Saturday, February 2, 2013 marks Symphony Space's fourth annual The Music of Now Marathon. The genre-defying eight-hour concert (4 pm - midnight) is curated by Artistic Director Laura Kaminsky and hosted by WQXR's Terrance McKnight in the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater. From electronic experimentation to post-minimalism, spectralist sonorities to Latin jazz, the Music of Now Marathon offers an outstanding opportunity to discover a broad range of new music by emerging and established creators. Six world premieres, two US premieres, and three New York premieres will be heard.
Featured artists include Ursula Oppens, Cassatt Quartet, Jane Ira Bloom with Mark Helias and Bobby Previte, Poulenc Trio, Ensemble Pi, the Yosvany Terry Trio, Martha Mooke, and many more. Scores from young talents like Angélica Negrón and Fang Man will be heard alongside works by recognized figures such as Bernard Rands, Libby Larsen, and Shirish Korde, among many others. A full listing appears below.
The Marathon will also unveil new pieces by the winners of The Music of Now's Call for Scores: Early Lyrics by Rome Prize/Gaudeamus Prize/Guggenheim Fellow Huck Hodge, and Passacaglia Zero by Russian-born Yale graduate Polina Nazaykinskaya. Their works will be played by the Nouveau Classical Project, with visual styling by designer/musician Jenny Lai. The Call for Scores yielded some 150 submissions from fifteen countries, including Thailand, Ireland, Brazil, and Italy. Between each two-hour set of music, interactive dialogues with the composers will take place, providing insight into the creative processes behind the works heard. Tickets are $20/$15 Under 30, available at www.symphonyspace.org.
The Music of Now Marathon is the centerpiece of Symphony Space's annual The Music of Now Series. Encompassing February and March, it embodies Symphony Space's deep commitment to composers and performers who are redefining the sound of the 21st century. At each event in this wide-ranging festival (including the Marathon), the featured composers will be on hand to speak about their concepts, their inspirations, and their creative methods.
Following the Marathon, The Music of Now series continues on February 7 with a concert by rising jazz pianist/composer Bobby Avey, fronting a quintet that includes guitarist Ben Monder and alto sax player Miguel Zenón. On February 28, superlative soprano Lucy Shelton joins the Colorado Quartet for a program titled "Farewell Letters," featuring a new work by Tamar Muskal, Farewell Letters to the Beloved, paired with Janá?ek's Intimate Letters.
March 9 brings Liaisons II: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano, the return of pianist Anthony de Mare's much-lauded program of Sondheim arrangements by some of the composer's many admiring peers. The distinctive and noteworthy cast of composers contributing to Liaisons II includes Adam Guettel, Nico Muhly, Thomas Newman, Gustavo Santaolalla, Frederic Rzewski, Annie Gosfield, Jason Robert Brown, Phil Kline, and Eve Beglarian, among others.
The Cassatt Quartet, with special guest cellist Marc Johnson, premiere a new score by Daniel Strong Godfrey, To Mourn, To Dance, as part of their program on March 14. Concluding The Music of Now on March 28 is the intriguingly matched virtuosic duo of guitarist David Leisner and cellist Zuill Bailey.
The Music of Now Marathon serves as the focal point for the fourth annual citywide Composers Now festival (February 2 - 28), helmed by Tania León and coordinated by Symphony Space. Composers Now grew out of a conversation between Kaminsky and León in which they lamented the fact that members of their profession are often completely invisible to audiences. Accordingly, at each event in this wide-ranging festival (including the Marathon), the featured composers will be on hand to speak about their concepts, their inspirations, and their creative methods.