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Blog Archive



Pierre Jalbert and Erin Gee at Tanglewood

Tanglewood's Festival of Contemporary Music celebrates its fifty-second year with a stunning roster of powerful American composers, this year including works by PSNY composers Pierre Jalbert and Erin Gee. Jalbert's Visual Abstract, commissioned by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble in 2002, melds sound and image into three movements that react to three ecstatic moments: the ringing of a church bell, the experience of looking up into a church's dome, and the image and movement of a group of dancers. It will be performed in Seiji Ozawa Hall on July 23rd.  Check out Jalbert's Visual Abstract below: 

Jalbert's Crossings will also be performed at Caramoor on July 22nd, in a program presented by Music from Copland House, which commissioned the piece in 2011.

On the same program as Jalbert's Visual Abstract, Erin Gee will premiere a new work, commisioned by Tanglewood, for voice, violin, viola, and double bass. Check out an excerpt for Gee's Mouthpiece below.

Mouthpiece I from Erin Gee on Vimeo.

Two World Premieres for Hannah Lash

The summer festival circuit in America can trace one of its largest roots back to the Chautauqua movement in the late 19th century: centered around education in natural settings, these "chautauqua" meetings were held not only at the Chautauqua Institution in New York, but across the country. The Chautauqua Institution recently hosted a performance of Hannah Lash's Eating Flowers on July 11th, performed by the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra, and conducted by Timothy Muffitt.

Following the Festivals, Lash will also see another performance at the Colorado Music Festival's Chautauqua Theater in Boulder, CO. Lash will perform alongside the CMF Orchestra in the world premiere of her Concerto No. 2 for Harp and Orchestra, which was commissiond by the CMF through audience contributions as a part of their Click! Commission Program. After the concert, Lash and conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni will offer a post-concert conversation. To get a sense of her writing for harp and orchestra, check out her earlier Concerto No. 1 for Harp and Chamber Orchestra (in an arrangement for harp and ensemble) below. 

Back on the east coast, Lash also receives the world premiere of her string quartet Pulse-space, performed by the Cassatt Quartet at the Seal Bay Festival on July 20th and 21st

Scott Wollschleger: New Works and Performances

"What kind of music would we create after everything was over?" Scott Wollschleger asks this crucial question in an interview on Arts & Letters, produced by the University of Arkansas' KUARIn his monodrama for solo percussionist, We Have Taken and Eaten, Wollschleger creates music using a sonic language from "the dustbin of history." Wollschleger's music often theorizes and sonifies the presence of the not-quite-real, playing with time, gesture, and semiotic codes of tonality to evoke absence, silence, or non-being—what he often calls "dust." Two new works and two high-profile performances of Wollschleger's work in the coming weeks prove that more and more musicians are beginning to wonder about what happens "after". 

(above score excert from "The Heart is No Place for War") 

Ethan Iverson (of the noted trio The Bad Plusrecently wrote that "Wollschleger has become one of my favorite contemporary composers". On July 15th, from 5-10pm, he will perform a program in New York's Bryant Park, including Wollschleger's solo piano work, Music Without Metaphor, which has been recently published on PSNY. Wollschleger dedicated this piece to pianist Ivan Illić, who premiered it in 2013, calling it "beguiling" and "improvisatory". Check out Illić's recording below: 

The very next day, pianist Karl Larson will perform Wollschleger's piano concerto Meditation on Dust at Mass MoCA, as a part of the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. Commissioned and premeired by Larson and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn in 2015, this piece imagines what a Strausian tone-poem would sound like after drying out in the desert for a thousand years. In this piece, tonality is granulated, rendered simultaneously present and absent, ephemeral. Check out a video of the premiere below: 

Indeed, as Alex Ross writes, this weekend will be a "Wollschleger Moment". Wollschleger's The Heart is No Place for War, for two pianos and two vibraphones, asks the instrumentalists to time the work to their heartbeats; after hearing this piece, Ross wrote that Wollschleger has "become a formidable, individual presence." Check out the recording from the premiere at Brooklyn's Firehouse Space below:  

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