new music

color photo of Eric Whitacre leading his Live Virtual Choir
ericwhitacre.com

"In 1991, I had maybe the most profound and transformative experience in my life."

That’s how Eric Whitacre began his February 2013 TED Talk about how his choral work Cloudburst and his history-making Virtual Choir project came about.

An eagle bone whistle. A sacred rattle. A singing turtle. A “love flute.”

These are just a few of the ancient Native American instruments showcased in Anthem for the Ancestors, a new work for string quartet, Native American instruments, narrator and multimedia visual effects composed by Carpe Diem String Quartet violinist Charles Wetherbee and Native American performer and composer Leon Joseph Littlebird.

color photo of Vireo performers in Alcatraz cell block
David Soderland / operavireo.org

It’s an opera about a woman imprisoned by psychological demons. It was filmed at Alcatraz. And, if all that isn't cool enough, later this month you’ll be able to watch it in 15-minute episodes on your mobile device, computer or TV.

requiemformymother.com

Veteran Hollywood composer Stephen Edwards has seen a lot of drama, death and destruction on the silver screen but, until his mother passed away, he had experienced very little of it in his own life.

“I was kind of left not knowing what to do with myself,” Edwards said in a recent phone interview. "It was a feeling of helplessness, like I couldn’t do anything to bring her back, and I couldn’t do anything to help her."

color photo of the members of Seraph Brass dressed up and sitting with their instruments on a sofa
seraphbrass.com

“How cool would it be to have an all-female brass group that’s touring? And imagine young musicians seeing that on the stage.”

That’s the question that inspired trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden to start the all-women’s brass ensemble Seraph Brass.

black-and-white still photo of Charlie Chaplin as the Little Tramp and sitting on a snowy landscape in The Gold Rush
Flickr

There might not be a lot of chatter in Charlie Chaplin’s films, but there’s certainly a lot of chatter about them—at least in this neck of the woods. Thursday morning, some of that Chaplin chatter will be on Classical 101. 

Wikipedia

There have been 78 world premieres at Carnegie Hall to date, beginning with Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, the "New World Symphony," which premiered Dec. 16, 1893.

American composer Philip Glass will raise that number to 79 world premieres next week, on Jan. 31, and what's more, he'll do it on his 80th birthday.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Jeffrey Bishop's album artwork

There's only one place in town to catch Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Ashley Bathgate and innovative pianist Karl Larson: The Short North Stage, courtesy of The Johnstone Fund for New Music. 

Don't miss "restless."

color photo taken from behind the musicians of the Dublin Win Symphony during a rehearsal
Erica Wood / Dublin Wind Symphony

Ask composer Dr. Nicole Piunno how she would describe her new work Eternity in an Hour, and one particular word comes up again and again: joy.

“There’s a lot of joy in the piece,” Piunno said in a recent phone interview. “It starts with joy and it ends with joy.”

Pages