Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Ben Opie’s Concerto for Orkestra

May 2, 2014
8:00 pm

New Hazlett Theater

(Doors at 7 p.m.)

Ben Opie premieres Concerto for Orkestra on May 2.
Ben Opie premieres Concerto for Orkestra on May 2.


Ben Opie, OPEK, and Nizan Leibovich present the world premiere of Concerto for Orkestra, a brand new symphony for jazz orchestra.  Composed by Pittsburgh jazz musician Ben Opie, Concerto for Orkestra features ten movements styled around the idea that music is a kind of transportation.  Following in the tradition of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, Opie has brought his considerable talent to bear to create an original full length symponic composition for jazz orchestra.

The completion of Concerto for Orkestra was made possible by an Investing in Professional Artists: Creative Development Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation.  It premiers at the New Hazlett Theater this May.

April 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm Comments (0)

The Radiophonic Fantasies of the Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra

April 19, 2014
8:00 pm

New Hazlett Theater

Ondist Geneviève Grenier.

Ondist Geneviève Grenier.

E.L.C.O. is thrilled to be included in the New Hazlett Theatre’s CSA program to present “The Radiophonic Fantasies of the Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra.” In this program, ELCO will collaborate with the renowned Québec-based ondes Martenot player Geneviève Grenier, one of about a dozen musicians in the world skilled with this exotic instrument. The program includes new works by E.L.C.O. composers Alan Tormey and David Gerard Matthews, as well as selections from Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony and works by the French-Canadian composer Claude Vivier and the Czech-French composer Bohuslav Martinu.

You can learn more about the Ondes Martenot when the New Hazlett presents a special screening of Wavemakers on Tuesday, April 15.  Free to CSA shareholders. Only $5 for everyone else.

April 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm Comments (0)

PSO Performs Galbraith’s Euphonic Blues

March 21, 2014
8:00 pm
March 23, 2014
2:30 pm

Heinz Hall

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra continues its Year of the Pittsburgh Composer with a performance of Nancy Galbraith’s Euphonic Blues. Euphonic Blues was premiered in 2012 by the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Orchestra for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Carnegie Mellon School of Music. Donald Runnicles will also lead the orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and highlights from Wagner’s Ring.

Nancy Galbraith resides in Pittsburgh, where she is Professor of Composition at Carnegie Mellon University. In a career that spans three decades, her music has earned praise for its rich harmonic texture, rhythmic vitality, emotional and spiritual depth, and wide range of expression.

Galbraith has had six works performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, beginning with the 1988 premiere of Morning Litany, directed by the eminent Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdetsvensky. The orchestra followed with performances of Danza de los Duendes in 1992, Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1995, and Tormenta del Sur in 2001. In 1998 the PSO commissioned and premiered A Festive Violet Pulse for a celebration welcoming its new music director Mariss Jansons. De profundis ad lucem was commissioned by California University of Pennsylvania to celebrate its 150th anniversary and was premiered there by the PSO in 2002. The work received its European premiere with the Limburgs Symfonie Orkest in the Netherlands in 2011.

March 19, 2014 at 8:51 am Comments (0)

Please Turn Your Cell Phones On!

March 16, 2014
7:00 pm

Bellefield Hall Auditorium
Tickets: general admission $15; students and seniors $10.
Advance tickets are $12 and $8. Call 412-422-8042.
Children under 12 free.


IonSound Project’s next concert will include a wide array of music ranging from Arvo Pärt’s meditative Spiegel im Spiegel to the pop sensibilities of Telephone Book by Michael Torke. The program also includes Berio’s virtuosic Sequenza VIII for solo violin, John Mackey’s Breakdown Tango, and Jonathan Kolm’s Trio for Clarinet, Cello, Piano. But regardless of what style or era the music is from, the concert experience will be firmly rooted in the 21st century as IonSound Project invites audience members to be their collaborators through social media interactions during the performance.

“Please Turn Your Cell Phones ON” will feature live social media feeds through facebook, instagram, and twitter, so that audience members can share reactions and responses in the moment. Stay tuned for announcements about contests and a call for photographs! If you don’t already do so, follow IonSound Project on facebook, instagram, and twitter for regular updates.

March 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm Comments (0)

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)

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