“Meredith Monk, the composer, vocalist, director and choreographer whose multidisciplinary works have influenced a couple of generations of American artists, is being celebrated this season for 50 years of creativity in New York,” writes Anthony Tommasini in Sunday’s (11/23) New York Times. On Friday, the American Composers Orchestra “opened its 38th season with a program at Zankel Hall titled ‘Monk’s Sphere,’ conducted by the ensemble’s music director, George Manahan.… The program, which ended with one of Ms. Monk’s rare orchestral works [Night], offered three premieres and a New York premiere by other composers in performances that were consistently dynamic and colorful…. Derek Bermel, the orchestra’s artistic director, put it well in explaining why Ms. Monk has been such a ‘huge inspiration’ to him. She ‘invites composers into new worlds,’ he said. ‘She doesn’t push us,’ he added, but her example of being ‘free and personal is empowering.’ ” The program “opened with the premiere of A. J. McCaffrey’s ‘Motormouth,’ a vibrantly orchestrated, restless 15-minute work inspired by the composer’s delight at trading jokes with his son when the boy was 4,” and included Ian Williams’s Clear Image, exploring “the differences between music intended as a multitrack recording or for live performance,” Theo Bleckmann’s My Brightest Garment for singer and orchestra, and Loren Loiacono’s Stalks, Hounds.
Posted November 26, 2014