Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

Musical Fusions Festival: Ensemble N_JP

October 16, 2015
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

Naomi Sato(Sho)2-2
Music on the Edge is back with another season of new music for Pittsburgh! This season begins with the Musical Fusions Festival celebrating Chinese, Japanese, and American intersections in contemporary music. The festival will take place from October 16th-18th with performances by Ensemble N_JP and Music from China Ensemble at Bellefield Hall as well as two symposium to take place at Pitt’s Music Building (Room 132) featuring talks by composers Gene Coleman and Huang Ruo as well as performers Naomi Sato and Naoko Kikuchi and theorist Nancy Yunhwa Rao.

Ensemble N_JP’s performance at Bellefield Hall at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 16th will feature works by Amy Williams and Toshi Hosokawa, traditional pieces for sho and koto, and the premiere of Systole, a music and video collaboration by Gene Coleman and Adam Vidiksis.

Composer Gene Coleman formed Ensemble N_JP in 2001 as a vehicle for his ongoing work with musicians from Japan. Through concert programs, multimedia works and educational projects, the group explores connections between contemporary and traditional forms of art. N_JP is made up of musicians who work with Coleman on a project-by-project basis. It unites outstanding Japanese and US musicians from the traditional, experimental and contemporary classical music communities, along with artists from Europe. Ensemble N_JP has performed in a number of important festivals and venues since its inception, including the I-House of Tokyo, Kidailack Art House (Tokyo), The House of World Cultures Berlin, The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chicago World Music Festival, I-House Philadelphia, The Blurred Edges Festival in Hamburg, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, MaerzMusik Festival, Zurich New Music Days, The Warsaw Autumn Festival and The Museum of Modern Art, New York and many more.

Check out this video for a sho demonstration by noted sho player Naomi Sato who will be performing with Ensemble N_JP as well as speaking at the festival symposium.

Get your tickets online here!

September 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm Comments (0)

Bell’Art Ensemble Performs Pittsburgh Composers


There are so many events in the side bar that I wanted to draw your attention to this new edition. The Bell’Art Ensemble will give two performances featuring music by Pittsburgh composers Simon Vullo Underiner, Jack Kurutz, and Jonghee Kang along with a bunch of other stuff. Te concerts take place on July 17 at Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside and July 19 in Brighton Heights. Please note that the Brighton Heights performance has limited seating so you absolutely have to RSVP. I’ve provided links to the Facebook pages for both events so you can respond directly to Bell’Arts.


July 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm Comments (0)

Summer 2015 Calendar Update

I just finished updating the new music events I know about for the summer. Sorry that June was a bust here at PNMNet. I managed to go for entire month without updating this blog for the first time since I launched it in November of 2008, which is kind of amazing but also a bummer. If I missed your awesome event, my apologies. I’m sure it was great.

Anyway, July promises to be chocked full of excitement. Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble is celebrating its 40th Anniversary season and Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh premieres a new opera by Gilda Lyons called a New Kind of Fallout.

If you have an event coming up, please let me know and I’ll add that to the excitement.

July 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm Comments (0)

PSO performs works by Bates, Heggie

Heinz Hall

Friday, May 15, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 17, 2:30 p.m.

Mason Bates

Mason Bates

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will present a concert titled “the Sound of The Modern Symphony” this weekend (May 15, 17). Conductor Michael Francis will lead the Pittsburgh premiere of PSO Composer of the Year mason Bate’s Alternative Energy for Orchestra and Electronica and the World Premiere of the PSO-commissioned The Work at Hand by Jake Heggie. Heggie’s double concerto was commissioned by the PSO for principal cellist Anne-Martindale Williams and mezzo-soprano. Vocal duties will fall to Jaime Barton in her PSO debut. Rounding out the program is Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.

May 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm Comments (0)

Thu 4/23: AFRO-ASIAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE @ First Unitarian Church

Advanced Jazz and Silk Screen co-present the Pittsburgh debut of


performing the compositions of legendary
Chinese-American jazz composer Fred Ho

Thu Apr 23 7:30 pm all ages welcome $16 adv/$20 door
First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave, Shadyside
tickets on sale at Sound Cat Records, Caliban Books,
Dave’s Music Mine, and Acoustic Music Works

Current group:

The Afro Asian Music Ensemble is the product of over three decades of Fred Ho’s revolutionary and multicultural musical and theatrical productions. Consisting of Royal Hartigan (drums), Masaru Koga (alto sax), and Ben barson (who wields Fred Ho’s own Mark VI Baritone Sax), and other notable alumni from Fred Ho’s bands including Wes Brown (bass) and David Bhindman (Tenor Sax), the ensemble represents the core of Fred’s compositional legacy. Fred wrote for this 6 piece ensemble for the majority of his career, combining groovy mixed meters bass lines with Chinese percussion, Korean operatic tuning systems, and infectious funk — all set to agitprop titles with uplifting references to the people’s struggle for liberation and dignity!

April 6, 2015 at 5:42 pm Comments (0)

Wed 4/1: MATTHEW SHIPP/MICHAEL BISIO @ First Unitarian Church

Since so many people missed this amazing avant-jazz duo last time, we are really hoping that you’ll check them out this time in the Unitarian Church’s spacious Sanctuary.

Wed April 1 7:30 pm all ages welcome
$16 advance/$20 door
First Unitarian Church, Morewood & Ellsworth, Shadyside
(conveniently located 2-3 blocks from Pitt & CMU, etc)

advance tickets: Sound Cat Records, Dave’s Music Mine,
Caliban Books, and Acoustic Music Works. no tickets are available online.

avant-garde jazz piano giant
recording artist for Thirsty Ear, FMP, Aum Fidelity, Cadence, Hopscotch, 2.13.61, Hatology, Leo, No More and (most recently) Relative Pitch. Played with David S Ware, William Parker etc.

and contrabassist extraordinaire
recording artist for Silkheart, Cadence, Omnitone,
and many more. appears on over 60 CDs!

in a duo setting. once again, no opener needed! :)
Here are reviews of both the duo’s latest release on Relative Pitch, and the trio (with Whit Dickey) joined by saxophonist Ivo Perelman:

support advanced jazz!!

March 24, 2015 at 4:01 pm Comments (0)

Hypercolor (Ligeti/Maoz/Ilgenfritz) Mon 3/10 @ Howler’s

March 10, 2015
9:00 pm

Monday March 10 9 pm $7 21+
Howler’s Coyote Cafe, 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield

from New York City on Tzadik Records
jazz-rockers HYPERCOLOR

with special guests ((microwaves)) and Billy Castle

review from All About Jazz:
Hypercolor: Hypercolor (2015, Tzadik Records)
By DAVE WAYNE, Published: February 11, 2015

The past few months have seen a stream of truly—and in some cases mind-bogglingly—wonderful guitar-centric power trio albums. Yet, the eponymous debut of the Brooklyn-based avant-jazz-rock band Hypercolor stands out, but not for the reasons you’d think. Sure, the trio consists of musical brainiacs James Ilgenfritz and Lukas Ligeti; genre omnivores whose own work and collaborations draw as heavily from the worlds of free improvisation, contemporary classical, various ethnic musics, and art-rock as they do from jazz. How guitarist Eyal Maoz, best known as one of the most distinctive young musicians in John Zorn’s orbit, has remained an underground sort of figure is beyond me. Like his bandmates, his playing is distinctive and virtuosic, and his recordings to date have been consistently fresh and restlessly eclectic. Take, for example Hope and Destruction (Tzadik, 2009) which successfully fused traditional Yiddish melodies and modern metal with the hyperactive rhythms of 70s disco-funk.

Hypercolor is similarly eclectic. The trio eliminates the overt references to dance music, and replaces them with a punkish sort of old school jazz-rock energy. The album is rife with the sort of strutting attitude that made Tony Williams’ Lifetime (in all of its concatenations) so much fun to listen to. The end result, though, is more along the lines of Fred Frith’s great trio, Massacre, or perhaps the Nels Cline Singers.


Eyal Maoz, James Ilgenfritz, and Lukas Ligeti make up Hypercolor, the NYC- based spastic jazz-rock hybrid whose ridiculous artsong craftsmanship alternately revels in complexity or brazen simplicity, favoring entropy and near-disaster over order or tidiness.

Like experimental grafting surgery gone horribly awry, Hypercolor bears limbs borrowed from 80s NYC No-Wave, and early jazz/rock, and orchestral rock textures.

Eyal Maoz is a guitarist, composer, Tzadik and Ayler Records artist and a guest member of John Zorn’s Cobra. His ensembles performed at major music festivals worldwide such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, Red Sea International Jazz Festival, NYC 2007 Winter JazzFest, the New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival, Florida Music Harvest, The Jewzapalooza Festival in NYC and more.

Transcending the boundaries of genre, composer and percussionist Lukas Ligeti (son of composer Gyorgy Ligeti) has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown NY experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, and world music, particularly from Africa. Lukas creates music ranging from the through-composed to the free- improvised, often exploring non-Western elements, and has been participating in cultural exchange projects for the past 15 years. Lukas has been commissioned by Bang on a Can, Kronos Quartet, Ensemble Modern, and the American Composers Orchestra, to name a few. He frequently performs solo on the marimba lumina, a rare electronic percussion instrument. As a drummer, he co-leads several bands including Burkina Electric, the first electronica band from Burkina Faso. He has also performed and/or recorded with John Zorn, Henry Kaiser, Gary Lucas, Marilyn Crispell, John Tchicai, Jim O’Rourke, Borah Bergman, Eugene Chadbourne, and many others. He has led or co-led experimental intercultural projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho, and has taught at universities in Ghana and South Africa.

Brooklyn composer, bassist, and educator James Ilgenfritz has been active in creative music since the late 90s. His work has been praised in Time Out New York, All About Jazz, and Downbeat Magazine. Recent performances include work with Pauline Oliveros, John Zorn, and Anthony Braxton. James has received grants and residencies from Issue Project Room, the American Composers Forum, and OMI Arts Center. Notable performance venues include Roulette, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Symphony Space, and the New Museum in SoHo. James is on Faculty at the Preparatory Center of Brooklyn College and at Brooklyn Conservatory.

February 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm Comments (0)

Flux Quartet and Mantra Percussion

February 28, 2015
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

Flux2013 copyThis February, MOTE is bringing a number of fantastic ensembles to Pittsburgh for Beyond: A Microtonal Music Festival. Night two of the festival features Flux Quartet performing Scelsi’s String Quartet #2 and other works, and Mantra Percussion performing Michael Gordon’s epic hour-long piece, Timber, for six 2 x 4 pieces of wood and light installation.

The FLUX Quartet, “one of the most fearless and important new-music ensembles around” (Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle) “who has brought a new renaissance to quartet music” (Kyle Gann, The Village Voice), has performed to rave reviews in venues from Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and Kennedy Center, to influential art institutions such as EMPAC, The Kitchen, and the Walker Art Center (with jazz icon Ornette Coleman), to international music festivals in Australia, Europe, and the Americas. It has also appeared on numerous experimental series, including Bowerbird, Roulette, and soon Music on the Edge. Their premiere recording of Morton Feldman’s monumental String Quartet No.2 was described as a “disorienting, transfixing experience that repeatedly approached and touched the sublime” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker)

Strongly influenced by the irreverent spirit and “anything-goes” philosophy of the fluxus art movement, violinist Tom Chiu founded FLUX in the late 90’s. The quartet has since cultivated an uncompromising repertoire that follows neither fashions nor trends, but rather combines yesterday’s seminal iconoclasts with tomorrow’s new voices. Alongside late 20th-century masters like Cage, Feldman, Ligeti, Nancarrow, Scelsi, and Xenakis, FLUX has premiered more than 100 works by many of today’s foremost innovators.

Mantra Percussion has been hailed by The New York Times as “finely polished…a fresh source of energy” and praised by The New Yorker and TimeOut New York for presenting one of the ten best classical performances of 2012. Committed to honoring the deep past and expanding the far-flung future of percussion music, Mantra brings to life new works for percussion by living composers, collaborates with artists from diverse genres and styles, and questions what it means to communicate by making music with and on percussive objects. They devote their collective energy toward engaging new audiences by challenging the standard concert format through evening-length events that look toward a grander artistic vision. Their mantra is to strive for each performance to be a significant moment.

Since forming as an ensemble in 2009, Mantra has been featured at festivals, venues, and universities throughout North America and in Europe including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, MATA Festival, Bang on a Can Marathon, National Public Radio,  and many others. After co-commissioning Michael Gordon’s evening-length percussion sextet Timber, Mantra gave the work’s United States premiere in October 2011 and subsequently toured the work throughout North America.

MOTE cannot wait to bring this work to Pittsburgh on Saturday February 28th, 8 p.m. at the Andy Warhol Museum. Tickets for this show, and the rest of the festival are available at http://music.pitt.edu/tickets.


February 10, 2015 at 9:28 pm Comments (0)

Beyond: Microtonal Music Festival

February 27, 2015
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

mak2This February, MOTE is bringing a number of fantastic ensembles to Pittsburgh for Beyond: A Microtonal Music Festival. The first of three concerts in the festival will feature guitarists Mak Grgić and Daniel Lippel performing Radelescu, cellist Theodore Mook performing Ezra Sims, and pianist/composer Michael Harrison performing his own piece Revelation.

Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Mak Grgić has established himself as one of the up-and-coming performers in the guitar genre.” Mak is a passionate advocate for new music and has premiered numerous new pieces. Mak’s versatile career includes solo performances and recordings as well as orchestral performances, and chamber music. He is a co-founder of DC8, Da Camera’s contemporary music ensemble, which strives to expand the definition of what a modern music ensemble can be. Mak has won many guitar competitions and recently took first prize at the Guitar Competition “Luigi Mozzani” in Italy.

Guitarist Daniel Lippel, called an “exciting soloist” (NY Times), “versatile and skillful guitarist” (Time Out New York) and a “modern guitar polymath” (Guitar Review), enjoys a diverse career that ranges through solo performances, chamber music, innovative commissioning and recording projects, and improvising contexts. Based in New York, Lippel has been the guitarist with ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) since 2005 and Flexible Music since 2004. As a chamber musician, he has performed throughout Asia, Europe, South America, and the U.S. He has performed as a guest with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New York New Music Ensemble, and Either/Or Ensemble, among others.

American cellist Theodore Mook is a versatile performer, comfortable in avante-garde, classical, historical, and commercial styles. He has been a particularly active proponent of new music since 1980. Mr. Mook has played new music at the Library of Congress, the American Academy in Rome, the venerable Monday Evening Concerts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and many others. Recent concert appearances span the globe: Perth, Brisbane, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Porto, Brussels, Oldenburg, and Bremen. His extensive discography spans over 100 works, including a brand new release on New World records performing the music of Annea Lockwood.

Composer and pianist, Michael Harrison, creates music that is both forward looking and deeply rooted in different forms of traditional music. This perspective, alongside a simple and elegant gift for melody, makes him a composer that can reach audiences of many kinds. As a pianist Harrison has performed his music and received premieres at the Spoleto Festival, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, in New York City at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, United Nations, Symphony Space, numerous Bang On A Can Marathons at the World Financial Center, among many others. Harrison has produced two albums of his works to critical acclaim: Times Loops and Revelation.

Music critic Tim Page wrote, “Say it plainly — Michael Harrison’s ‘Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation is probably the most brilliant and original extended composition for solo piano since the early works of Frederic Rzewski three decades ago…”

Come and see all of these amazing performers the first night of the festival: Friday, February 27th, 8 p.m. at the Andy Warhol Museum. Tickets for this show, and the rest of the festival are available at http://music.pitt.edu/tickets.

February 9, 2015 at 2:08 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)

« Older Posts