New Music for the 21st Century
< August 8, 2014 >
VOX NOVUS NEWSLETTER - New Music for the 21st Century
> REVIEW: New Music for Double Reeds by Joseph Bohigian
> POSTCARD: Pagliacci Male
Vox Novus Calendar
>Composer's Voice MaD Circle
> RESULTS: Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame:Homage to Bach (second set)
with Maksim Velichkin
> Composer Opportunites on Music Avatar
> Composer's Site - new opportunities
> Composer's Site - expiring opportunities

Pagliacci Male

Pagliacci Male

The works of Italian composer Ruggero Leoncavallo are little known save for his opera Pagliacci (“Clowns”), which was an instant hit when it premiered in 1892. But it nearly wasn’t. Leoncavallo initially titled the opera Pagliacci Male, or “Evil Clowns,” after a gothic horror story of the same name by Bram Stoker, the novelist who would later pen Dracula. But even for late 19th century Italian opera goers who enjoyed a good on-stage beheading or two, the plot was chillingly gruesome. It traced the unspeakable acts of Moe, Larry, and Bloodbath, three clowns who triple-handedly caused a spike in incidents of coulrophobia worldwide. Faced with negative music criticism, Ruggero withdrew the opera and rewrote the libretto himself. The rest is, of course, storia pagliaccio.

David Gunn

David Gunn

New Music for Double Reeds

New Music for Double Reeds

The International Double Reed Society, NYU, and Circles and Lines presented the concert “New Music for Double Reeds” on August 6th at Subculture in NYC. The first set featured six world premieres, including the premiere of Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Robert Botti.

This concert was part of the 43rd annual International Double Reed Society, hosted by NYU. The IDRS worked with Circles and Lines, a young composers consortium which strives to provide an eclectic and accessible array of contemporary classical music, to present a night of new music for double reeds. Members of Circles and Lines include Angélica Negrón, Conrad Winslow, Noam Faingold, Eric Lemmon, and Dylan Glatthorn. Each member of the group had a work premiered at the performance, showing off the wide variety of styles in which each member writes.

One of the highlights of the concert was Conrad Winslow’s Tone Riddles, a bassoon duo performed by Rebekah Heller and Adrian Morejon. Winslow’s work consists of four relatively short movements in which some aspect of the music is fixed and other things are left up to the performer. Each movement had it’s own interesting character that set it apart from the rest and made the piece fun to listen to. The indeterminacy of the piece was handled with great care by Heller and Morejon and resulted in an engaging experience for the listeners.

Another highlight was Angélica Negrón’s Stereogram, performed by oboists Robert Botti and Christa Robinson and bassoonists Gina Cuffari and Adrian Morejon. The piece was accompanied by video made by Don Miller which featured colorful, throbbing shapes matched to the pulse of the music. The video added a nice visual element to the piece, but sometimes distracted from the music. Fortunately, the video was projected on a screen in the upper corner of the stage and could easily be ignored if it became distracting. The music itself featured long, sustained notes and static, repeated patterns layered over each other which moved in and out of the overall texture. This layering created waves of sound which washed over the audience and created a meditative mood.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

The world premiere of Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Robert Botti presented fifteen one minute works on the theme of New York City. Each piece was written by a different composer specifically for Botti and performed consecutively. Following the mission of the Fifteen Minutes of Fame project, Botti’s performance featured fifteen very stylistically different works, thus showing a wide sample of contemporary music being written today. Each piece was performed with great finesse by Botti, but several stuck out among the rest, including David J. Grossman’s Cityscape, Bob Magnuson’s City Shadows, Douglas DaSilva’s West 83rd Street Choro, and Nicholas O’Neill’s Intersection.

Joseph Bohigian

Joseph Bohigian

Joseph Bohigian is a composer from Fresno, California and is interning for Vox Novus. He will be sharing his experiences on the New York New Music scene.

Upcoming Performances

Composer's Voice concert - MaD Circle

MaD Circle at Composer's Voice

On August 10th MaD Circle Dance concert will feature the work of a wide variety of composers and choreographers from around the world.

“it’s on the edge of what’s happening” –Brant Lyon, Great Weather for Media

This concert will be curated and directed by Erin Bomboy and Callie Hatchett.

Erin Bomboy

Erin Bomboy is a dance writer, choreographer, and arts administrator whose professional career has encompassed performing as a professional classical ballet dancer and placing as a United States finalist in competitive ballroom dancing. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts in Dance, Erin held her first solo show, The Public Decides, in conjunction with Composer’s Voice in 2012.

Callie Hatchett

Callie Hatchett is a choreographer who has performed in the works of Deborah Jowitt, Cherylyn Lavagnino, Sydney Skybetter, Thaddeus Davis, Charles Weidman, and Terri Weksler. She has presented her choreography at Dancenow’s RAW Festival, NYC10, Music and Motion, the Bessie Schonberg Choreography Intensive, and for Andalusia Ballet.

Listed as “One of the premier showcases for promising composers” by Time Out New York, this performance includes works from a unique set of composers: David Bohn, Remigio Coco, Marco De Boni, Jay Anthony Gach, Leonard Mark Lewis, David Charles Meckler, Alon A Nechushtan, Norberto Oldrini, and Gisela Alejandra Paterno, which reflect the curators’ aesthetic and experiences. These composers’ works have been performed around the world in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia by such ensembles as N.E.C. Composers Orchestra, Radonfsky Quartet, RNCM Orchestra, Marcel Worms Duo, Euphonique Saxophone Quartet, The Contemprorary String Quartet, Atar Trio, and Musica Nova Orchestra.

The concert will feature the work of choreographers Callie Hatchett, Natalie N. Johnson, Monica Hogan, Julie Halpin, Jonathan Balsa, Cole Mills, Jonathan Breton, Lena Gilbert, and Nikki Nasto. Their work has been presented around the world at Dancenow’s RAW Festival, NYC10, Music and Motion, Andalusia Ballet, Gibney Dance Center, Amalgamate Artist Series, NACHMO Showcase, American Dance Festival, Ailey Citigroup Theater, CoolNY Dance Festival, Xuzhou Concert Hall, Tianjin Concert Hall, Martha Graham Studios Theatre, Aaron Davis Hall, and more. Each choreographer was assigned a piece of music written specifically for this project based on the outmoded forms of Tango and Waltz and challenged to revitalize it for a new generation.

Founded in 2001 by Robert Voisey, the Composer's Voice Concert Series has had more than 100 concerts in New York City. Works are chosen from a wide range of contemporary composers and performed by dedicated musicians devoted to new music. The series has presented the works of hundreds of living composers from around the world. Concerts are held two times a month in the afternoon on the second and last Sundays of most months. The performances are recorded and archived to further promote the new music, performers, and composers. Audio, video, scores, and programs can be found on the Composer’s Voice website.

The Composer’s Voice Concert Series is a collaboration between Vox Novus and Jan Hus Church. Performances are short chamber concerts held at Jan Hus Church and are an opportunity for contemporary composers to express their aesthetic and personal voice.

Composer’s Voice Concert Series
Sunday, August 10th at 1:00 pm
Jan Hus Church
351 East 74th Street, New York, NY 10021
Free admission


Calendar of Vox Novus Events
Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Announcing results for the second set of
Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: BACH
with Maksim Velichkin

Vox Novus called for one-minute pieces with an Homage to BACH theme written for cellist Maksim Velichkin. This is the second set of 15 works to be selected from his original call and will be performed at Brand Library.

The theme of this Fifteen Minutes of Fame, an Homage to Bach; are works be based on, developed from, and otherwise related to the pitches BACH. Serving as a uniting factor for all 15 compositions.

Maksim Velichkin has been active as a solo performer, chamber and orchestra musician, both locally and throughout the world. Mr.Velichkin has appeared as a soloist with Uzbekistan National Symphony, Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble, American Youth Symphony, as well as Torrance, Westchester, Southeast and Bellflower orchestras. He has toured extensively to Europe, Asia, North and South America and Australia with the prestigious Verbier Chamber and Verbier Festival Symphony Orchestras.

Cellist Maksim Velichkin, violinists Jackie Suzuki and Adriana Zoppo will be performing. Mr. Velichkin will be premiering a second Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame Homage to Bach set with 15 new composers (the first set was premiered at Brand Library on May 4). Also music by George N. Gianopoulos, Elliott Goldkind, Blair Whittington and more!

"…the pieces are performed in quick succession and each has a character of its own, the audience is treated to a kaleidoscope of styles; in turn textural and tonal, avant-garde and neo-romantic... the entire smorgasbord of contemporary idioms was playing a game of musical chairs, so to speak, and the effect was thrilling. " - Damjan Rakonjac, Artificialist

Works selected for this Fifteen Minutes of Fame include:
BACH Fughetto for solo cello….. Martha Bishop,
BACH Fractal by Jim Dalton,
Fire and Brimstone by Bobby DeLisle,
aBACHeosis by Michelle M. Dewhirst,
1685 by Rolando Gori,
Bachiolage by Vera Ivanova ,
Homage to BACH by Charles Knox,
Improvisation on the theme BACH by Arkady Luxemburg,
BACH frame by David Meckler,
Ebb and Flow by Vasilis Mouskouris,
What's in a name? by Hinse Mutter,
"BACH" cello suite #2 by Nathan Nau,
In the Name of BACH by Akmal Parwez,
Three voices BACH by Fabio Monzù Rosselli, and
A Musing on BACH by Phil Taylor

You can find more information here

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