10/16: Cygnus at the Italian Academy

Giacomo Manzoni

Giacomo Manzoni

On Wednesday evening at 7 PM, the Cygnus Ensemble presents Modernism Through a Northern Italian Lens, a free concert at the Italian Academy at Columbia University featuring premieres by five contemporary composers: Giacomo Manzoni, Peyman Farzinpour, Daniele Venturi, John McLachlan, and Martin Boykan. The evening also features works by Dina Koston and Robert Martin as well as Columbia composers Fred Lerdahl and Georg Friedrich Haas. A co-production of the Italian Academy and League of Composers/ISCM, the event features a post-concert reception in the venue’s beautiful library.

12/10 Premiere at Connecticut College

Monday, December 10
Percussion and New Music Concert.
Peter Jarvis, director
7:00 pm Evans Hall
Tickets $5; Students & Seniors $3, free to CC Students, Staff & Faculty

Program includes works by Elliott Carter, John Cage, David Saperstein, Gene Pritsker, and James Romig.

Program Note: Fuller Brush Music - Christian Carey

Fuller Brush Music for drum set is an etude for playing with brushes and for playing in a prevailingly soft dynamic range. The performer employs various brushes and dampening techniques to balance the kit for this more delicate sound world. Commissioned by Calabrese Brothers Music, it is dedicated to Peter Jarvis.

Composed 2010 in South Amboy, NJ and New York, NY.

 - Christian Carey

Saturday: Tallis Scholars at St. Mary’s (Concerts)

Tonight I’m covering the Tallis Scholars, who are performing “Masterpieces for Double Choir” at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin as part of Miller Theatre’s early music series. Selections include works by Lassus, Vivanco, Arvo Pärt (I’m interested to hear the Tallis Scholars sing this composer’s work!), and Praetorius. Below here a sample of their rendition of the latter’s “In Dulci Jubilo.”


Event Details
Saturday, December 1, 2012
8:00 PM
Church of St. Mary the Virgin (145 W. 46th Street)

To order tickets online: click here

11/14 Spektral Quartet’s Auditory Scenario

This Wednesday: Spektral Quartet plays Elliott Carter’s Second String Quartet in Chicago. And they aren’t just playing … they’re acting it out!

the Spektral Quartet

An Auditory Scenario for the performers to act out with their instruments

Wednesday, Nov 14th, 2012


National Pastime Theatre
941 W Lawrence Ave, 4th floor
Chicago, IL

$15 advance online here
$20 at the door
$10 students with valid ID


Tomorrow at Rutgers: Quintet (Concert announcement)

Nicholas Music Center

The last time my Quintet (1998) was performed was in 2005 by the New Jersey Arts Collective. Tomorrow, Rutgers University Professor Paul Hoffman, director of RU’s Helix! New Music Ensemble, will revive the piece.

This past Wednesday, I had a chance to hear the group rehearse: they are a crack unit of burgeoning new music talent. Most of the program celebrates the work of John Cage. Excited to hear them on Sunday afternoon. If you are in the area and have sufficiently battened the hatches for “Frankenstorm,” consider joining us at 2PM at Nicholas Music Center in New Brunswick, NJ.

(Here is an article, written by Carlton Wilkinson,  previewing the concert for the Asbury Park Press).

Program Note: 
“Quintet for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and vibraphone was composed in 1997 and 1998. It was the first piece I completed while studying with Charles Wuorinen in the doctoral program at Rutgers University. It was also the first of several works I composed that was inspired by visual artworks from the Abstract Expressionist movement. Quintet was premiered by New York New Music Ensemble at June in Buffalo in 1998 and received subsequent performances by Ionisation and Helix!”
-Christian Carey

Friday: Annie Gosfield at Moving Sounds Festival

From tonight until Saturday, the Austrian Cultural Forum sponsored Moving Sounds Festival takes place. Thursday saw the Mivos Quartet perform new works by Carl Bettendorf and Reiko Füting while Christian Meyer and Franz Hackl gave a lecture recital entitled “Schoenberg and the notion of Avant-garde.”

On Friday, composer Annie Gosfield appears in a portrait concert at the Czech Center as part of Moving sounds. It includes the premiere of “Phantom Shakedown”. The piece for piano accompanied by a broken shortwave radio, a cement mixer, and tube noise. It’s one of the pieces on Gosfield’s latest CD, the just released Almost Truths and Open Deceptions (Tzadik). Dynamic and captivating, both the concert and  CD embrace amplified industrial music and distressed chamber works, in a concoction that balances sonic seduction with formidable avant gauntlets.

Annie Gosfield in concert
September 14 and 9 PM
Bohemian National Hall at the Czech Center
321 E. 73rd St.
New York, NY 10021

For more Moving Sounds events on Friday and Saturday, check out the festival’s website here.

Thursday at Tanglewood

Picnicking - Tanglewood style!

August 9, 2012

LENOX, MA – Enjoyed the first evening of Tanglewood’s 2012 Festival of Contemporary Music. Got to hear Sean Shepherd’s “These Particular Circumstances,” for which I wrote the program notes, again, which was quite fine. Also Elliott Carter’s Double Trio, which has its moments, but is not one of my favorites from his late catalog. Still, if I can still write quarter notes when I’m over a hundred years old, I’ll count myself blessed; so I shouldn’t quibble too much.

Cantus Iambeus by Harrison Birtwistle, another one of his pieces dealing with imperfect synchronizations, was the standout of the evening, both in terms of the performance and the material. Nice orchestrations – some imaginative colors – in a set of songs for soprano and chamber forces from Luke Bedford.

Niccolo Castiglioni is known for writing almost exclusively above middle C. True to form, his “Quickly” is oriented toward altissimo registers and deconstructed sections, most for fragments of the orchestra. Given its propensity for piccolo solos and bristling bell work, it occasionally felt a bit like a dystopian Bolero designed to set hound dogs baying.

Friday’s itinerary includes a piano recital by Gloria Cheng, for which I wrote program notes, followed by an evening in Williamstown for dinner and a play. Lovely to be back in the Berkshires.

TMC Fellows perform Shepherd. Photo: Hilary Scott.