Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Cyro Baptista and Banquet of Spirits at the Warhol

March 5, 2014
8:00 pm

The Andy Warhol Museum


The Warhol welcomes acclaimed Brazilian percussionist and composer, Cyro Baptista, and his genre-defying quartet, Banquet of Spirits. Their records are reviewed within the broad categories of contemporary jazz and world music, and are released on the Tzadik label, run by avant jazz icon John Zorn, a frequent collaborator of Baptista, along with a myriad of luminaries such as Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, and Caetano Veloso. Baptista was also recently named the DownBeat percussionist of the year. It promises to be a unique performance that fans of hybrid jazz/Afro-Cuban music won’t want to miss!

The evening will begin with a DJ set by Pete Spynda (Pandemic) when doors open at 7:30.


February 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm Comments (0)

Paul’s Case at Pittsburgh Opera

February 25, 2014
7:00 pm
February 28, 2014
8:00 pm
March 2, 2014
2:00 pm

Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters

Music by Gregory Spears • Libretto By Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat

Willa Cather’s 1905 story of a Pittsburgh boy whose social aspirations drive him to escape to New York City is now a singular, haunting experience on our “Second Stage” in Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters. After a short time living the high life at the Waldorf-Astoria, Paul’s longings are crushed in a wrenching finale. The premiere of Paul’s Case (April 2013) received rave reviews.

Ed. note: This production premiered Feb. 22. Sorry for being late to the game. There are still three more performances!


February 23, 2014 at 11:41 am Comments (0)

Happy 450th Birthday, Galileo!

February 15, 2014
3:00 pmto5:00 pm

University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts Building

Still from Aaron Henderson's Full Moon

Still from Aaron Henderson’s Full Moon


The University of Pittsburgh Departments of Studio Arts and Music with the University Art Gallery have organized an interdisciplinary event commemorating the 450th anniversary of Galileo’s birth. The celebration, through visual art and live music, will take place in the Rotunda of the University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts Building.

Three of Michael Morrill's Linea Terminale paintings (click for larger image)

Three of Michael Morrill’s Linea Terminale paintings (click for larger image)

Special guest Paolo Palmieri from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science will offer brief remarks on Galileo and his contributions. An interdisciplinary installation created by Studio Arts faculty members Michael Morrill and Aaron Henderson, and composer and Department of Music alum Philip Thompson will be presented in the Rotunda gallery. The installation expands from Morrill’s Linea Terminale painting series, inspired by Galileo’s moon drawings. Henderson’s video Full Moon and Thompson’s composition Nocturnes (for string trio) were created as a response both to Linea Terminale and the broader idea of celebrating Galileo’s life and scientific contributions.

Listen to an excerpt from Philip Thompson’s Nocturnes

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This interdisciplinary celebration and one-day event is cosponsored by the Departments of Studio Arts and Music, the University Art Gallery, and the Departments of the History and Philosophy of Science, Physics and Astronomy, and Philosophy. The event is free and open to the public.

February 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm Comments (0)

JACK Quartet Returns!

March 1, 2014
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

JACK jumping [Stephen Poff] lb


If you were able to attend JACK Quartet’s last Pittsburgh appearance in 2012, then you’ll remember that these guys deliver a fantastic performance! Even moments after the concert, folks were asking us “when will they be back?” So we decided we shouldn’t keep them waiting any longer. For their much-anticipated return, JACK Quartet will perform a concert featuring titans of contemporary music. The program includes John Zorn’s The Dead Man, Morton Feldman’s Structures, and string quartets by Witold Lutoslawski and Hans Abrahamsen.

Violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland first met while attending the Eastman School of Music, and have been making music together ever since. In recent years, JACK Quartet has made a lasting impression on audiences and critics around the world. The Washington Post commented, “The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital.” The Boston Globe described the group’s playing as “explosive virtuosity” and Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times) called their sold-out performances of Georg Friedrich Haas’ String Quartet No. 3 In iij. Noct. ”mind-blowingly good.”

JACK Quartet is committed both to commissioning new works and playing some of the most challenging repertoire of the 20th Century. This passion for new music has led them to work closely with outstanding composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Matthias Pintscher, Georg Friedrich Haas, James Dillon, Toshio Hosokawa, Wolfgang Rihm, Elliott Sharp, Beat Furrer, Caleb Burhans, and Aaron Cassidy.

Music on the Edge and The Andy Warhol Museum will be co-presenting JACK Quartet at the Warhol’s Museum Theater on Saturday, March 1st at 8 p.m. Get your tickets in advance, because this show is sure to sell out!

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).

February 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm Comments (0)

PSO Premieres The Elements

February 7, 2014
8:00 pm
February 8, 2014
8:00 pm
February 9, 2014
2:30 pm

Heinz Hall


XKCD: The Elements

So many reasons you are not going to want to miss the PSO’s  premiere of The Elements this weekend, not the least of which is the post-concert opportunity to write indignant letters to Elizabeth Bloom and Mark Kanny about how disturbed you were by the exclusion of lithium. For instance.

All (or at least most) kidding aside, this is a big weekend in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s year-long celebration of Pittsburgh composers. The Elements is a five movement work with movements contributed by Patrick Burke, Bomi Jang, Mathew Rosenblum, Reza Vali, and Amy Williams. Each composer’s piece will take as its theme one of the archaic elements such as earth, water, air, fire, and metal. No word yet on which composer has the Fifth Element.

The concert will also include Holst’s perennial favorite The Planets, and as if that’s not enough, the orchestra will project NASA video of our solar system during the performance. It’s no wonder the tickets have been selling pretty quickly, so if you haven’t gotten yours yet, don’t wait much longer.

February 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm Comments (0)

Anthony Coleman and Jason Ajemian

February 21, 2014
8:00 pmto10:00 pm
8:00 pmto10:00 pm


Music on the Edge and the Consortium are excited to co-present a recital featuring pianist and composer Anthony Coleman and bassist Jason Ajemian at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside on February 21st.

Anthony Coleman, director of the New England Conservatory Chamber Ensemble, is a composer and pianist who frequently performs within the free improvised and avant-garde jazz scenes in downtown New York. In addition to contemporary influences, his compositions are frequently influenced by his Jewish heritage. Acoustic bassist Jason Ajemian is one of the members of the underground music scene in Chicago, playing a variety of creative improvised, and experimental musics based in rock and jazz.

Admission is $10 at the door. In addition to the recital, Coleman will give a free lecture about his music on Friday, February 21, 4 p.m. at Pitt’s Music Building.


February 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm Comments (0)

Music of Burr Van Nostrand

February 22, 2014
8:00 pmto10:00 pm
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

Nostrand Voyage in a White Building page 19

“We had never heard anyone like him before, and we haven’t since.” – Malcolm Peyton (2011)

Have you ever heard the music of Burr Van Nostrand? If not, you are in for a listening experience unlike any other this February. An often overlooked modern composer, Van Nostrand received a good deal of recognition in the 1970s, including a four-year residency at Gaudeamus Foundation and several awards, before his works fell into obscurity for a number of years. Happily, that situation has been changing in recent years. Due to the efforts of New England Conservatory student Jason Belcher and pianist/composer Anthony Coleman, a New World Records recording of Van Nostrands’s music has sparked renewed interest in his work; Music on the Edge co-director Mathew Rosenblum has also played a significant role in that trend. Rosenblum provided extensive liner notes for that CD and has been one of the main catalysts for the Pittsburgh concert that seeks to build on the success of the recording project.

Burr Van Nostrand’s composition combine detailed graphic notation with conventional notation in his compositions. If you’ve ever performed a graphically notated piece, you know it requires a great degree of skill and creative interpretation on the part of the performer. Due to the difficulty of Van Nostrand’s works, they are rarely performed, but Music on the Edge has found a group of musicians up to the task! Three stalwarts of Pittsburgh’s contemporary music scene will bring Van Nostrand’s Fantasy Manual for Urban Survival to life. The trio will comprise flutist Lindsey Goodman, best known locally for her stellar performances with Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Attack Theatre Music Director Dave Eggar on cello, and Pitt faculty composer Eric Moe on the piano. Many of the same artists who participated in the landmark New World recording will reprise their performances in Pittsburgh. Pianist/conductor Anthony Coleman will lead the New England Conservatory Chamber Ensemble in Van Nostrand’s Voyage in a White Building 1 and violinist Paul Severtson will perform Phaedra Antinomaes. Oh, and did we mention that the composer will also be in attendance?

Don’t miss this all-star lineup of talented performers on Saturday, February 22, 8 p.m. at Bellefield Hall Auditorium on the University of Pittsburgh Campus.

Tickets for the Music of Burr Van Nostrand 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. Pitt students are free with valid ID.

February 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm Comments (0)