Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

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)

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)

CAPA Antithesis and CAPA Electro-Acoustic Ensemble Winter Concert

Thursday, January 24th, 7:00 pm
CAPA’s Cabaret Theatre
111 9th St

CAPA Antithesis, the new-music ensemble of Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, presents its winter concert, under the direction of Alia Musica member (and CAPA teacher) Lenny Young. This concert will also see the debut of a brand new music group, CAPA Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, under the direction of composer Alec Summers. Music includes original works by the directors and students, plus pieces by Charles Mingus, Carl Bergstrom-Nielsen, Tom Johnson and local composer Dave Bernabo.


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January 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm Comments (0)

Molly Joyce and her finalist piece “Dollhouse”

Molly Joyce is a young up-and-coming Pittsburgh-borned-and-raised composer. She’s studying composition at Julliard since 2011, and her music is getting a lot of attention around the country… ensembles, blogs, audiences, etc. Her piece Dollhouse was selected as one of the 5 finalists in the PNME/Alia Musica 2012-13 Competition, so it’s part of the program in Alia Musica’s concert Friday (Kresge Hall, 7:30, $15/12).

I had a nice talk with her last Friday. We had ‘skyped her in’ for one of the rehearsals, so we thought, why not have a conversation about things? Here’s some of it, check it out:

November 13, 2012 at 10:37 am Comments (0)

E.L.C.O. and OvreArts get some publicity!

Here’s a great write-up of recent performances by Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra and OvreArts by dance critic Jane Vranish!


September 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm Comments (0)

PNME/Alia Musica Competition

A reminder to all Pittsburgh-related composers: this Friday is the deadline for submission to the Call for Scores and Commission Competition with Alia Musica and the PNME, a new opportunity for Pittsburgh-related composers that offers both a performance of an existing work and a commission for a new piece.

Composers are invited to submit:

1 piece
for 5–15 performers,
7–15′ in length,
by July 15, 2012.

There is no entry fee. 5-6 finalists will be performed by Alia Musica in the Fall of 2012,
and out of that concert a winning composer is selected for a $4,000 commission by the PNME, for premiere in the Summer of 2013.

Submission is by email: a score and an mp3 of any available recordings (no MIDI). Full guidelines here


July 9, 2012 at 11:35 am Comment (1)

From Cage and Varèse to Tsontakis and DJ Spooky…

What a great concert last night with the Bugallo-Williams piano duo—a great wrap up for Music on the Edge’s 2011-12 season. Pittsburgh’s new music scene is really moving along!

In fact, I’m excited to announce the Hear/Now festival on April 13 and 14. It’s coproduced by the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and Alia Musica.—I’m really honored to have helped curate a pretty cool line-up for this first time.

I don’t even know where to start mentioning the highlights and keeping the list short without leaving out some of the coolest stuff! Performers include eighth blackbird’s Tim Munro, DJ Spooky, Attack Theater’s Dave Eggar, PNME’s Conor Hanik, Pittsburgh’s own Eric Moe and Michael Johnsen… there are numbers by Alia Musica, ELCO, OvreArts, and Freya Quartet, multimedia acts by Chris McGlumphy, Alisha Wormsley, and a party at the Shadow Lounge with Ben Opie and DJ Soy Sos.

And the music that is being played! We’ll get to hear Varèse (Alia Musica is playing Octandre), Cage (in Tim Munro’s own solo-flute version of the Aria for solo voice), Feldman and Worinen played by PNME’s Conor Hanik, a Philip Glass quartet performed by Freya Quartet… I get to premiere a piece by George Tsontakis with Alia Musica too

Not to mention the plenty of music by Pittsburgh composers: Mathew Rosenblum’s wonderful Circadian Rhythms, piano music by him and Eric Moe (performed by Eric himself), John Newkom’s string quartet, a premiere by John Arrigo-Nelson, the music of Luke Mayernik…

For details and discount tickets visit the Kelly Strayhorn website. The event is also announced on Facebook, so make sure to like the organizations involved!


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April 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm Comments (0)

Fri Feb 17 @ William Pitt Union : ANDREA PARKINS & IRIS QUARTET

February 17, 2012
8:00 pm

There will be no lasers at this event. And no alcohol (unless you sneak in a flask). But here will be world-class experimental electroacoustic music which Pittsburgh rarely gets to hear.

On Fri,. Feb 17, respected NYC-based laptop & keyboard improvisor
Andrea Parkins (yes, the cousin of electric harpist Zeena) will perform
along with her German/French quartet Iris, featuring ‘endangered guitar’ by Hans Tammen, drummer Edward Perraud and cellist Didier
Petit. Opening the show is the duo of Ben Opie and Matt Wellins.

The concert is at 8 pm in the Lower Lounge of the William Pitt
Union (the glass atrium facing Bigelow), University of Pittsburgh in Oakland. Admission is $10 advance, $15 door. Tickets are on sale
now at Sound Cat (formerly Paul’s CDs), Caliban Books, Dave’s Music
Mine, Exchange Squirrel Hill, Exchange Downtown, and at the William Pitt Union Box Office. The show is presented by The Consortium, WPTS-FM, and the French-American Cultural Exchange,

Years ago, Andrea Parkins appeared here at Public Health Auditorium with her iconic free-jazz group led by Ellery Eskelin and Jim Black. Since then, she’s been involved in a huge variety of projects around the world involving sound art, museums, dance and film. She’s received support from the American Composers Forum and Meet The Composer, and collaborated with the likes of Nels Cline, Otomo Yoshihide, Marc Ribot and Fred Frith, and released albums on Atavistic, Creative Sources, Henceforth and Hatology. Her latest release, “Faulty (Broken Orbit)” is an electroacoustic opus on the famed label Important Records (see link below).





February 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm Comments (0)

IonSound Project’s First Installment of “Commissions for the Future”

IonSound Project presents the first works from their Commissions for the Future project this Sunday night.


IonSound Project’s concert this Sunday would strike me as particularly significant even if I didn’t have a new piece on the program (but yes, it helps!). There are in fact, three new works on the concert, all by Pittsburgh composers: Christian Kriegeskotte, Nizan Leibovich, and myself. That in and of itself is important, since it illustrates once again that the Burgh is a center for the creation—not just the consumption—of art. But more important still is the reason why there are three new works on this concert, namely IonSound Project’s new Commissions for the Future program. IonSounders have been actively engaging members of the community to support commissions for new works and this is the first program to showcase the fruits of their efforts. It’s a great start to what we hope will grow into an ongoing partnership between a genuinely excellent new music ensemble and the local community.

As usual, the concert will be a treat to for the eyes and the ears. All the musical compositions reference visual art that will be projected on screen, and Rob Frankenberry’s transcription of  Pictures at an Exhibition will feature art by children from the Falk School. My piece is actually a collaboration with artist Ryan Day and his stunning digital animation is being presented for the first time as well. I hope you can come out and join us at Pitt’s Bellefield Hall Auditorium on Sunday night at 7. Tickets are $15 and $10 and you can learn more about the program here.

November 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm Comments (0)

10/19: Ned Rothenberg Quintet + Ben Opie Ensemble + Anthony Braxton LP release

October 19, 2011
8:00 pm

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Tickets: $15 at the door. $10 advance at Paul’s CDs, Caliban Books, William Pitt Union Box Office, Dave’s Music  Mine, and The Exchange (Squirrel Hill, Downtown).

Wednesday October 19 is a triple threat New Music/avant-garde jazz night for three great reasons:

1) It’s the first appearance in Pittsburgh in over a decade for NYC-based multi-reedist Ned Rothenberg. Over the past three decades, Rothenberg has worked with the likes of Fred Frith, Evan Parker, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, and Elliott Sharp. Now he’s on tour with the Mivos Quartet, a string ensemble specializing in contemporary composition. The five musicians will perform his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings which was released on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records in 2010: http://www.tzadik.com/index.php?catalog=7267For information on Rothenberg, check:http://www.nedrothenberg.com/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Rothenberg

2) Local saxophonist Ben Opie will open the evening with his own ensemble. It was Opie who organized the entire visit of legendary MacArthur Genius Grant-winning composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton to Pittsburgh in 2008. In addition to recording a double CD with Opie, playing with his Septet at the Manchester Craftsman Guild, with CAPA High School’s Antithesis Ensemble and with the birds at the Aviary, Braxton conducted a group of local musicians (“The Three Rivers Tri-Centric Ensemble”) in one of his compositions. The results were recorded, and will be released on October 19 as a limited edition (300 copies) vinyl LP on stalwart local experimental label SSS Records (as catalog # SSS-60). This concert is the release party – you’ll definitely want to pick it up.

3) This concert is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s award-winning college radio station, WPTS-FM. Although the station has been known for many years for bringing great indie bands to campus (ranging from the Silver Jews to Of Montreal), this is the first time it has stood solidly behind an avant-garde jazz/New Music event. Here’s hoping they do so regularly in the future.

Here are the event details:
Ned Rothenberg & Mivos Quartet
Ben Opie Ensemble
Anthony Braxton LP release
Wednesday October 19 8 pm all ages welcome
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh
$15 at the door. $10 advance at Paul’s CDs, Caliban Books, William Pitt Union Box Office, Dave’s Music  Mine, and The Exchange (Squirrel Hill, Downtown).

Originally posted by Manny Theiner.

October 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm Comments (0)

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