Archive for the “Birthdays” Category

This weekend, the Austin New Music Co-op celebrates its 10th year of wild music with two nights of concerts. The programs will function partly as a retrospective on those years, reprising some of their most ambitious and unique projects, like last year’s massive US premiere of Cornelius Cardew’s “The Great Learning” (excerpted now with the Texas Choral Consort). Other group milestones on the program include:

Two of Morton Feldman‘s chamber works “de Kooning” and “The Viola in my Life”
Alvin Lucier‘s “Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas” for vibraphone and sine waves, as well as an installation in the lobby for “unattended percussion” and sine waves.
Excerpts of Earle Brown‘s “Folio” performed by chamber ensemble
Arnold Dreyblatt‘s 2007 “Kinship Collapse” commissioned by NMC

The New Music Co-op is also a cohort of composers, and a selection of their pieces will also appear on the programs:

Brent Fariss‘ “I apologize Julius, for judging you” for amplified chamber ensemble.
Nick Hennies‘ “Second skin with lungs” for snare drums
Keith Manlove‘s “Becoming Machine II” for voice and electronics
Bill Meadows‘ “Loose Atoms” for wacom graphics tablet.
Travis Weller‘s “Toward and away from the point of balance” for violin, viola, cello and custom instrument “the owl”

Here’s to many happy returns.

WHERE/WHEN/HOW:
Friday March 23rd 8pm &
Saturday March 24th 7pm

At the MACC (600 River St, Austin TX)
Advance tickets available now at End of an Ear (http://endofanear.com)
$17 one night / $25 both nights
Student and advance tickets discounted to $15 one night / $20 both nights

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The Avant Music Festival, a 5-night event being held at The Wild Project in NYC between Friday, Feb 10th and Saturday the 18th, promises to be a compelling series of shows of music in the vein of avant-garde. Along with music by living composers Randy Gibson (whom you are about to hear from), Eve Beglarian (Songs From The River and Elsewhere) and Jenny Olivia Johnson (After School Vespers), there is a performance of Schoenberg‘s ground-breaking work Pierrot Lunaire and a 2-part show on Saturday the 11th celebrating the 100th Birthday of John Cage at 4 PM and 8 PM respectively (This concert, by the way, features Vicky Chow performing the great Sonatas and Interludes on prepared piano). Randy, who is one of the curators of the event, spoke briefly about the festival as well as himself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Philip Glass is 75 today. The American Composers Orchestra gives the American premiere of his 9th Symphony at Carnegie Hall tonight.

My interview with Dennis Russell Davies, who is conducting the ACO concert, is up on Musical America’s website (subscribers only).

If you’re looking for a terrific way to celebrate PG’s birthday, Brooklyn Rider’s latest CD on Orange Mountain Music includes Glass’s first five string quartets. The earthiness with which they play the music may surprise you at first, but it provides a persuasive foil for some of the more motoric, “high buffed sheen” toned performances of minimalism that are out there.  In a 2011 video below, they give a performance of a more recent work, a suite of music from the film Bent.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6990pYvaHQk[/youtube]

 

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Elliott Carter (lower left corner) takes a bow after 92nd Street Y’s 103rd Birthday Tribute Concert to Mr. Carter on December 8, 2011, which ended with the world premiere of his A Sunbeam’s Architecture, conducted by Ryan McAdams and performed by tenor Nicholas Phan and chamber orchestra. (Photo: Cory Weaver)

Elliott Carter is 103. The only composer who lived longer: Leo Ornstein. But Ornstein stopped composing at 97: Carter is still going.

On Thursday evening, in a concert at the 92nd Street Y organized by cellist Fred Sherry, seven works written since Carter’s 100th birthday were given their world or US premieres. Astounding.

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Congratulations to:

Kyle Lynch
Ulysses Tone
Everette Minchew
Mark Wilson

Winners, please send me a quick email with your preferred mailing address.

Best,
Christian

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Courtesy of Boosey and Hawkes, Bridge Records, and Naxos Records, we have another special giveaway that will benefit those not able to attend Elliott Carter’s 103rd birthday party on Thursday in New York.

We’re giving away two signed CDs of “Music of Elliott Carter: volume 5” (Bridge 9128), and two of String Quartets Nos. 2, 3 and 4 (featuring the Pacifica Quartet; Naxos 8.559363), along with a signed 8×10 photo to accompany each.

Once again, I’ll be selecting the winners via a random drawing. If you’re interested, send me an email at: S21managingeditor@gmail.com. The contest will be open until noon on Thursday.

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Fred Sherry

Fred, I’m thinking of setting E.E. Cummings for tenor and chamber orchestra… That’s a wonderful idea, it goes along with your other settings of important American poets; which poems will you use?    Perhaps some of the early poems having to do with WWI.

Can you play these multi-stops:  C, G, C#, G#, E  and C, G, E#, D#, B, F#? I’ll try them out when I get home. [Later, on the telephone] Yes, they work.   Good, I’m putting them in my new Double Trio.

I’m working on a String Trio, do you think the viola can hold a high F-sharp for almost two bars?   What is the tempo?    Oh…it is half note = 60. (Knowing it will work, I answer) Let me try it out. Yes, the viola will be able to hold it.    Good, that’s the end of the piece!

Then the idea of the 103rd birthday concert for Elliott Carter came about. Last year, for his 102nd birthday, Charlie Neidich and the Camerata Notturna did a beautiful concert which included the Clarinet Concerto, Wind Rose and the slow movement of Carter’s Symphony No. 1. This year, I thought, let’s do all of Carter’s new music, most of which has not been heard in New York or anywhere. This concert is fated to succeed because of the music, and the people: Carol Archer, Nicholas Phan, Virgil Blackwell, Rolf Schulte, Gordon Gottlieb, and many more.

Elliott will be hearing five of his pieces for the first time. THIS IS GOING TO BE AN INCREDIBLE PARTY!

-Fred Sherry

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Elliott Carter’s 103rd Birthday Concert will be at the 92nd Street Y (Uptown; Kaufman Concert Hall) on December 8 at 8 PM (three days early, but we’ll give ’em that!)

Ticket information can be found here.

Better yet, courtesy of 92nd Street Y and Boosey & Hawkes, Sequenza 21 is offering two pairs of tickets to the concert.

Here’s how to enter: send a short missive about Elliott Carter – your favorite piece, something about his music that interests you, etc. – to my email address: s21managingeditor@gmail.com

I will use a Cageian, rather than Carterian, method of selecting the winners (hint: put names in hat: draw out two).

Contest is open until Sunday at noon. I will announce the winners on Monday morning. Those entries that are particularly eloquent and non-trollish will be published on the site.

Those Carterians outside of New York  or unable to make the show – take heart. We will also be having a second giveaway – signed Carter memorabilia! Check back here later this week for details.

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Nico Muhly. Photo: Samantha West

It’s hard to believe, but one of the primary forces that fostered the “Indie Classical” phenomenon of the aughts is celebrating its tenth birthday. The Brassland imprint, which curates artists such as the National, Clogs, Doveman, and Nico Muhly, is celebrating their anniversary by sharing music: a different free download of a song from their catalog every weekday throughout November.

Thanks to the kind folks at Brassland, below we share a stream of tomorrow’s pick: Nico Muhly’s “Skip Town,” a bonus cut from his Mothertongue CD.

Be sure to visit the label’s “song a day” giveaway site or their Facebook page to collect all the goodies (schedule below).

INTRODUCTION WEEK

Tu 1 Clogs — Lantern
We 2 Buke & Gass — Riposte
Th 3 The National “High Beams”
Demo (unreleased)
Fri 4 Nico Muhly “Skip Town” (iTunes bonus track) Mothertongue
DEEP CUTS WEEK
Mo 7 Baby Dayliner — High Heart & Low Estate
Tu 8 Pela — All in Time EP
We 9 Doveman “.…” > “Sunrise” (medley)
With My Left Hand I Raise
the Dead
Th 10 Erik Friedlander — Maldoror
Fr 11 Devastations — S/T (Devastations)
RARE + UNRELEASED WEEK
Mo 14 Bryce Dessner “Rose of Lincoln”
The Lincoln Shuffle (web
exclusive)
Tu 15 Baby Dayliner “When I Look Into Your Eyes” Demo (unreleased)
We 16 Doveman
“Honey” > “Only Love Can Break
Your Heart” (medley)
Live Session (unreleased)
Th 17 Clogs “Elevenses”
Live Session (unreleased)
Fri 18
Jujulele (Bryce & Aaron
Dessner side project) “Satie” Demo (unreleased)
GREATEST HITS WEEK
Mo 21 The National — S/T (The National)
Tu 22 Baby Dayliner — Critics Pass Away
We 23 Devastations — Coal
Th 24
Clogs (featuring Shara
Worden) —
The Creatures in the
Garden of Lady Walton
Fr 25
Doveman (featuring
Nico Muhly) — The Conformist
NEW BAND WEEK
Mo 28 Jherek Bischoff
“Secret of the Machines”
(Instrumental) TBA
Tu 29 This is the Kit “Spinney”
We 30 People Get Ready “Uncanny”

Nico Muhly: “Skip Town” by Brassland

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Steve Reich in 2011. Photo: Jay Blakesberg

Steve Reich turns 75 today. One of the premiere maestros of minimalism continues to dazzle us with thought-provoking and musically moving creations.

This morning, I introduced some of my undergraduate BA students to Reich, playing excerpts from Piano Phase, Music for 18 Musicians, and Different Trains. Some of them were unfamiliar with his music, but one student piped up,”What about Four Sections? I like that one too!”

If our students, particularly our student musicians, are picking out favorites and learning to perform Reich’s music, that is indeed a promising sign for the future of his works. As a small online musical offering, below are three student performances of Reich. The first is the trailer for Grand Valley State University’s Music for 18 Musicians recording. It was released a couple years ago, but has remained in heavy rotation in these parts! The second is an excerpt of Six Marimbas by students at the University of Kentucky. The third I’ve shared before, but can’t resist posting again: a pianist playing both parts of Piano Phase – at once!

And, just for my morning class, a video of a dance performance of Four Sections.

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Daniel Wolf’s appreciation is better than anything I need to muster, so I’ll just say Happy Birthday Alvin Lucier, wonderful milestone, and thanks for some of the most beautifully pure musical and sonic revelations ever conceived.

Update: While I still don’t have much to add, I will point you to this wonderful discovery… In 1972-3, When (now long & well-established) experimental composer/performer Nicolas Collins was a fresh-faced freshman in college, he took Lucier’s Introduction to Electronic Music class. Good student he was, Collins also took copious notes on what Lucier taught them during those two semesters. Collins has gone ahead and scanned this unedited notebook to PDF files, and he shares it on a special page at his website.  As Collins writes, “I am no Ned Rorem — this notebook does not reflect a particularly interesting life — but I think it provides a rare window into Lucier’s teaching and the musical culture of the day, both of which are very interesting indeed, and — secondarily — it documents my gradual conversion from student to acolyte.

Virtually thumbing through this document is definitely worth any composer’s time.

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