Liquid Music Series: Vijay Iyer & Teju Cole
May
31
to Jun 1

Liquid Music Series: Vijay Iyer & Teju Cole

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music Series presents Vijay Iyer, “one of his generation’s brightest jazz luminaries" (Time Out New York), WITH Teju Cole, “one of the most vibrant voices in contemporary writing” (Los Angeles Times) in a powerful new collaboration. Blind Spot combines Cole’s photography and spoken prose with Iyer’s “provocative and accessible, intellectually substantive and sensuously attractive” (Chicago Tribune) music in an investigation of humanity’s voluntary blindness to tragedy and injustice throughout history. The program opens with new work by Iyer for piano quintet with musicians from the SPCO.

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Liquid Music Series: Grand Band
May
16
7:30 PM19:30

Liquid Music Series: Grand Band

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music Series presents Grand Band, a “supergroup” (New York Times) of New York City-based pianists who have joined forces to create a powerful piano sextet. The unconventional ensemble commissions new works and arrangements for their unique instrumentation and brings a wholly distinct sonic experience to audiences. Each one an accomplished performer in their own right, the combination of their musical prowess results in mesmerizing performances that have been described as “a miracle of ensemble coordination and sonic delight” (Kalamazoo Gazette). Grand Band’s Twin Cities debut includes the world premiere of Degenerate Psalms by the “consistently inventive and surprising” (New York Times), “thoroughly original” (Wall Street Journal) composer Missy Mazzoli.

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Ecstatic Music Festival: Margaret Leng Tan premieres George Crumb, Suzanne Farrin & Kelly Moran
Apr
26
7:30 PM19:30

Ecstatic Music Festival: Margaret Leng Tan premieres George Crumb, Suzanne Farrin & Kelly Moran

2018_04_26 Margaret leng Tan - photo Yvonne_Tan.jpg

A New Sounds Live co-presentation hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer & streamed live on Q2 Music

“Margaret Leng Tan — the formidable doyenne of the avant-garde piano — has built a career on upending tradition, pushing her instrument into fresh, no-holds-barred sonic worlds,” raves the Washington Post. Tan gives the New York premiere of Metamorphoses, a major new work written for her by the seminal 20th century composer George Crumb, for amplified piano, toy piano, percussion and voice. Metamorphoses is performed with Monica Duncan’s video projections, in which atmospheric visual textures complement the music. Tan will also premiere two new EMF-commissioned pieces by young composers responding to Cage and Crumb’s influence: a work for prepared piano by Kelly Moran, and a haunting new piece by 2017 Rome Prize winner Suzanne Farrin that acknowledges not only Crumb’s important contribution to American music, but, in Farrin’s words, “also Margaret Leng Tan’s special role as the artist who has brought the piano’s insides to life on stage.” Works by Toby Twining and John Cage round out the program.

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Liquid Music Series: TU Dance and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)
Apr
19
to Apr 21

Liquid Music Series: TU Dance and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music Series presents “electrifying” (City Pages) contemporary dance troupe TU Dance, known for navigating complex themes of social change “with variety and innovation” (Star Tribune) and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, whose “rustic chamber pop with an experimental edge” (Pitchfork) and “hyper-modern balladeering” (The Guardian) has garnered Grammy Awards and significant international acclaim, come together in an unprecedented collaboration of local powerhouses. Taking place in the breathtaking and newly restored Palace Theatre, this evening-length commission features new music from Vernon as well as new choreography from TU Dance’s “incredible polyrhythmic genius” (Star Tribune) Uri Sands.

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Ecstatic Music Festival: ModernMedieval & Julianna Barwick
Apr
19
7:30 PM19:30

Ecstatic Music Festival: ModernMedieval & Julianna Barwick

2018_04_19 Julianna Barwick.jpg

A New Sounds Live co-presentation hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer & streamed live on Q2 Music

Some of the greatest voices in contemporary music come together! Julianna Barwick’s ethereal, powerfully emotive voice paired with celebrated performers of early music ascends into a thrilling and truly ecstatic sonic world. Featuring premieres of new works by Barwick, Caleb Burhans, “New York’s mohawked Mozart” (Time Out New York), and Caroline Shaw, the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music. The three-member super-group ModernMedieval features former Anonymous 4 founder Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek and Roomful of Teeth’s Martha Cluver and Eliza Bagg.

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Ecstatic Music Festival: Flower, Hollenbeck, Iverson, Kihlstedt, Tordini & Zimmerli
Apr
14
7:30 PM19:30

Ecstatic Music Festival: Flower, Hollenbeck, Iverson, Kihlstedt, Tordini & Zimmerli

2018_04_14 Carla Kihlstedt - photo Frank Schemmann.jpg

The evening begins with a CD release celebration of composer-saxophonist Patrick Zimmerli’s Clockworks, a musical meditation on time, in all its forms, performed by Zimmerli with former Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Chris Tordini and composer-jazz drummer John Hollenbeck. In the evening’s second half, pop/art song composer-violinist-vocalist Carla Kihlstedt and composer Jeremy Flower join Zimmerli, Tordini and Hollenbeck for the world premiere of Songs of Mourning, an exploration of sorrow ranging from the political to the personal, and other works from their cumulative pasts.

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Ecstatic Music Festival: Bent Knee & Mantra Percussion
Mar
29
7:30 PM19:30

Ecstatic Music Festival: Bent Knee & Mantra Percussion

2018_03_29 Bent Knee 3 - photo Chris Anderson.jpg

“The silo-smashing sextet Bent Knee taps into chamber pop, industrial rock, metal and prog-rock” (Wall Street Journal). The hard-hitting, experimental Boston band comes together with the visionary, “superhuman” (Time Out New York) Mantra Percussion for new works expanding their already enormous scope and sound. The two ensembles will perform separate sets and then come together to premiere a new work by Bent Knee that weaves influences from across the rock, pop and avant-garde spectrums into a seamless, thrilling whole.

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Ecstatic Music Festival: Glasser (with Robbie Lee & Eleonore Oppenheim) & big dog little dog
Mar
22
7:30 PM19:30

Ecstatic Music Festival: Glasser (with Robbie Lee & Eleonore Oppenheim) & big dog little dog

2018_03_22 Glasser - photo Molly Schnick.jpg

Glasser (aka Cameron Mesirow), known for her ethereal vocals and atmospheric electro-pop, will venture into fresh sonic territory with her new all-acoustic trio, which features multi-instrumentalist Robbie Lee and bassist Eleonore Oppenheim. They will be joined by big dog little dog, the new duo project of composer-violinist Jessie Montgomery (“daring…inventive” – New York Times; “turbulent, wildly colorful, exploding with life” – Washington Post), and the “quietly virtuosic” (New York Times) bassist and songwriter Eleonore Oppenheim. Each band will perform sets of their own material, then together they’ll premiere a new piece written for the 2018 Ecstatic Music Festival.

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Liquid Music Series: Brian Hannerty
Mar
20
7:30 PM19:30

Liquid Music Series: Brian Hannerty

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music Series presents Brian Harnetty’s Shawnee, Ohio, a work which critically engages ecology, energy, place and personal history. Known for his ability to “bring gem recordings up out of the basement and into the light” (New Music Box), Harnetty derives his compositional material from the sounds of production and Appalachian town life, reflecting the experience of a town fighting to survive after a century of economic decline and environmental degradation. The town’s downturn and partial restoration act as an ethos of the struggles and hopes of the larger region, now immersed in a controversial fracking boom. Shawnee, Ohio considers these histories, evokes place through sound, and listens to the present alongside traces of the past.

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