String Quartet Ethel in 2010

From ETHEL Central:

ETHEL w/ Quartetto Gelato
Saturday, January 16 @ 8:00PM
Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Canada
*World premiere*
This concert helps launch the new venue’s inaugural season.

Amplified alt-classical NYC string quartet Ethel fuses genre-defying world, blues and classical music, and plays it all with rock-concert intensity. Virtuosic showpieces, relaxed humor, romantic tenor arias, the sizzling energy of tangos and gypsy folk songs, and a World Accordion Champion – this is Quartetto Gelato. This performance will feature the music of Latin America from the quartet’s latest recording CD “Musica Latina”. For more info, visit

ETHEL Album Recording
January 21 – 25
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

A private recording of new works composed by children of Native American reservations; as part of ETHEL’s TruckStop® project. Since 2005, ETHEL has served as the Native American Composers Apprentice Project’s (NACAP) Ensemble-in-Residence resulting in several workshops, tours, and performances with children of Native American reservations. From the Navajo and Hopi tribes to schools throughout Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, ETHEL has explored indigenous communities, music, and people that warrant an album recording. CD release date TBA.

ETHEL Educational Concerts/Residences in New Jersey
Monday, February 1 @ 9:00AM – 2:00PM
ETHEL continues its outreach program with a visit to New Jersey schools in New Providence.
9:00AM New Providence High School Auditorium ?35 Pioneer Drive, New Providence, NJ
12:30PM Salt Brook School Gym ?40 Maple Strett, New Providence, NJ
2:00PM A.W. Roberts School Gym ?80 Jones Drive, New Providence, NJ

ETHEL Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert
March 3 @ 7:30PM
Pregones Theater, Bronx, New York

ETHEL continues to provide free concerts as part of the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series. For more than 30 years, Carnegie Hall has brought FREE concerts to neighborhoods throughout all five boroughs of New York City. The Neighborhood Concert Series presents concerts for all ages in collaboration with museums, colleges, libraries, community centers, churches, and cultural organizations, with music reflecting the diverse sounds of the City and Carnegie Hall’s quality programming. For more info, visit

ETHEL New Sounds® Live
March 11 @ 7:30PM
Merkin Hall, New York City, New York
*World premiere*

The New Sounds® Live series, hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer, returns to Merkin Hall for another adventurous season offering new ways to hear the ancient language of song. A collaboration with the string quartet ETHEL and Dutch avant-pop composer Jacob TV in a program sure to surprise and inspire. For more info, visit

ETHEL Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert
May 13 @ 8:00PM
LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Queens, New York

ETHEL continues to host free concerts as part of the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series. For more than 30 years, Carnegie Hall has brought FREE concerts to neighborhoods throughout all five boroughs of New York City. The Neighborhood Concert Series presents concerts for all ages in collaboration with museums, colleges, libraries, community centers, churches, and cultural organizations, with music reflecting the diverse sounds of the City and Carnegie Hall’s quality programming. For more info, visit

ETHEL Lincoln Center Out of Doors
July 28th (Time TBA)
Lincoln Center Damrosch Park, New York City, New York
*World premiere*

ETHEL makes its Lincoln Center Out of Doors debut with ETHEL FAIR: The Songwriters. Soaked in ETHEL’s unique style and sound, the group collaborates with four singer-songwriters and presents original and revamped works. Guests TBA.

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Performances Reviews

Ensemble Intercontemporain – Past Meets Present With Ligeti’s Blurred Colors and Frenetic Rhythms

Pierre Boulez in 2004
Image via Wikipedia

A recent Ensemble Intercontemporain performance is reviewed.

For decades, it was hard to think of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, a brilliant French chamber orchestra formed in 1976, without factoring in the composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who founded the group.

Mr. Boulez asserted, not incorrectly, that to advance his rigorous Modernist aesthetic, he needed a band capable of rendering the music of Schoenberg, Webern and their followers with the same clarity and conviction that a conventional group might pour into Mozart and Beethoven.

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The Necks on Tour

Upcoming tour dates from The Necks:

Known as one of the great cult bands of Australia, The Necks conjure music that defies description in orthodox terms.

Not entirely avant-garde, nor minimalist, nor ambient, nor jazz, the music of The Necks is regularly described as, simply, unique. Together for over twenty years, they have honed an assured process of building around repeated motifs through subtle shifts and layering, to produce an extraordinarily dense and hypnotic effect frequently underpinned by an insistent deep groove. As their dedicated followers know, their performances are entirely improvised consisting of two pieces evolving over around 50 minutes each and are an experience that has to be heard to be believed.


21 May: Halifax – Dean Clough
8.00pm / Tickets £15/ £12

22 May: Birmingham – CBSO Centre
8.00pm / Tickets £13/£9
Box office : 0121 780 3333

27 May: London – Union Chapel – support by Hauschka
7pm / Tickets £15 adv

28 May: Bristol – St Georges
8.00pm / Tickets £15(£13); £10(£8)

29 May: Dunfermline – Carnegie Hall
7.30pm // Tickets £12.50
Box Office: 01383 602302

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American Composers Orchestra Season Finale

The American Composers Orchestra has its final show of the season happening May 1st in NY.

American Composers Orchestra, the nation’s most consistently adventurous champion of new orchestral work, returns Underground for five World Premieres at 7:30PM on Friday, February 20, presented by Carnegie Hall at Zankel Hall. The concert continues ACO’s cutting-edge Orchestra Underground series that redefines orchestral music with new composers, new influences, new multimedia collaborations, and new technologies.

This concert program features:

Robert Beaser delivers the New York premiere of his new Guitar Concerto written for long-time friend and collaborator, the “monster virtuoso” Eliot Fisk. Beaser’s concerto is the first work work commissioned by his “home team” orchesta in over a decade.

Derek Bermel‘s contribution to the program is the world premiere of A Shout, A Whisper, A Trace, a piece inspired by Bartók’s correspondence during his final years in New York City. The commission also concludes the triumphant three year Music Alive Residency Bermel has had with ACO.

Lukas Ligeti (Labyrinth of Clouds) and Thomas Larcher (Bose Zellen) join this musical gathering of old friends with a world premiere and U.S. premiere promising new and excting sounds. Both Ligeti’s Labyrinth of Clouds and Larcher’s Bose Zellen (Malignant Cells) will feature composers as soloist. Ligeti will play his Marimba Lumina and Larcher will be spotlighted soloing on prepared piano which gradually becomes stripped of its trappings throughout the piece.

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Music on Main Tonight in Vancouver

Music on Main is a small festival taking place this week in Vancouver. Its focus this evening is the works of Louis Andriessen.

Music on Main presents: Turning Point Ensemble | Tuesday, April 7, 2009
louis andriessen festival
Andriessen’s exploration of physical matter in Zilver (“Silver”) is heard alongside the remarkable music of Claude Vivier, whose inventive orchestrations and personal style inspired Andriessen, and a piece by Andriessen’s earliest influence, his father… read more

Music on Main presents: Louis Andriessen, piano | Tuesday, April 7, 2009
louis andriessen festival
From the Montreaux Jazz Festival to La Scala, Amsterdam’s Bimhuis to New York’s Carnegie Hall, Cristina Zavalloni is one of the most sought-after and diverse vocalists in the world. Louis Andriessen has written numerous pieces for her, including… read more

Music on Main presents: One Night Stand, Louis Andriessen | Wednesday, April 8, 2009
louis andriessen festival
Music on Main’s One Night Stands are like one night mini-festivals featuring the music of one composer. With short concerts on the hour and a bar open between sets, it’s a fun way to hear some new music, have a few drinks… read more

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Nathan Davis & Cristina Valdes in Seattle

From Wayward Music:

8:00 PM; $5 – $15 sliding scale donation at the door.

Nathan Davis and Cristina Valdes – music for percussion, piano, and electronics

Critically acclaimed composer and percussionist Nathan Davis makes music inspired by natural processes, acoustic phenomena, and the abstraction of simple stories. Tonight he plays his solos for triangles, river stones, and amplified laptop – probed with microphones and exaggerated with live electronic processing. Pianist Cristina Valdes (Seattle) performs the world premiere of CuoRE, a solo piano piece written for her by Seattle composer Donald Stewart. Together they play duos including the US premiere Orlando Garcia’s September 2007 (Remembering Morty), a memorial to Morton Feldman.

Nathan Davis (NYC) makes music as a composer and percussionist. He has received commissions from the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Meehan/Perkins Duo, Ethos Percussion Group, the Jerome Foundation, Concert Artists Guild, and received awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, the Look and Listen Festival, and the ISCM. His music has been performed in the U.S., Canada, Cuba, Europe, Finland, and China, in Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Roulette, The Stone, LPR, and many others. Several of his electroacoustic percussion pieces are available on a solo cd, Memory Spaces, and his acoustic music is published by Frog Peak. As a percussionist, Nathan is a member of ICE and plays original and commissioned works with cellist Ha-Yang Kim in the duo Odd Appetite, touring as far as Russia, Bali, and Turkey, and appearing closer to home as a soloist at Carnegie Hall and at the Bang on a Can Marathon. He has worked with Evan Ziporyn, Lee Hyla, Louis Andriessen, and Christian Wolff, premiering their music, and has recorded for Tzadik, New Albion, Bridge, Cold Blue records.

Cristina Valdes has performed across four continents and in a multitude of venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall and the Kennedy Center. As an advocate of new music she has collaborated with and premiered the works of countless composers. Her festival performances include the Singapore Arts Festival, the Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva in Mexico City, the New Music in Miami Festival, and the Festival of Contemporary Music in El Salvador among others. She has also performed with the Bang on a Can “All Stars”, Musicians Accord and the Parsons Dance Company. Cristina holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and SUNY at Stony Brook, and is the recipient of an Arts International Grant, the Thayer Award for the Arts, and an Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music grant.

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Jazz Listings from the New York Times

Lots going on in New York this week.

RASHIED ALI QUINTET (Sunday) Rashied Ali has had a substantial career in the jazz avant-garde, beginning with his role in the late-period bands of John Coltrane. But hard bop is the foundation for this quintet, with a front line of the trumpeter Josh Evans and the tenor saxophonist Lawrence Clark. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, (212) 576-2232,; cover, $25.

GO: ORGANIC ORCHESTRA (Monday) This meditative large ensemble, scheduled to perform at Roulette for the next three Monday nights, is a project of the open-minded percussionist, composer and conductor Adam Rudolph. Drawing inspiration from earthy and elemental sources, it features changeable layers of woodwinds, strings, percussion and guitars. At 8:30 p.m., Roulette at Location One, 20 Greene Street, at Grand Street, SoHo, (212) 219-8242,; $15; $10 for students, 60+ and those 30 and younger. (Chinen)

JON HASSELL AND THE MAARIFA STREET BAND (Tuesday) On his first United States tour in more than 20 years, the trumpeter-composer Jon Hassell recreates the meditative glow of his new album, “Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street” (ECM). To help conjure his various fusions onstage, he enlists his Maarifa Street Band, with Kheir-Eddine M’Kachiche on violin, Jan Bang and J. A. Deane on electronics, and Peter Freeman on bass and programming. At 8:30 p.m., Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800,; $35 to $45. (Chinen)

L’IMAGE (Thursday) This all but forgotten funk-fusion group of the 1970s recently reunited in the studio, bringing a lot more collective experience to the table. Its lineup consists of the vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, the keyboardist Warren Bernhardt, the guitarist David Spinozza, the bassist Tony Levin and the drummer Steve Gadd. (Through Feb. 15.) At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st Street, (212) 582-2121,; cover, $35, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)

PAUL MOTIAN TRIO 3 IN 1 (Tuesday through Thursday) Paul Motian is drawn to melody as a drummer, composer and bandleader, but he also harbors a fondness for indeterminacy. In this configuration he features an instinctive melodist, the saxophonist Chris Potter, and an incorrigible abstractionist, the pianist Jason Moran. Because he has recent history with each of them, and because everyone involved is an active listener, the results should suggest something other than an earnest collision. (Through Feb. 15.) At 9 and 11 p.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village, (212) 255-4037,; cover, $20, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)

NED ROTHENBERG AND INNER DIASPORA (Friday) Ned Rothenberg is a saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist and composer with a penchant for insistent frictions. He draws here from a recent texture-rich album called “Inner Diaspora” (Tzadik), with vital help from Mark Feldman on violin, Erik Friedlander on cello, Samir Chatterjee on tabla, and Jerome Harris on acoustic guitars. At 8:30 p.m., Union Temple, 17 Eastern Parkway, near Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, (718) 638-7600,; free. (Chinen)

CHRIS SCHLARB (Saturday) Mr. Schlarb, a guitarist best recognized (in some parts, anyway) as half of the drone-crazy duo I Heart Lung, has an atmospheric new solo effort called “Twilight & Ghost Stories” (Asthmatic Kitty), organized as a suite and featuring more than two dozen improvisers. Each of these two sets will span the entire work, with contributions from Tom Abbs on bass and didgeridoo, Katherine Young on bassoon and accordion, and Mick Rossi on piano, among others. At 8 and 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; cover, $10 per set. (Chinen)

SEARCH AND RESTORE (Friday and Saturday) The promoters behind this left-leaning concert series are unveiling their new Web site,, with all appropriate fanfare: on Friday they present Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, a postmodern big band, and on Saturday they feature Now vs. Now, a rhythmically assertive trio led by the pianist Jason Lindner. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village, (212) 242-1063,; cover, $15; $10 for members.

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Meehan/Perkins Duo at Carnegie Hall

An upcoming performance from the Meehan/Perkins Duo:

The Meehan/ Perkins Duo (Todd Meehan and Douglas Perkins), comprised of two of the country’s leading contemporary percussionists, will perform a concert on Friday, January 16 at 8 PM at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. This is the first full-length recital for these two since they performed in NYC as founding members of So Percussion. The Duo will present a diverse evening of chamber and solo percussion music including works by Paul Lansky, Michael Gordon, John Fitz Rogers, Nathan Davis and 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner, David Lang. Several of the works, including David Lang’s Table of Contents and Paul Lansky’s Travel Diary, were commissioned by the Meehan/ Perkins Duo and will receive their New York premieres at this concert. The repertoire explores the sonic possibilities of percussion, including both acoustic and electro-acoustic works, and showcases the virtuosic talents of the two performers. Tickets are $20 and are available through the Carnegie Hall box office at or by calling 212.247.7800.

Founded in 2006, the Meehan/Perkins Duo has emerged as a driving force in new music through their compelling performances of new works for percussion. The Duo believes in cultivating relationships with living composers through commissions and collaborations that expand the percussion genre. They have commissioned works from David Lang, Paul Lansky, and Nathan Davis, and will premiere a new concerto for percussion duo and orchestra by Jonathan Leshnoff during the 2010-2011 season.

Todd and Doug first began collaborating as chamber musicians in 1999 as founding members of So Percussion. They have since performed at countless venues across the country including the Bang on a Can Marathon, the BAM Next Wave Festival, Miller Theater, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Round Top International Festival-Institute, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. In addition to their performances the duo regularly teaches master classes at universities throughout the country.

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