Classical Listings in the New York Times

From NYTimes.com:

MMARTISTS IN CONCERT (Friday) The Metropolitan Museum’s resident chamber group, the awkwardly named MMArtists in Concert, play Mozart’s Duo No. 2 for Violin and Viola (K. 424) and the sublime Divertimento in E flat (K. 563), as well as Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Rejoice” Sonata for Violin and Cello. The players are Colin Jacobsen, violinist; Nicholas Cords, violist; and Edward Arron, cellist. At 7 p.m., Metropolitan Museum of Art, 212-570-3949 , metmuseum.org; $40. (Kozinn)20091015

MEREDITH MONK (Wednesday and Thursday) As part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave series, Meredith Monk, for more than 40 years a composer, vocalist, performance artist, filmmaker and choreographer who has attracted an ardent following, presents “Songs of Ascension.” This multidisciplinary work explores the theme of spiritual enlightenment through ascent, from Buddhist practice to Jacob’s Ladder. The 65-minute work involves music, movement, video and spirituality. The performers are Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble and the Todd Reynolds String Quartet. (Through Oct. 25.) Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Harvey Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 651 Fulton Street, Fort Greene , (718) 636-4100, bam.org; $20 to $50. (Tommasini)20091015

? IANNIS XENAXIS: PANEL DISCUSSION AND PERFORMANCE (Friday and Saturday) Ordinarily, music lovers who want to expose themselves to the work of a contemporary composer are wise to just jump in and listen. But the music of the Romanian-born Greek composer Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) may be best appreciated along with some commentary. Therefore the Miller Theater’s intriguing free panel discussion and performance, “Iannis Xenakis: Interdisciplinary Connections,” is a rare opportunity to grapple with the music of a visionary composer whose work was both formidably intellectual and intensely intuitive. Xenakis was also a mathematician, architect and political activist. The panel includes Sharon Kanach, a Xenakis biographer; Mark Wigley, the dean of Columbia University’s School of Architecture; David Lang, the composer; and Lara Pellegrinelli, an arts journalist and scholar. The percussionist Steven Schick will perform a seminal early percussion work by Xenakis. The day after the program the Miller Theater presents a Composers Portrait concert featuring Xenakis’s music, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble. Panel and performance: Friday at 7 p.m.; Composer Portraits Concert: Saturday at 8 p.m.; Miller Theater at Columbia University, Broadway at 116th Street, Morningside Heights , (212) 854-7799, millertheater.com; Friday, free; Saturday, $7 to $25. (Tommasini)

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Xenakis in New York

Iannis Xenakis
Image via Wikipedia

Two days of Xenakis is coming to the Miller Theatre at Columbia University:

Iannis Xenakis in New York
“Composer Portrait” Concert by International Contemporary Ensemble
Miller Theatre at Columbia University
October 16 & 17, 2009

Presented in conjunction with Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary
On View at The Drawing Center from January 15 – April 8, 2010

What:

Friday, October 16: Iannis Xenakis: Interdisciplinary Connections
-A consortium of artists and experts will join together for a panel discussion
-Panelists include composer David Lang; musicologist, Xenakis biographer, and exhibition co-curator Sharon Kanach; Mark Wigley, Dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and Steven Schick, percussionist and conductor

Saturday, October 17: Concert by International Contemporary Ensemble
-International Contemporary Ensemble will present a “Composer Portrait” of Iannis Xenakis
-Percussion superstar Steven Schick will play and conduct O-Mega, Xenakis’s final composition, together with other musical selections by Xenakis

When:
Friday, October 16, 7:00 PM
Iannis Xenakis: Interdisciplinary Connections
Free Admission

Saturday, October 17, 8:00 PM
“Composer Portrait” concert by International Contemporary Ensemble
Admission: $7 – $25

Where:
Miller Theatre at Columbia University
Located north of the Main Campus Gate at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall

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AMN Picks of the Week

Iannis Xenakis
Image via Wikipedia

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended. Don’t take the categories too seriously.

Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut – 9 Months from Earth (2009, free jazz)
Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut – The World is Unsurvivable (2009, free jazz)
Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut – Everything is Happening at Once (2009, free jazz)
Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut – The American Refugee (2009, free jazz)
James Blackshaw – The Glass Bead Game (2009, acoustic guitar)
Whit Dickey Trio – Transonic (1998, free jazz)
Carl Maguire – Sided Silver Solid (2009, avant-jazz)
Nicholas Bernier / Simon Trottier (2009, experimental)
Iannis Xenakis – Complete String Quartets (2009, modern classical)
Iannis Xenakis – Complete Percussion Works (2007, modern classical)
John Hebert – Byzantine Monkey (2009, creative jazz)

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Xenakis in concert — no, really, XENAKIS…IN…CONCERT

Iannis Xenakis
Image via Wikipedia

From Chicago’s Gapers Block:

It’s worth repeating, in case you’re thinking that you read that wrong: this Thursday, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) will present five short pieces by legendary composer Iannis Xenakis, as performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), an up-and-coming group dedicated to performing modern and classic works of the avant-garde and, in their words, “advancing the music of our time.” Xenakis’ structurally difficult works require virtuosos who not only possess outstanding chops, but excellent instincts and problem-solving abilities, as the pieces often demand something beyond perfection from its performers, requiring them to make sounds not easily coaxed from their instruments, and to play them perfectly each time. As a result, the ground-breaking Greek composer’s works are seldom performed, and even more rarely by an ensemble so dedicated to making them EXACTLY RIGHT, making this event a rare and essential musical event.

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ICE/Xenakis Site and Blog

ICE/Xenakis has launched a new blog and has the following upcoming shows.

Tracing Xenakis
The International Contemporary Ensemble Explores the Work
of a Modern Master via Podcast, Blog and Performance

“…a baptism by noise and fire that awaits every listener” – Steven Schick

Brooklyn, NY– This spring, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) embarks on an exploration of one of the 20th century’s most prodigious creative minds: the maverick composer, architect, and mathematician Iannis Xenakis.

ICE teams up with percussionist Steven Schick for a series of performances of Xenakis’s explosive chamber music in Boston on April 16, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and in Chicago on June 4, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. In the fall, the Ensemble will bring the show to New York as part of the Composer Portraits Series at Miller Theatre of Columbia University (October 17).

“Despite his undeniable role as a musical giant of the 20th century, performances of Xenakis’ large-scale chamber works are still relatively rare in the US,” says flutist and ICE executive director Claire Chase. “With this project, we have the opportunity to bring this groundbreaking and timeless music to our audiences in Chicago, New York, and Boston. This is music that burns, rocks, grinds, blisters and surges forward with a visceral energy that you don’t normally associate with concert music. It’s a perfect match for Steve Schick, who’s one the most exciting interpreters of our time, and for the boundary-pushing, thrill-seeking young performers of ICE.”

In an effort to ground the experience of this physically charged, other-worldly repertoire for the listener, ICE is also curating a Xenakis-focused blog and podcast.

The Tracing Xenakis podcast, available for download on iTunes or through the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, features musicians of disparate genres, music scholars, aficionados, and Xenakis’ associates. The second podcast, “The Weight of Sound,” is available on April 1 and features ICE saxaphonist and composer David Remnick, Steven Schick, sound artist Francisco López, and Paul A. Miller, better known as DJ Spooky.

The ensemble’s Xenakis-focused blog (www.iceorg.org/xenakis) delves into biographical, academic, inferential, and tangential thoughts around Xenakis’ life and work.

“The goal of the blog,” says curator Whit Bernard, “is to become, like the polytope models Xenakis used to compose, a repository of possible impressions–a space to explore. Over time, a picture of Xenakis will emerge that is particular to our ears, our experience, and our time.” To date, contributors have included precussionist Steven Schick, Whit Bernard, DJ Spooky and writer Marc Geelhoed.

The Concerts

Boston
Thursday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
For tickets: http://www.MuseumTix.com or 617.278.5156

On the program:
Psappha
Akanthos
Palimpsest
Echange

Chicago
Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
For tickets: http://www.mcachicago.org or 312.397.4010

On the program:
Psappha
Echange
Akanthos
Palimspsete
O-Mega

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Coming to the Bohemian National Home

Han Bennink im Club W71 in Weikersheim
Image via Wikipedia

From Detroit’s Bohemian National Home:

Friday Jan 23rd at 2739 Edwin Gallery: Han Bennink and Mary Oliver! plus Traum (hall/buetow/riggs)
Han Bennink returns to one of his favorite cities with his partner and Instant Composers Pool collaborator Mary Oliver on violin and viola. Two of the outstanding musicians of our time, Han and Mary can careen from swinging chamber jazz to the furthest reaches of free improv.

Han first came to notice as the young Dutch drummer of choice for Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and Eric Dolphy. Since the early 60’s, he has been a leading figure of the European avant garde, forming ICP with pianist Misha Mengelberg and performing with Peter Brotzmann, Fred Van Hove and Alexander von Schlippenbach. Over the last several decades, his amazing virtuosity has graced work by Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, Derek Bailey and Eugene Chadbourne.

Mary Oliver is a California native who attend Mills College. In addition to working with ICP and improvising greats like Evan Parker, George Lewis and Phil Minton, Mary has an impressive Classical/New Music career that has seen her debut works by Morton Feldman, John Cage and Iannis Xenakis.

Opening the night will be a set from chamber improvisers Traum: Ben Hall, Hans Buetow and Chris Riggs Come see these great musicians in one of the friendliest places in town. Loft music in Hamtramck!

2739 Edwin is located at 2739 Edwin! Doors at 8 pm; $10-20 suggested donation.

Coming soon:

In Feb: Jeff Marx Quartet

5/4 Peter Brotzmann Trio

5/14 OffOnOff (Terry Ex of The Ex and Paal Nilssen Love)

DATE CORRECTION: 5/30 Jack Wright/Bob Marsh

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