Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Battle Trance at the Warhol

February 7, 2015
8:00 pm

The Andy Warhol Museum

The Warhol welcomes the genre-defying saxophone quartet Battle Trance (comprising Travis Laplante, Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner, andPatrick Breiner) on a tour supporting their debut release, Palace of Wind, on New Amsterdam Records. Performing primarily the music of member Travis Laplante, the quartet crosses boundaries and exists loosely within realms of contemporary classical music, avant-garde jazz, black metal, ambient, and world music, the new record challenges conventions of the saxophone as an ensemble instrument. The sonic vocabulary of the quartet has developed through techniques such as circular breathing, allowing them to build continues, hypnotic waves of sound and intricate textures.

January 25, 2015 at 2:10 pm Comments (0)

Interview with Violist-Composer Jessica Meyer

On January 31, violist and composer Jessica Meyer will split a recital for Music on the Edge with guitarist Seth Josel. Well-known in the New York contemporary music scene for her work with groups such as counter)induction and American Modern Ensemble, composing reemerged as an important part of Jessica’s musical identity when she encountered Reggie Watts’ masterful use of the loop pedal. Soon she began composing pieces of her own for viola and loop pedal. Sounds of Being, her recently released CD, contains many of these compositions and Jessica will perform them at her concert at the Warhol. She’ll also premiere a new work by Eric Moe for viola and fixed media titled Uncanny Affable Machines.

This past December, Jessica and I talked together over Skype about her compositions and how her creative voice has developed. The video feed got choppy at times, so I had to do a little more patching together than usual, but I know you’ll be happy to hear what Jessica has to say about all of this, so here it is.

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January 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm Comments (0)

Amernet String Quartet is SOLD OUT

A quick note to let anyone who was on the fence about coming to the Amernet String Quartet concert at the Warhol tomorrow night to, well, find another fence. Amernet is sold out. I’ll be posting more new music events over the long weekend though, so despair not!

January 16, 2015 at 4:56 pm Comments (0)

Jessica Meyer and Seth Josel

January 31, 2015
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

MeyerAt the end of January, MOTE and the Andy Warhol Museum are bringing you a duo recital featuring both virtuosic musicians and exciting repertoire. Violist Jessica Meyer will perform her own composition Sounds of Being for viola and loop pedal and premiere Eric Moe’s Uncanny Affable Machines for viola and electroacoustics. Guitarist Seth Josel will perform music by Berlin-based composer Peter Ablinger as well as a rarely heard Feldman work, once thought to be lost, The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar.

Feldman originally wrote The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar for his good friend Christian Wolff. After only a few performances, however, Wolff’s guitar was stolen along with the piece stored in the case. For years, the piece was lost until guitarist Seth Josel came upon a recording of one of Wolff’s performances and decided to transcribe it with some assistance from Feldman’s original sketches. Click here for a more in-depth exploration of the piece’s history.

Seth Josel is one of the leading instrumental pioneers of his generation. As a soloist he has concertized in Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, France, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the US and Canada. He has performed as a guest with leading orchestras and ensembles of Europe, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra (London), the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, and the Schönberg Ensemble of Amsterdam, and has appeared at several major European festivals including the Salzburg Festspiele, Ars Musica, The Holland Festival, London’s South Bank Festival and many others. In recent seasons he has been guesting regularly with KNM Berlin, Ensemble SurPlus of Freiburg as well as with the Basel Sinfonietta.

The other half of the program will be performed by violist and composer Jessica Meyer. Known for her “polish, focus, and excitement” and “expressive, luscious sound” (The New York Times), Jessica is a versatile performer who has been featured as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player throughout the world. As a soloist, Jessica has premiered pieces for solo viola around the country, and is committed to expanding the repertoire for viola by commissioning new works while also composing her own. Her solo compositions explore the wide palette of sonic colors available to the viola while using traditional and extended techniques enhanced by the electronic process of looping material. In 2014-15, she will tour her latest solo show titled “Sounds of Being” – a surround-sound sensory experience where the music allows the listener to access a certain series of emotions, framed by personal stories and anecdotes.

For tickets, call 412-624-7529 or visit music.pitt.edu/tickets. Tickets in advance: general admission is $15; students and seniors are $10. At the door: general admission is $20; non-Pitt students and seniors are $15. (No free student tickets at the Warhol.)


January 11, 2015 at 12:58 pm Comments (0)

Amernet String Quartet

January 17, 2015
8:00 pmto10:00 pm
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

amernet5 copy

Winter vacation is over and Music on the Edge is happy to be back at work bringing you new music! MOTE will be teaming up with The Andy Warhol Museum this January to present Amernet String Quartet on Saturday January 17th.

Lauded for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” playing by The New York Times, the Amernet String Quartet has garnered worldwide praise and recognition. The Cincinnati Enquire has called Amernet “One of America’s finest ensembles.”  The group formed in 1991 while its founding members were students at the Juilliard School and quickly rose to international attention after their first season, winning the gold medal at the Tokyo International Music Competition, before being named first-prize winners of the prestigious Banff International String Quartet Competition.

The Amernet has always been committed to the music of our time and has commissioned works from many of today’s leading composers. They have worked closely with Anthony Brandt, Guillermo Carbo, John Corigliano, Orlando Garcia, John Harbison, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Bernard Rands, Gerhard Samuel, Morton Subotnick, Dmitri Tymoczko, Chinary Ung, and many others. In addition to frequent touring, Amernet is currently the Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University.

Amernet’s Pittsburgh performance takes place Saturday, January 17th at 8 p.m. at the Andy Warhol Museum. The program will include Elliott Carter’s String Quartet No. 5, a classic of the 20th-century repertoire. The quartet will delve into Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung’s synthesis of Asian and Western compositional influences with Spiral III. Amy Williams will join the Amernet at the piano for her own Cineshape 2, and Eric Moe’s The Salt of Broken Tears will round out the program.

For tickets, call 412-624-7529 or visit music.pitt.edu/tickets. Tickets in advance: general admission is $15; students and seniors are $10. At the door: general admission is $20; non-Pitt students and seniors are $15.

January 6, 2015 at 7:12 pm Comments (0)

Music on the Edge Chamber Orchestra

October 19, 2014
8:00 pmto10:00 pm


MOTE is excited to present the Music on the Edge Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Roger Zahab this October 19th at 8 p.m. in Bellefield Hall Auditorium. The series’ namesake orchestra is a an all-star gathering of accomplished local musicians. The program includes I give you the end of a golden string by Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music), Roger Zahab’s Evening on 57th Street, Toru Takemitsu’s The Dorian Horizon, and Claude Vivier’s Zipangu.

Judith Weir, recently appointed the first female Master of the Queen’s Music, is the composer and librettist of several widely performed operas whose diverse sources include Icelandic sagas, Chinese Yuan Dynasty drama and German Romanticism interests in narrative, folklore and theatre have found expression in a broad range of musical invention. Folk music from the British Isles and beyond has influenced her music for solo instruments, and she has had strong links with performers from non-classical traditions. MOTE Chamber Orchestra director, Roger Zahab, has been a long time supporter of her music and has presented many of her pieces in Pittsburgh. In addition to his work as a musical director, Roger is a violinist who has premiered over 100 new works, and also a prolific composer whose works have been performed internationally.

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; non-Pitt students and seniors are $15. For Bellefield Hall Auditorium, Pitt students are admitted free with valid ID.

October 7, 2014 at 12:51 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)

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)

h2 Saxophone Quartet

January 11, 2014
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

h2b (1)

Have you ever considered making a New Year’s resolution to hear a fresh composition every month of the year? In some places, such a goal might prove challenging, but Pittsburgh luckily hosts an ample selection of new music. This January, Pitt’s Music on the Edge and The Andy Warhol Museum are delighted to present h2 Saxophone Quartet and Strike Duo (piano and percussion) in programs that highlight leading creative voices in contemporary music. h2 performs on Saturday, January 11th at 8 p.m. at the Andy Warhol Museum (more on Strike later).

Hailed by the Saxophone Journal as “…a virtuosic, tight, beautifully balanced ensemble that also delivers lovely lyrical musical lines.”, the award-winning h2 quartet has been wowing audiences since 2002.  A dynamic and innovative chamber ensemble, h2 constantly seeks to defy perceptions and expectations of the saxophone. h2 takes advantage of the great expressive capacity of their instrument by programming traditional, avant-garde, minimalist, and jazz-influenced works in surprising and compelling ways. h2 has performed throughout the United States, and has performed in Europe, the UK and in Asia. The group has also been featured on PBS’s Backstage Pass. Check out the full episode here! h2 has three recordings available that give listeners a taste of the saxophone’s incredible sonic and stylistic agility. The latter two feature works from some of the most exciting American composers working today, including Takuma Itoh, Marc Mellits, and (Pitt’s own) Amy Williams.

The h2 Saxophone Quartet’s Pittsburgh program will feature recent works from American composers, including William Albright’s Fantasy Etudes, Amy Williams’ Univocity, Bernard Rands’ PRISM: Memo 6b, Matthew Rosenblum’s Mobius Loop, and Daniel Wohl’s Microfluctuations in Plainchant (for sax quartet and 8-bit digital audio). So, you can add this show to your list of concerts for the year where you’ll have the opportunity to hear something completely new.  Don’t miss h2’s “incendiary performance!” (-the examiner.com)

 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.)


December 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm Comments (0)

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