Archive for the “S21 Concert” Category

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ACME: American Contemporary Music Ensemble

The Sequenza21 Concert 

presented by S21 & Manhattan New Music Project


Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 7pm
Joe’s Pub | 425 Lafayette Street | NYC
Tickets: FREE. Reserve tickets & tables at 212.539.8778 or



New York, NY – ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) will perform a free concert at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St., NYC) on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 7pm presented by online contemporary classical community and theManhattan New Music Project. The works to be performed were selected through an open call for scores by ACME artistic director Clarice Jensen, composer and Sequenza21 senior editor Christian Carey, and composer Hayes Biggs.


The concert includes James Stephenson’s Oracle Night (UK); Robert Thomas’ Sixteen Lines (NJ), Jay Batzner’s Slumber Music (MI), Rob Deemer’s Grand Dragon (NY), Sam Nichols’ Refuge (CA), David Smooke’s Requests (MD), Dale Trumbore’s How it Will Go (CA), Laurie San Martin’s Linea Negra (CA), and James Holt’s Nostos Algea (NY). In addition, Christian Carey has contributed an opening work called Wily Overture (the Looney Toons/ACME reference is deliberate) and Hayes Biggs has contributed a closing work.


ACME players for October 25 include Caroline Shaw, violin; Nadia Sirota, viola; Clarice Jensen, cello; Timo Andres, piano; and Jonathan Singer, percussion.


About the Presenters: Sequenza21 contains commentary, reviews, features, a concert calendar, and composers’ forum, and is both a resource and meeting place for performers, composers, and listeners. In 2005, ASCAP awarded Sequenza21 its prestigious Deems Taylor Award.

Manhattan New Music Project (MNMP) seeks to cross traditional musical boundaries and catalyze imaginative projects involving the creation of new work through performances, collaborations and educational activities. Our arts-in-education programs emphasize skills-based, hands-on learning and are custom designed to engage students and educators in the creative process.


About the Composers:


Jay C. Batzner is a composer, sci-fi geek, home brewer, burgeoning seamster, and juggler on the faculty of Central Michigan University, where he teaches music technology and electronic music courses. (


Hayes Biggs, born in Huntsville, Alabama and raised in Helena, Arkansas, has taught at Manhattan School of Music since 1992. This season his Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs, composed for soprano Susan Narucki and pianist Christopher Oldfather, and Three Hymn Tune Preludes, commissioned by organist Gail Archer, will receive their first performances. (


Composer Christian Carey is Senior Editor at Sequenza 21 and an Assistant Professor of Music at Rider UniversityThe New York New Music Ensemble, Cassatt String Quartet, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Locrian Chamber Players, and others have performed his music. He blogs regularly at File Under ? (


Rob Deemer, a composer and conductor, is head of music composition at SUNY Fredonia, a member of the composition faculty at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, and is the composer-in-residence with the Buffalo Chamber Players. He writes frequently about new music for Sequenza21 and NewMusicBox. (


James Holt is a composer, podcaster, and arts administrator. His music has been performed across the country and internationally including recent performances in New York, Boston, St. Paul and San Francisco. Holt is originally from Seattle and now lives and works in New York City.  (


Laurie San Martin’s compositions combine her classically trained background with the sounds of today in music for acoustic chamber ensembles and orchestra. She has also enjoyed writing for video, dance and theater. She is currently working with soprano/actor Haleh Abghari on a theatrical work setting Farrid ud-Din Attar’s Conference of the Birds. (


Sam Nichols is a composer; he teaches composition, music theory, and electronic music at UC Davis. He lives with his wife, the composer Laurie San Martin, and their two daughters in Woodland, CA. (


Composer David Smooke (b. 1969) currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, where he teaches music theory, rock music history and composition, and chairs the department of music theory at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. In addition to his composition activities, Smooke founded and co-curates League of the Unsound Sound (LotUS), performs improvisations on toy piano, and writes a weekly column for NewMusicBox, the online magazine of the American Music Center. (


British composer James Stephenson (b.1981) studied at the University of York (BA, MA) and University of Manchester (PhD Composition, with Philip Grange and John Casken). His compositions have been performed across the UK and Western Europe, but never previously in America. Stephenson is also an active conductor, improviser and educator, and directs contemporary music ensemble Chiasmus. (


Robert E. Thomas teaches music at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. His music has been presented around the country, including performances at the June In Buffalo and MusicX festivals and at the Conductor’s Institute at Bard. (


An active composer on both coasts, Dale Trumbore has won numerous awards for her compositions. The Kronos Quartet premiered her string quartet as part of their residency at the University of Maryland in 2009. Trumbore currently resides in Los Angeles; she recently graduated with her M.M. in Composition from USC. (


About ACME: Led by artistic director and cellist Clarice Jensen, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, primarily the work of American composers. The ensemble aims to present cutting-edge contemporary literature by living composers alongside the “classics” of the contemporary. Known for their work with the Wordless Music Series as well as indie music icons such as Grizzly Bear, ACME’s dedication to cutting-edge contemporary literature extends across genres, and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. Time Out New York calls them “one of New York’s brightest new music indie-bands.” ACME has performed at (Le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tenri Cultural Institute, the Noguchi Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Flea Theater, and Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, among others.


ACME’s instrumentation is flexible, and includes some of New York’s most sought-after, engaging musicians. Current core ACME members include violinists Caleb Burhans, Laura Lutzke, Rob Moose, and Ben Russell, violist Nadia Sirota, cellist and artistic directorClarice Jensen, pianist Timo Andres, and percussionist Chris Thompson.

Since its first New York concert season in 2004, the ensemble has performed works by John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Caleb Burhans, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Jacob Druckman, Jefferson Friedman, Philip Glass, Charles Ives, Donald Martino, Olivier Messiaen, Nico Muhly, Michael Nyman, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Arnold Schoenberg, Ryan Streber, Toru Takemitsu, Kevin Volans, Charles Wuorinen, Iannis Xenakis, Chen Yi, and more.


ACME does not subscribe to one stylistic movement or genre; its concerts present all genres of contemporary music in the same light and with the same conviction. Time Out New York reports, “[Artistic Director Clarice] Jensen has earned a sterling reputation for her fresh, inclusive mix of minimalists, maximalists, eclectics and newcomers.”

ACME has also collaborated with bands and artists including Grizzly Bear (in concert and on their best-selling album, Veckatimest, featuring strings by Nico Muhly); electronica duo Matmos (on The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast, with strings by Jefferson Friedman); Craig Wedren (former frontman of the avant-rock band Shudder To Think); prepared-pianist Hauschka; composers/performers Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter, and Dustin O’Halloran, and Micachu & The Shapes.


Other recent highlights include ACME’s Carnegie Hall debut performing the world premiere of Timo Andres’ Senior with the New York Youth Symphony in Stern Auditorium; opening the TriBeCa New Music Festival at the Flea Theater performing works by young American composers Jefferson Friedman, Caleb Burhans, Ryan Streber and Nico Muhly; and a month-long residency at the Whitney Museum presented by the Wordless Music Series, for which ACME tailored a contemporary classical program to complement the indie-rock or electronica performer sharing the concert.

In addition to a January tour with chart-topping pianist Simone Dinnerstein, 2010 concert highlights included a performance of Gorecki’s String Quartet No. 2 opening for Polish electroacoustic musician Jacaszek; a concert of music by John Luther Adams and Kevin Volans; and a performance of the music of Louis Andriessen, all at (Le) Poisson Rouge. In spring 2011, ACME performed with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Nico Muhly’s new work Tell the Way in February; at The Kitchen during April’s 21c Liederabend produced in collaboration by Beth Morrison Projects, Opera On Tap, and VisionIntoArt; and as part of the MATA Festival in May.


ACME has planned an exciting and ambitious season in 2011-2012. The season opened in September, with performances presented by the Wordless Music Series in Boston at Jordan Hall and at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, opening two sold-out concerts by American rock singer and guitarist Jeff Mangum with performances of Gavin Bryars’ Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet and music by Erik Satie. In October, ACME performs works by American composers John Luther Adams, Jacob Druckman and Alex Freeman in Columbia, South Carolina at the University of South Carolina. In March 2012 presented by Stanford Lively Arts, ACME will give the world premiere of a new work commissioned from Ingram Marshall for ACME with acclaimed male a cappella group Lionheart, paired with Phil Kline’s beloved John the Revelator. That same month, ACME will also perform The Music of Phil Kline with legendary and Grammy-nominated vocalist Theo Bleckmann, an evening of new songs and chamber music composed by Kline as well as selections from past favorites Zippo Songs, John the Revelator, and Fear and Loathing at The Flynn Performing Arts Center in Burlington, VT.

ACME was founded in 2004 by cellist Clarice Jensen, conductor Donato Cabrera, and publicist Christina Jensen. The ensemble is managed exclusively by Bernstein Artists, Inc.

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We’re pleased to announce details for the 2011 Sequenza 21/MNMP Concert featuring the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). The following entries from the call for scores have been selected for inclusion in the program:


James Stephenson (UK) – Oracle Night

Robert Thomas (NJ) — Sixteen Lines

Jay Batzner (MI) – Slumber Music

Rob Deemer (NY) – Grand Dragon

Sam Nichols (CA) – Refuge

David Smooke (MD) – Requests

Dale Trumbore (CA) –How it Will Go

Laurie San Martin (CA) – Linea Negra

James Holt  (NY) – Nostos Algea


The concert will be on October 25 at Joe’s Pub at 7 PM. It will be a free event open to the public.

Thank you to all of the composers who sent in scores and recordings for consideration. You made it very difficult to decide on a final program: there were many strong entries by talented creators.

Thanks too to Hayes Biggs and Clarice Jensen, who joined me in judging the competition, and to Justin Monsen of Manhattan New Music Project, who provided invaluable administrative support. And without the generosity and vision of Jerry Bowles, this project would never have gotten off the ground.



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Hi everybody. Just a quick reminder that the deadline for score submissions for consideration in the upcoming Sequenza21 concert is fast approaching. All submissions must be postmarked by July 16th. Here‘s a link to the original posting of the guidelines and its comments thread. To submit scores, get David Salvage’s e-mail address from the masthead and send him a message. He’ll give you a mailing address and answer any questions.

As a quick reminder, the performances will be on December 4th at the Walz Astoria Cafe in Queens and on the 5th at the Good Shepherd Church in Manhattan. This concert is a collaborative effort with our friends the fabulous Lost Dog New Music Ensemble.

Comments Comments Off on Deadline Approaching for S21 Concert Submissions

Judd Greenstein and Kimball Gallagher are looking for a few good proposals for the 2007-2008 season of VIM: TRIBECA.  Proposals may be submitted by performers (instrumental and vocal), composers, ensembles, or mixed-art groups that include music. VIM: TRIBECA is centered around music in the Western classical tradition, Greenstein says, but proposals may be made by any musicians whose work pushes the boundaries of genre, or whose work is affiliated with other traditions.  Download a pdf file with details here.

And get out there and push a genre today.  Just don’t be too noisy.

Our buddy Marvin Rosen will be joined by American composer Eric Ewazen this Wednesday morning, June 20 from 8:30 until 11:00 (eastern time) on the program Classical Discoveries which is celebrating 10 years on the air this summer.  The show can be heard every Wednesday morning from 6:00 until 11:00 on WPRB from Princeton, NJ.  The program is broadcast on line and can be listened  at WPRB.  

Classical Discoveries now has a brand new web address but Marvin hasn’t quite gotten all the furniture and lamps moved so older stuff is still at the old address.  

So, the S21 brain trust (yuk, yuk) has been kicking around some thoughts about doing another live concert this year and one of the ideas we had was maybe striking an alliance with a good new music ensemble.  Simple deal.  You play our concert–your schedule or as a one-off–and we put the considerable promotional and publicity resources of S21 behind your group year-round.  Kind of a play nice with us kids and we’ll make you the Emersons.  Any thoughts?  

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It’s the time of year again when everybody makes “best of” lists.  So what’s yours?  CDs?  Concerts?  Meals?  Books?

The concert of the year for me, of course, was the Sequenza21 event which, I believe, exceeded everyone’s expectations in terms of attendance and quality of performances.   I’ll be making my list of best CDs soon.

Who’s got something? 

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The brilliant and talented piano and TabletPC genuis Hugh Sung has a terrific post about the Sequenza21 concert where he was a star performer.  Hugh is also one of the nicest people alive.

Kyle Gann, who drove two hours down and two hours back to Bard for the concert, has some nice words about the concert here.  Kyle turned 37 yesterday.

Our congratulations to regular Darcy James Argue who is one of the 29 recipients of the latest round of the American Music Center’s Composer Assistance Program (CAP).  The complete list is here

Altman was one of the best.

Update:  Speaking of birthdays, today is Gunther Schuller’s 81st.  Richard Buell tells me that when Schuller was 16 and the first horn of the the Cincinnati Symphony, he auditioned for the Ellington band, playing Johnny Hodges’s charts.

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The kids done good.  I was proud.  Thanks to all of you who came out–we actually had a crowd–and to all the wonderful musicians who played their hearts out.  It was a great evening.  David Toub has the early bird report here.

See Jeff Harrington’s pictures from the concert.

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Tonight’s the big night.  The kids have worked hard and it’s going to be a great show.  I hope to see you all this evening at the first ever Sequenza21 Concert, CUNY Graduate Center, Elebash Recital Hall, 34th and Fifth Avenue. 7:30 sharp. 

The street address, by the way, is 365 Fifth Avenue.

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We’re just hours away from the first real-world Sequenza21 concert which begins promptly at 7:30 on Monday night at the Elebash Recital Hall at the CUNY Graduate Center, 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.  Admission is absolutely free and there will be wine and cookies.  I hope to see you there.

We are enormously grateful to the following folks for their financial contributions which have made it possible to actually pay the musicians and put together a program.

Concert Sponsors:
Bridge Records
Metropolis Ensemble

Activist Music
Carrie and Yorke Brown
Mr. Galen H. Brown
Mr. Eric Bruskin
Mr. Jeffrey Harrington
Mr. Franklin Hecker
Jeffrey W. James Arts Consulting
Mr. Ian Moss
Ms. Annette Salvage
Mr. David Salvage
Mr. Jordan Stokes
Mr. David Toub
Mr. Scott Unrein
Mr. Tom Myron
Mr. James Wilson


I also want to thank Steve Smith for the shoutout in TimeOut this week.  Much obliged. 

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I know I haven’t contributed much to the intellectual discourse on these pages since the new format of the site went live, but–believe me–it hasn’t been that I’ve lost interest. In one of life’s strange convergences, the reformat of Sequenza21 occurred almost simultaneous with my return from China at which point I have plunged myself into a torrent of freelance writing assignments in order to pay for the 82 CDs and suitcase of books I brought back. I’m only now starting to get unburied. Plus, of course, the NewMusicBox deadlines never go away but that’s the same no matter what so it’s no excuse.

Anyway, I wish I could have written that I haven’t had a chance to write in because I’ve been so crazed on a deadline to complete a musical composition.  We all know how much spending time on S21 takes away from composing! Ironically, as luck would have it, Sequenza21 is actually contributing to my work as a composer this month since a piece of my music will be featured on their debut concert next Monday night at the CUNY Graduate Center.

And while I can think of fewer honors greater than having a soloist of the caliber of David Starobin performing a work of mine, part of me wonders if a real “Sequenza 21” concert ought instead be a group composition that one of us starts (pretending to write a solo work in the Berio tradition), perhaps followed by everyone in the audience sequentially creating variations on it in turn for the rest of the evening. But who knows what else everyone else is cooking up for next week. You’ll just have to show up to find out!

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