Sunday May 29
2pm: First Unitarian Church
3pm: Schenley Plaza
4:30pm: Heymann Theater (Stephen Foster Memorial)
6pm: First Unitarian Church
Monday May 30
2-5pm The Union Project
Pittsburgh Festival of New Music presents Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning. One of the earliest pieces to be called “minimalist” (by composer and critic Michael Nyman), The Great Learning is composed for a large number of trained and untrained musicians on texts by Confucius in Ezra Pound’s translations. The piece conjures at once Ligeti’s clouds of sound, Webern’s pointillism, Reich’s phasing cycles, and Cage’s conceptual provocations.
The Great Learning at PFNM is performed in various city venues as a collaboration with percussionist and Great-Learning-veteran Sarah Hennies, Pittsburgh’s David Matthews, and the Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra (ELCO).
Pittsburgh Festival of New Music presents Pittsburgh Soundpike. Festival guest artists and Pittsburgh’s most active new music groups take to the stage together in a concert with a unique pay-as-you-exit format. Join us for three segments and discounts for drinks and dinner at The Porch and dinner at Conflict Kitchen!
The three programs feature Berio‘s Voice Sequenza (Tony Arnold), Murail‘s Tellur (Dieter Hennings), and Rzewski‘s The Fall of the Empire (Carlos Camacho, Allen Otte). Plus music by Zvonimir Nagy, Reza Vali, Jonghee Kang, Mark Fromm, Ryan McMasters, Lenny Young, and a special World Premiere by David Stock (Mark Fromm and Jennie Dorris).
Segment I: 3–4:30pm ($20 or $15)
CAPA’s Antithesis, Bell’Art Ensemble
Trillium Ensemble, Zoe Sorrell’s Syrinx Project,
Ryan McMasters and $5 off your happy hour bill at The Porch
Segment II: Guest soloists: 5:30–6:30pm ($20)
Tony Arnold: Berio’s Voice Sequenza
Dieter Hennings: Murail’s Tellur
Carlos Camacho: Rzewski’s Fall of the Empire and dinner ($10 off) at Conflict Kitchen
Segment III: 8–9:30pm ($20 or $15)
Guest soloist Allen Otte
Kamraton, Noa Even and ELCO
Jennie Dorris and Mark Fromm and $5 off your bill at The Porch afterwards
Musicians gather one by one from 2 harps and 1 bass to a full symphony orchestra, in the scintillating buildup and finale at the end of Stravinsky’s 1910 masterpiece. Market Square, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 11 at 1pm EST.
If you can’t make it to Market Square today, PFNM will be streaming the flashmob of Stravinsky’s Firebird on the PFNM Facebook page, at 1pm.
The flashmob is part of the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, which launched last week with the premiere of Amy Williams’ Cineshape (featuring the composer herself, the JACK Quartet, Lindsey Goodman, Scott Christian, and short films by Aaron Henderson).
Cineshape, composer Amy Williams’ and video artist Aaron Henderson’s multimedia collaboration, will take place at the Warhol with two performances at 7 and 8:30 p.m. The evening features outstanding performers JACK Quartet, flutist Lindsey Goodman, percussionist Scott Christian. Composer Williams will also perform at the piano and Aaron Henderson will mix the video live.
Cineshape is both the final Music on the Edge program until fall and the launch of the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, led by Federico Garcia and Alia Musica Pittsburgh.
With that pivot point in the concert season in mind, it seems like a particularly good time for David Bernabo’s interview with Music on the Edge Codirectors Eric Moe and Mathew Rosenblum. Check it out for a nice perspective on how the new music scene in the Burgh has evolved over the last 25 years. Here’s what Mathew had to say about about visiting performer’s sense of our scene:
“…Folks that play in New York, even at the new venues, National Sawdust or wherever, they come here and say, “Holy crap. This is fun; this is vibrant.”
Alia Musica’s Spring 2016 concert features the World Premiere of a new work by Ken Ueno, commissioned as part of the year-long residency with the California composer and vocalist whose concerto for overtone singer and orchestra was performed by the organization in the Fall of 2015.
In addition to Ueno’s piece, the concert features soprano Tony Arnold in the East Coast premiere of works by University of Chicago composer Augusta Read Thomas (Of Being is of a Bird, on texts by Emily Dickinson) and Alia Musica director Federico Garica-De Castro (Memoria, homage to Bernardo Jaramillo Ossa, Colombian presidential candidate assassinated in 1998). Ms. Arnold is joined by Pittsburgh soprano Anna Elder in the Pittsburgh premiere of Curtis Rumrill’s Rover, for 2 sopranos and five players.
Soprano Tony Arnold is “a luminary in the world of chamber music and art song” (Sequenza 21), and the lead vocalist for ensembles like the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Eastman Broadband. The recipient of the 2015-16 Brandeis Creative Arts Award, revived especially for her residency at Brandeis University, Ms. Arnold is the performer of choice of George Crumb, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and many other leading composers of our time.
*Please note that the Heymann and Charity Randall Theaers are both in the Foster Memorial
Pittsburgh Festival of New Music continues with a flashmob of the buildup to the finale of Firebird. Starting with a harp and a double-bass preparing for a bassoon solo (featuring PSO’s David Sogg), musicians join one by one into the famous sparkling tutti that closes Stravinsky’s beloved 1911 ballet. “There are several suitable passages by Stravinsky,” says PFNM Director Federico Garcia-De Castro, who created the arrangement. “We contemplated the Symphony of Psalms, and many sections of The Rite were a constant temptation. But nothing really beats the buildup and the joy of the ending of Firebird...”
Come hear the Pittsburgh debut of Ken Ueno’s landmark piece, written for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in 2008, and already a classic of 21st century composition. Expect vocal overtones, subtones, throat-singing, and more, when Ken himself takes on the stage accompanied by Alia Musica’s 35-strong orchestra.
The performance is part of “A Year with Ken Ueno”, Alia Musica’s 2015-16 residence with the renowned California composer, vocalist, and improvisor. The residency is supported by a grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments.
– Federico Garcia-De Castro: Contrepoint, for strings (10 min)
– Ken Ueno: a talk and introduction to vocal techniques and composition in On a Sufficient Condition… (20 min)
(brief set-up intermission)
– Ken Ueno: On a Sufficient Condition for the Existence of Most Specific Hypothesis. Concerto for overtone singer and orchestra (20 min)
Performed by Alia Musica’s orchestra, conducted by Federico Garcia-De Castro. Ken Ueno, overtone singing.
Friday, May 22, 8pm
Saturday, May 23, 8pm
Sunday, May 24, 2pm
Eve Apart is a new multi-media musical production that plumbs the era of Lilith and Lucifer and reimagines the Genesis story. Each act explores layered and primal themes of feminine power, infusing them with a stark and modern relevance.
Working on the original libretto by Pittsburgh writer Kip Soteres, composer Tim Hinck interweaves influences from prehistoric rhythms to lush neo-impressionism to high-tech, futuristic tones and ambient electronica. For the premiere tour, conductor Federico Garcia-De Castro leads a cast of Chattanooga and Pittsburgh performers and singers, featuring soprano Desiree Soteres, in performances in both cities.
Alia Musica presents its Spring concert with music for mixed ensembles for between 5 and 12 players. Music by Pittsburgh composers Jorge Sastre (CMU/Universitat Politècnica de València), Jonghee Kang (recent Pitt PhD), Erberk Eryilmaz (CMU), and Alia Musica’s Curtis Rumrill and Mark Fromm, performed by the city’s most active new music players under Federico Garcia-De Castro’s baton.
Founded in 2005, Yarn/Wire is admired for the energy and precision they bring to performances of today’s most adventurous music. In addition to championing existing repertoire for the piano+percussion combination, their devotion to collaborating with living artists and composers is helping create a new and lasting repertoire, “spare and strange and very, very new” (Time Out NY).
Their March 2015 tour, in addition to marking their Pittsburgh debut performance, includes concerts at SUNY Birmingham, SUNY Buffalo, and Oberlin University.
The concert takes place at the James Laughlin Music Hall includes the following works:
Aaron Helgeson: If where is of to why (2008)
John Arrigo-Nelson: Lacrimosa risoluta (world premiere)
Alex Mincek: Pendulum VI: “Trigger” (2010)
Luciano Berio: Linea (1973)