SONiC Festival Showcases Emerging Composers, Ensembles, Bryce Dessner Orchestral Piece

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The SONiC Festival (Sounds of a New Century) is coming up (Oct. 14-22), bringing 9 days of 21st Century Music – all written by composers age 40 or under – to venues around NYC.

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One of our features last week – Oktaven Audio & the New Music Movement – dug into the highly active local contemporary classical scene in which so many young composers and ensembles are exploring new musical ground and embracing new methods of performance and recording. The SONiC Festival will feature 100+ of these young composers from 16 contemporary ensembles, in nearly a dozen venues around NYC.

SONiC performances include ICE at The Kitchen, Alarm Will Sound (performing works by Aphex Twin and Nico Muhly among others) at Roulette, and Eighth Blackbird at the Miller Theater at Columbia University.

Other highlights include new music ensemble Either/Or giving the U.S. premiere of a classical work, “smear,” by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood – on Monday, October 17 at 7:30pm at Miller Theatre, and Rufus Wainwright’s “Hope is the Thing with Feathers”, performed by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City on Sunday (10/16) at Miller Theatre as part of SONiC’s 12-hour Extended Play concert from noon to midnight.

Click for the entire schedule and to buy tickets.

And part of the closing concert, entitled “American Pie,” on Saturday (10/22), will be the premiere of a new orchestral piece by The National’s Bryce Dessner, commissioned by and performed with the American Composers Orchestra, with Bryce and Aaron Dessner as guitar soloists. The piece, called “St. Carolyn By The Sea,” is inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel Big Sur. This is a free concert – 7pm at the World Financial Center Winter Garden.

Here, Bryce Dessner talks about writing for an orchestra…

SONiC is co-curated by composer Derek Bermel and pianist Stephen Gosling, and is a production of American Composers Orchestra and The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University. The Festival is presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall and Miller Theatre at Columbia University.

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