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Posts tagged “New York Times

From The New York Times: yMusic Brings Its Versatility to Ecstatic Music Festival

This article is copyright protected, so just a few notes.

February 3, 2012

“Over an eight-day stretch in December members of the chamber sextet yMusic finished a Midwest tour with the folk band Bon Iver; accompanied the indie-rock acts My Brightest Diamond and the National at the Beacon Theater; played with the New York Philharmonic; performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular; and participated in recording sessions for the singer and songwriter Beth Orton, the band Dirty Projectors and Trey Anastasio, the frontman of Phish.

For yMusic the difference between hip-hop and classical music is more an issue of performance practice than of impassable boundaries, a shift of style rather than genre. As members of Generation Y — hence the group’s name — the players grew up with the Internet, whose breakdown of artistic barriers has informed the ensemble’s outlook. Its versatility serves not only unclassifiable composers like Mr. Lott but also more conventional ones who weave pop idioms into their music.


Rob Moose, violin
CJ Camerieri, trumpet
Clarice Jensen, cello
Alex Sopp, flute
Hideaki Aomori, reeds
Nadia Sirota, Viola

Nadia Sirota

This approach intersects with that of the Ecstatic Music Festival, which is in its second season at Merkin Concert Hall. Judd Greenstein, the festival’s curator, prizes yMusic’s open ears.”

See the full article here.

From The New York Times: “A Composer Still Vital in His Second Century”

This is copyright protected, so just a few words:

December 9, 2011

“If the composer Elliott Carter had been able only to attend a concert in celebration of his 103rd birthday, that would have been remarkable enough. But on Thursday night, Mr. Carter, who turns 103 on Sunday, was not only in the audience at the 92nd Street Y for a tribute presented by a top-notch roster of musicians under the artistic direction of the cellist Fred Sherry, but he had also written five works this year that were included in the program.”



Two views from very different times

See the full article here.

From ALLAN KOZINN in The New York Times: “Club Kids Are Storming Music Museums”

As New Composers Flourish, Where Will They Be Heard?

This article is copyright protected, so just a couple of notes.

“…the world of young, inventive and often populist composers is exploding…These young composers may hold the key to classical music’s future, and the future they create might not be what you expect. Increasingly they have come to consider the machinations of the big-ticket musical organizations — and debates about how to get them to accommodate new music — as beside the point….”

This article is an in depth look at the new serious music universe. This universe includes the new composers themselves, their record labels (or the lack of them) and the venues which they find amenable to their musical pursuits. Among the labels mentioned are “…New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe and Tzadik, all composer run and stylistically freewheeling….” To this list, I might add Innova, from American Composers Forum, St Paul, MN.

Among the venues we find Le Poisson Rouge, Cornelia Street Café, Galapagos, The Stone, Issue Project Room, Roulette, all in New York City. Composers noted in the article include Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Du Yun, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, and Bryce Dessner. The only groups I saw noted were ETHEL and Victoire. But others which might have been included are ACME, ICE, yMusic, eighth blackbird, and itsnotyouitsme.

Not at all mentioned in the article (if I missed it, I hope that someone will correct me), is New York Public Radio’s 24/7 New Music web stream Q2. This stream takes these and other composers and musicians out to a wide world, with an international listenership. A stand-out at Q2 is the work of Nadia Sirota. She hosts a four hour program which includes several themes, e.g, Hope Springs Atonal. Her program streams at noon and midnight. Two other standout focused programs are Hammered! which is concerned with keyboard music, and The New Canon.Also important to the success of what has been called “New Music” are two programs on WNYC, New York Public Radio’s original outlet service. For thirty years, John Schaefer has been bringing new composer to the public on the nightly program New Sounds. For a somewhat shorter time, we have been able to hear them on John’s other program, Soundcheck.

Something that I personally would like to see added into the mix for New Music would be the advent of long form music videocast. The best examples I can cite for this are three videos produced by and for ICE, which were made available at Q2. Just to give one example, the music of Steve Lehman in a 46 minute video can be found here. I just actually searched this up also at Google Video here. Both of these examples are free to the public.But, I would personally like to see these videos made available at the music groups’ web sites, based upon a membership fee for a user id and password, and then some sort of fee, maybe $5 or $10 as a “ticket” price. This would greatly universalize the availability of musical experience to populations living no where near to actual concert events. To whit: ICE just did a heavily promoted concert in Chicago. But, I am in New Jersey. I might be very interested in that musical experience. So, if it were made available from a videocast archive, and if I was registered with ICE, I could pay a small “ticket” price and have that experience.

This is a huge and important article. The items I note as missing from the article do not in any way diminish its thesis or importance. See the full article here.

From the New York Times: Wadada Leo Smith 70th Birthday Celebration

This is copyright protected, so only a note:

Wadada Leo Smith

“(Thursday and next Friday) A few days ahead of his 70th birthday, the fiercely creative trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith presides over an extravagant survey of his music, featuring new music for several distinct ensembles a night…At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, (917) 267-0363,; $15, $10 for members and students. (Nate Chinen)”

See the full article here.

From The New York Times: “Rhythms Flow as Aging Pianist Finds New Audience” – Boyd Lee Dunlop

Three Cheers for Boyd Lee Dunlop

This is copyright protected, so just a riff.

Boyd Lee Dunlop

Kevin Sack
December 9, 2011

“For years, the donated piano sat upright and unused in a corner of the nursing home’s [the Delaware Nursing and Rehabilitation Center] cafeteria…Then came a new resident, a musician in his 80s with a touch of forgetfulness named Boyd Lee Dunlop, and he could play a little. Actually, he could play a lot, his bony fingers dancing the mad dance of improvised jazz in a way that evoked a long life’s all…Boyd Lee Dunlop, 85, is the featured performer at a concert on Saturday night at the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in downtown Buffalo. Admission is $10. And if you want to buy his debut CD, that will cost you another $15….”

This is a really great story. See the full article here.

From The New York Times: “Jason Moran Is Named Kennedy Center’s Jazz Adviser”

This is copyright protected, so just a couple of notes.

November 29, 2011

“The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts said on Tuesday that the pianist and composer Jason Moran has been appointed its new artistic adviser for jazz. Mr. Moran, 36, is the second person to hold that post, which had been vacant since the death last year of Billy Taylor, the venerable pianist and educator who began advising the Kennedy Center in 1994.

Jason Moran

The responsibilities of artistic adviser extend to the development of jazz programming at the Kennedy Center, which operates its own jazz club as well as a regular concert series.

Mr. Moran, who was named a MacArthur Fellow last year, hails from a younger generation than Taylor, and has a more progressive reputation. He has worked often with arts institutions outside the jazz realm, receiving commissions from the Dia Art Foundation and the Walker Art Center, among others, and collaborating with contemporary performance and visual artists.

See the full article here.

From The New York Times: Marian McPartland Steps Away from “Piano Jazz”

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.

Piano Jazz has been one of the mainstay programs at NPR since 1979.


“Marian McPartland, the jazz pianist, is stepping down as the host of the “Piano Jazz” after more than three decades on the air, said a spokeswoman for NPR, Anna Christopher…[she] will stay on as the artistic director of the show…For now, the baton will be passed to Mr. [Jon] Weber, a jazz pianist from Chicago. He has recorded 13 new shows which will begin airing in the first week of January. Mr. Weber’s program will no longer be called “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” but will be re-titled “Piano Jazz Rising Stars.” Mr. Weber will perform duets with guests and then interview them, just as Ms. McPartland has done with aplomb for years.”

Marian McPartland

Jon Weber

See thew full notice here.

From The New York Times: Nico Muhly On Opera and Life

Nico Muhly is one of today’s most important composers.

This article is copyright protected, so just a few notes.

Published: November 4, 2011

Nico Muhly

“Mr. Muhly, 30, whose high-profile commissions include a work for the Metropolitan Opera, said that as a gay man he is particularly interested in the government’s role in personal relationships. He explores a longstanding fascination with polygamy in his chamber opera “Dark Sisters,” a story of a polygamist family in a Mormon offshoot whose children are removed by state officials concerned about child abuse.”

See the full article here.

In Today’s New York Times: ACME at Joe’s Pub

This is copyright protected, so just a couple of notes.

Steve Smith
October 28, 2011
Gather Online, Compose Globally, Perform Locally

“…online connectivity can still manifest itself in stimulating ways. The American Contemporary Music Ensemble, a k a ACME, offered evidence in its performance on Tuesday evening at Joe’s Pub…More than 200 composers from around the world applied to have works performed by ACME….”

ACME is from left to right:Yuki Nomat, Caroline Shaw, Clarice Jensen, and Nadia Sirota

See the full article here.

Nadia Sirota is, of course, the host of Nadia Sirota on Q2, a four hour exploartion of New Music which streams Monday-Friday at noon and midnight.

From the New York Times: A Boost for Eighth Blackbird

This is copyright protected, so, New Music fans, I will just head you in the right direction.

Steve Smith
October 18, 2011

Eighth Blackbird From left, Yvonne Lam, Lisa Kaplan, Nicholas Photinos and Michael J. Maccaferri performing in Miller Theater at Columbia University on Saturday night as part of the SONiC festival.

Eighth Blackbird is:

Tim Munro, flutes
Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets
Yvonne Lam, violin & viola
Nicholas Photinos, cello
Matthew Duvall, percussion+
Lisa Kaplan, piano

The full group.

Eighth Blackbird, a polished, personable, routinely dazzling sextet [the graphic only includes four of the players], has never bound its repertory so rigidly; included in its swelling canon are staples by Schoenberg and Boulez…Still, the ensemble, which played on Saturday evening in Columbia University’s Miller Theater in the festival’s second event, has never lacked for fresh pieces by emerging artists.”

See the full article here.

You can hear Eighth Blackbird often on Q2 the 24 hour New Music stream from New York Public Radio.

From the New York Times: “New Pilots at the Keyboard”

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.

Four young pianists on the rise in the Jazz scene

Published: October 6, 2011

“If drummers are the engines of jazz, then pianists are often its mapmakers.

Fabian Almazan

Next week the pianist Fabian Almazan, who is 27 and still unknown to most jazz listeners, will play his first headlining week at the Village Vanguard, opening the same day as the release of his first album, Personalities. He’s bringing a string quartet to play four pieces he’s arranged, as well as his trio, with the bassist Linda Oh and the drummer Henry Cole. That’s risky; it’s a lot at once. It’s not unlike him.
Fabian Almazan

Kris Davis

Kris Davis’s style is dry and blunt and authoritative, and still changing. At 31 she’s worked in a circle of musicians including the saxophonists Tony Malaby and Ingrid Laubrock, the bassists John Hébert and Eivind Opsvik, and the drummer Jeff Davis, her former husband. Her playing uses space and tension and contrast; it always has an interior plan and doesn’t leap at you to show you how hip it is. It’s very open, but it comes with rules.

Kris Davis

Matt Mitchell

Matt Mitchell, 36, who has been playing a lot recently with Tim Berne, John Hollenbeck, Rudresh Mahanthappa and, increasingly, his own bands, grew up in Exton, Pa., outside Philadelphia. He took theory and jazz lessons from the age of 12 at a local university; like Ms. Davis, he inhaled [Keith] Jarrett and [Herbie] Hancock, spending his weekends transcribing solos.

Matt Mitchell

David Virelles

David Virelles, 27, arrived in New York in 2008 and seemed to go straight to the top of the class: playing gigs with Steve Coleman, Chris Potter and Mark Turner and generally making himself noticeable, breaking through with strong and hard-to-define patterns and sounds.

David Virelles

See the full article for more information on each of these players and for appearance venues and dates.

From The New York Times: “Jazz Fusion Heroes of the 1970s Resurrect Their Intricate Dynamics”

This is copyright protected so just a few notes.

Return to Forever IV The jazz fusion ensemble, from left, Chick Corea, Jean-Luc Ponty and Stanley Clarke (the group also included Frank Gambale and Lenny White), performed on Friday night at the Beacon Theater.

Return to Forever IV showed off every which way on Friday night at the Beacon Theater…Its lineup includes its two founders and main composers, the keyboardist Chick Corea and the bassist Stanley Clarke. Lenny White, on drums, guitar,guitarist Frank Gambale, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty…The sound is still deliberately 1970s…Mr. Corea played with a nimble transparency that turned every phrase into a puckish epigram, whether in solos or teasing at the edge of ensembles. Mr. Clarke was the group’s rock-star presence. He’s a die-hard 1970s-style thumb popper.”

See the full article here.

From the New York Times: The Undead Jazz Festival 2011

This is copyright protected, so just a few riffs:

Published: June 24, 2011

“The Undead Jazzfest, in its second year, started on Thursday at half-capacity and double volume…Overwhelmed by thousands of names and minor stylistic differences, New Yorkers will often ask a reasonable question: where should I go see live jazz if I want to know what’s happening? In those terms, if you haven’t been checking in on what’s been sprouting in Brooklyn at Littlefield, Korzo and I-Beam, and what continues to develop in Manhattan at Cornelia Street Café, the Stone or 55 Bar, then Undead, running through Sunday, is your one-stop megamart. The best thing this festival can do — seems to want to do — is to lead you to spend some nonfestival nights at the little places.”

Andrew D’Angelo Big Band, with, from left, Josh Sinton, Nicole Federici, Mr. D’Angelo and Bill McHenry at Sullivan Hall

See the full article here. And, a nod to Terry Teachout for making this all possible.

LISA BIELAWA at the Opinionator in the New York Times: “In Berlin, Moved by Music, Place and Memory”

This is copyright protected, so,m just a few notes.

In Berlin, Moved by Music, Place and Memory


Lisa Bielawa
June 15, 2011

“…My desire with Tempelhof Broadcast is to create a large-scale musical composition that can invite as many personal experiences of urbanity, memory, community or hope as possible. A musical experience in a place that is resonant with meaning, for so many people, can give structure to time spent in that space, inviting attendees to ritualize their own specific personal connections to it. Musical experiences that heighten a sense of a place can actually break through to that region of perception that transcends individual identity.”

If you keep your computer or smart phone “tuned” to Q2, the 24/7 New Music web stream, you will surely have the opportunity to experience this new music.

Read Lisa’s full excellent article here.

From The New York Times: “Paying Tribute to ‘Subversive’ Album”

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes

Published: June 10, 2011

“In a musician’s life, few moments reveal themselves to be genuinely subversive. But when the clarinetist Evan Ziporyn first heard Brian Eno’s Music for Airports in 1978, he knew such a moment was at hand. ‘ It upended certain ideas a lot of us were holding,’ Mr. Ziporyn said

Brian Eno

Evan Ziporyn

On Tuesday, Mr. Ziporyn’s sextet, the new-music group Bang on a Can All-Stars, will bring the first of four parts of Music for Airports, along with five other works, to Yale Law School as part of the courtyard concert series at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. He expects that some listeners will find the piece as provocative as he did when he first heard it.”


See the full article here.

Also, see my previous post,

From the New York Times: Innova at the Stone

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes:

Violinists, Plugged in, Bow, Pluck and Twang

Published: May 27, 2011

“For the final two weeks of May the programming at the Stone has been in the hands of Philip Blackburn, the director of the enterprising, polyglot record label Innova. Mr. Blackburn’s idea was to present 24 one-hour concerts by musicians who record for Innova, and on Wednesday evening he offered, as hours 13 and 14, what he called “the fiddler’s hoedown from hell”: back-to-back recitals by Ana Milosavljevic and Todd Reynolds, violinists for whom amplification and sound processing are integral to music-making. “

Ana Milosavljevic

Todd Reynolds

The Innova showcase continues through Tuesday at the Stone, East Second Street at Avenue C, East Village

See the full article here.

Please visit the Innova web site and explore this incredible production company.

Don’t miss Philip’s two interview series, Measure for Measure and Alive and Composing.

From The New York Times: “Pianists Embracing the New”

This is copyright protected, so just some notes:

Published: May 25, 2011

“Some contemporary-music festivals make a point of exploring a particular style or branch of composition. Not Keys to the Future, a festival of contemporary solo piano music, which opened its sixth mini-season on Tuesday night at the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side. This embracing festival espouses no dogma…On Tuesday five impressive pianists played eight works. Some of the compositions were exciting and fresh; others did not particularly grab me. But I was delighted to spend an hour hearing committed artists play works they clearly believed in.”

Keys to the Future Stephen Gosling, foreground, and Blair McMillen in Joe Duddell’s “Vaporize” on Tuesday at the Abrons Arts Center.

For a complete description of composers and artists, see the full article.

From the New York Times: “Celebrating Electronics And Energy”

Published: May 24, 2011

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes:

“New music is hardly scarce during the main part of the New York concert season, and spaces like Issue Project Room, Galapagos and the Tank specialize in it year round. But spring and summer are a virtually nonstop parade of festivals celebrating the experimental. Recent weeks have featured the MATA, Look & Listen and Keys to the Future festivals in rapid succession, and on Monday evening the Tribeca New Music Festival opened its 10th season with a tightly packed program performed by Ethel, the string quartet, and devoted almost entirely to premieres…This is a group that spends much of its time traveling the modern Silk Road, where caravans of avant-garde, pop, jazz and world music barter riffs and techniques. And its approach to sound — its players use electric instruments, often with processing devices — gives it an extraordinary flexibility. It prizes grittiness and punch as absolute values, but these expert players can produce a conventionally warm, unified tone when the music demands it. “

Ethel The string quartet, featuring, from left, Ralph Farris, Mary Rowell, Cornelius Dufallo and Dorothy Lawson, performed at Merkin Concert Hall on Monday as part of the Tribeca New Music Festival.

Mr. Kozinn is the consummate critic. Read his full article about this band and these premiers.

From The New York Times: “Rock and Classical Collide With Bowie and a Score by Radiohead Star”

This is copyright protected, so just some notes.

May 22, 2011

Wordless Music, the concert series run by Ronen Givony when he is not overseeing the classical and new-music programming at Le Poisson Rouge, is devoted to showing fans of indie rock and contemporary classical music that the two genres have a common appeal. That argument no longer requires special pleading, partly because Mr. Givony’s thoughtful juxtapositions have made the point so persuasively but also because so many young composers (and some of their elders) draw freely on both their classical and pop antecedents.

Ensemble Signal and Wordless Music Orchestra, led by the conductor Brad Lubman, at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on Saturday night. The program included work by Philip Glass and Jonny Greenwood.

Mr. Givony’s latest offering, heard on Saturday evening at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (the program was also played on Friday), was built around two works with rock connections: Philip Glass’s “Heroes” Symphony (1996), which is based on themes from David Bowie’s 1977 album “Heroes,” and “Doghouse” (2010), the latest orchestral score by Jonny Greenwood, who is best known as a member of Radiohead. Gyorgy Ligeti’s Chamber Concerto (1970), a study in energy and texture that prefigures some of Mr. Greenwood’s work, was interposed between them.”

See the full glowing article here. Another celebration of New Music in New York City.

If you want to hear the concert, jump over to Q2 and you will find the concert audio stream here, hosted by Q2′s Nadia Sirota

Nadia Sirota

Read David Lang in the New York Times – “A Pitch For New Music”

May 11, 2011
A Pitch for New Music
By David Lang

This is copyright protected material, and I would no more try to dissect David Lang’s writing than I would his wonderful music. I never ever pretend to be a critic. Suffice it to say for those who do not know, David Lang is one of the founders of Bang On a Can, one of the now oldest and most prestigious of “New Music” organizations anywhere on the planet.

In this article, David writes – passionately and knowingly – about Baseball, the old and the new, and the relationship that he sees between Baseball and serious music.

That is about all I am going to say. See the article here.

David Lang

From the New York Times: “New Jazz That Keeps an Ear Trained on the Past”

This is copyright protected, so just a riff to entice you.

Published: May 6, 2011

“By the late 1990s, jazz outside the straight-ahead mainstream was looking around itself and worrying… it went in search of its parents and looked backward and Eastward: to Ornette Coleman, Lennie Tristano, Jimmy Giuffre, early fusion and progressive rock, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Balkan and cantorial music. A whole field of bands gravitated toward intense polyphony, liturgical melodies and the clank: drummers playing roughed-up rhythm, rushing time and forestalling your pleasure, vexing you on purpose.

The new jazz has since moved on. It’s less jagged and self-consciously transgressive, more studied and self-possessed…two new bands, Endangered Blood and Starlicker, radiate the late ’90s.

Endangered Blood
Jim Black drums
Chris Speed tenor & clarinet
Oscar Noriega alto sax and bass clarinet
Trevor Dunn bass

Rob Mazurek trumpet
Jason Adasiewicz vibraphone
John Herndon drums

See the full article here.

From the New York Times: “Strum, Pluck, Rescue, Rebuild – Concert for Japan”

This article is copyright protected, so just a glimpse.

“The hair was a little grayer, and the chins were a little weaker, but early Saturday afternoon at Japan Society it was like the 1980s again. The performers — Philip Glass, Hal Willner, John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed — were the same ones you might have found together back then, joined now for the first part of a 13-hour Concert for Japan, one of several earthquake relief benefits organized by the tireless Mr. Zorn.

From left, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn and Lou Reed together at Japan Society.

Mr. Glass played a bustling, ragtime-flavored piano score to one of Harry Smith’s abstract films and accompanied Mr. Willner’s reading of several Allen Ginsberg poems. Mr. Glass is not the most polished interpreter of his own work, but he was at his powerfully emotional best in the subtle undercurrent he gave Ginsberg’s “To Aunt Rose.” Ms. Anderson, Mr. Reed and Mr. Zorn’s set focused on Mr. Zorn’s eloquent and expressive alto saxophone playing, which shifted from mournfulness to lurid rage.

Philip Glass performing during the marathon concert.

See the full article here.

From the New York Times: “Pairing Their Sounds and Sharing the Blues”

Jon Pareles
April 10 2011

“Eric Clapton chose the songs and Wynton Marsalis laid out the musical territory for Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues, the Jazz at Lincoln Center concert at Rose Theater on Friday night, the first of two shows. It was a concert so fixated on elegant details that its blues were bloodless.

Eric Clapton

Wynton Marsales

Mr. Clapton selected songs recorded long ago by Louis Armstrong, Howlin’ Wolf, Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith. Mr. Marsalis’s designated musical turf was, with a few time warps, the vintage New Orleans sound of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, complete with tandem-trumpet theme statements (from Mr. Marsalis and Marcus Printup), briskly strummed banjo (from the New Orleans stalwart Don Vappie), growling trombone (from Chris Crenshaw) and scampering clarinet (from Victor Goines).

Mr. Clapton’s electric-guitar solos were the historical wild card, nudging the music from 1920s New Orleans toward 1950s Chicago and Memphis. ‘ For me to be able to come in here and try and make my little jingly stuff work inside this,’ a smiling Mr. Clapton said onstage, gesturing toward Mr. Marsalis’s band, ‘it’s a challenge.’ “

SZee the full article here.

From The New York Times: AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE – For a Team Player, the Solo Moments Are Secondary

April 1, 2011


“There’s a vaunted place in post-bop for preternatural trumpet virtuosos: your Clifford Browns and Lee Morgans, your Freddie Hubbards and Wynton Marsalises. And by a certain light Mr. Akinmusire (pronounced ah-kin-MOO-sir-ee) fits the bill. His sound is exacting, with a cutting attack offset by a smoky tone. As an improviser he strives for the unexpected, hurtling through precarious intervals. His impressive new Blue Note debut — “When the Heart Emerges Glistening,” produced by Mr. Akinmusire and the pianist Jason Moran and due out Tuesday — is chock full of trumpet heroics, from the slashing jabs of Far But Few Between to the mournful susurrations of Regret (No More).

But Mr. Akinmusire, who tends to reject the very notion of trumpet heroics, would prefer that you get to know him for the collective achievement of his band.”

Copyright protected, so just a riff. But it is a great article, check it out.


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