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Ian Mikyska

Czech string quartet, founded 1999. Its line-up has remained constant since its foundation: David Pokorný and Vladimír Klánský on violins, Vladimír Kroupa on viola, and Vít Petrášek on cello. Although classical repertoire remains central to their professional lives, the Epoque Quartet is remarkable for the breadth and professionalism of its ‘crossover’ work. The quartet has performed with the leading artists of Czech popular music, arranged world music from various traditions (most recently with the clarinettist Irvin Venyš for their CD ...

Article

Laura Maes and Troy Rogers

Name of an ensemble of acoustic automatons invented and constructed since 1990 by Godfried-Willem Raes (b Ghent, 3 Jan 1952). The Logos Foundation, a contemporary music centre located in Ghent that was founded by Raes in 1968, is home to the more than 45 automatons that comprise the ensemble. It includes organ-like instruments, monophonic wind instruments, string instruments, percussion instruments, and noise generators. Most are automations of existing instruments, and many offer wider possibilities than their manual equivalents. Raes’s intention was not to replace performers, but to expand musical possibilities with machines that can outperform humans in speed, dynamic control, and a number of simultaneously sounding notes. Most of the instruments are tuned to 12-tone equal temperament, although some are tuned to equal tempered quartertones. The sirens robot and all the monophonic wind instruments can be tuned with 0.78125-cent precision and can thus be used with nearly any tuning system....

Article

Stephen Zdzinski

An American fellowship-based professional training orchestra founded in 1987 in Miami Beach, Florida. Under the artistic direction of michael tilson Thomas in the 2010s, the program has prepared recent graduates from top music schools for leadership roles in orchestras worldwide. Students have been exposed to traditional and modern repertoire, leading guest conductors, soloists, and coaches....

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Ensemble of performers using programmable mobile (cellular) phones. MoPhoO, the Mobile Phone Orchestra of CCRMA at Stanford University, formed in 2007 with 16 phones and players under the supervision of Ge Wang, Georg Essl, and Henri Penttinen, claims to be the first repertoire- and ensemble-based mobile phone performance group. Notably it uses only the phone’s onboard speakers. Since MoPhoO’s founding, other cell phone ensembles have been founded at the University of Michigan, Berlin (both founded by Georg Essl), and in Helsinki (directors Henri Penttinen and Antti Jylhä). The Michigan ensemble uses custom-made wearable speaker systems. Repertoire consists of scored compositions, sonic sculpture, and structured improvisation. For each piece, the phones run customised programmes that direct how they respond sonically to inputs that can come from the keypad or touchpad, the accelerometer positions, the built-in camera, or the microphone. For example, the keypad numbers can be mapped to different pitches in different modes, or to any sort of sound or sequence of sounds. While cell phones have considerable computing capability, they have limited acoustic bandwidth, but partial selection can suggest bass frequencies that are below the cell phone’s actual capability....

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Interactive computer network used as an extended musical instrument, played by a San Franciso Bay–area experimental computer network band also called The Hub. The band, founded in 1985 by Tim Perkis and John Bischoff, evolved from the League of Automatic Music Composers (1978–83). The concept of The Hub is to create live music resulting from the unpredictable behaviour of the interconnected computer system. The composer/performers consider their performances a type of ‘enhanced improvisation’....

Article

John Shepard and Michael Mauskapf

Organization founded in 1930 “to train American orchestra musicians in orchestral techniques and repertoire, providing them with the necessary experience and level of expertise to enter professional orchestra careers.” Originally called the American Orchestral Society and later reorganized by Mary Flagler Cary, Franklin Robinson, and Léon Barzin, the Association gave its first concert at Carnegie Hall on ...

Article

Joanne Sheehy Hoover and Megan E. Hill

Woodwind quintet formed in 1947. The ensemble made its New York debut in January 1954 and shortly thereafter began touring in the United States; tours followed under the auspices of the US State Department to Latin America (1956), Europe (1958), East Asia and the Pacific (...

Article

Susan Feder and Michael Mauskapf

Orchestral programs modeled after European promenade concerts of the 19th century, in which light classical music was played while the audience was served refreshments. The development of pops concerts in America reflected an emerging emphasis on the audience and an explicitly articulated division between so-called serious and light classical music propagated by conductor Theodore Thomas and others. Such concerts were traditionally structured in three parts, in which lively pieces—overtures, marches, and galops—were played in the outer sections while the middle section typically included waltzes and occasionally more serious works; encores were a regular feature. These concerts often took place in outdoor venues during the summer season, and featured audience promenades during the intermissions. Initially, works by European composers such as Rossini, Grieg, Liszt, and J. Strauss dominated the programs of pops concerts, but excerpts from musicals and operettas by De Koven and Herbert, among others, soon became a significant component. In general these concerts were understood as a vehicle to reach new audiences and broaden the appeal of orchestras and orchestral music....

Article

Robert Winter and Bonnie E. Fleming

String quartet formed in 1972 and disbanded in 1985. Its members were Yoko Matsuda (b Tokyo, Japan, 25 May 1942), Miwako Watanabe (b Beijing, China, 15 July 1939), James Dunham (b Washington, DC, 27 Aug 1950), and Robert Martin (...

Article

J. Richard Haefer

Collective name for the duct flute and drum used by the Yoeme Yaqui Indians of Arizona and northern Mexico. It is played when both the maso (deer dancer) and pahko’ola (pascola) dancers are dancing at the same time. The flute, called kusia or ...