Q2 – Classical 105.9 WQXR’s 24-hour contemporary classical music stream available at www.wqxr.org/q2 – presents Cued Up on Q2, a new summer festival of pioneering and invigorating new music performances recorded live at New York City’s most adventurous venues.
Coinciding with Bang on a Can’s annual new-music marathon, Cued Up on Q2’s inaugural show on Sunday, June 27 will feature selections from previous BOAC marathons (dubbed “Lollapalooza advised by the ghost of John Cage” by Vanity Fair). The twelve-week festival will stream each Sunday at 2pm through September 12, with encore plays on Tuesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 4pm.
From solo cello to full orchestra, Cued Up on Q2 will connect listeners directly with New York’s vibrant new-music scene and the venues where today’s artists put their ideas and imagination into play. From the long-standing Merkin Concert Hall to the scene-changing performance space (Le) Poisson Rouge, the new summer festival offers a chance to experience – or re-experience – from fifth-row-center seats the great new music that captivated New York City audiences last fall and winter and throughout the spring.
Listeners will have the chance to hear pivotal moments in new music, discover exciting emergent artists and venues, and help share New York City’s great music-making with the rest of the world. The series is another way that Q2 invites listeners worldwide to become part of its locally-rooted but internationally-extended new-music family.
Cued Up on Q2 highlights:
VOX, New York City Opera’s contemporary American opera lab, with new performances recently recorded at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in Greenwich Village.
VOX gained new centrality within City Opera with the hiring of new-music specialist George Steel as the company’s general manager and artistic director, and this year’s productions include Song from the Uproar by Missy Mazzoli, “who has emerged as a leader of New York’s young moderns” (Alex Ross, New Yorker).
Selections from (Le) Poisson Rouge
Recent performances from the downtown experimental venue to be featured in the festival include a fiery cello recital by New Yorker Maya Beiser, hailed as a “cello goddess” (New Yorker) and “the queen of contemporary cello” (San Francisco Chronicle); the premiere concert of the adventurous Yale Composers’ collective, Sleeping Giant, which includes Timothy Andres, whose “music achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene” (Alex Ross); and a very special performance of Terry Riley’s In C, the iconic 1964 classic often cited as the first work of minimalism. Hosted by Jad Abumrad, producer and host of WNYC’s Radiolab who contributed his own interpretation to the In C Remixed project, the recent LPR performance was given by the GVSU New Music Ensemble, whose interpretation “pays fierce tribute to the original, yet is a brand-new way to experience In C” (Alarm magazine).
2010 MATA Festival’s extended residency at (Le) Poisson Rouge
Co-founded in 1996 by foremost American composer Philip Glass, the annual MATA Festival prides itself on offering emerging young composers their first significant exposure to New York audiences; those who have been commissioned or presented by MATA early in their careers include Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon.
ETHEL, recorded live at Manhattan’s Merkin Concert Hall
This performance featured U.S. premieres of music by Dutch avant-pop composer JacobTV – “the Jeff Koons of new music” (NRC, Holland), presented as part of the recent New Sounds Live series, hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer. Styled “the most bad-ass quartet around” (Guardian, UK), international festival favorite ETHEL has performed more than 300 shows in ten countries around the globe.
Selections from New York’s annual Look & Listen Festival
Presenting new music in the intimate setting of local modern art galleries, Look & Listen “stands out, even in a very crowded field, as a genuinely innovative series” (John Schaefer, WNYC), and “offers a cross-section of freethinking New Yorkish music” (Alex Ross, The Rest Is Noise). This season the series presented its first commission, Five Memos (2010) by Mexican-born composer Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez, whose numerous honors include Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Fromm Music Foundation awards. The new work was written for Grammy Award-winning new-music sextet eighth blackbird, whose “versatile, expressive performers” (New York Times) gave the piece its world premiere at Chelsea Art Museum on May 7.
Concert highlights by the New Juilliard Ensemble
Founded and directed by Joel Sachs, co-director of the internationally-renowned new music ensemble Continuum, the New Juilliard Ensemble is comprised of current Juilliard students, and it focuses primarily on music written in the past ten years.
Selections from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s New Music in the Rose series
Over the years, New Music in the Rose programs have featured such composers as George Crumb, John Harbison, Scott Johnson, Matthias Pintscher, Christopher Rouse, Kaija Saariaho, and Ellen Taaffee Zwilich, to name only a very few. The Cued Up on Q2 festival will feature selections of recent performances.
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Cued Up on Q2 concerts will be emceed by a variety of WNYC and Q2 hosts, including John Schaefer (Soundcheck and New Sounds), Jad Abumrad (Radiolab), and Nadia Sirota and Helga Davis (Q2).
Cued Up on Q2: each Sunday at 2pm
June 27 Bang on a Can highlights
July 4 In C from LPR
July 11 Maya Beiser from LPR
July 18 MATA Festival
July 25 VOX from New York City Opera
Aug 1 Look and Listen Festival
Aug 8 Yale Composers / Sleeping Giant from LPR
Aug 15 Chamber Music Society New Music
Aug 22 Elizabeth & the Catapult – New Sounds Live
Aug 29 Missy Mazzoli and Victoire from LPR
Sept 5 New Juilliard Ensemble
Sept 12 JacobTV – ETHEL – New Sounds Live