Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond


May 4, 2016
7:00 pmto8:00 pm
8:30 pmto9:30 pm

unnamedMusic on the Edge concludes it’s 25th anniversary season with Cineshape on Wednesday, May 4th at the Andy Warhol Museum. Part of the 2016 Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, Cineshape is co-presented by The Andy Warhol Museum and the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of the Provost and Humanities Center.

Cineshape began in 2003 when Pittsburgh composer Amy Williams was inspired by the Korean film Chunhyang to write a piece of chamber music that came to be the first installment of Cineshape, a word she invented to describe musical compositions that draw structural inspiration from films. There are now five Cineshape pieces, each inspired by a different film, written for varying instrumentations from solo piano up to 7 players. This past year, Williams began working with video artist Aaron Henderson, who took an immediate interest in the Cineshape project. Henderson’s new films draw from sources as diverse as chemical reactions and NASA. Together they have turned these five compositions into a multimedia performance with live film processing by Henderson and an all-star lineup of performers, including the JACK Quartet, flutist Lindsey Goodman, percussionist Scott Christian, and the composer at the piano.

Amy Williams is a composer of music that is “simultaneously demanding, rewarding and fascinating” (Buffalo News), “daring” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “fresh, daring and incisive” (Fanfare). Her works have been presented throughout the United States, Australia, Asia and Europe, by many of the world’s leading contemporary music soloists and ensembles. As a member of the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, she has concertized globally and recorded a critically-acclaimed series of CDs for the Wergo label, including first recordings of works by Nancarrow, Stravinsky, Varèse, Kurtàg and others. Amy’s pieces appear on the Albany, Parma, VDM, Blue Griffin, Centaur and New Ariel labels. She is the recipient of awards from the Howard Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation and American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is currently Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Pittsburgh and Artistic Director of the New Music on the Point Festival.

Aaron Henderson’s videos and installations examine the ways that humans move. “Each of Henderson’s exhilarating pieces offer delicious, small revelations….” (The Hook) Recent projects look at the personal, cultural and political ramifications of all action, from intimate gestures to displays of super-human acrobatics. Well acquainted with movement, he threw himself into walls and off of platforms for STREB Extreme Action, an acrobatic performance company from 2002-6. His videos, installations and projection designs have been presented at Lincoln Center, the Wexner Center and many other theaters, colleges and festivals across the country. Aaron co-founded LOSTWAX, an East Coast company creating fusions of performance and video, and edited and founded the International Thought Exchange, a now defunct mail art organization. Currently, Aaron is Assistant Professor in the Studio Arts Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

Deemed “superheroes of the new music world” (Boston Globe), the JACK Quartet is “the go-to quartet for contemporary music, tying impeccable musicianship to intellectual ferocity and a take-no-prisoners sense of commitment.” (Washington Post) “They are a musical vehicle of choice to the next great composers who walk among us.” (Toronto Star) Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK is focused on presenting cutting edge pieces, leading them to collaborate with many composers on compelling new works such as Cineshape.

Lindsey Goodman is known for her “generous warmth of tone and a fluid virtuosity” (Charleston Gazette), and for her “impressive artistry” (Tribune-Review), “agility and emotion” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Principal flutist of the West Virginia Symphony and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, she is in high demand as a soloist, chamber collaborator, orchestral musician, teacher, and clinician.

Scott Christian is the Principal Timpanist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and full-time percussion instructor at West Virginia State University. He is also founder, Artistic Director, and performer of Fresh Ink; a Charlotte-based new music chamber series.

Tickets are available through the University of Pittsburgh Stages Box Office by calling 412-624-7539 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.

This performance promises to be an unforgettable visual and sonic event with stellar performances. Don’t miss this epic conclusion to MOTE’s 25th anniversary season!

April 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm Comments (0)

PFNM: Firebird Flashmob!

May 11, 2016
1:00 pm

Market Square


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...”

Now where’d I put my King Kastchei suit?

April 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm Comments (0)

Ken Ueno, Tony Arnold with Alia Musica Pittsburgh

May 26, 2016
7:30 pm

Heymann Theater*

Tony - credit Claudia Hansen

Tony Arnold

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

Today at 3:43 pm Comments (0)