Philadelphia as new-music hub

Posted on: November 13, 2017

In Friday’s (11/9) Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns writes that a recent concert by the Barnes Ensemble of music by Ligeti, Scelsi, and Eric Wubbels “was the artistic equivalent of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sending back pictures of Pluto. Maybe it isn’t pretty. But look you must.… 2017 has been a succession of large-scale, at-the-edge events [in Philadelphia]. Bowerbird’s Julius Eastman festival recovered lost works of the late African American composer (1940-90) … now emerging as an infectious visionary…. Philly Fringe, Opera Philadelphia’s O17, the October Revolution, and PRISM Quartet have all had concerts that were artistic successes…. This month alone has Network for New Music with new pieces by Cynthia Folio and Robert Maggio inspired by the artwork of Martin Puryear … the Crossing with David Lang’s National Anthems on Monday at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, and Orchestra 2001 producing Steve Mackey’s full-evening theater work Slide Thursday at Venice Island Performing Arts. ‘People’s ears have changed,’ said Princeton composer Mackey, whose main instrument is electric guitar. ‘Twenty years ago, my appearance on stage with electric guitar and a string quartet was a super novelty…. Now, it’s not a big deal.’ ”

Posted November 13, 2017