Miller Theatre & ACO Present 3 Nights of SONiC Festival, Beginning Today

Miller hosts three performances during the festival's opening weekend, featuring the acclaimed ensembles eighth blackbird, Either/Or, and a marathon concert hosted by JACK quartet.

From Miller Theatre Director Melissa Smey, "I am so happy to be working with such a great lineup of performers and composers to present three concerts as part of the Sounds of a New Century Festival. It's particularly exciting for us to be involved in this celebration given its relationship to the historic Ditson Fund festivals, which were first presented here more than 60 years ago and included incredible premieres by the likes of Aaron Copland and Charles Ives. It's a great honor to carry on Columbia's legacy of connecting emerging composers and new audiences."

Miller Theatre is proud to be one of the key partners in SONiC: Sounds of a New Century, a new nine-day festival devoted to music written in the first decade of the 21st century by emerging composers age 40 and under. Produced in partnership with American Composers Orchestra, SONiC will feature works by over 100 composers. Supported in part by the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, the festival recalls the landmark Ditson festivals of contemporary music, held at Miller Theatre in the 1940s and 50s, which featured premieres by Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and Elliott Carter, among many others. Could the next Ives be among this crop of new voices?


Saturday, October 15, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 16, 12 noon-midnight

Monday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 • Extended Play: $25 for the whole day or $15 per set

CU Students: $7 • Other students: $15 with valid ID


Saturday, October 15, 7:30 p.m.
eighth blackbird
"eighth blackbird play like musicians possessed; excited by the new, they take wing, soaring on an upthrust of precision-tooled virtuosity." -BBC Music

PROGRAM: Timothy Andres: Crashing Through Fences
Bruno Mantovani: Chamber Concerto No. 2 (world premiere, eighth blackbird commission)
Amy Beth Kirsten: Pirouette
Mayke Nas: DiGiT #2 (U.S. premiere)
Fabian Svensson: Two Sides (U.S. premiere)
Dan Visconti: Fractured Jams
Caleb Burhans: Lullaby for Madeline

Sunday, October 16, 12 noon-midnight
Sets at 12:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.
Extended Play: Marathon Concert
hosted by JACK Quartet
featuring performances by Talea Ensemble, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Prism Quartet, Young People's Chorus of New York City, Imani Winds, Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, NOW Ensemble and other special guests.

"Every JACK concert transcends a run-of-the-mill performance and becomes a true event."
-Time Out New York

12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

JACK Quartet performs:
Alex Mincek: String Quartet no. 3 (lift-tilt-filter-split)

Talea Ensemble performs:
Hector Parra: String Trio - U.S. premiere
Anthony Cheung: Roundabouts - U.S. premiere
Victor Adan/Douglas Repetto: Tractus - world premiere, Meet the Composer Commission

JACK Quartet performs:
Vykintas Baltakas: b(ell tree) - U.S. premiere
Aaron Cassidy: Second String Quartet - New York premiere commissioned by Südwestrundfunk/Donaueschinger Musiktage for the JACK Quartet. The collaborative research in the development of this piece was supported through a generous grant from the ‘Practice Led and Applied Research' scheme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

The New York Virtuoso Singers perform:
Jenece C. Gerber: Je me delace
Nicholas Reeves: In Memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich
Michael Fletcher: H
Thomas Lavoy: White Stones
Yotam Haber: I Am (with JACK Quartet) - world premiere

4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

JACK Quartet and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis perform:
Hannah Lash: Filigree in Textile- world premiere
This piece was made possible by a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation.

Prism Quartet performs:
David Laganella: Leafless Tree
Roshanne Etezady: Inkling
Ken Ueno: from sunrise to sunset, the summer of the Ken Ueno S.E.P.S.A. bus rides destra e sinistra around Ischia just to get tomorrow's scatolame
Lei Liang: Yuan
Kati Agocs: Coloratura
Kristin Kuster: Breath Beneath

JACK Quartet performs:
Jessie Montgomery: Standing / Forward - world premiere

Young People's Chorus of New York City; Cantare Chorus performs:
Elizabeth Ziman: Beauty in a Moment
Tarik O'Regan: The Taxi
Susie Ibarra: Excerpts from Saturnalia
Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum: Two Songs from e. e. cummings

JACK Quartet performs
Gregory Spears: Buttonwood - New York premiere

Concert Chorus performs:
Gabriela Lena Frank: Picaflor Esmeralda fromTwo Mountain Songs
Bora Yoon: Semaphore Conductus
Rufus Wainwright: Hope is a Thing of Feathers from Bloom

9:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Jason Eckardt: Subject - world premiere
This piece has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.

Imani Winds performs:
Valerie Coleman: Red Clay and Mississippi Delta
Mohammed Fairouz: Wind Quintet (I. March) - New York premiere
Philip Taylor: Prelude and Scherzo
Jason Moran: Cane
i. Togo to Natchitoches
ii. Coin Coin's narrative
iii. Gens libre de couleur
iv. Natchitoches to New York

JACK Quartet performs:
Matthew Barnson: String Quartet No. 3 - world premiere

Dither Electric Guitar Quartet performs:
Paula Matthusen: but because without this
Jascha Narveson: The Driving One
Ches Smith: Metal Vacation
Lisa R. Coons: Prolix
Lainie Fefferman: Tongue of Thorns

JACK Quartet performs:
Christopher Otto: Algol

NOW Ensemble performs:
Patrick Burke: Awake
Mark Dancigers: New Work
Sarah Kirkland Snider: New Work
Judd Greenstein: Change

Monday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.
Marie Bernard and Estelle Lemire, ondes Martenot

"[Either/Or is an] ensemble that plays by its own rules "
-The New York Times

PROGRAM: Raphaël Cendo: In Vivo part I (2008)
Hans Thomalla: Piano Counterpart (2009)
Richard Carrick: "à cause du soleil" Flow Trio (2009)
Erin Gee: Mouthpiece I / Yamaguchi Mouthpieces / Akiguchi Mouthpiece (2001-2011)
Keeril Makan: Resonance Alloy (2008)
Jonny Greenwood: smear (2004) with special guests Marie Bernard and Estelle Lemire


eighth blackbird
Tim Munro, flutes
Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets
Yvonne Lam, violin & viola
Nicholas Photinos, cello
Matthew Duvall, percussion
Lisa Kaplan, piano

Hailed as "friendly, unpretentious, idealistic, and highly skilled" by The New Yorker, eighth blackbird is widely lauded for its unusual performing style - often playing from memory with theatrical flair - and for its efforts to make new music accessible to wider audiences. Since its founding in 1996, the sextet has actively commissioned and recorded new works; recent commissions include a concerto from Jennifer Higdon and pieces from Steve Reich, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Steven Mackey, David Lang, Stephen Hartke, and Bruno Mantovani. The group's CD strange imaginary animals won two Grammy Awards in 2008, including one for Best Chamber Music Performance.

Now celebrating its 15th season, eighth blackbird's 2010-11 season showcased music by the two most recent Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, with new and recent works written expressly for the ensemble by both Jennifer Higdon and Steve Reich. The ensemble curated and performed in Park Avenue Armory's new "Tune-In" contemporary music festival in New York City. Other highlights included a return to Carnegie's Zankel Hall; performances at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art; a tour of Higdon's new concerto On a Wire with several high-profile orchestras; Reich festivals on both sides of the Atlantic - at Carnegie Hall and at London's Barbican Hall; a return to the Library of Congress for a concert that includes the world premiere of a new work by Stephen Hartke; and a new CD featuring Reich's prize-winning Double Sextet.

Highlights of past seasons have included performances in South Korea, Mexico, the UK, the Netherlands, and at nearly every major chamber music venue in North America. eighth blackbird was honored in 2007 with the American Music Center's Trailblazer Award and a Meet The Composer Award, and the group's numerous competition wins include the Grand Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. The sextet has been profiled in The New York Times and featured on CBS News Sunday Morning and Bloomberg TV's Muse.

JACK Quartet
Praised for its "powerhouse playing" by the Chicago Sun-Times and its "extraordinary precision" by The Boston Globe, the JACK Quartet has quickly established a reputation for giving high-energy performances of today's most demanding works for string quartet. In 2009, the quartet received an ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, the quartet has performed at Carnegie Hall (United States), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), and the Festival Internacional Chihuahua (Mexico), with future appearances at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (Germany), the Library of Congress (United States), and the Donaueschinger Musiktage (Germany). The commissioning and performance of new works for string quartet is integral to the JACK Quartet's mission, leading them to work closely with many composers. Upcoming premieres include works by Johannes Schöllhorn, Martin Smolka, Caleb Burhans, Peter Ablinger, and Alan Hilario. The quartet has lead workshops with young composers at Columbia University, New York University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Victoria, and the University of Washington. The members of the quartet met while attending the Eastman School of Music, and they have studied closely with the Arditti Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Muir String Quartet, and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Either/Or is a cutting-edge contemporary music ensemble based in New York City. Founded in 2004 by pianist/composer Richard Carrick and percussionist David Shively, Either/Or focuses on compelling new and recent works for unconventional ensemble formations rarely heard elsewhere. The group draws upon its roster, featuring some of New York's leading interpreters, to present intense chamber music alongside larger ensemble works. E/O has performed to critical acclaim at Miller Theatre, Merkin Concert Hall, The Kitchen, MATA Festival, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and ICA:Boston, in addition to frequent appearances at experimental music venues such as The Stone, Roulette, and Issue Project Room. Programs have included numerous world, U.S., and New York premieres; these range from major works of American experimental music to rarely heard classics from the dynamic margins of the European avant-garde. In addition to its ongoing collaborations with emerging artists, Either/Or has brought distinguished composers such as Helmut Lachenmann (2008), Paolo Aralla (2009), and Chaya Czernowin (2010, 2011) to New York for concerts and lectures.


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