March at Kaufman Music Center Will Present FACE THE MUSIC + JACK Quartet

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March at Kaufman Music Center Will Present FACE THE MUSIC + JACK Quartet

On Tuesday, March 31 (8 pm), JACK Quartet joins forces with the intrepid teen musicians of Face the Music to perform a progam titled Critical Mass, featuring world premieres by three early-career composers - inti figgis-vizueta, Elliot Reed, and Olivia Shortt - from the inaugural JACK Studio commissioning project. The concert will take place at Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door, available in advance at

Kaufman Music Center's Face the Music is the country's first youth ensemble dedicated to studying and performing post-genre music by living composers. The three composers on this program were commissioned by JACK Quartet from a pool of 443 applications, originating in 34 states across the US and 44 countries around the world.

Olivia Shortt is a Toronto-based First Nation (Nipissing) composer, saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, improvisor, sound designer, theater artist, teacher, activist, curator, and producer. Her JACK Studio piece is titled Mana-hatta. Writes Shortt, "I think that there is true power to working and collaborating with young people. In discussions around global warming and the climate crisis, the voices often not being listened to are the Indigenous peoples, who are the original land and water protectors. I'm excited to be collaborating with Face The Music and the JACK Quartet on a musical land acknowledgement piece, which will become an opportunity for discussion, collaboration and a presentation of a musical work that will become the start to an effort to acknowledging Indigenous peoples and figuring out what reconciliation in the United States and Turtle Island (North America) at large can look like."

Elliot Reed is a Los Angeles-based performance artist designing conflict systems with bodies in time. His work has shown at The Getty Museum, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Broad Museum, The Hammer Museum, University of Chicago, University of Southern California and UCLA, among many other venues. In collaboration with Face the Music and JACK, Reed will conduct a Fluxus-inspired score mixing voice and instrumental performance. Writes Reed, "Blending between phrases, this work uses live direction and games of chance to move through the piece."

inti figgis-vizueta (b. 1993) is a Brooklyn-based composer whose music focuses on combinations of various notational schemata, disparate and overlaid sonic plans, and "collaborative unlearning of dominant vernaculars." Her JACK Studio piece is titled The art of visiting. She writes, "The title refers to the experience of Otherhood and the complexities of weaving in and out of traditional institutions and spaces. It's been amazing to create a piece that engages with both JACK Quartet's virtuosity and the incredible artistry of Face the Music."

In addition to these three world premieres, Face the Music will also perform a selection of works to be announced from their existing repertoire.

Rob Kapilow's What Makes It Great? series continues on Monday, March 30 (7:30 pm) at Merkin Hall with a look at Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2, best known for its Funeral March. With help from pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, NPR and PBS commentator, conductor, composer, author, and pianist Kapilow probes the mysteries of this enigmatic work.

Written two years before the rest of the sonata, the Funeral March is the emotional and structural heart of the entire work. Yet it leads to one of the most enigmatic, disturbing, Sphinx-like finales ever written - a movement so strange that even today, it can sound like contemporary music. The sonata's unpredictability, structural freedom and wide-ranging drama led Schumann to claim it was too formless to even be called a sonata, but rather simply Chopin's attempt to bind together four of his "most reckless children." Was Schumann right, or was Chopin simply reinventing what a sonata could be in a way that Schumann was unable to grasp?

Tickets are $65, available at


Monday, March 30 (7:30pm) What Makes It Great? Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 (Incl the "Funeral March")

Merkin Hall, 129 West 67th Street, (btw Broadway and Amsterdam) New York, NY 10023


Tuesday, March 31 (7pm) Face the Music: Critical Mass with JACK Quartet, inti figgis-vizueta, Elliot Reed, and Olivia Shortt

Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue (Corner of Third Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11217


For a complete listing of Kaufman Music Center concerts, visit


Kaufman Music Center is where music lovers, from curious fans to renowned performers, come together to explore their musical passions. Founded in 1952 as a community arts school, today's Kaufman Music Center is home to Merkin Hall; Lucy Moses School, New York's largest community arts school; Special Music School, a K-12 public school that teaches music as a core subject; and the acclaimed youth new music ensemble Face the Music. Kaufman Music Center is based at 129 W. 67th St. on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Visit or call 212/501-3330 for more information.


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