News

Boston Globe features JACK Quartet plays altaVoz Composers

Boston Globe features JACK Quartet plays altaVoz Composers

David Weininger interviews Felipe Lara in profile

Thursday, 04 September 2014

The JACK Quartet's recent recording of four string quartets by the altaVoz composers was featured in a profile in the Boston Globe by journalist David Weininger.
"The occasional sonic similarity aside, these are four composers with resolutely distinct voices and strategies."

Weininger spoke with Brazilian composer Felipe Lara about altaVoz and the question of what links Latin American composers aesthetically.  

Read the full article here:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2014/09/04/boston-born-altavoz-offers-disparate-sounds-new/lRgKNfaaBRY98afl1xrVEP/story.html#skip-target1

a.pe.ri.od.ic: more or less CD Release Event 9.20

a.pe.ri.od.ic: more or less CD Release Event 9.20

Part of Wandelweiser Festival

Wednesday, 03 September 2014

a.pe.ri.od.ic, in collaboration with the Frequency Series at Constellation, presents the Chicago Wandelweiser Festival from September 20-22. The ensemble will celebrate the release of their new recording of the music of Jürg Frey, "more or less", with a CD release event at Constellation on September 20 to kick off the festival. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/602717073174638/

 

July releases celebrate the art of the Long Piece

Three new recordings of album length compositions

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

New Focus will release three recordings in July that all feature album length works. Bucking the trend of streaming single short tracks, we are highlighting the creativity and architectural design that goes into conceiving a grand musical gesture. Composer and guitarist Richard Carrick releases his introspective collection of studio composed electric guitar works, Stone Guitars. Carrick's process in creating these pieces is responsible for a wonderful balance between spontanaeity and design -- he improvised several layers for the works without using pre-recorded tracks as a reference, and then assembled them meticulously, creating a structure from "found" materials of his own creation. He will perform works from the album at a CD release event on June 27 at Whitebox NYC on an Either/Or sponsored event. Andrew Violette's seventy minute long Sonata for Guitar is the last in a series of neo-baroque album length works he has written for solo string instruments. Performed here by guitarist Dan Lippel, the work is a fascinating blend between traditionalist and subversive, combining a three voice Fugue and Chaconne with a twenty five minute "Colorfield" movement that remains on the same harmony with subtle arpeggiated rhythmic differences throughout. Rounding out the month's releases is pianist Omri Shimron's incisive and very personal account of Frederic Rzewski's iconic Marxist inspired work, The People United Will Never be Defeated. With a cadenza that merges themes from the Chilean Marxist song that inspired Rzewski's variations with Zionist songs from Shimron's parents childhood on an Israeli kibbutz, this performance of a canonical work deepens insight into the roots of Rzewski's inspiration and its universal applicability.

Stay tuned for more details on all these releases! 

Third Coast Percussion: Resounding Earth Chicago Premiere

Third Coast Percussion: Resounding Earth Chicago Premiere

Feb 21, U of Chicago Logan School of the Arts

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Third Coast Percussion plays the Chicago premiere Augusta Read Thomas' Resounding Earth, 
an evocative work exploring the sound world of bells written for them and released
on their CD/DVD set on New Focus earlier this year.  Peter Margasak, writing for the
Chicago Reader, observes, "Third Coast executes the four-part composition with its typical clarity and precision, moving elegantly and deliberately among several colors and textures: stately and cyclical gamelanlike structures with brisk, hypnotic rhythms; contrapuntal melodies whose independent motion creates a deep harmonic resonance; and hovering, sumptuous atmospheric drones. It’s never less than absorbing and otherworldly."

Read the whole Chicago Reader preview here:
http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/third-coast-percussion/Event?oid=12486218 

Introducing Olde Focus Recordings

Introducing Olde Focus Recordings

CD release Feb 10!

Tuesday, 04 February 2014

Three new February releases mark the debut of  Olde Focus Recordings, 
 a new line of recordings focusing on new recordings of gems from the early music
repertoire. Curated by cellist and director of period ensemble ACRONYM, Kivie
Cahn-Lipman, Olde Focus kicks its series off with recordings of three 17th century
composers deserving of greater attention, Antonio Bertali, Johann Pezel, and David
Funck.

ACRONYM will host a cd release event for their Bertali release at Church of St. Luke
in the Fields on Hudson Street in Manhattan on Feb 10. https://www.facebook.com/events/261511304004142/

 

American Vernacular featured as Q2 Album of the Week!

American Vernacular featured as Q2 Album of the Week!

Collection of American piano premieres on "vernacular" theme

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Nicholas Phillips' laudable new commissioning project, American Vernacular,
featuring new solo piano works by composers ranging from David Rakowski to 
Ethan Wickman to Joel Puckett, was featured recently as Q2's Album of the Week 
as well as in a review in Sequenza 21. 

"Phillips achieves the opposite with these endearingly modest interpretations. Some of the pieces in this program must be devilishly hard to play, but he'd much rather we notice the charm of the studies on "American Vernacular" than their difficulty." - Q2

"No matter the composers’ inspirations, Nicholas Phillips delivers solid and engaging performances which give first-time listeners all the overt connections they need and all the nuance that repeat listenings can uncover. American Vernacular is well worth checking out for anyone interested in current trends of contemporary American piano music." - Sequenza21

http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/pianist-commissions-ten-composers-redefine-american-vernacular/

http://www.sequenza21.com/cdreviews/2014/01/american-vernacular-nicholas-phillips-piano/
 

Kivie Cahn-Lipman Bach CD release event at Spectrum!

Kivie Cahn-Lipman Bach CD release event at Spectrum!

Saturday Jan 11

Tuesday, 07 January 2014

Cellist Kivie Cahn-Lipman, founding member of ICE and director and founder of early music ensemble ACRONYM celebrates the release of his new recording of Bach's complete suites for solo cello with an event at Spectrum on Saturday January 11. https://www.facebook.com/events/262638807227101/?notif_t=plan_user_invited
 

Lipman's Bach is informed by his study of alternative manuscripts and a hybrid of his approaches to both early and modern instruments. 

NF releases make Best of 2013 Lists!

NF releases make Best of 2013 Lists!

Time Out Chicago, Rhapsody, and New Yorker plug NF artists

Monday, 23 December 2013

Time Out Chicago, Rhapsody, the New Yorker, and NPR all mentioned New Focus releases
in their Best of 2013 lists. Three New Focus releases were included in Time Out's listing
citing Tony Arnold and Jacob Greenberg's rendition of Messiaen's Harawi, Third Coast Percussion's Resounding Earth by Augusta Read Thomas and Claire Chase's Density in their top classical list. http://www.timeoutchicago.com/music-nightlife/opera-classical/16516706/best-of-2013-the-top-10-classical-and-new-music-albums-of-t?page=0,1

Ryan Muncy's recording of avant garde saxophone repertoire made it to Alex Ross' "Notable Classical Recordings of 2013", published on the New Yorker website, complete with link to Muncy's performance of Marcos Balter's duo, Strohbass, for bari sax and bass flute. Muncy's Hot was also featured in Chicago Reader Peter Margasak's best of list. 

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/12/notable-classical-performances-and-recordings-of-2013.html

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/year-review-spektral-matangi-carcass-lungz-demdike-oozing/Content?oid=11912229

NPR's singled out Claire Chase's performance of Varese's iconic Density 21.5 on their 100 Favorite Songs of 2013 http://www.npr.org/blogs/bestmusic2013/2013/12/11/249734685/npr-musics-100-favorite-songs-of-2013?ft=1&;f=1039

And streaming services Rhapsody chose Chase's Density and Yegor Shevtsov's Avec un Frisson, piano works by Debussy and Boulez, in their listing of the top classical albums of 2013. 

http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/yegor-shevtsov/album/avec-un-frisson-late-piano-works-of-debussy-and-boulez/track/incises

congrats to all the artists!!!

Phyllis Chen's Little Things Chicago CD Release Event Oct 13!

Phyllis Chen's Little Things Chicago CD Release Event Oct 13!

Phyllis Chen's Little Things Chicago CD release event Oct 13!

Friday, 04 October 2013

Phyllis Chen's new recording of adventurous works for toy piano, Little Things, will have a cd release event at Constellation in Chicago on the Frequency Series, curated by Peter Margasak, on October 13 at 8:30. http://www.constellation-chicago.com/event/359441-phyllis-chen-chicago/

Time Out New York calls Chen "a superb pianist and a brilliant advocate for the instrument's downscaled toy sibling." The recording was also reviewed in New Music Box:

"The disc’s seven compositions—some concentrating on the instrument alone, others incorporating electronics, recorded vocals, and/or additional percussive sounds—span a compelling range of sonic worlds that dazzle with their creative use of the toy piano’s unique timbre, the distinctly audible key strokes, and variously employed extended techniques. "

Claire Chase Density release events

Claire Chase Density release events

Claire Chase Density release events

Tuesday, 01 October 2013

In promotion of her new solo flute record, Density, Claire Chase is performing the album in its entirety in shows in New York (10/3 The Kitchen), Philadelphia (10/9 Bowerbird), and Washington D.C. (10/12 Atlas Performing Arts), following up on a recent show on the exciting Frequency series at Chicago's Constellation venue, curated by Peter Margasak of the Chicago Reader. Density is now available as an exclusive digital download here on the New Focus site. 

Visit Claire's site to learn more about these events, and the Density page here on the New Focus site to stream previews, and purchase high quality downloads of the recording, which features premieres by Marcos Balter and Mario Diaz de Leon, alongside powerful renditions of works by Alvin Lucier, Edgard Varese, Steve Reich, and Phillip Glass. 

http://clairechase.net/events/

Third Coast Percussion plays Resounding Earth

Third Coast Percussion plays Resounding Earth

Third Coast Percussion performs Resounding Earth

Monday, 09 September 2013

Third Coast Percussion, ensemble in residence at University of Notre Dame, releases the premiere recording of Augusta Read Thomas' reverent exploration of bells, Resounding Earth. They will be performing this work on programs throughout the fall, visit their site for more details:

http://www.thirdcoastpercussion.com/schedule/

Marilyn Nonken and Drew Baker featured in International Piano!

Marilyn Nonken and Drew Baker featured in International Piano!

Marilyn Nonken/Drew Baker featured in International Piano

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Marilyn Nonken's dynamic performances of the music of Drew Baker on their New Focus release was featured in an insightful full length article in the British publication, International Piano.

"Nonken, director of piano studies at New York university’s steinhardt school, has long been a believer that music can make powerful statements, and her latest album, Stress Position, reveals a telling narrative."

"But what is really interesting is how the composer and performer exploit the many colours of the keyboard. In the opening track, Gaeta (in which Baker also performs), the two pianos are transformed to sound almost ethereal"

 

Messiaen: Harawi - Album of the Week on Q2!

Messiaen: Harawi - Album of the Week on Q2!

Messiaen: Harawi - Album of the Week on Q2!

Tuesday, 09 July 2013 Friday, 31 October 2014

Soprano Tony Arnold and Pianist Jacob Greenberg's performance of Messiaen's exotic song cycle Harawi is being featured on WXQR's Q2 as Album of the Week. In a review of the recording, Seth Colter Wells hails the recording as "one of the best new interpretations of Messiaen in years."

check out the coverage here:

http://www.wqxr.org/#!/articles/q2-album-week/2013/jul/08/olivier-messiaens-emharawiem-breathless-new-form/?utm_source=sharedUrl&;utm_media=metatag&utm_campaign=sharedUrl



 

Dai Fujikura launches new imprint, Minabel, with album

Dai Fujikura launches new imprint, Minabel, with album "Flare"

Dai Fujikura launches new subimprint

Monday, 08 July 2013

Critically acclaimed London based composer Dai Fujikura has launched a subimprint of New Focus Recordings for recordings of his music, Minabel Records. The first album, released in digital format only, features performances by the Arditti Quartet, Vox Humana, and the Goldfield Ensemble. Stay tuned for more exciting new releases coming this fall. 

Song Cycle: Schubert lieder reviewed in Classical Voice of North Carolina

Song Cycle: Schubert lieder reviewed in Classical Voice of North Carolina

Monday, 01 July 2013

Song Cycle, a recording of a set of Schubert lieder transcribed for soprano and guitar and solo guitar and performed by Tony Arnold and Daniel Lippel, has recently been reviewed in Classical Voice of North Carolina and American Record Guide. CVNC writes, "the performances are all oustanding" and "I have rarely heard a guitarist produce sounds that are so crisp and precise yet so eminently harmonious." American Record Guide writes, "the performances are worthy ones."

Doug Perkins Simple Songs covered in Chicago Reader

Doug Perkins Simple Songs covered in Chicago Reader

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Doug Perkins' solo percussion disc, Simple Songs is getting great press, including this write up in the Chicago Reader

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/netherfriends-schubas-ono-albino-doug-perkins-eighth-blackbird/Content?oid=7737847

and a forthcoming interview conducted by composer Alan Tormey on the insightful IPAP site

http://innovativeperformanceandpedagogy.wordpress.com/

Claire Chase awarded prestigious MacArthur Genius Grant!

Claire Chase awarded prestigious MacArthur Genius Grant!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Flutist Claire Chase, artistic director and co-founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), was recently awarded the coveted MacArthur Genius Grant by the MacArthur Foundation. The award carries with it a $500,000 prize to be used at the artist's discretion, and is given in recognition of unique and significant transformative influence on your field. Congratulations Claire!

 

Nathan Davis record listed on Steve Smith's Top Ten!

Nathan Davis record listed on Steve Smith's Top Ten!

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Bright and Hollow Sky, the beautiful recording of Nathan Davis' music performed by ICE was just listed as #5 on Steve Smith's Top Ten Classical Recordings of 2011 for Time Out NYC. The recording is a beautiful exploration of timbre, rhythm, processed electronics, and extended techniques, and was beautifully recorded by Ryan Streber in the otherworldly acoustics of the main concert hall in EMPAC in Troy, NY.

CD Release Event for Suzanne Farrin's Corpo di Terra 11.30.12!

CD Release Event for Suzanne Farrin's Corpo di Terra 11.30.12!

Suzanne Farrin's debut full length recording of her compositions will be celebrated by a CD release at the Italian Academy at Columbia University on November 30, 2012. The concert will feature live performances of works from the recording by performers Nuiko Wadden, Cal Wiersma, and Julia Lichten. Funding provided by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Italian Academy. 

more info at http://www.suzannefarrin.com/