To L.A.’s burgeoning new-music scene, add the Brightwork sextet

Posted on: July 3, 2019

“It’s no longer a local secret that new music groups are bursting out all over Los Angeles,” writes Richard Ginell in Saturday’s (6/29) San Francisco Classical Voice. Brightwork, “founded by pianist Aron Kallay, [a] sextet of accomplished pros from L.A. orchestras and studios … held what it called a ‘nonprofit launch concert’ June 25.… All but one of the eight pieces [ranged] from four to eight minutes in length…. The outlier was Russell Steinberg’s absorbing 15-minute monodrama Rucksack, in which the text by Holocaust survivor Juliane Heyman contrasts her journey to America just steps ahead of the Nazis with a hike in the Poconos not long after she got here…. The full sextet opened the evening with Alyssa Weinberg’s Refracted, with the strings making abrasive scratching effects against dissonant winds, eventually working themselves into a frenzy. Timo Andres’s Trade Secrets for violin, cello, flute, and percussion was … a mostly attractive, peaceful foil. The original electric-bass part for Molly Joyce’s Lost And Found was re-scored for cello…. Takuma Itoh’s Parallel Divergence for sextet concluded the concert in a high-tension, trilling whirlwind…. There were no program notes…. Our ears were mostly on their own, and the effort was often rewarded.”

Posted July 3, 2019