Critic’s Choice

Wed Apr 19, 2017 at 9:00 am
S.E.M. Ensemble

S.E.M. Ensemble

Call it New Music Tuesday. The breadth and variety of new classical music is such that no one concert, nor series, can offer a comprehensive view. But two concerts next Tuesday, April 25, will open a window onto both the substance and the reach of this decade’s output.

At the Bohemian National Hall, Petr Kotik and the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble will hold a marathon concert of music that explores the edges of composition, indeterminacy, and freedom. Along with the ensemble, stellar musicians like the Momenta Quartet, pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, trombonist George Lewis, and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell will be playing. Jackson Mac Low’s Is That My Hat? and a world premiere from Christian Wolff, 5 Songs, are on the program, as are Abrams’ Trio Things, and world premieres from Lewis and Mitchell. This is also the chance to hear music from the fine contemporary Czech composer Petr Bakla, whose Major Thirds will be premiered.

Downtown at the Kitchen is the official opening night of the MATA Festival. With it’s worldwide reach and focus on not just new compositions but new performers, MATA is the most in-depth new music series in New York. The series also commissions new works, and the five concerts this year (April 25-29) are seasoned with seven world premieres, played by new faces like Los Angeles’ Hocket Piano Duo and the Danish ensemble Scenatet, which transforms their performances into theatrical installations.

The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble plays 7 p.m. April 25 at Bohemian National Hall; admission is free with registration semensemble.org. The MATA Festival concerts open 8 p.m. April 25, at the Kitchen matafestival.org.


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