New York New Music Ensemble Begins Residency

The New York New Music Ensemble

The New York New Music Ensemble, one of the world's premiere twentieth-century music groups, begins a performing and teaching residency at Sarah Lawrence College this year. Their first concert will be held October 24, 1999 at 4 p.m. in Reisinger Hall. Tickets are $10; $8 for senior citizens. Reservations are not required. For more information or directions, please call (914) 395-2411.

"The Sarah Lawrence Music Program is both honored and excited that the Ensemble will be in residence at the College this year," said Chester Biscardi, director of the College's music program. Along with presenting three concerts of new music in the College's Concert Series, the members of the Ensemble will work individually with instrumental students as well as participate in readings of new works by student composers. Students will also gain direct professional experience by attending Ensemble rehearsals, developing both deeper insights into the music being performed and a greater working rapport with Ensemble members. "This is the first time that the College has had a mixed ensemble of such distinction, expertise and vision, dedicated to the music of our time," said Biscardi. "Faculty and students alike are looking forward to an enthusiastic and productive season."

Hailed by The New York Times for producing acoustic and electronic chamber music concerts that sound "extensively rehearsed and emotionally charged," the Ensemble has for 24 years inspired, commissioned, performed, and recorded music of the most important composers of our day. In addition to performing the "classics" of our century, the Ensemble's commitment to contemporary music has prompted a rigorous commissioning program of almost 80 new works by established composers, such as Milton Babbit, Arthur Berger, Andrew Imbrie, Ralph Shapey and Charles Wourinen, and talented young composers, including Melinda Wagner, David Froom and Arthur Kreiger. This quintessential mixed ensemble, consisting of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion, integrates theatre and interactive and live electronics with interdisciplinary virtuoso performances involving graphics, movement and the spoken word.

The program on October 24, Electricity in the Air: Current Sounds for Musicians and Machines, will feature Girlfriend, for ensemble and electronics, by Julia Wolfe (east coast premiere), Spasm for Bass Clarinet and Tape, by Michael Lowenstern, Micro-Concerto for Percussion, by Steven Mackey (world premiere), Work by Mario Davidovsky, and Thirteen Loops, for ensemble, and electronics, by Rand Steiger.

The Ensemble has thirteen recordings to date, including New Electro-Acoustic Music, Near Distance, Music of Carter, Davies, and Druckman, and Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Significant performance sites have included the Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall under the auspices of the New York Philharmonic, as well as museums and universities across the country. The Ensemble features Daniel Druckman, percussion; Christopher Finckel, cello; Stephen Golsing, piano; Jean Kopperud, clarinet; Jeffrey Milarsky, conductor; Linda Quan, violin; Jayn Rosenfeld, flute.

Central to the Ensemble's success is the conviction that contemporary music, thoughtfully programmed and imaginatively performed, can reach both the specialist and an unitiated audience. Each member of the Ensemble is a virtuosic solo performer, yet at the heart of the group is the cooperation and mutual inspiration that the players receive from each other. The Ensemble has garnered critical applause in recent years for increasing audiences for contemporary music, supporting composers through commissions and performances and making lasting records of important music.