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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
Eric Lynn Harris
Brass quintet established in 1954. Its first performance was in October of that year at the Carnegie Recital Hall (later Weill Recital Hall). Its founding members were Robert Nagel (trumpet), John Glasel (trumpet), Fred Schmidt (horn), Erwin Price (trombone), and Harvey Phillips (tuba). Initially formed to play children’s concerts in cooperation with Young Audiences, Inc., the ensemble soon became recognized as one of the finest brass quintets in the United States and would eventually enjoy residencies at the Hartt School, the Yale School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. Performing music from all style periods, the group premiered numerous works including Malcolm Arnold’s Quintet for Brass op.73 and Gunther Schuller’s Brass Quintet. Recordings of Eugene Bozza’s Sonatine and Alvin Etler’s Quintet for Brass Instruments became listener favorites and received critical acclaim. The group saw many personnel changes during the late 1950s and early 1960s. By 1967 membership had stabilized and would remain the same for the next 17 years, with Robert Nagel (trumpet), Allan Dean (trumpet), Paul Ingraham (horn), John Swallow (trombone), and Thompson Hanks (tuba). The quintet collectively retired in ...
Joanne Sheehy Hoover
revised by 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 (1962), Central and South America (1969), and Russia (1972). It has given world premieres of works by such composers as Quincy Porter and Elliott Carter, and has also led the way in reviving lesser-known works by Franz Danzi and Anton Reicha, among others. The group has also commissioned and premiered more than 20 compositions, including Samuel Barber’s Summer Music, and quintets by William Bergsma, Alec Wilder, Gunther Schuller, Ezra Laderman, William Sydeman, Wallingford Riegger, Jon Deak, and Yehudi Wyner. Through many school concerts given 1953–5, it developed the format for the Young Audiences program. The quintet was in residence at the University of Wisconsin for 15 summers (...