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Metropolis Ensemble to Celebrate 10th Anniversary with 'Musicircus' Inspired Party

Grammy Award-nominated Metropolis Ensemble celebrates its 10th anniversary on September 27th with a multi-sensory party and festive concert experience throughout the Angel Orensanz Center.

One night, 10 years in the making, this immersive community event is inspired by John Cage's 1967 "Musicircus," and features dozens of the organization's most accomplished artists and closest collaborators from the past 10 years.

The night will feature nearly 40 works, including world premieres by Brad Balliett, Ryan Francis, DD Jackson, Paula Matthusen, Ricardo Romaneiro, Matthew Evan Taylor, and Du Yun (who is creating her premiere during the event).


Celebrate: Metropolis Ensemble Turns 10
September 27 @ 8PM show/7:30PM doors
Angel Orensanz Foundation
172 Norfolk Street, NYC
Tickets: $20

The experience is inspired by John Cage's instruction "everything at once and all together." Itinerant performers (violinist Sean Lee with roving Paganini Caprices; soprano Ariadne Greif with selections from Cage's Song Books) will interweave with overlapping live-music installations and large-scale group performances (featuring music by Timo Andres, Vivian Fung, DD Jackson, Paula Matthusen, Matthew Evan Taylor, and Ricardo Romaneiro). Electro-acoustic works ranging from a new open-score work for Pocket Operators + Instruments by Ryan Francis, and a Happy Birthday "pop-song" composed by Du Yun for orchestra during the event with audience participation, will enlarge the palette of sonic colors and textures. Featured performers include singer-songwriter Emily Wells, violinists Kristin Lee and Sean Lee, cellist Ashley Bathgate, saxophonist/composer Matthew Evan Taylor, bassoonist/composer Brad Balliett, percussionist Ian Rosenbaum, pianists Conor Hanick and Timo Andres, and keyboardists DD Jackson (Hammond B-3) and Molly Joyce (toy organ).

Founder and music director Andrew Cyr calls the evening "a celebration of our composers, artists, and entire community." The innovative context and focus on new music are an appropriate way for Metropolis to celebrate this important milestone. In its 10 years, the organization has been involved in nearly 100 commissions, and served as an incubator for winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Avery Fisher Career Grant, and principal players and composers-in-residence of orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Metropolis has been instrumental in instilling the strong sense of community and foundational support that New York City and its musicians currently enjoy.
The event is being produced in collaboration with composers Paula Matthusen and Ricardo Romaneiro. Both artists have been key collaborators in recent editions of Metropolis' "Brownstone" series, in both NYC and at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.
During the event, wine sponsored by Miro Cellars, a boutique Sonoma Valley winery, will be accompanied by specially created desserts. An after-party will feature a set by singer-songwriter and Metropolis Ensemble collaborator, Emily Wells. Atmospheric lighting design and projection mapping will illuminate the Orensanz Center, a candle-lit former Gothic synagogue on the Lower East Side.

Metropolis Ensemble is a professional chamber orchestra and ensemble based in New York City dedicated to classical music in its most contemporary forms. Emerging a new generation of outstanding composers and performers, Metropolis Ensemble has quickly established a reputation for presenting "new music played with the same kind of panache and bravura we usually experience only in performances of standard repertoire" (Esa-Pekka Salonen). A taste-making incubator of talent, Metropolis boasts a roster of performers and composers that have won The Pulitzer Prize (Caroline Shaw, 2013), The Juno Award (Vivian Fung, 2013), The Rome Prize (Christopher Cerrone, 2015; Paula Matthusen, 2014; Erin Gee, 2008), and The Guggenheim Fellowship (Vivian Fung, 2012). Alumni artists are now concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra, and composers-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Royal Opera House, among others.

As it begins its second decade, Metropolis Ensemble intends to expand its efforts to present innovative new music and concert formats and to serve as a platform for emerging performers and composers. The organization will continue to build upon its Resident Artist Program, which supports key players in expanding their creativity and bringing their visions into reality with opportunities to curate and produce concert programs and special projects. This season also marks the launch of Metropolis Radio, a streaming service available for a pay-what-you-want monthly fee providing a curated selection of recordings by the ensemble, its artists and alumni.

In addition, the organization intends to expand its education programs, which have grown from 10 students to more than 400 across all five boroughs.

Among the young organization's recent accomplishments are three studio albums, including Avner Dorman's concertos, featuring the Mandolin Concerto performed by Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital; collaborations with pop artists such as Questlove, Deerhoof, San Fermin, and Emily Wells, including an appearance on The Tonight Show; performances at Lincoln Center, BAM, an off-Broadway children's opera by David Bruce in collaboration with the Royal Opera House of London; a remix of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in Prospect Park; and a concert aboard the S.S. Hangover in Central Park's Harlem Meer that attracted 100,000 listeners.

Grammy-nominated conductor and artistic director Andrew Cyr is a leader in the rapidly growing contemporary music scene. His passion for creating platforms for outstanding emerging composers and performing artists to collaborate and present new work led him to found Metropolis Ensemble in 2006. While championing new work from the next generation of composers, Cyr has also led performances and recordings with a broad range of artists including Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, Deerhoof, and the Paris band BabX, among others. Recent engagements include his Radio City Music Hall Orchestra debut as part of Dave Chappelle's much-heralded comedy show, his debut with NYU's Symphony Orchestra at The Skirball Center for Performing Arts, conducting Tan Dun's The Map, as well as his first appearance conducting Metropolis Ensemble on The Tonight Show. In 2013, Cyr made conducting debuts with the Colorado Symphony (along with mandolinist Avi Avital) and led the American premiere of a new opera by David Bruce at New Victory Theatre, co-produced by The Royal Opera House II and The Opera Group.

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