From Hammered! on Q2

From Hammered! this week:

“With annual retrospectives tapering off and best-of lists becoming so-last-year, it’s time to ratchet our sights 180 degrees and look ahead to a new year in new music. This week on Hammered! we’ll supply the soundtrack to a coordinated survey of 2011’s contemporary music highlights, a year of world premieres, adventurous musicians, and — in the realm of modern piano music — some absolute freakshow solo programs.

Here are some of the upcoming NYC concerts, festivals and spotlights that we’re looking forward to in this first half of 2011. Tune in all week on Hammered! for a pianistic smattering around the following:

* Composers of the New York Philharmonic. This week they premiere a newly written piano concerto by Thomas Ades, with the composer as soloist; in March they’re lead by Esa-Pekka Salonen for the Hungarian Echoes festival, featuring Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Olli Mustonen in concertos by Ligeti and Bartok; and in June they accompany Anne-Sophie Mutter in the world premiere of Sebastian Currier’s violin concerto, Time Machines. This is in addition to four chamber music programs at Merkin Hall, each pivoting on at least one large contemporary work.

* A Fruitful February. The shortest month of the year is shaping up to be a veritable smorgasbord of contemporary music. In addition to Lincoln Center’s TullyScope Festival (check out Nadia Sirota’s show for supplementary soundtrack), there’s Jeremy Denk’s Carnegie Hall recital featuring books One and Two of Ligeti’s piano Etudes and J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (see “freakshow solo programs” above); the eighth blackbird curated Tune-In Festival, which features the premiere of John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit; and also (see below)…

* Operation Opera. We’re all atwitter over the Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams’ Nixon In China this February. Other operatic highlights include the Met revival of Alban Berg’s masterwork Wozzeck, conducted by James Levine; the New York Philharmonic’s fully staged rendition of The Cunning Little Vixen by Leos Janacek; and across the plaza at New York City Opera, Oliver Knussen’s Where The Wild Things Are (and a John Zorn Masada Marathon!).

* Keys To The Future. The bona fide circus troupe of piano jocks returns to town. In the group’s 2011 festival, which is the only festival in New York devoted to contemporary solo piano music, pianists Stephen Gosling, Lisa Moore, Blair McMillen and others tackle a wide variety of challenging and rarely heard repertoire, including works by Tobias Picker, Magnus Lindberg, Timo Andres and more.

* Alexander Scriabin turns 139! Tune in Thursday, January 6 for a special edition of Hammered! hosted by pianist Dmitriy Krasny who’ll walk us through the Russian mystic’s rich and mysterious piano output. Featured pianists include Sviatoslav Richter, Vladimir Horowitz and Heinrich Neuhaus.”