Posts Tagged “contemporary”

Free and open to the public
Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 7:30pm

Miller Theatre at Columbia University
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street)
New York, NY 10027


Music Director George Manahan leads the American Composers Orchestra in new works by seven composers from the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute: Jonathan Finlayson (b. 1982), Brian Friedland (b. 1982), Ethan Helm (b. 1990), Guy Mintus (b. 1991), Ben Morris (b. 1993), John La Barbera (b. 1945), and Dawn Norfleet.

Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) is a new development in the jazz field, and a natural outgrowth of the orchestra’s long-running interest in creative and improvised music. JCOI is led by ACO in partnership with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in Los Angeles and the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University in New York.

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Free and open to the public
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 7:30pm

Miller Theatre at Columbia University
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street)
New York, NY 10027


ACO’s 25th Annual Underwood New Music Readings (open to the public free of charge) is a chance to witness the process involved in bringing brand new, stylistically diverse orchestral music to life. This year, Music Director George Manahan conducts works by Katherine Balch (b. 1991), Lembit Beecher (b. 1980), Paul Frucht (b. 1989), Sarah Gibson (b. 1986), Joel Rust (b. 1989), Carlos Simon (b. 1986), and Michael Small (b. 1988) – representing a broad spectrum of musical backgrounds and sound worlds. One composer will be selected to receive a $15,000 commission for a new piece to be performed by ACO during an upcoming season.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 3–4pm
The Noguchi Museum
3338 10th St
Queens, NY 11106
Free with museum admission ($5-10)

Theo Bleckmann

For the sixth year in a row, The Noguchi Museum partners with Bang on a Can to present an innovative performance series held in the Museum’s outdoor sculpture garden. (In case of rain, concerts will take place in the galleries.) Performances are free with Museum admission, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Opening this summer’s series of concerts, jazz singer and composer Theo Bleckmann makes music that is accessibly sophisticated, unsentimentally emotional, and seriously playful. His work has been described as “from another planet” (The New York Times), “magical, futuristic” (AllAboutJazz), “transcendent” (Village Voice), and “brilliant” (New York Magazine). The program will include Bleckmann as a vocalist in his own songs for voice, toys, electronic processing, and piano.

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Sarah Cahill, pianist: Photo by Marianne La Rochelle

Pianist Sarah Cahill. Photo by Marianne La Rochelle



February 24–28, 2016

Noguchi Museum | 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard)
Long Island City, NY

For one week in February, the chill and grey skies of winter will dissipate for visitors to the Noguchi Museum’s ground-floor galleries, where internationally celebrated pianist Sarah Cahill will take up residence, performing Mamoru Fujieda’s stunning cycle of short pieces titled Patterns of Plants throughout the Museum’s opening hours.

Patterns of Plants represents an extraordinary fusion of nature and technology. To create the piece, Fujieda measured the electrical impulses on the leaves of plants, and converted the data he obtained into sound. He then identified musical patterns within the sound, and used them as the basis for these miniatures.

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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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TOKYO TO NEW YORK       東京  と  ニューヨーク

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2015  –  2015年10月18日(日曜日)


 Premiers and New Music by Tokyo- and NYC-based Composers

Clarinetist and hichiriki player Thomas Piercy is joined in concert by pianists Taka Kigawa and Judith Olson, koto player Jun Ando and sho player Chatori Shimizu.


The October 18th “Tokyo to New York” concert features six world premiers and six United States premiers composed for critically acclaimed clarinetist and hichiriki player Thomas Piercy by Tokyo- and NYC-based composers. Mr. Piercy will be joined in the concert by two of NYC’s leading proponents of new music, pianists Taka Kigawa and Judith Olson. Also joining Piercy in the concert are sho player Chatori Shimizu and koto player Jun Ando.


The music – in a wide variety of styles – features premiers by Fernando Otero (Latin Grammy Award), Gilbert Galindo (Meet the Composer Van Lier Fellow), David Del Tredici (Pulitzer Prize), Ian Ng (ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award), Lyudmilla German, and Chatori Shimizu (Arima Prize).  United States premiers by Tokyo composers Jun Nagao (Takemitsu Award) and Ippo Tsuboi, and NYC composers Dana Richardson, Michael Rose, Richard Rosenfeld, and Russell Wimbish; other works by Masatora Goya, William Mayer, and Ned Rorem (Pulitzer Prize).



Sunday  |  October 18, 2015  |  4pm

Tenri Cultural Institute

43 W. 13th St., NY, NY  10011

Tickets: $25 ($15 Students/Seniors)

Reservations: | 212-645-2800

Co-Presented with Arts at Tenri.


“Piercy’s Richly Diverse Program of Japanese and American Music…a fascinatingly eclectic, virtuosic program of new chamber works which contrast Japanese composers’ views of New York with their New York counterparts’ views of Japan. Although most of the works are relatively short,…the ensemble tackled the music’s wide range of demands with verve, insight and sensitivity.” – Lucid Culture Magazine

“Tokyo to New York” – under the direction of Thomas Piercy – celebrates connections between Tokyo and New York City with a series of concerts in Tokyo and NYC. The concerts feature new works composed for Western classical instruments as well as traditional Japanese instruments. They include a wide variety of styles of music, from Japanese avant-garde to American contemporary classical, abstract to minimalism, neo-Romantic to tango nuevo, J-pop to jazz-influenced pieces.

The composers come from all walks of life and experience: from university students to university professors; from self-taught composers to composers with Ph.Ds; from emerging composers to composers that have won such prominent awards as the Takemitsu Prize, Grammy Award, Latin Grammy Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The musicians of “Tokyo to New York” have had the opportunity to work with many of the Japanese and American composers programmed in these concerts.  Since 2012, “Tokyo to New York” has performed over 60 world premiers and numerous Japan and United States Premiers. All works on “Tokyo to New York” concerts are performed in both New York City and Tokyo.

A highlight of an upcoming “Tokyo to New York” concert in Japan (February, 2016) is the world premier of Osamu Kawakami’s Double Concerto for clarinet and piano to be premiered by Piercy and renowned pianist Aki Takahashi.


More information about “Tokyo to New York” can be found at the following sites:


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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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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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Fromm Players at Harvard with ENSEMBLE DAL NIENTE
Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1
8:00 pm
John Knowles Paine Concert Hall, Harvard University campus, Cambridge, MA (GPS: 1 Oxford St)
The natural | The artificial

Carola Bauckholt Vollmond, unter null
Evan Johnson: die bewegung der augen
Erin Gee: Mouthpiece: Segment of the 4th Letter
Rick Burkhardt: Alban
Wolf Edwards: the road from Mutlaa to Basra (1991) (World Premiere)

Marianthi Papalexandri Yarn (US Premiere)
Aaron Einbond: Without Words
Hans Tutschku: Still Air (World Premiere)
Ming Tsao: Mozart Adagio from the Oboe Quartet in F., K.370/368b / The Book of Virtual Transcriptions (US Premiere)
Enno Poppe: Salz

The concerts are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
Free parking in the Broadway garage, corner of Felton and Broadway, opposite Broadway Market in Cambridge.

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Digital Download & 7” Vinyl Release Date: October 15, 2013
Vinyl Available Exclusively at:

VIDEO: The Inspiration Behind Unity & The Unexcelled Mantra

On October 15, 2013, composer Christopher Bono releases two new singles, Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra, performed by The New York Virtuoso Singers led by music director Harold Rosenbaum. These choral works will be available on Bono’s label Our Silent Canvas, distributed digitally by Naxos and released on limited edition 7” vinyl. The recordings were made at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York by Grammy-winning producer Silas Brown.

Visual artist DZO Olivier has created original illustrations for the cover art for Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra recordings, intimately influenced by Bono’s music and the concepts it explores. Videos inspired by these works created by film artists Tobias Stretch (Radiohead, Deftones) and Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir (Sigur Rós) will be released on November 5, 2013.

Bono describes Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra as contemplating the search for a modern form of spirituality. He says, “Both works explore a path to transcendence or ‘true being’ through union with the cosmos – The Unexcelled Mantra from a Mahayana Buddhist point of view and Unity from the Western philosophical tradition of Plato.”

Unity is a choral piece based on some of the musical and philosophical concepts of Plato’s Republic. The chosen text was taken from a section of the Republic in which Plato discusses the power of mathematics, but Bono immediately saw it could also be viewed as a metaphor for the phenomenon of meditation. He says, “This multi-dimensional observation was a key inspiration for me when writing the work, both considering the mathematical qualities of music and the esoteric concepts of achieving union with the All.” In addition, Bono experimented with the power Plato claimed existed in the Dorian and Phrygian modes. According to Plato, the Dorian would “fittingly imitate the utterances and accents of a brave man who is engaged in warfare,” while the Phrygian was suitable “for a man engaged in works of peace.”

The Unexcelled Mantra is a setting of text from the Heart Sutra, a sacred text in Mahayana Buddhism on understanding Shunyata, or Emptiness, in order to realize Nirvana. The mantra reads “gaté gaté paragaté parasamgaté bodhi svaha,” which can be translated as “Go, go, go beyond, go totally beyond, be rooted in the ground of enlightenment.”

The release of Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra follows Bono’s first classical album, Invocations, a chamber music collection released in fall 2012 and on vinyl in August 2013. The originality and inventiveness of Invocations was noted by composer and writer Frank Oteri in NewMusicBox, who wrote, “While much of 21st-century contemporary composition is not beholden to any rules, to the extent that I could probably claim everyone to be an ‘outsider’ in some ways, Bono’s music sounds as though everything he writes is something he is discovering for the very first time, even if there are clear reference points throughout to the sound worlds of other composers from both our own time and other eras.”

Christopher Bono entered the world of classical music much later than most of his contemporaries. He spent his childhood and teenage years devoted to baseball; in 1999 he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners but an injury kept him from playing. Filling the void left by the end of his athletic endeavors, Bono began playing the guitar when he was 21, and for several years he toured, recorded, and performed in an alternative roots-rock style. In his mid-20s, he made the choice to learn classical composition techniques in order to more fully realize his music. For seven years, in nearly hermetic isolation, he taught himself to read music, and studied composition independently with Juilliard professor Kendall Briggs and at La Scola Cantorum in Paris.

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