Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

PNME Solo Showcase: Violinist Nathalie Shaw

Nathalie Shaw will give a solo showcase performance as part of Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s 2014 summer season. Her program will include both acoustic works by Alain Celo, David Stock, and Roger Zahab and electroacoustic works by French composer Sébastien Béranger and Mario Davidovsky. The concert takes place Wednesday, July 23 at City Theatre. Nathalie talked with me on PNME “media day” and here’s what she had to say about the program.


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Yesterday at 12:11 pm Comments (0)

PNME Week II Preview: Ted Hearne’s Cage Variations

Here is a preview of week II of Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s 2014 season. Once again, I talked with Kevin Noe and Ian Rosenbaum about what we can look forward to for the next program which features a premiere by Ted Hearne, the winner of the most recent Harvey Gaul competition. The concerts take place on July 18 and 19 at City Theatre.


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July 15, 2014 at 10:25 am Comments (0)

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble 2014, Week I Preview

Your Summer New Music staycation is about to get started in earnest with the launch of Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s 2014 season. I met with members of PNME recently to hear their thoughts on the upcoming season and I’ll be sharing those conversations with you as the season progresses. The first installment features director Kevin Noe and percussionist Ian Rosenbaum on the first week’s program, titled “The Lost Traveler.” The program takes its name from Martin Bresnick’s composition, which is in turn derived from Williams Blake’s poem “To the Accuser Who is the God of this World.”

“Truly, my Satan, thou art but a Dunce,
And dost not know the Garment of the Man.
Every Harlot was a Virgin once,
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan.

“Tho’ thou art Worship’d by the Names Divine
Of Jesus and Jehovah, thou are still
The Son of Morn in weary Night’s decline,
The lost Traveller’s Dream under the Hill.”

Here’s what Kevin and Ian had to say…


July 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm Comments (0)

Interview with ETHEL’s Ralph Farris

Chamber Music Pittsburgh’s “Just Summer” series gets started off with a performance by ETHEL in a program they have titled “Grace.” I recently had the opportunity to Skype with ETHEL violist and founding member Ralph Farris about ETHEL and what makes them unique, the program, and encouraging performers to be more engaged in the creative aspect of their art. Check out the conversation below and come hear ETHEL at the Kelly Strayhorn this Thursday night.

June 16, 2014 at 10:06 am Comments (0)

Pittsburgh Festival of New Music

PFNM logo

So. Much. Music.


Federico Garcia and Alia Musica Pittsburgh are about to unleash the massively engaging and sure to be spectacular Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, or as the kids are calling it, #laliapalooza. To help you keep the vasty offerings of this festival straight in your mind, Pittsburgh New Music Net is returning to its original format of having scintillating posts on the front page and a dedicated events calendar. But PFNM isn’t the only reason we’re going back to this format. Honestly, there is so much good new music coming your way this summer, we are going to keep it that way for the time being. That way you will know when great offerings form Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble are happening too. Anyway, Events are that way ——–>

Are you feeling scintillated yet? I know you are.

May 15, 2014 at 9:46 pm Comments (0)

CAPA Antithesis and CAPA Elektro-Acoustik Ensembles Spring Concert

CAPA Antithesis and CAPA Elektro-Acoustik, the new-music ensembles of Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, present a joint spring concert on Tuesday, April 29th at 7:00 pm in the CAPA Cabaret Theatre. Under the direction of Dan Lindey, the Elektro-Acoustik set will feature student compositions written to accompany the great silent film Nosferatu. Antithesis, conducted by Lenny Young, will perform several student works as well as compositions by Knut Nystedt, Nicolas Collins and Pittsburgh composer Roger Zahab.

CAPA’s Cabaret Theatre: 111 9th St. (corner of 9th and Ft. Duquesne, enter on 9th)
free admission

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April 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm Comments (0)

Seem to be having some down time…

working on it…

Update: OK, back up and running. Sorry about the blackout there. My hosting provider warned me it was about to switch everyone over to PHP 5.4 and that I should check for compatibility issues, but did I? I think we all know the answer to that. And now I know too that the beautiful water theme that has been installed on this site since the beginning isn’t supported anymore either, so the search for a new theme is on. Be looking for changes and updates in the near future. Just not tonight.



January 27, 2014 at 7:51 pm Comments (0)

The Ghost and Mr. Able


Looking for a last minute gift idea for the holidays? Symbiotic Chamber Orchestra has got you covered with the release of their five-track digital album The Ghost and Mr. AbleThe album is a collaboration between composer Sean Neukom and Will Lardinois who wrote all the songs together, with Neukom creating the string quartet parts as well as singing, playing drums, and engineering the handsomely produced album.

So what is The Ghost and Mr. Able? A rock album? Chamber music? Prog rock/orchestral/fusion? Well, yes! I’m not going to do that annoying rock criticism thing where I try to ferret out all the influences that are apparent in an album and then throw in a few completely obscure band references to underscore the fact that I am as hip as you wish you were. We have the interwebs, so give it a listen. Also, buy it for yourself so that the Symbiotic Chamber Orchestra can pay the gas bill and make more great albums. 

Speaking of Symbiotic Chamber Orchestra, they are part of Symbiotic Collusion which has also brought us Freya String Quartet. I mention this because you know how everybody is talking about how musicians need to be more entrepreneurial and there are classes in it at conservatories and stuff? And these are usually a very complicated way of saying, “You all better work your asses off because seriously, there are not many gigs out there. Also, tuition is going up next year.” Anyway, SC is doing the music entrepreneurship thing about well as anybody and it is very significant to me that they are not just out there hustling for gigs (which is commendable in any case), but that all the hustling is toward the goal of creating unique projects like this one. It’s a good model and one that I hope we see more of.

December 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm Comments (0)

ICYMI, Charles Ives Take Me Home


In case you missed it, City Theatre is running a very unique play through December 15, Charles Ives Take Me Home. I certainly can’t think of any other plays that feature the iconic iconoclast of American modernism as a main character and so Jessica Dickey’s play gets points for originality right from the start. The play delves into the relationship between a father who is devoted to music and a daughter who is devoted to basketball, with the figure of Ives as mediator who embodies passion about for both athletics and sports. With his well documented love for the game of baseball and his body of work, that sounds as original today as it did when he wrote it, Ives seems like the perfect choice for this dramatic conceit.

Charles Ives Take Me Home is playing at City Theatre through December 15. Go on over to the South Side and check it out.

November 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm Comments (0)

Trillium Ensemble presents Autumn Rhythms

November 9, 2013 7:30pm Frick Fine Arts Auditorium $10 adults / $5 children

November 9, 2013 7:30pm
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
$10 adults / $5 children

Trillium Ensemble kicks off its fourth season with Autumn Rhythms at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium on Saturday, November  9, 2013 at 7:30pm. Trillium Ensemble’s new flutist, Elise DePasquale, makes her debut with the group, performing trios by Maria Grenfell, Paul Schoenfield, Jennifer Higdon, and flute solo Air by Takemitsu. Trillium Ensemble will also premiere Whimsy #1 by Matthew Heap, which weaves together many familiar tunes in a self-described “childhood quilt.”

Jackson Pollock’s work Autumn Rhythms inspired Trillium Ensemble to tie art and music together and invite the  audience to participate. The audience will receive a few art supplies to use during the performance. The trio will encourage the audience to express the performance visually, and connect to the music in a tangible way.

Elise DePasquale takes center stage to perform Air by Toru Takemitsu, the last published work by the Japanese composer (1995). Takemitsu creates a unique soundscape with his use of several extended techniques and melodic lines that alternate from fast and energetic sixteenth notes to long notes which fade away into nothing. These written silences are Takemitsu’s expression of “Ma” – a Japanese concept defined as open space, a gap, or a pause. DePasquale’s musical mastery is displayed in this hauntingly beautiful solo.

Rachael Stutzman performs Joan Tower’s Wings, a piece that explores the wide range and flexibility of the bass clarinet. Tower imagines a large bird flying high, gliding at times, looping and diving at other times. Wings opens softly and slowly,  gains momentum and surges upwards, and ends with a dramatic, almost heavenly ascent.

Paul Schoenfeld’s virtuosic Sonatina for Flute, Clarinet and Piano closes the concert. The Carnegie Mellon University alum composed the piece for close friends, Sam and Thelma Hunter’s 50th anniversary. The personalities of the couple are represented with a Charleston and a Jig, accompanied by Schoenfeld’s signature  “classical” rag, displaying pianist, Katie Palumbo’s dexterity on the keyboard.

Trillium Ensemble presents quality musical performances while creating a fun, accessible experience for audiences of all ages. Founded in 2010, Trillium has performed in venues throughout the Pittsburgh region, and has commissioned works by a number of young professional composers in the area. Email trillium.ensemble@gmail.com to reserve tickets!

Trillium Ensemble presents Autumn Rhythms
Saturday, November  9, 2013   7:30 pm
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium (Frick Fine Arts Building, Oakland, 15260)
$10 adults / $5 children (cash at the door)

Maria Grenfell, Poems of a Bright Moon
Joan Tower, Wings
Matthew Heap, Whimsy #1
Jennifer Hidgon, Dash
Toru Takemitsu, Air
Paul Schoenfeld, Sontatina for Flute, Clarinet and Piano

Trillium Ensemble
Elise DePasquale, flute
Katie Palumbo, piano
Rachael Stutzman, clarinet



October 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm Comments (0)

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