After more than a month off the beat—and after a quiet soft-start (in multiple senses) with the very impressive opening event of the new series Music for Contemplation last Saturday night—I'm finally heading back out into concert life. There are three events on my agenda this week: two on assignment for The New York Times, the third a personal pick related to an upcoming NYT project.
Tuesday, March 4: Talea Ensemble
Austrian Cultural Forum; 7:30pm; free
Checking in with Talea is always welcome, whatever's on the bill. This ensemble is among the fewish NYC institutions deeply engaged with rigorous modernists and their progeny, one that keeps tabs on prominent European composers poorly represented stateside as well as emerging creators of substantial promise. Tuesday's program, part of Carnegie Hall's big Vienna: City of Dreams festival, includes recent chamber pieces by Olga Neuwirth, Bernhard Gander and Pierluigi Billone. According to the ACFNY website, this concert is already booked to capacity, but you can still make reservations for Talea's second program on Friday, March 7, which takes place at the more spacious Czech Center New York and includes large-ensemble premieres by the same three composers.
Thursday, March 6: The String Orchestra of Brooklyn
Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity; 8pm; $15, seniors and students $10
Strictly speaking, this isn't a performance by the SOB, but an evening of chamber music by Brooklyn-based composers, presented under the orchestra's banner. Whatever you call it, it's a chance to hear New York premieres by Christopher Cerrone, Ted Hearne and Scott Wollschleger, as performed by a clutch of excellent musicians that includes Mellissa Hughes, Timo Andres, Ashley Bathgate and the Mivos Quartet.
Sunday, March 9: Lamentatio: Darkness and Light
Trinity Church; 5pm; $25
This fascinating new six-concert series at Trinity Church is meant to explore concepts of darkness and light through a range of works—early and contemporary, sacred and secular. Several ensembles are involved, including Decoda, Novus NY and the Choir of Merton College, Oxford. The inaugural event showcases the wonderful Trinity Choir and its director, Julian Wachner; beginning with two portions from Ockeghem's Missa pro defunctis (late 15th c.), the program encompasses settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet by Ernst Krenek (1942), Alberto Ginastera (1946) and Orlando de Lassus (1585).
Elsewhere and -when
Monday, March 3, 7:30pm: Orli Shaham plays Steve Mackey and John Adams at SubCulture (more)
Tuesday, March 4–Sunday, March 9, 8 & 10pm: International Contemporary Ensemble at the Stone (more)
Tuesday, March 4, 8pm: Cygnus Ensemble plays Mario Davidovsky at Merkin Concert Hall (more)
Tuesday, March 4, 6pm: Ekmeles sings Peter Ablinger, Kaija Saariaho and more at Miller Theatre (more) <- free!
Wednesday, March 5, 7pm: Frances-Marie Uitti plays Giacinto Scelsi at the Italian Academy, Columbia University (more) <- free!
Thursday, March 6, 8pm: Charlemagne Palestine organ concert at Plymouth Church (more)
Friday, March 7, 8pm: Ensemble LPR plays Bryce Dessner, Jonny Greenwood and Bartók at Le Poisson Rouge (more)
Friday, March 7, 10pm: Fennesz with Lillevan—inspired by Mahler—at Zankel Hall (more)
Friday, March 7, 8:45pm: James Moore plays John Zorn and Lainie Fefferman at Spectrum (more)
Friday, March 7, 7:30pm: Nate Wooley Quintet plays Wynton Marsalis at Greenwich House Music School (more)
Saturday, March 8, 8pm: Stile Antico sings Byrd, Tallis and more at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin (more)
Sunday, March 9, 5pm: The Improvised Traumdetung with Franz Hautzinger, Martin Siewert, Dieb13, Burkhard Stangl, Billy Roisz and others—inspired by Webern—at Le Poisson Rouge (more) <- free!