Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Strike Duo

January 25, 2014
8:00 pmto10:00 pm
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

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The New Year is fast approaching, and it’s never too early to start reserving dates on your shiny new calendar for some shiny new music. This January, Pitt’s Music on the Edge and the Andy Warhol Museum are delighted to present Strike Duo (piano and percussion) in a program that highlights leading creative voices in contemporary music. Strike performs on January 25 at 8 p.m. at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Strike Duo includes pianist Jeffery Meyer and percussionist Paul Vaillancourt, both of whom have track records that could make anyone feel like a slacker by comparison. Paul Vaillancourt has been a featured soloist with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, the National Arts Center Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and at the Banff and Aspen Music Festivals. Recent concerto performances have included Michael Daugherty’s Raise The Roof with the CSU Wind Ensemble and Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the CSU Philharmonic. He has had various performances broadcast by NPR, CBC and Radio-Canada and is in demand as an instructor and composer of Scottish pipe band drumming. In his spare time he is Associate Professor of Percussion at Columbus State University.

Born in Chicago, Jeffery Meyer has established an international reputation as both a conductor and pianist. Since 2002 he has been the Artistic Director of the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Russia; one of that city’s most innovative and progressive ensembles. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Sichuan Symphony, and the Orchestra Sinfonico “Haydn” di Bolzano e Trento. In recent concert seasons, the versatile Meyer’s busy schedule has included conducting, performing as piano soloist, as a chamber musician, and conducting from the keyboard.

Called “exceptionally fine players both individually and in tandem”, the duo has release an abum called ‘Convergence/Strike’ featuring music of Chen Yi and Mark Mellits among others. Some of these pieces will be featured on their upcoming Pittsburgh program where they will explore a variety of music ranging from Yi’s folk music inspired China West Suite to Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronisms No. 6, a classic of electroacoustic repertoire. The program will also include Brooke Joyce’s Sacred Trees, Mark Mellits’ Tight Sweater (Remix), Eric Moes’ Cross Chop (for solo drum set), and Jim David’s Duo Toccata.

 Tickets are available through the University of Pittsburgh Stages Box Office, by calling 412-624-7529, or visiting music.pitt.edu/tickets. Tickets in advance: general admission is $15; students and seniors are $10. At the door: general admission is $20; students and seniors are $15. (No free student tickets at The Warhol.)

 

December 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm Comments (0)

The Ghost and Mr. Able

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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)

h2 Saxophone Quartet

January 11, 2014
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

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Have you ever considered making a New Year’s resolution to hear a fresh composition every month of the year? In some places, such a goal might prove challenging, but Pittsburgh luckily hosts an ample selection of new music. This January, Pitt’s Music on the Edge and The Andy Warhol Museum are delighted to present h2 Saxophone Quartet and Strike Duo (piano and percussion) in programs that highlight leading creative voices in contemporary music. h2 performs on Saturday, January 11th at 8 p.m. at the Andy Warhol Museum (more on Strike later).

Hailed by the Saxophone Journal as “…a virtuosic, tight, beautifully balanced ensemble that also delivers lovely lyrical musical lines.”, the award-winning h2 quartet has been wowing audiences since 2002.  A dynamic and innovative chamber ensemble, h2 constantly seeks to defy perceptions and expectations of the saxophone. h2 takes advantage of the great expressive capacity of their instrument by programming traditional, avant-garde, minimalist, and jazz-influenced works in surprising and compelling ways. h2 has performed throughout the United States, and has performed in Europe, the UK and in Asia. The group has also been featured on PBS’s Backstage Pass. Check out the full episode here! h2 has three recordings available that give listeners a taste of the saxophone’s incredible sonic and stylistic agility. The latter two feature works from some of the most exciting American composers working today, including Takuma Itoh, Marc Mellits, and (Pitt’s own) Amy Williams.

The h2 Saxophone Quartet’s Pittsburgh program will feature recent works from American composers, including William Albright’s Fantasy Etudes, Amy Williams’ Univocity, Bernard Rands’ PRISM: Memo 6b, Matthew Rosenblum’s Mobius Loop, and Daniel Wohl’s Microfluctuations in Plainchant (for sax quartet and 8-bit digital audio). So, you can add this show to your list of concerts for the year where you’ll have the opportunity to hear something completely new.  Don’t miss h2’s “incendiary performance!” (-the examiner.com)

 Tickets are available through the University of Pittsburgh Stages Box Office, by calling 412-624-7529, or visiting music.pitt.edu/tickets. Tickets in advance: general admission is $15; students and seniors are $10. At the door: general admission is $20; students and seniors are $15. (No free student tickets at The Warhol.)

 

December 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm Comments (0)