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SONiC – Sounds of a New Century Festival Comes To NYC

SONiC - Sounds of a New Century - a brand new festival of 21st century music by more than 100 composers age 40 and under, will take over New York from Friday, October 14 through Saturday, October 22, 2011. Events will range from a daylong marathon to an electronic music night, from a free symphony concert at the World Financial Center Winter Garden to collaborations between emerging choreographers and composers. SONiC concerts will take place at eleven different venues throughout New York, and will include performances by 16 extraordinary ensembles featuring at least 18 world premieres, eight US premieres, and eight New York premieres. SONiC is co-curated by composer Derek Bermel and pianist Stephen Gosling, and is a production of American Composers Orchestra and The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University. SONiC is presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall and Miller Theatre at Columbia University. New York Public Radio's online radio station, Q2, is the media partner and digital venue. See complete schedule and program information at the end of this release.

SONiC aims to present a snapshot of the broad array of new music being composed today - from serialism to minimalism, world music and jazz to indie rock, string quartet to electric guitar quartet. Bermel explains, "The festival is a window into the vast and diverse worlds that musicians are exploring today. There are no more aesthetic or stylistic barriers out there; SONiC is offering a whirlwind showcase for the boundless creativity of our contemporary composers."

SONiC launches on October 14 with ACO's season-opening concert, Orchestra Underground: 21st Firsts, presented by Carnegie Hall at Zankel Hall, with an all-world premiere program featuring music by five up-and-coming composers: Kenji Bunch, who premieres his own concerto for amplified viola and orchestra; Christopher Stark, winner of ACO's 2010 Underwood Emerging Composer Commission; Alex Temple whose piece is for soprano Mellissa Hughes, live electronics and orchestra; Andreia Pinto-Correia, a composer identified through ACO's national EarShot new music readings network; and Wang Lu, who is creating a multimedia work for video and orchestra. The program will be led by ACO Music Director George Manahan.

Other highlights of SONiC include eighth blackbird performing the world premiere of a new work by Bruno Mantovani alongside music by Dan Visconti, Timo Andres, Caleb Burhans and more; Either/Or in music by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood (for an ensemble that includes two ondes martenots) and Keeril Makan; Brazil's Camerata Aberta in works by Latin and North American composers; Holland's Ensemble Klang in music by 2011 Rome Prize winner Sean Friar, Kate Moore, Pete Harden and Oscar Bettison; International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in a signature ICElab concert at The Kitchen featuring Du Yun, Marcos Balter, Nathan Davis, Steve Lehman, and more; and Alarm Will Sound in a world premiere by David T. Little, plus New York premieres by Matt Marks and Aleksandra Gryka, music by Nico Muhly and Stefan Freund, and arrangements of Aphex Twin.

SONiC showcases the breadth and depth of emerging composers working today in Extended Play, an all-day marathon event on Sunday, October 16 that begins at noon at Columbia's Miller Theatre. JACK Quartet plays the role of host ensemble, with performances interspersed throughout the day. Other performers include Talea Ensemble, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Dither, Imani Winds, PRISM Quartet, Young People's Chorus of New York City, and NOW Ensemble.

SONiC concludes on Saturday, October 22 with a free concert by ACO at the World Financial Center Winter Garden, presented by Arts World Financial Center as part of WNYC's New Sounds Live. Entitled American Pie, this full symphony orchestra performance features the world premiere of a new ACO commission by The National's Bryce Dessner, to be performed by the orchestra with brothers Bryce and Aaron Dessner as guitar soloists. The program also includes a world premiere by Paul Yeon Lee, an alumnus of ACO's 2001 Emerging Composer Readings; and New York premieres by: Ruby Fulton, alumna of ACO's Underwood Readings class of 2008, with her alt-kitch Road Ranger Cowboy; Ryan Gallagher, whose Grindhouse celebrates Hollywood's gritty B-Movie tradition, and was discovered last year at EarShot Readings with the Nashville Symphony; Andrew Norman, whose energetic loop-based Unstuck spins off in propulsive energy; and Suzanne Farrin, whose Infinite Here explores resonances through the orchestra and into the open space of the Winter Garden. The event marks the first time in ACO's history that it has performed a free concert. It will be hosted by WNYC's John Schaefer, rebroadcast on New Sounds and broadcast live on New York Public Radio's online radio station, Q2.

In addition to the main stage performance, SONiC will also include several AfterHours concerts starting on Tuesday, October 18 with an evening of new music for guitar called Twang held at The Stone. The following evening on Wednesday, October 19 will bring a collaboration between American choreographers and composers resulting in an all-world premiere program called New Sounds, New Moves held at Joyce SoHo. Innovocal is an evening of young singer/songwriters on Thursday, October 20 at 97YTribeca and Electronic SONiC, a collection of electronic composers, DJs and VJs, will take the stage on Friday, October 21 at Roulette. The closing AfterHours will be held at Joe's Pub on Saturday, October 22 with an evening of new music for percussion called Different Drummers.

For ACO, SONiC represents the culmination of seven years of planning, coalescing the work the orchestra does with emerging composers, and creating a dynamic and focused series of events that emphasize the creation of new opportunities for these artists. "We wanted to create a ‘big umbrella' that would celebrate these composers and bring together the many young innovative ensembles that are doing fantastic work, by collaborating with a wide range of venues and presenters from across New York City," said ACO Executive Director Michael Geller. Many of the composers featured during SONiC have been discovered through one of ACO's composer development programs, such as the Underwood New Music Readings for Emerging Composers or EarShot - the National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network that ACO has spearheaded in collaboration with symphony orchestras around the country.

SONiC Composers (Subject to Change)
Víctor Adán, Kati Agócs, Andy Akiho, Timo Andres, Aphex Twin, Vykintas Baltakas, Marcos Balter, Matthew Barnson, Oscar Bettison, Greg Beyer, Rafiq Bhatia, Valéria Bonafé, João Victor Bota, Ryan Brown, Kenji Bunch, Caleb Burhans, Patrick Burke, Richard Carrick, Aaron Cassidy, Tatiana Catanzaro, Raphaël Cendo, Phyllis Chen, Anthony Cheung, Valerie Coleman, Lisa R. Coons, Dan Cooper, Mark Dancigers, Corey Dargel, Nathan Davis, Bryce Dessner, Mario Diaz de León, Toby Driver, Jason Eckardt, Roshanne Etezady, Mohammed Fairouz, Suzanne Farrin, Lainie Fefferman, Michael Fletcher, Gabriela Lena Frank, Stefan Freund, Sean Friar, David Fulmer, Ruby Fulton, Michel Galante, Ryan Gallagher, Erin Gee, Jenece Gerber, Judd Greenstein, Jonny Greenwood, Aleksandra Gryka, Yotam Haber, Pete Harden, Troy Herion, Susie Ibarra, Konrad Kaczmarek, Amy Beth Kirsten, Michael Klingbeil, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum, Kristin Kuster, David Laganella, Hannah Lash, Thomas Lavoy, Payton MacDonald, Andrew McKenna Lee, Paul Yeon Lee, Steve Lehman, Lei Liang, Sarah Lipstate, David T. Little, Ryan Lott, Wang Lu, Igor Leão Maia, Keeril Makan, Bruno Mantovani, Matt Marks, Paula Matthusen, Alex Mincek, Jesse Montgomery, Kate Moore, Jason Moran, Nico Muhly, Jascha Narveson, Mayke Nas, Clint Needham, Andrew Norman, Marcílio Onofre, Tarik O'Regan, John Orfe, Joshue Ott, Christopher Otto, Hector Parra, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Matthias Pintscher, Sam Pluta, Nicholas Reeves, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Ches Smith, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Jeff Snyder, Kate Soper, Tyshawn Sorey, Gregory Spears, Christopher Stark, Fabian Svensson, Philip Taylor, Alex Temple, Hans Thomalla, Ken Ueno, Dan Visconti, Rufus Wainwright, Bora Yoon, Du Yun, Elizabeth Ziman, and more

SONiC Ensembles & Performers (Subject to Change)
Alarm Will Sound, American Composers Orchestra, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Camerata Aberta, Dither, eighth blackbird, Either/Or, Ensemble Klang, Imani Winds, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), JACK Quartet, The New York Virtuoso Singers, NOW Ensemble, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Young People's Chorus of New York City, Andy Akiho (Drums), Greg Beyer (Drums), Rafiq Bhatia (Guitar), Ryan Brown (Guitar), Kenji Bunch (Amplified Viola), Dan Cooper (Guitar), Corey Dargel (Vocals), Aaron Dessner (Guitar), Bryce Dessner (Guitar), Toby Driver (Guitar), Michel Galante (Conductor), Erin Gee (Vocals), Troy Herion (Electronic Composer), Mellissa Hughes (Soprano), Susie Ibarra (Drums), Daniel Iglesia (Videographer), Yolanda Kondonassis (Harp), Payton MacDonald (Drums), Andrew McKenna Lee (Guitar), Erin Lesser (Flute), Sarah Lipstate (Electronic Composer), Ryan Lott (Electronic Composer), Deborah Lohse (Choreographer), Miro Magloire (Choreographer), George Manahan (Conductor), James Moore (Guitar), Darcy Naganuma (Choreographer), Joshue Ott (Electronic Composer), San Pluta (Electronic Composer), Douglas Repetto (Multimedia Artist), Alex Ritz (Drums), Mariel Roberts (Cello), Wil Smith (Keyboards), Kate Soper (Vocals), Tyshawn Sorey (Drums), Rebecca Stenn (Choreographer), Jeff Snyder (Electronic Composer), Alex Tyson (Electronic Composer), Jeremy Viner (Woodwinds), and more

For composers' and performers' bios, please visit

Ticket Information & SONiCpass Discount Offers
Tickets are available from the venues where SONiC concerts take place and range from FREE to $50. See the SONiC schedule below for ticket information for each concert.

SONiCpasses for the entire festival provide discounts of at least 20% on all ticket prices, reserved or preferred seating at the free events, and other free items and perks. SONiCpasses are $25 and are available at or 212.977.8495.

SONiC: Sounds of a New Century Schedule (Subject to Change)

OPENING CONCERT: Friday, October 14, 2011, 7:30pm
American Composers Orchestra - Orchestra Underground: 21st Firsts
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall; 7th Ave. and 57th St., NYC
George Manahan, Music Director & Conductor
Kenji Bunch, Amplified Viola
Mellissa Hughes, Soprano & Electronics
Daniel Iglesia, Videographer

KENJI BUNCH: The Devil's Box (World Premiere, Mary Rodgers Guettel/Meet The Composer commission)
Christopher Stark: ...and start west (World Premiere, ACO/Paul Underwood commission)
ALEX TEMPLE: Liebeslied for female voice, electronics, and chamber orchestra (World Premiere, ACO commission)
ANDREIA PINTO-CORREIA: Elegia a Al-Mu'tamid (World Premiere, ACO/Patricia Wylde commission)
WANG LU: Flowing Water Study II for orchestra and video (World Premiere, ACO/Jerome Foundation commission)

Tickets: $39, $50 ($31, $40 with SONiCpass) at or from CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800

Saturday, October 15, 2011, 7:30pm
eighth blackbird: Fractured Jams
Miller Theatre at Columbia University; 2960 Broadway at 116th St., NYC

TIMO ANDRES: Crashing Through Fences
BRUNO MANTOVANI: Chamber Concerto No. 2 (NY Premiere/eighth blackbird commission)
AMY BETH KIRSTEN: Pirouette (NY Premiere)
FABIAN SVENSSON: Two Sides (NY Premiere)
DAN VISCONTI: Fractured Jams
CALEB BURHANS: Lullaby for Madeline

Tickets: $25 ($20 with SONiCpass) at or 212.854.7799

Sunday, October 16, 2011, 12pm-12am
Extended Play - A Marathon Event
Miller Theatre at Columbia University; 2960 Broadway at 116th St., NYC

Hosted by JACK Quartet with performances by JACK Quartet, Talea Ensemble, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Dither, Imani Winds, PRISM Quartet, Young People's Chorus of New York City, and NOW Ensemble. Complete schedule will be announced during the week of September 12.

Tickets: All-Day Pass $25 ($20 with SONiCpass), each 3-hour block $15 ($12 with SONiCpass) at or 212.854.7799

Monday, October 17, 2011, 7:30pm
Miller Theatre at Columbia University; 2960 Broadway at 116th St., NYC

RICHARD CARRICK: ...a cause de soleil...
ERIN GEE: Mouthpiece I / Yamaguchi Mouthpieces / Akiguchi Mouthpiece
KEERIL MAKAN: Resonance Alloy
HANS THOMALLA: Piano Counterpoint
JONNY GREENWOOD: smear (US Premiere)

Tickets: $25 ($20 with SONiCpass) at or 212.854.7799

Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 7pm
Camerata Aberta
Americas Society; 680 Park Ave., NYC

MARCÍLIO ONOFRE: Estudo sobre os arrependimentos de Velázquez (World Premiere)
VALÉRIA BONAFÉ: Lan (World Premiere)
TATIANA CATANZARO: Kristallklavierexplosionsschattenspliter (US Premiere)
JOÃO VICTOR BOTA: Homenagem Almeida Prado (World Premiere)
JOHN ORFE: New Work (World Premiere)
CLINT NEEDHAM: Color Study (NY Premiere)
IGOR LEÃO MAIA: New Work (World Premiere)

Tickets: Free, reservations required (VIP reception included with SONiCpass). Register online 5 days in advance of the performance at

Tuesday, October 18, 10pm - SONiC AfterHours
The Stone; East 2nd Street and Avenue C
An evening of new music for guitar featuring Ryan Brown with James Moore and Taylor Levine; Rafiq Bhatia with Jeremy Viner, Jackson Hill and Alex Ritz; Toby Driver (sponsored by MATA); Andrew McKenna Lee and Dan Cooper with Daniel Palkowski and Javier Diaz as Erbium.

Tickets: $15 ($10 with SONiCpass) at the door, cash only. No advance sales. For information:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 7:30pm
Ensemble Klang
Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space; 2537 Broadway, NYC

PETE HARDEN: forming a petal from a piece of metal (US Premiere)
SEAN FRIAR: Little Green Pop
OSCAR BETTISON: O Death (selected movements)

Tickets: $25 ($20 with SONiCpass) at or 212.864.5400

Wednesday, October 19, 10pm - SONiC AfterHours
New Sounds, New Moves
Joyce SoHo; 155 Mercer Street, NYC
Argento Ensemble
Michel Galante, music director

DAVID FULMER (composer)/DEBORAH LOHSE (choreographer)
MICHEL GALANTE (composer)/MIRO MAGLOIRE (choreographer)
MICHAEL KLINGBEIL (composer)/DARCY NAGANUMA (choreographer)
KONRAD KACZMAREK (composer)/REBECCA STENN (choreographer)

Tickets: $15 ($12 with SONiCpass) at or 212.242.0800

Thursday, October 20, 2011, 8pm
International Contemporary Ensemble: ICElab
The Kitchen; 512 West 19th St., NYC

MARCOS BALTER: Edgewater, for alto and bass flutes
MARCOS BALTER: à vis, for clarinet and violin
STEVE LEHMAN: Manifold for flute, saxophone, clarinet and live electronics
STEVE LEHMAN: Lenwood & Other Saints Who Roam The Earth
DU YUN: Viscissitudes Alone for guitar and electronics (NY Premiere)
Phyllis Chen: Beneath a Trace of Vapor for flute, tape, and effects (NY Premiere)
Nathan Davis: Dowser, for bass clarinet and electronics
Mario Diaz DE LEÓN: Portals Before Dawn for two flutes, clarinet, piano, keyboard, percussion, with tape

Tickets: $15 ($10 with SONiCpass) at or 212.255.5793 ext. 11

Thursday, October 20, 11pm - SONiC AfterHours

92YTribeca; 200 Hudson St., NYC

An evening with young singer/songwriters blurring the lines between pop and art song featuring Corey Dargel with James Moore and Wil Smith, and Kate Soper with Erin Lesser of Wet Ink Ensemble.

Tickets: $15 ($12 with SONiCpass) at or 212.601.1000

Friday, October 21, 2011, 7:30pm
Alarm Will Sound
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue at 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn

ALEKSANDRA GRYKA: einerjedeneither (NY Premiere)
David T. Little: Haunted Topography (World Premiere)
Nico Muhly: Seeing is Believing
MATT MARKS: A Song for Wade (This is Not That Song) (NY Premiere)
APHEX TWIN (arr. Hause): Omgyjya Switch

Tickets: $30 includes free admission to SONiC AfterHours Electronic Composers at 10pm ($25 with SONiCpass) at or 212.219.8242.

Friday, October 21, 10pm - SONiC AfterHours 

Electronic SONiC
Roulette; 509 Atlantic Avenue at 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn

An evening of electronic composition with Ryan Lott (sponsored by MATA), exclusiveOr (Sam Pluta and Jeff Snyder), Joshue Ott, Troy Herion, Alex Tyson, Morgan Packard, and Sarah Lipstate.

Tickets: $10 ($8 with SONiCpass) at the door, cash only. No advance sales. For information: or 212.219.8242

CLOSING CONCERT: Saturday, October 22, 2011, 7pm
American Composers Orchestra: American Pie
World Financial Center Winter Garden; 220 Vesey St., NYC
Presented by Arts World Financial Center as part of WNYC's New Sounds Live hosted by John Schaefer
George Manahan, Music Director & Conductor
Bryce Dessner & Aaron Dessner, electric guitars

RUBY FULTON: Road Ranger Cowboy (NY Premiere)
PAUL YEON LEE: Ballade (World Premiere, ACO/Whitaker Commission)
BRYCE DESSNER: St. Carolyn by the Sea (World Premiere, ACO/LVMH commission)
RYAN GALLAGHER: Grindhouse (World Premiere)
Andrew Norman: Unstuck (NY Premiere)
SUZANNE FARRIN: Infinite Here (NY Premiere)

Tickets: Free, no reservations required (VIP seating with SONiCpass). For information: or 212.977.8495

Saturday, October 22, 2011, 11:30pm - SONiC AfterHours
Different Drummers
Joe's Pub; 425 Lafayette Street, NYC

A celebration of new music for percussion with influences from around the world featuring Tyshawn Sorey (drumset), Payton MacDonald, Susie Ibarra, Greg Beyer (Brazilian berimbau), and Andy Akiho with Mariel Roberts (steel pan and cello).

Tickets: $15 ($12 with SONiCpass) at or 212.967.7555

SONiC: Interact
SONiC will extend beyond the concert hall and into the virtual world with several initiatives allowing audiences to interact and engage directly with the music. Through Re:Sound, audience members will have the opportunity to comment and vote online or via mobile phone for the piece they would most like to hear again. New York Public Radio's Q2 will broadcast recordings of the pieces that receive the most votes during a special program dedicated to SONiC. SONiC will also feature two interactive sound projects - SONiC:Thicket Edition and UrbanRemix. For more information on all the SONiC interactive opportunities go to

For updates, behind-the-scenes scoops, and dialog with several of the composers and ensembles, audiences can follow SONiC on Twitter (, Facebook ( can participate in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #SONiCfest.

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