Concert Review: SONiC festival surveys the 21st century so far

Posted on: October 20, 2011

“A festival of 20th-century music is just so yesterday,” writes Anthony Tommasini in Monday’s (10/17) New York Times. “This is the thinking of the composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel and the pianist Stephen Gosling, the curators of SONiC: Sounds of a New Century, a 14-concert, 9-day festival of 21st-century music by more than 100 composers under the age of 40. The works, including 30 premieres, will be played by 16 ensembles at 11 sites across New York City. The festival started on Friday night at Zankel Hall with the excellent American Composers Orchestra playing premieres of five diverse, fresh and inventive works, dynamically conducted by George Manahan. Speaking to the audience, Mr. Bermel said that we were enough into the new century to take an overview. This embracing festival is featuring composers from six continents. … One theme did emerge. Young composers today, born after the stylistic battles that stultified creativity during the 1960s and 1970s, exude independence and feel entitled to draw from, borrow, use (or abuse) any style of contemporary music that interests them.” Composers on the Friday program included Christopher Stark, Alex Temple, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Wang Lu, and Kenji Bunch.

Posted October 20, 2011