis Afonso Montanha clarinet
Martin Tuksa violin
Dimos Goudaroulis cello
Lidia Bazarian piano
Sérgio Kafejian artistic director
Walter Gentil production director

About the ensemble

Made up of sixteen professors from the Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo – Tom Jobim, Camerata Aberta is dedicated to twentieth- and twenty-first-century repertoire. They are committed to not only Brazilian contemporary music but also the perpetuation of newly composed works and the performance of standard contemporary repertoire. The ensemble has performed in major concert halls throughout the world, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Sala Cecilia Meireles (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and the Campos do Jordao Festival. In 2010, they were awarded the APCA prize for excellence in contemporary music.

Admission: FREE for Americas Society Members; $20 for non-members. No additional fees will be charged when purchasing online. $10 student tickets will be available for purchase at the door with ID on the night of the performance.

For more information, visit the event webpage:

Image Courtesy of Heloísa Bortz

Image Courtesy of Heloísa Bortz

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On Friday, August 8, 2014, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) will present Cuatro Corridos, a chamber opera addressing one of the most critical human rights issues of our time: human trafficking. Based on true events, the one-hour production tells the stories of women trapped in a cycle of prostitution and slavery in and around the San Diego/Tijuana border region and represents an unprecedented collaboration between internationally acclaimed Mexican and US-based creative artists.

The benefit event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at The Colburn School’s Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Ticket price for the benefit is $100 and includes general admission to the performance and to the post performance reception.  $75 of the ticket price is a tax-deductible contribution to LAFLA and will help support its services to victims of human trafficking who are forced to work in the sex trade, sweatshops, fields and even private homes under exploitative and abusive conditions and for meager or non-existent wages.

Celebrating its 85th anniversary as Los Angeles’ frontline law firm for poor and low-income people and communities, LAFLA’s services include a range of specialized legal services to aid and empower human trafficking victims to escape exploitation and pursue their legal rights. LAFLA’s Executive Director Silvia R. Argueta says of the event, “We feel that Cuatro Corridos is a beautiful, engaging, and innovative way for LAFLA to draw attention to this critical issue and rally support to help fight against this form of modern-day slavery and a humanitarian crisis that affects those most vulnerable among us.”

Led by Grammy Award winning soprano Susan Narucki and noted Mexican author Jorge Volpi, Cuatro Corridos features original music by composers Hilda Paredes, Arlene Sierra, Lei Liang and Hebert Vázquez. Three distinguished performers of new music, percussionist Ayano Kataoka, pianist Aleck Karis, and guitarist Pablo Gomez, accompany Narucki in sharing the compelling stories of four women whose lives are scarred by human trafficking.

Cuatro Corridos had its first performance at the Conrad Prebys Music Center at the University of California, San Diego in May, 2013, with subsequent performances in Tijuana, Dallas, and Albuquerque. The innovative project seeks to heighten public awareness about human trafficking by offering public forums in conjunction with performances. Cuatro Corridos has been the recipient of support from the MAP Fund for the Performing Arts/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, UC MEXUS, and most recently, by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets are available through

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