New Music Feed

Louis Andriessen's "Anaïs Nin" and "Odysseus' Women" at National Sawdust

by Steven Pisano

29764282274_867eab4540_o(All photographs by Steven Pisano.)

On Saturday night, for one performance only, the Center for Contemporary Opera presented the U.S. premiere of a double-bill of Louis Andriessen's one-act chamber operas Anaïs Nin and Odysseus' Women at National Sawdust, in a production conceived and directed by Jorinde Keesmaat.

Augusta Caso made her company debut as the title character in Anaïs Nin. Odysseus' Women featured Sharin Apostolou, Maggie Finnegan, Nicole Mitchell, and Hilary Ginther. Music direction was by Neal Goren, with synthesizer and piano played by Jerome Tan.

For information on the rest of CCO's Fall 2016 season, click here. More pics below and here.

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Preview: White Light Festival 2016

Photo: Matthias Heyde

The seventh edition of Lincoln Center's White Light Festival kicks off this week with a typically eclectic mix of music, theater, dance and film that all share a spiritual dimension. Offering a welcome antidote to the televised circus that is our Presidential election, Lincoln Center's Artistic Director Jane Moss says that this year's festival, "focuses on what it means to be human in an increasingly fractious world—a world where communication, compassion, and creative expression remain vital to our survival as a global community."

The Radio Choir of Berlin under our old friend Simon Halsey kicked things off last night with their reworking of Brahms' German Requiem - called Human Requiem - at the Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The interactive, immersive experience promises to be one of White Light's more memorable events. Tickets and info on remaining performances available on the White Light website

The Second Annual BRIC JazzFest Marathon: Night 1

by Steven Pisano

(All photos by Steven Pisano.)

The BRIC JazzFest Marathon, three nights of topflight music now in its second season, opened Thursday night with a night of free jazz. Not free as in style, but free as in: No Cost. All you needed to do was show up at BRIC House and enjoy four and half hours of quality jazz (and other music) for absolutely nothing, thanks to financial support from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment.

So, did you stay home and binge-watch Netflix?

Nine very different acts performed in three different spaces. The Stoop has rising steps that act as seats, bleacher-style. The Artist Studio is an intimate club-like space with cabaret tables in front and standing room in the back. And, the Ballroom is a more traditional concert space. Moving between the three was easy and encouraged via staggered scheduling, though there was usually a line for the popular Artist Studio. I managed to catch 8 of the 9 acts, missing only Ben Allison & Think Free.

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Preview: New York Philharmonic Plays Kaija Saariaho at the Park Avenue Armory

CircleMap_900x400_1It's been four years since the New York Philharmonic appeared at the Park Avenue Armory, in a concert designed to take advantage of the unique acoustic properties of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall. The Phil returns to the Armory tomorrow and Friday with an all-Kaija Saariaho program led by the Phil's composer in residence - and Saariaho's longtime champion and fellow Finn - Esa-Pekka Salonen. Saariaho, who is embarking on a major season with the upcoming Met premiere of her 2000 opera L'Amour de Loin, will also make use of the cavernous Drill Hall in this performance. According to the Armory:

"The program features the New York premieres of Circle Map (2012), a new work for orchestra and electronics that builds out from six stanzas by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, and D’om le Vrai Sens (2010), written for and performed here while moving through the audience and orchestra by clarinetist Kari Krikku. The evening also includes the U.S. premiere of Lumière et Pesanteur (2009) as well as Lonh (1996), a work that combines medieval love poetry sung by rising soprano Jennifer Zetlan with an electronic score that manipulates sounds from nature to evoke a distant, luminous landscape.

Tickets and additional info available on the Armory website. (There is also a discussion with the composer and designers before Friday's performance.) Meet the Composer's excellent podcast on Saariaho can be heard below.