Neighborhood Classics Presents CONTEMPORANEOUS and FACE THE MUSIC Concerts, 12/1 & 2


The Neighborhood Classics concert series presents two concerts the weekend of December 1 and 2, 2012. On Saturday, December 1 at 7pm, new music group Contemporaneous will perform a concert hosted by James Matheson, composer and Neighborhood Classics Artistic Director at P.S. 142, entitled "Shut Your Eyes" at P.S. 142 (100 Attorney St., NYC) on Manhattan's Lower East Side. On Sunday, December 2 at 3pm, the talented teenagers of Face the Music will perform a concert entitled "Why Am I Hearing Rock in my Classical Music?" at P.S. 69Q (77-02 37th Ave.) in Queens. All ticket sales for these one-hour, family-friendly concerts benefit the host schools.

Contemporaneous a New York-based collective of 40+ musicians, was founded at Bard College in 2010. In "Shut Your Eyes" at P.S. 142, the ensemble presents a kaleidoscopic voyage of powerful new music that draws from minimalism, rock, and folk traditions as disparate as Anatolia and Ireland. The concert features works by Conor Brown (Scrolls, world premiere), Bryce Dessner (O Shut Your Eyes Against the Wind), and Donnacha Dennehy (Grás agus Bás/Love and Death)

A founding member of Contemporaneous, Boulder-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Conor Brown draws from Turkish and Balkan folk as well as American minimalism to create a highly original and compelling musical voice. Contemporaneous will give the world premiere of his large-scale work, Scrolls, a wild, haunting, rock-infused, Anatolian folk-inspired work for four vocalists and ensemble. Best known for his work as a guitarist with the indie-rock band The National, Bryce Dessner is an active composer in the new music scene as well.

Contemporaneous performs his recent work O Shut Your Eyes Against the Wind, a dreamscape that takes its title from an evocative poem by Black Mountain poet Larry Eigner. Inspired by the rich sean-nós vocal tradition of his native Ireland, Donnacha Dennehy's Grá agus Bás (Love and Death) is a dramatic epic for vocalist and just-intoned chamber ensemble. Contemporaneous vocalist Finnegan Shanahan will be the beacon on this uniquely powerful journey of ecstasy and destiny.

Kaufman Center's Face the Music is an "alt-classical" ensemble of more than 70 unusually talented teenagers from in and around New York City, praised for "stunning performances" by The New York Times. At P.S. 69Q, jazz and rock meet contemporary classical music in a program that includes Andy Didorenko's Concerto for Two Violins, featuring two of the groups longtime violin virtuosi; hip-hop violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain's La La La La for chamber orchestra; and Face the Music's own Ethan Cohn's Lionfish for large jazz combo. The concert will also include Philip Glass' sparkling String Quartet No. 5, as well as a string quartet by one of the Philip Glass Ensemble's current members: David Crowell's Open Road. Finally, the ensemble will present a work by the young Abe Gold, Four NYC Pieces, bringing the sounds of the city – car horns included – right onto the concert stage.

Contemporaneous, a New York-based ensemble of 40+ musicians, performs the most exciting music of this generation, music that describes the world and captures the spirit of the present moment. Founded in 2010 at Bard College, Contemporaneous has played over 40 concerts at venues including the Merkin Concert Hall, Galapagos Art Space, Roulette, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and The Stone, and gave the first ever performance at Van Dyke Park, New Amsterdam Records' space in Brooklyn. In April 2012 Innova Recordings released Contemporaneous' debut album, Stream of Stars - Music of Dylan Mattingly, comprising music written for the ensemble by its founding co-artistic director. For more information, visit