International festival of orchestral and chamber music, solo recitals, and staged works, established in 1963 in Aptos, California. It was founded by Lou Harrison, the bassoonist Robert Hughes, and Ted Toews, an instructor at Cabrillo College. Held for two weeks in August in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and at various other locations, such as the Mission San Juan Bautista, the festival is noted for its innovative programming and emphasis on the works of living composers: it has staged at least 120 world premieres and over 60 US premieres. The first music director, Gerhard Samuel, was succeeded by Richard Williams in 1969, Carlos Chávez in 1970, Dennis Russell Davies in 1974, John Adams in 1991, and Marin Alsop in 1992. The directors have stressed making the artists accessible to their audiences through workshops and “Meet the Composer” sessions, open rehearsals, and a composer-in-residence program, in which John Adams, William Bolcom, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Carlos Chávez, Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Lou Harrison, Jennifer Higdon, Keith Jarrett, Aaron Jay Kernis, Libby Larsen, Tania León, Pauline Oliveros, Arvo Pärt, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Virgil Thomson, and Joan Tower have participated. The festival orchestra consists of about 65 musicians from leading orchestras in the United States and Canada....
revised by Megan E. Hill
Chamber music society. Resident in New York at Alice Tully Hall, the society is a constituent of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. It was conceived by William Schuman, the president of Lincoln Center, who appointed the pianist charles Wadsworth as the society’s first artistic director (1969–89). Among the musicians Wadsworth assembled to perform for the opening season (1969–70) were Charles Treger (violin), Walter Trampler (viola), Leslie Parnas (cello), Paula Robison (flute), Leonard Arner (oboe), Gervase de Peyer (clarinet), Loren Glickman (bassoon), and Richard Goode (piano). In 2010, led by artistic directors cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, the society numbered around 35 members, joined by guest artists for its annual concert series, educational programs, and national and international tours. Many concerts are broadcast on radio and television, and in 2007 the society started its own recording label.
Following its premiere performance on 11 September 1969...
revised by Megan E. Hill
Chamber music ensemble founded in 1971 at the Berkshire Music Center. In 2011 its members were the trumpeters Rolf Smedvig and Marc Brian Reese, horn player Michelle Perry, trombonist Mark Hetzler, and tubist Kenneth Amis. Earlier members included trumpeters Charles A. Lewis Jr. and Timothy Morrison, horn player David Ohanian, trombonists Lawrence Isaacson and Scott A. Hartman, and tubist J. Samuel Pilafian. In the early 1970s the quintet performed mainly in the New England area; in 1976 it made its formal New York debut at Carnegie Hall and went on its first European tour; soon afterwards it became the first brass ensemble to receive the Naumburg Award. The quintet took part in a concert for Jimmy Carter’s presidential inauguration in 1977. In subsequent years, the group began touring regularly in Europe and East Asia. It was in residence at Boston University from 1976 until 1989, and it led the Empire Brass Seminar at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. It also founded the Empire Brass Quintet Symposium for brass students at the Berkshire Music Center in ...
Record company. It was established by CBS in 1953 as a subsidiary of Columbia Records. Although from the start its issues included jazz and pop, Epic for many years was known primarily for its recordings of George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra (including those made with a young Leon Fleisher as piano soloist). In the latter part of the 1950s, as rock and roll began to overtake the industry, the company struggled to find itself artistically and commercially, accumulating an odd assortment of American, Australian, and European performers representing a wide array of classical, jazz, and popular styles.
The label’s fortunes began to change in 1964 with its participation in the British Invasion. Epic distributed the American releases of the Dave Clark Five and the Yardbirds and later those of the Hollies and Donovan. The true turning point for the company was the signing in 1967 of Sly and the Family Stone, whose critical and financial success helped redefine the label as a youth-oriented powerhouse. The company expanded through the 1970s, achieving unimaginable heights in the 1980s with Michael Jackson’s mature solo work (...
String quartet. Formed in 1998, ETHEL consists of Juilliard-trained violinists Cornelius Dufallo and Mary Rowell, violist Ralph Farris, and cellist Dorothy Lawson. Dufallo replaced one of the quartet’s founders, violinist Todd Reynolds. The ensemble performs only new music, often using amplification and, in many cases, introducing some degree of improvisation. Their repertory includes their own works and pieces by contemporary composers such as Julia Wolfe, Phil Kline, John Zorn, Steve Reich, John King, JacobTV, David Lang, Scott Johnson, Don Byron, Marcelo Zarvos, Evan Ziporyn, and Mary Ellen Childs. The ensemble has collaborated with rock musicians such as Joe Jackson, Todd Rundgren, and David Byrne as well as with classical artists such as Ursula Oppens and Colin Currie. From 2007 to 2010, ETHEL gave the premieres of 47 new works, many of which were commissioned for the ensemble or by its nonprofit foundation.
The quartet has recorded a number of albums, including its debut, ...
Instrumental group. It was formed in New York in 1962 “to provide high-caliber performances of difficult new music.” The founders were charles Wuorinen and harvey Sollberger , who were both at the time graduate students at Columbia University. The inaugural concert took place on 22 October 1962 in the university’s McMillin Theater, featuring works by Peter Westergaard, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Otto Luening, and Ralph Shapey. The group was first professional contemporary music group in residence at an American university. It remained at Columbia until 1971, when it became affiliated with the Manhattan School, where it remained until 1985. In 1969 the group received the Laurel Leaf Award from the ACA; the same year nicolas Roussakis joined as administrator, later serving as executive director until 1985. The group has given many world premieres, notably (with date of premiere): Babbitt’s Ensembles for Synthesizer (1964) and Phonemena (1975); Davidovsky’s Synchronisms no.3 (...
George J. Grella Jr.
Chamber ensemble founded in 2001 by the flutist Claire Chase and the composer Huang Ruo. With more than 30 premieres, it has demonstrated the instrumental and organizational flexibility, as well as the musical virtuosity, to perform a broad range of music from the 20th and 21st centuries. It has operated as a collective with Chase as its executive director and the musicians taking responsibility for its management and selecting repertoire and projects. Among the premieres the ICE has presented are works by Georges Aperghis, Julio Estrada, Philippe Manoury, David Lang, and Dai Fujikura. They have also recorded John Adams’s Son of Chamber Symphony and given multiple US premieres of music by Kaija Saariaho, including her ballet Maa. They have engaged conductors and soloists on a performance-by-performance basis and collaborated with Steven Schick, Matthias Pintscher, Ludovic Morlot, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and Peter Serkin. Their performance history includes a number of Composer Portraits (Miller Theater, Columbia University), the chamber music of Edgard Varèse (Alice Tully Hall, New York, ...
Radio show and cybercast devoted to new music. Hosted by composers Dennis Báthory-Kitsz (“Kalvos”) and David Gunn (“Damian”), the show aired weekly from 1995 to 2005 on the WGDR-FM 91.1 station at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Since 2005, new K&D shows have been made available online, albeit on an occasional and irregular basis. Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Sesquihour started on 27 May 1995 as a 90-minute weekly summer radio show. That September they expanded to a permanent two-hour slot, retitled Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Bazaar, and introduced a website (
K&D shows are characterized by a humorous, quirky, playful, and unpretentious tone. Their opening segment consists of a ten-minute “introductory essay,” an often zany, Dadaist narrative written and read by Damian, accompanied by sound effects and banter from Kalvos. The main portion of the show is devoted to interviews and recordings of new music. Over the years, K&D has interviewed a vast range of contemporary composers: experimental and mainstream, symphonic and electronic, prominent and emerging, Vermont natives and overseas figures. K&D also ran online mentoring programs for junior high and high school students and organized the Ought-One Festival of Non-Pop in Montpelier, Vermont. After Báthory-Kitsz and Gunn decided to pursue new projects, the final radio broadcast of K&D aired on ...
Chamber ensemble consisting of four guitarists. The group was formed in 1980 by four students at the University of Southern California: Anisa Angarola, John Dearman, William Kanengiser, and Scott Tennant. Andrew York replaced Angarola in 1990, and Matthew Greif joined the group after York left in 2006 (both York and Greif also studied at USC). Their self-titled debut recording was released on vinyl in 1983; it included pieces by Praetorius, Bach, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Falla. More than a dozen recordings have appeared since, including Dances from Renaissance to Nutcracker (1992), For Thy Pleasure (an all-Baroque album, 1996), Air and Ground (2000), the Grammy-nominated LAGQ Latin (2002), the Grammy-winning Guitar Heroes (2004), LAGQ Brazil (2007), and Interchange (2010). The group is known for its diverse selection of repertoire; it is thus sometimes labeled a classical/pop Crossover ensemble (their Grammy award was in this category). Their repertoire is comprised of works by composers who have written for the guitar, such as Rodrigo and Bogdanovic; transcriptions for guitar quartet of works by Bizet, Copland, Rossini, and Telemann; and arrangements of pieces by rock musicians such as Sting and Steve Howe. Notable individual selections include their treatment of Pachelbel’s Canon in D in a variety of musical styles, Quartet for Guitar no.5 “Labyrinth on a Theme of Led Zeppelin” by contemporary composer Ian Krouse, and ...
Nancy Yunwha Rao
Instrumental ensemble founded in 1984 by Susan Cheng in New York’s Chinatown. It features Chinese instruments including erhu, yangqin, zheng, pipa, daruan, sanxian, sheng, and dizi. Its members have included Wu man , Tang Liang Xing, and Min Xiao Fen, among others. Performing at museums, schools, and other venues, it has specialized in silk and bamboo music of southern China but has also performed contemporary music. Its concerts from 1990 to 2002 included excerpts or full-staged performances of Cantonese opera. At its height the ensemble performed 100 concerts a year; in the early 2010s it was averaging 50–60.
Music from China has commissioned and performed many new works. By 2011 it had premiered 132 new works by 81 composers, including the winners of its annual international composition competition. In 1987 Chen yi and Zhou long joined Music from China as music directors and composed many significant works for the group. From ...