Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

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)

Ensemble Son and Either/Or Ensemble

October 5, 2013
8:00 pmto10:00 pm


The students are back in Oakland, and that means Music on the Edge is back at work bringing great ensembles to Pittsburgh. This year’s season will open with a double quartet concert featuring Stockholm’s Ensemble Son and New York’s Either/Or. The two contemporary music groups will combine forces to present a concert made entirely of premiere performances. The program includes Dark Flow by Either/Or cofounder and pianist Richard Carrick, Herabouts by Ensemble Son trombonist Ivo Nelson, and works by Keeril Makan (Letting Time Circle Through Us),  Lisa Streich (PAPIROSN), and Zeena Parkins (Circles and Squares). Several of the works will explore spatial relationships, sometimes by placing the performers in different parts of the performance space; sometimes by having different elements of the music unfold on independent, yet interconnected, timelines.

Either/Or is a flexible chamber ensemble based in New York City. Founded in 2004 by pianist/composer Richard Carrick and percussionist David Shively, Either/Or presents compelling new and recent works for unconventional ensemble formations rarely heard elsewhere. The group draws upon its roster, featuring some of New York’s leading interpreters, in programming intense chamber music alongside larger ensemble works. E/O has performed to critical acclaim at Miller Theatre, Merkin Concert Hall, The Kitchen, Philadelphia Museum of Art, MATA Festival, and ICA:Boston, in addition to frequent appearances at experimental music venues such as The Stone, Roulette, and Issue Project Room. Either/Or’s programs have included numerous world, U.S., and New York premieres. These range from major works of American experimental music to rarely heard classics from the dynamic margins of the European avant-garde. In addition to ongoing collaborations with emerging artists, Either/Or has brought distinguished composers such as Helmut Lachenmann (2008), Paolo Aralla (2009), Chaya Czernowin (2010, 2011), Karin Rehnqvist (2012), and Rebecca Saunders (2013) to New York for portrait concerts and lectures through E/O’s Composer’s Atelier series.

Ensemble SON comprises Saxophonist Joergen Pettersson, Guitarist Magnus Andersson, Percussionist Jonny Axelsson, and composer/ trombonist Ivo Nilsson. Some of Sweden’s most adventurous performers, they explore and expand the boundaries of contemporary musical expression both individually and as a group. (What’s more, each of their surnames ends in “son.” Pettersson has his roots in the Stockholm saxophone Quartet and is also active as a soloist and chamber musician. Andersson, one of the world’s leading guitarists in contemporary music, is known for his intimate personal relationship to his material and his audience. Percussionist  Axelsson is a well known interpreter of modern art music and has been involved in several exciting collaborations with artists working beyond the confines of music. Nilsson has premiered many solo and chamber works for the trombone and has made use of electronic sounds and theatrical effects in his performances.

Ensemble Son and Either/Or perform on Saturday, October 5, 8 p.m. at Pitt’s Bellefield Hall Auditorium. Tickets are available through the Pitt Repertory Theatre 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 free with ID


September 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm Comments (0)

NOW, NOW, IonSound, Mason, Mason, Mason, MOTE…

Sot there is a lot going on this weekend, and by this weekend I mean starting with two concerts Thursday night: The PSO, IonSound Project, and the Warhol have teamed up to present a concert of music curated by Mason Bates, including two of his own pieces. Meanwhile, back at Duquesne (and how often do you get to write that phrase?), NOW Ensemble is going to perform music by student composers from Duquesne and Pitt at PNC Recital Hall (8 pm and free). Friday through Sunday the PSO will perform Bates’ B-Sides. Saturday Night, MOTE present NOW at the Warhol and the program will include a the premiere of Rounder Songs by our own Patrick Burke and Emily Pinkerton. Soooooo… It’s going to be good! Oh yeah, and if you mention that you’re an IonSound supporter at the Warhol, the tickets are only $10 bucks for the Thursday night show. Check out the Events Calendar thusly ———>

March 21, 2013 at 8:57 am Comments (0)

NOW Ensemble

March 23, 2013
8:00 pmto10:00 pm


The Music on the Edge series will conclude this year with a performance by NOW Ensemble on March 23rd in the Andy Warhol Museum at 8 p.m. The groundbreaking composer/performer collective will premiere Pittsburgh composers Patrick Burke and Emily Pinkerton’s Rounder Songs as well as a new work by Mark Dancigers. Also on the program are Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Pale as Centuries, Samson Kar-Fai Young’s Night Song, and Judd Greenstein’s Change Triology.

I couldn’t put it better than Jeffery Edlestein of the International Concert Review when he writes “The vibrant sound of NOW Ensemble… does something more than offer composers an alternative to the ubiquitous ‘Pierrot ensembles plus singer or percussion.’ It breathes the air of this planet: the musical air of indie rock, rap, jazz, pop, and minimalism variously synthesized by classically-trained composers and instrumentalists. Three of NOW’s founding members are composers, and a community of 35 like-minded others have responded to the opportunities NOW embodies: to defy specialization, reject alienation, and inspire deft musicians to convey a sense of private amusement that enlivens the music they perform.”

NOW takes a unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, and piano and adds resident composers to produce a musical paradigm in which continuous collaboration between composers and the performers is taken as a given. NOW has worked with over 60 of today’s most exciting composers, including Nico Muhly, Timothy Andres, Missy Mazzoli, Judd Greenstein, Kathryn Alexander, Jason Treuting, Sean Friar, and Kirsten Volness. The ensemble brings a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical tradition, infused with the musical influences that reflect the diverse backgrounds of its members. In addition to performances as such venues as  Miller Theater, the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Festival International Chihuahua, and The Music Gallery Toronto among many others, NOW have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and on WNYC. The Ensemble’s sophomore album Awake charted at #2 in Amazon’s Classical Music Charts. NOW’s collaboration with film maker Joshua Frankel Plan of the City was praised in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and New Yorker critic Alex Ross’s blog, where it was hailed as “gorgeous”, and viewed over 80,000 times on Vimeo.

Tickets are available through the Pitt Repertory Theatre Box Office by calling 412-624-play 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.

See you at the Warhol!

February 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm Comments (0)

Haleh Abghari and Lisa Pegher

February 16, 2013
8:00 pmto10:00 pm


Music on the Edge is excited to begin 2013 with a duo recital starring two musicians of extreme talent.  Soprano Haleh Abghari and percussionist Lisa Pegher will share a program at The Andy Warhol Museum on Saturday February 16th.  Haleh Abghari will perform solo vocal works by John Cage, György Kurtág’s József Attila-Töredékek (Attila József Fragments) for solo soprano, and selections from Récitations pour voix seule (Recitations for Solo Voice) by Georges Aperghis. Lisa Pegher will premiere Patrick Burke’s Saturn Girls, Mathew Rosenblum’s Northern Flicker, and her own composition titled Liquefaction. Pegher’s portion of the program will also include works by Paul Lansky, Joe Sheehan, and Andrew Knox.

Haleh Abghari is a native of Iran who now makes her home in New York City. She has performed as a singer, actress, and voice-over artist in the U.S., Canada and Europe to critical acclaim. Among her many operatic and solo appearances in recent years, Abghari has earned critical acclaim as the only woman to perform the title role in Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King. Music Web International has described her performance, “Ms. Abghari…combines confident technique with unfettered inhibitions….One could only watch in amazement at her vocal colors: low, guttural growls leading to the occasional shriek, before colliding with genuine singing, occasionally plummeting to the timbre of a small girl. Sexual desire collided with fear, anxiety with sarcasm, and allure with indifference. It was one of those riveting evenings that fans will recall for years to come, and the immediate standing ovation told the rest of the story.” In addition to working with numerous living composers, Abghari has collaborated on a number of projects and site-specific installation-performances with visual and performance artists such as The Voice of the Soul by Remo Spado. Abghari is a firm believer in making a difference through her art and spends her off time practicing political activism.  She is proud to be an original member of Mouths Wide Open (MWO), an ad hoc group of volunteers dedicated to promoting active citizenship, civic dialogue, and finding new forms of political expression through the arts.

Pittsburgh native Lisa Pegher has been featured in Symphony Magazine as one of the top six performers of her generation.  Described by critic Marty Lash of the Door County Advocate as “a gifted passionate artist, with a rock-star aura,” Pegher has performed with many fine orchestras across the globe and has also recently performed with the Grand Junction Orchestra in Colorado playing Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Percussion. She gave the Wisconsin premiere of Tobias Brotrøm’s Arena Percussion Concerto with the Peninsula Festival Orchestra in August 2010 and recently premiered and recorded Mathew Rosenblum’s Double Concerto for Saxophone and Percussion with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose and Kenneth Koon. Pegher is a great advocate of new music, and commissions and premieres many new works, carving a new path for percussion as a solo instrument. In the words of Symphony Magazine, she is “blazing a particularly rough, un-trodden trail.” Currently, Pegher is performing her own multi-media project called Minimal Art, which incorporates digital animation design, computer electronics and improvisation.

Don’t miss your chance to see this extremely talented duo perform this February at the Warhol. Tickets are available online or by calling 412-624-7529, or at the Pitt Repertory Theatre Box Office Monday through Friday. Remember, tickets in advance are $5 less than tickets at the door, so don’t wait! 

January 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm Comments (0)

March Turns to April. New Music Blooms. (Poetry!)

Are you loving all the new original content showing up on PNMNet? I know I am and there’s plenty of great music to be hear this weekend from the PSO, to Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, to Music on the Edge (on Monday—it’s an extra long weekend. Your welcome!). Did I mention that Helena Bugallo and Amy Williams are going to give the WORLD  FREAKIN’ PREMIERE  of recently discovered piece by Conlon Nancarrow on Monday night? Right here in the Burgh. And in the midst of that I want to remind everyone that on Saturday morning, the Pittsburgh Symphony is going to read works by student composers. This is a great feature of the PSO’s Composer of the Year Program, and every one of the composers I’ve ever talked about it with gush about the experience. Here’s more information about the Student Reading Sessions. Feast your Ears!

March 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm Comments (0)

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