Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble strides into 3rd week
While the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble usually presents concerts unified by a theme or vision, a simpler principle will be at play for its third week of summer concerts.
The group gathered in February for rare non-summer performances at the new music festival at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. One of the pieces they played, “Catch in the Turn” by Randall Bauer, will open the ensemble's third week of concerts.
“We all agreed,” says artistic director Kevin Noe, “we really like this piece and want to do it again soon.”
Noe will conduct the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble at concerts July 26 and 27 at City Theatre, South Side.
Bauer is one of six composers on the program. He wrote “Catch in the Turn” in 1999, inspired by Max Parrish's painting “Dinkey Bird.” A pianist, he's won awards for classical and jazz composition, and his music is performed by major ensembles such as the Brentano String Quartet and eighth blackbird.
Some pieces on the program were selected to feature individual members of the ensemble. Noe says, for example, that Pierre Jalbert's “Wild Ambrosia” will show off violinist Nathalie Shaw's chops. “It's her own smokin,' ... violinist piece.”
Two short works will feature clarinetist Kevin Schempf and flutist Lindsey Goodman because they're friends and he's leaving the ensemble at the end of the season to spend more time with his family.
One of their pieces is “'Round 7:30” by Kieren MacMillan, originally written for four flutes and four clarinetists. Schempf and Goodman will each pre-record three of the parts and perform the other one live.
These concerts also will allow Noe to indulge his enthusiasm for composer Martin Bresnick, who has not written much for the new music ensemble's instrumentation — flute clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion.
“Song of the Mouse People,” for cello and percussion, was inspired by Franz Kafka's last short work, “Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse People.”
The concert will conclude with “Lonesome Roads” by Dan Visconti, winner of the Harvey Gaul Composition Competition, which is administered by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
“It is magnificent music in four movements, polished and very, very specific in ways that many new music composers aren't,” Noe says. “Every note matters. There's no waste, no filler, no complexity for the sake of complexity. Every note in the piece can be heard if we play it well. It's like Debussy in that way.”
Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rusted Root will headline the Allegheny County Music Festival
- Kings of Leon cancels Pittsburgh concert
- Motley Crue’s Final Tour: Never again, that’s final
- Review: Def Leppard, KISS provide electrifying show in Pittsburgh stop