How one chamber ensemble approaches new-music programs

Posted on: April 26, 2018

“How does my string quintet Sybarite5 pick the music we play? People ask me this all the time,” writes Louis Levitt, Sybarite5’s double bassist, in Tuesday’s (4/24) New Music Box. “We program in modular fashion…. Selections are usually three to eight minutes long, so … it’s easy for us to slip newer works and experiments in and out of a set…. Sometimes composers send us multi-movement works, and often we treat each movement as its own piece. This happened recently with a new piece written for us by the just-announced 2018 Pulitzer finalist Michael Gilbertson…. We decided that the best way to premiere the piece was to break it into three separate works—Endeavor, Outliers, and Collective Wisdom—and to premiere each piece individually over the course of 18 months or so…. All of the works on a Sybarite5 concert are announced from the stage…. We publish our setlists with precise titles, composer names, and links on our blog right after each show. … Everyone in the ensemble speaks with the audience…. We don’t give a lecture about sonata form or the polyrhythmic structures in our music…. Because ~93% of the population does not want to hear about that.”

Posted April 28, 2018