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Open Source Music Festival to Launch Next Month at Abrons Arts Center

Open Source Music Festival to Launch Next Month at Abrons Arts Center

The Open Source Music Festival, November 16-18, 2017 at the Abrons Arts Center, takes its inspiration from the collaborations and connections between artists. The groundbreaking event explores the phenomenon of Open Source through a musical lens.

The innovative programming features Artistic Director, pianist Joel Fan, performing the world premieres of new piano works commissioned by an award-winning group of composers - four men, and four women - paired in collaboration.

Joining him in performances throughout the festival is an impressive lineup of world-renowned performers and innovative ensembles, performing contemporary classical, jazz, and electronic music.

"Open Source is based on the simple idea that we share our creative work, and allow others to build upon it freely. We've built our whole music festival around this powerful concept." says Joel Fan explaining his inspiration for the Festival, "The open source movement is changing the world, and affects every part of our lives. As a pianist, I've always been fascinated by the way music is created - how musical ideas are remixed and new musical trends emerge. The Internet and the open source movement have radically changed the way we communicate, collaborate, and powers much of our creativity today. New innovations such as the blockchain will alter how we power our creativity in the near future. The artists and composers featured at the Festival have won "Genius" Grants, Grammys, Pulitzers, and have earned recognition throughout the world."

"We are thrilled that the Open Source Music Festival chose the Abrons Arts Center to launch their first NYC festival," said Craig Peterson, Abrons' Artistic Director. "Some of the world's most innovative artists and thinkers of the last century have graced our stages. The Open Source Music Festival is an exciting addition to New York's cultural landscape and is a perfect fit with our mission."

For more about the event, go to, and for tickets, click here.


The festival is highlighted by a momentous commissioning project - Couplets - which builds on the influence of open source and collaboration to create a new piano suite. Couplets pairs four couples who are married, each of whom is a renowned composer in their own right. Each pair of composers has written new works in collaboration with each other. The works written explore the interplay of transformation, inspiration, and personal relationships in the creative process. These groundbreaking new works each receive its world premiere by Joel Fan as part of the festival.


Michael Gordon merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power. Transcending categorization, this music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness. Co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can. Mr. Gordon is paired with his wife, Julia Wolfe. Ms. Wolfe is a 2016 MacArthur Fellow and winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in music. She draws inspiration from folk, classical, and rock genres, bringing a modern sensibility to each while simultaneously tearing down the walls between them.

Evan Ziporyn makes music at the crossroads between genres and cultures, east and west. He performed at the First Bang on a Can Marathon, and his involvement has continued for 25 years. He joined the MIT faculty in 1990, founding Gamelan Galak Tika there, beginning a series of groundbreaking compositions for gamelan and western instruments. Mr. Ziproryn is paired with his wife Christine Southworth. Ms. Southworth is a composer and video artist dedicated to creating art born from a cross-pollination of sonic and visual ideas. She's Inspired by intersections of technology and art, nature and machines, and music from cultures around the world. Her music employs sounds from man and nature, from Van de Graaff Generators to honeybees, Balinese gamelan to seismic data from volcanoes.

Augusta Read Thomas is described as one the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American music. A Grammy winner, she has produced an impressive body of works of unbridled passion and fierce poetry. Her music is nuanced, majestic, elegant, capricious, lyrical, and colorful. An influential teacher, she serves on many boards and was central in establishing the MusicNOW series through which she commissioned and programmed the work of many living composers. Ms. Thomas is paired with her husband Bernard Rands. Mr. Rands is established as a major figure in contemporary music. His works have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award and won a Grammy. A dedicated and passionate teacher, he has been a guest composer at many international festivals and has received hoary degrees from several American and European universities.

Composer and pianist Wang Lu was born in Xi'an, the ancient capital of China. Her works reflect a natural identification with Chinese opera and folk traditions - through the prism of contemporary instrumental techniques and new sonic possibilities. She has participated in numerous festivals in the US and her works for a variety of Western and Chinese ensembles and orchestras have been performed internationally. Ms. Wang is paired with Anthony Cheung. Mr. Cheung is a composer and pianist whose output ranges from solo to orchestral works, occasionally with electronics. His music has been programmed at Tanglewood, Aspen, Mostly Mozart and numerous festivals internationally. The recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, he has received numerous other awards and is the Young Composer Fellow of the Cleveland Orchestra. As a performer, he co-founded the Talea Ensemble and has concertized in the US and abroad as a specialist of new music.


Pianist Joel Fan is acclaimed for a wide-ranging musical journey that crosses boundaries, illuminates the rare and unexpected, and embraces classical traditions and contemporary music of cultures all around the world. The New York Times calls him an "impressive pianist", who possesses a "probing intellect and vivid imagination". NPR says that he's "using music as a way of connecting humanity... one note at a time."

Joel Fan's discography best illustrates Fan's highly creative musical persona. World Keys contains the works of ten composers from as many countries and includes five world premieres of composers including Peteris Vasks, Dia Succari, and Qigang Chen. West of the Sun offers nine stunning renditions drawn from a wide range of styles and sources from both North and South America, along with the world premiere recording of William Bolcom's Nine New Bagatelles. Both albums debuted on the Billboard Top 10 Classical Charts. Critic Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times acclaimed Fan's album Leon Kirchner: Revelations for its important works, and his recording of Leon Kirchner's last major composition, the "Forbidden" Piano Sonata. Fan's recording Dances for Piano and Orchestra focuses on the intersection of music and dance with rarely heard compositions from Chopin, Saint-Saens, Pierne, and Castro, with a premiere recording of Charles Cadman's Dark Dancers of the Mardi Gras.

As a concerto soloist, Fan has performed over 40 different concertos with orchestras worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Odessa Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, the Boston Pops, and London Sinfonietta.

As a recitalist, Joel Fan is known for the exuberant virtuosity of his playing, and he's appeared on numerous stages from the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Jordan Hall in Boston, Calgary Celebrity Series, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. From performances at the Kennedy Center to tours of Asia and South America, he's performed recitals on four continents, practically reinventing the piano recital with a unique approach to programming, and as a "champion of new music" (Boston Globe).

Joel Fan is also recognized for his work with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and as a member of the Silk Road Ensemble, appearing on the television shows Good Morning America and Late Night with David Letterman. Fan has also collaborated with numerous leading ensembles, including the Shanghai Quartet, Orion Quartet, Imani Winds, and A Far Cry chamber orchestra. Visit for more.


TIGUE is a group of the three percussionists Matt Evans, Amy Garapic and Carson Moody. With a fluid musical identity, they make their own kinetic, hypnotic blend of instrumental minimalism, while opening up the possibilities of their instrumentation through commissioning and collaboration. Praised for their focused and "high-octane" performances at festivals, concert halls, galleries, black box theaters, and universities throughout the country, the Ohio-born band members have worked together since they were practically children.

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, JACK is focused on new works. Deemed "superheroes of the new music world" (Boston Globe), the JACK Quartet is "the go-to quartet for contemporary music, tying impeccable musicianship to intellectual ferocity and a take-no-prisoners sense of commitment." (Washington Post) "They are a musical vehicle of choice to the next great composers who walk among us." (Toronto Star)

One of the most versatile cellists performing today, Jeffrey Ziegler has commissioned dozens of works and is both a potent collaborator and unique improviser. Over a celebrated careers, he has released dozens of recordings and given many notable premieres. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras here and abroad and was the cellist of the renowned Kronos Quartet for eight seasons. He is an honored recipient of numerous awards and is currently on the faculty of Mannes College of numerous awards and is currently on the faculty at Mannes College The New School For Music.

Teengirl Fantasy is the American electronic music duo, Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss. They met during orientation at Oberlin College and began making music together almost immediately. They gained an audience and awards crafting atmospheric, driving sounds using samples, remixes, and radically reworked versions of other artists materials. Now based in New York, they continue creating albums and digital releases featuring guest vocalists and a more kinetic, instrumentals focused approach.

The Cellar and Point is an adventurous, NYC based "garage-chamber" septet. Their musical universe comprises the detail of modern concert music, the improvised sensibilities of downtown jazz and the emotional directness of alt-rock. The ensemble features an impressive cross-section of young talent from NYC's classical. Jazz, and new music scenes, and their debut recording received widespread critical acclaim. The ensemble has appeared in live performances at NYC's Winter Jazz Fest and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York-based, ADR, or Aaron David Ross - is a classically trained musician who is inspired equally by pop, contemporary art, and technology practices. He composes music for film, TV, advertising and his own solo releases. His newest is created entirely from vocal sounds, borrowing vocal fragments from everywhere to create an open-source, equal opportunity, electronic pop music.

For over 30 years, guitarist Ben Monder has performed with a wide variety of artists - Jack McDuff, Lee Konitz, George Garzone, Maria Schneider, and contributed to David Bowie's last album. He conducts clinics and workshops around the world and has served on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, NYU, and The New School. A recipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award and Shifting Foundation Grant, he has appeared on over 200 CDs as a sideman and 6 as a leader. He performs original music internationally in solo and trio settings.

Jeffrey Gavett, baritone, is dedicated to the creation and presentation of new music as composer, performer, and improviser. He has performed with a broad range of collaborators, from the Rolling Stones and indie rock group Clogs to new music groups Alarm Will Sound, ICE, New Juilliard Ensemble, Red Light New Music, Roomful of Teeth, SEM Ensemble, Signal, Talea Ensemble, Le Train Bleu, and Wet Ink Ensemble. His own mixed ensemble loadbang has premiered more than 250 new works since 2008, writing their own music, improvising, and working closely with composers to create a repertoire for their unique instrumentation. In 2010 he founded the Ekmeles vocal ensemble, which is dedicated to performing new works for a capella voices and classics of the avant-garde.

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