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Kaufman Music Center Announces Ecstatic Music Series Lineup


In February, Kaufman Music Center's Ecstatic Music series presents one of its most eagerly-awaited programs: an evening with acclaimed composer/performers Missy Mazzoli and Kelly Moran (February 29), who will perform solo sets with piano, keyboards, and electronics, and give the world premiere of Mazzoli's The Night Ahead and No Real Fate. Violinist Olivia De Prato (Mivos Quartet) will join Mazzoli on selected pieces. This concert at Merkin Hall is part of Ecstatic Music's 10th anniversary season, and a New Sounds Live co-presentation, hosted by John Schaefer and streamed live at

Another highlight brings the skilled and fearless teens of Face the Music together with composer/flutist/vocalist Nathalie Joachim in new arrangements from her Grammy-nominated album Fanm d'Ayiti (Women of Haiti), which she performed earlier in the season at Merkin Hall with the Spektral Quartet. The concert, which takes place at National Sawdust, also includes works by Trevor New, Joel M. Ross, and the world premiere of Raw Heart of the Spinning World by composer Peter Askim (February 10).

Flutist Carol Wincenc is the distinguished guest for Only at Merkin with Terrance McKnight (February 23). In addition to joining McKnight in conversation, Wincenc will play world premieres by Robert Sirota and young Japanese composer Sato Matsui, along with a piece by Gluck.

Two youth-oriented events round out the month. February 9 marks Kaufman Music Center's annual Concerto Competition Winners' Concert, featuring young musicians from KMC's Lucy Moses School, Special Music School, and Young Artist Program as soloists, accompanied by a professional orchestra. And on February 23, Orli Shaham's Bach Yard, for children age 3 - 8, presents Winter Winds, featuring playful music for wind instruments. Visit for information on these and other programs.

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>> Saturday, February 29 (7:30 pm): ECSTATIC MUSIC: Missy Mazzoli + Kelly Moran, keyboards and electronics, with Olivia De Prato, violin

Merkin Hall, 129 W. 67th St., NYC

Missy Mazzoli, "Brooklyn's post-millennial Mozart" (Time Out New York) and a 2019 Grammy nominee, teams up with composer/keyboardist Kelly Moran, whose recent album Ultraviolet was released by Warp Records to widespread critical acclaim. Missy will perform a set of her own works solo and with violinist Olivia De Prato (Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Signal). Her selections will include A Thousand Tongues, Tooth and Nail, Orizzonte, A Song for Mick Kelly, and Vespers for Violin.

Reviewing Ultraviolet, Popmatters wrote, "With her Warp Records debut, extraordinary composer Kelly Moran produces a work that blends the neo-classical structure with the fury of improvisation, creating a mesmerizing sonic world of immense beauty." Her Ecstatic Music set will include pieces from Ultraviolet for prepared piano and electronics, and the world premiere of a new work. Missy and Kelly will close the evening with music they've written to play together, including the world premiere of Missy's The Night Ahead and No Real Fate, her new work for piano four-hands and electronics.

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>> Monday, February 10 (7 pm): FACE THE MUSIC: Home with Nathalie Joachim, Trevor New + Peter Askim

National Sawdust, 80 N. 6th St., Brooklyn

Face the Music and friends explore ideas of home, lineage and safety. FTM and composer/flutist/vocalist Nathalie Joachim, a 2019-20 Kaufman Music Center Artist-in-Residence, will perform new arrangements from her critically-acclaimed, Grammy-nominated debut album Fanm d'Ayiti (Women of Haiti), a joyful and life-affirming evening-length work for voice, flute, string quartet and electronics exploring Joachim's Haitian heritage. Face the Music will also perform The Whistler for ensemble and electronics together with violist/composer Trevor New, The Grand Struggle Against Fear by jazz vibraphonist Joel M. Ross, and the world premiere of Peter Askim's Raw Heart of the Spinning World.

Face the Music is Kaufman Music Center's contemporary music education program for teenagers, and the country's only youth program dedicated to studying and performing post-genre music by living composers. Praised for "stunning performances" by The New York Times, Face the Music features a collection of ensembles, including a chamber orchestra, a jazz big-band, an improvisation collective, string quartets, and mixed chamber ensembles, all dedicated to studying and performing experimental, new-classical, new-jazz, and avant-garde music written exclusively by living composers.

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>> Sunday, February 23 (5 pm): Only at Merkin with Terrance McKnight: Carol Wincenc, flute

Merkin Hall, 129 W. 67th St., NYC

Hailed as "Queen of the Flute" (New York magazine), Grammy nominee Carol Wincenc has delighted audiences for nearly five decades with her signature charismatic, high virtuosity and deeply heartfelt musicality.

She'll celebrate her 50-year career with two world premieres: Robert Sirota's DANCING WITH the ANGELS performed with her trio, Les Amies (with New York Philharmonic principals Cynthia Phelps, viola and Nancy Allen, harp), and The Goldenrod Sonata by young Japanese composer Sato Matsui, accompanied by pianist Brian Wagorn. Matsui, who is also an accomplished violinist, is currently a doctoral fellow at Juilliard. The program also includes Gluck's Minuet and Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Orfeo ed Euridice, also with Wagorn.

Sirota's title references a remark by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings: "When we're dancing with the angels, the question we'll be asked: In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?" Regarding The Goldenrod Sonata, Sato Matsui says, "Gold, to me, is the color that captures Carol's boundless energy, generosity, humor, and creativity, and the three contrasting movements likewise try to musically evoke these qualities."

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