Monday, September 28, 2009

Three Transcultural New Music Notices: Why? Because A Great Nation Deserves Great New Music And A Vibrant, Transcultural Musical Life

Those local readers who were fascinated by the New York Philharmonic opening its 2009-2010 season, under Alan Gilbert, with the world premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s new orchestral overture “Expo” (televised nation-wide) should check out the following three new music events:

On Thursday night, the Post-Classical Ensemble, under conductor Angel Gil-Ordóñez at Washington’s beautiful new downtown Jane and Sidney Harman Hall (home recently to Helen Mirren and the National Theatre), explores aspects of late Schubert songs (with baritone William Sharp) and contemporary jazz and avant-garde inflected new music (with bass trombone David Taylor), and then both Schubert and new music together at the same time. With the Post-Classical Ensemble Taylor will perform on bass trombone a medley of harrowing late Schubert songs, plus a pair of jazzy and rambunctious Daniel Schnyder scores: subZERO Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra(DC premiere) and RoTor (world premiere).

The trans-cultural Todd Reynolds Quartet - Music From China Ensemble performs an acoustic, processed, and computer music concert of music of Neil Rolnick (who was in the same graduate composition seminars at Berkeley that I was in back in the 1970s) is now being promoted on Classical WETA-FM, so you might want to plop down $4 for an advance ticket and not count on getting a last minute free ticket.

Finally, here is a link to a fascinating nine-minute orchestral work for orchestra and computers by Edmund Champion, as recorded recently during a performance by the University of California, Berkeley, Orchestra, under David Milnes.


“The Post-Classical Ensemble may be the most thought-provoking music group in town . . . using its concerts as laboratories for musical thought experiments. Their performances can be demanding-- but they're invariably beautiful, and never dull.”

- Stephen Brookes, THE WASHINGTON POST

“In a brief introduction, Joseph Horowitz, the artistic director of the Post-Classical Ensemble, said that crossing boundaries is what this group is about and may be a key to the future of classical music. This program showed exactly what he meant.”


Header credit: Classical musicians today are not all of pure European ancestry. The Todd Reynolds Quartet - Music From China Ensemble (c) 2009. Copyright controlled.


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