Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Don’t Forget to Save Room for Dessert!

IonSound Dinner

L-R: Rob Frankenberry, Eliseo Rael, Elisa Kohanski, Kathleen Costello, Stephanie Kluter-Rael, Peggy Yoo, and Laura Motchalov

Thankful for lots of good new music so far this year, and lot’s more to come. In the spirit of the holiday, here’s a behind-the-scenes photo of IonSound Project fueling up before their November 14 concert. Can’t play Tower on an empty stomach can you? Mmmm… those sandwiches look good…

November 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm Comments (0)

Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble, Invisible Patterns

December 2, 2010
8:00 pm

PNC Recital Hall
$10 Suggested Donation

Patrick Burke and David Cutler, directors.

The Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble will perform its fall concert, entitled Invisible Patterns, based in part on the novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and Eight Patterns for Eight Instruments by Tom Johnson.  This multimedia event will include brief readings from the novel, a lot of live music, and video by Duquesne grad student Ryan Leber.  Besides the Tom Johnson work, we’ll be performing pattern-filled pieces by young composers Nico Muhly and Mason Bates, works by American icons Joan Tower and Ned Rorem, and a new version of a medieval rondeau by Guilluame de Machaut, arranged by Duquesne student Chris Jarvis.

Calvino’s novel consists of a fictional conversation between Kublai Kahn and Marco Polo, in which Marco describes the cities of the Kahn’s empire to him.  Each chapter is a description of a different city— some are mundane, some are fantastical, but each description reveals something about human nature, as patterns begin to emerge.  The book is hypnotic, like an incantation–like music– and each excerpt describes in some way the music that follows.

November 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm Comments (0)

Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble

December 4, 2010
5:00 pm
5:00 pm

Kresge Theatre

Ronald Zollman, music director
Jan Pellant, Keun Oh, and Daniel Nesta Curtis, assistant conductors


Igor Stravinsky – Septet for mixed ensemble
Roberto Gerhard – Leo
Oliver Knussen – Songs without Voices op. 26
Toshio Hosokawa – Im Fruhlingsgarten
Kenneth Hesketh – Fra Duri Scogli
Igor Stravinsky – Concertino

November 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm Comments (0)

IonSound Project Family Concert

December 12, 2010
2:00 pm

Carnegie Library Main, Oakland
Quiet Reading Room (first floor)


This concert features playful arrangements of Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, and Astor Piazzola’s Oblivion. Special guest Alison Babusci assists IonSound in bringing classic and original tales to life with her expert storytelling.

November 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm Comments (0)

Traffic, Tower, and Alia Musica

If you are heading out to Heinz Hall tonight to see the PSO perform Joan Tower’s Concerto for Clarinet, don’t forget that it’s Light Up Night and there will be even more random street closures than usual. Via the PSO’s Facebook page,

STREET CLOSURES: Roberto Clemente Bridge (Sixth Street.): 5 a.m. – midnight.
Andy Warhol Bridge (Seventh Street): 9 a.m. – midnight.
Rolling closures (6 to 8 p.m.) from Ross Street to the corner of Stanwix and F…t. Duquesne Blvd.

The Rolling Closures should be the name of Pittsburgh’s next great Rock band. You heard it here first.

Sunday night, Alia Musica Pittsburgh performs at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Rumor has it there is a duo for two hi-hats on the program, so what more do I need to say?

November 19, 2010 at 1:55 pm Comments (0)

IonSound Collaborates with Local School Children

IonSound’s November 14 concert will feature music by Joan Tower in combination with art by kids from the Waldorf School, Falk School, and the Environmental Charter School. The always innovative ensemble is serious about reaching out to children and families, and though we found out last April that giant puppets dancing to Petroushkates is not as family friendly as you might think, the group continues to seek unique ways to involve youngsters. Via the press release,

“Rather than have their interpretations influenced by the literary content behind the music, they will be guided to associate colors and shapes with particular sonorities and will be encouraged to create designs or landscapes based upon their emotional reactions to the music. Musicians of the IonSound Project will present workshops in advance to discuss the music and to play excerpts from the pieces live in the classroom.  The resulting artwork will be projected during the performance of the corresponding compositions.”

Sounds cool to me. Check here for more details.

November 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm Comments (0)

PSO Performs Tower, Bernstein, and Copland

November 19, 2010
8:00 pm
November 21, 2010
2:30 pm

Heinz Hall


Leonard Slatkin leads the PSO in Tower’s Concerto for Clarinet with Principal Clarinetist Michael Rusinek as soloist. The concert also includes Bernstein’s On the Waterfront and Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

November 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm Comments (0)

Manasse and Nakamatsu Launch New PCMS Recital Series

UPDATE: We incorrectly listed this concert as starting at 8 p.m. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu will give the first installation of the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society’s* new recital series tonight at Bellefield Hall Auditorium. at 7:30. Of particular interest to new music enthusiasts are pieces by jazz clarinet legend Paquito D’Rivera (Lecuonerias from “The Cape Cod Files”) and John Novacek’s Four Rags for Two Jons composed especially for the duo.

PCMS’ new recital series, called the Bellefield Hall Recital series, at least for the time being, represents the organization’s effort at expanding the content of its programming. The February 7 installment features 20-year old violin phenom Benjamin Beilman whose program will include music by Joan Tower and Christopher Rogerson. Nice to see new music represented on the series. All the details for tonight’s program are here.

*Full disclosure: I’m on the board of the Chamber Music Society—a fact that I’m sure they regret every day.

November 8, 2010 at 8:44 am Comments (0)

Alia Musica Pittsburgh Fall Chamber Concert

November 21, 2010
7:00 pm

New music of our time and place, now in ensemble fun-size.

Dang, time flies. Hard to believe this is Alia Musica Pittsburgh‘s fourth season, but it       is, and we’re showing our stuff on November 21st with our Fall Chamber Concert.             Come out to hear new music including Alan Hovhaness’s transcendent flute and harp     duo, The Garden of Adonis, along with works for everything from bassoon and                   piccolo  to two hi-hats.

Show starts at 7:00 PM, tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

November 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm Comments (0)

Watch: Donna Amato with Musica Nova

Pianist Donna Amato, new music champion on the faculty of both CMU and Pitt, performed Geir Tveitt’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Northern Lights, with Musica Nova in Scottsdale on October 17. Musica Nova produced a very nice video of the performance as well. Check it aht.

November 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm Comments (0)

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