Tag Archives: Lauren Radnofsky

A bright, musical — and FREE — way to end a dull, gray Tuesday

Miller Theatre’s Pop-Up Concerts are back

Ugh. It’s pretty grim to realize it’s only Tuesday. And what a nasty Tuesday it has turned out to be.

But there’s something happening tonight that’ll put a drink in your hand, a smile on your face and send you back out into the world with a head full of music: Pop-Up Concerts at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.

And it won’t cost you a dime.

Here’s the deal: One Tuesday a month, this very cool program takes over the theater for a quick, casual get-together that ends in a very cool concert. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Grab a free drink (thanks to Harlem Brewing Co.) when you get there, and hang out with fellow music lovers until the show starts at 6.

Tonight’s program is Minimalism’s Evolution. Sure, it sounds a little heady, maybe even academic. This is happening on an Ivy League campus, after all. But this series isn’t like any college course you might remember. Pop-Up Concerts let you get up close and personal with the artists in an informal performance that lasts just an hour.

Be sure to save the dates of the next two installments of Pop-Up Concerts: Nov. 13 of 120 Years of Solo Piano and Dec. 11 for John Zorn for Strings.

Tonight you’ll get three members of the awesome Ensemble Signal: Courtney Orlando on violin, Lauren Radnofsky on cello and Paul Coleman on sound.

Read on for the full program and all the details you need to get there. Continue reading

Advertisements

Signal tackles Helmut Lachenmann tonight

Composer Helmut Lachenmann joins Signal Enselmble and JACK Quartet to celebrate his 75th birthday on Saturday night.

German composer Helmut Lachenmann celebrates his 75th birthday at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre tonight when he joins Signal Ensemble and  JACK Quartet for the final Composer Portrait concert of the Miller season.

Lachenmann says he believes in “music which, in order to be grasped, does not require a privileged intellectual training, but can rely uniquely upon its compositional clarity and logic.”

The audience will have the rare chance to hear Lachenmann playing 2 of his solo piano works, and he will also be joining Signal as the spoken text soloist on one piece.

Additionally, cellist Lauren Radnofsky (Signal’s executive director) will be playing Pression, a wild 1969 piece for solo cello, The JACK Quartet (which includes violist John Pickford Richards, well known to New York audiences for his work with Alarm Will Sound) will be joining Signal in the ensemble and also performing his most difficult string quartet.

Here’s a video of Lachenmann speaking about his work:

And go to YouTube to see and hear Lachenmann playing his Wiegenmusick, which is on tonight’s program.

This is one of Signal’s biggest projects to date, and is expected to lead to a CD/surround sound DVD release.

It’s also a chance to hear the wonderfully flexible and talented Signal, directed by Brad Lubman, perform Lachenmann’s challenging compositions, which are somewhat different than its typical repertoire.

The program covers four decades of Lachenmann’s composing life with these pieces: Wiegenmusik for solo piano (1963), Pression for solo cello (1969-1970), Ein Kinderspiel for solo piano (1980), String Quartet No. 2 Reigen seliger Geister (1989) and …Zwei Gefühle… featuring Lachenmann himself as spoken-text soloist (1991-1992).

The evening will also include a discussion with Lachenmann and Yale professor Seth Brodsky. It should be an amazing evening of music.

Composer Portrait: Helmut Lachenmann, 8 pm tonight, Thursday, April 1, Miller Theatre,  116th St. & Broadway on the campus of Columbia University. Tickets $25, available online and at the door.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Signal’s co-founders on their new Steve Reich commission

Composer Steve Reich, center, with Signal's co-founders Brad Lubman and Lauren Radnofsky. (Photo courtesy of Todd Reynolds)

Composer Steve Reich, center, with Signal's co-founders Brad Lubman and Lauren Radnofsky. (Photo courtesy of Todd Reynolds)

Signal has existed for little over a year. But in that time, the flexible New Music ensemble has developed a reputation as one of the finest interpreters of the canon. The group skillfully tackles the music of many of today’s greatest composers, but it’s closely identified with the work of Steve Reich — partly because composer-conductor Brad Lubman, one of Signal’s two co-founders, has long been associated with Steve and the Steve Reich Ensemble.

Signal had the honor of being the first ensemble other than eighth blackbird to play Steve’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet. It was an honor because eighth blackbird commissioned the piece and has control over who else can perform it. Signal did such a fine job with the piece, clearly illustrating its strong connections with Steve’s work — that I started wondering how long it would take before Signal would get its own piece from Steve.

I asked Signal’s other co-founder, cellist Lauren Radnofsky, that question, and was thrilled to learn that we were on the same page: a commission was in the works. Because the commission involved a Meet the Composer grant and a co-commissioner, the news had to stay under wraps until everything was nailed down. With today’s announcement of MTC’s grants, it’s no longer a secret.

Signal performing at (Le) Poisson Rouge.

Signal performing at (Le) Poisson Rouge.

Lauren and Brad filled in Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? about the exciting news in an email interview last night:

Q: How did Signal’s Steve Reich commission come about?

A: It was an idea we thought of early on, after Signal formed.  We love his music, so it seemed that he’d be the first and most obvious person to ask, especially given everyone’s association with him and his music — especially Brad, who has worked with Steve and premiered a number of his pieces over the last 14 years.

Q: What are the parameters of the piece? Is there a subject, context, or idea that you guys suggested, or is he totally on his own?

A: He’s totally on his own.

Q: Is there a title?

A: Not yet.

Q:  What’s the process? Is it collaborative or will Steve write and you guys will play it?

A: He writes, we play!

Q: Is he writing for a specific configuration of the group?

A: The exact instrumentation is not yet determined, but the piece will be for approximately 20 players.

Q: You describe it as a co-commission.

A: The other co-commissioner is MITO/Settembre Musica in Italy.

Q: How excited are you guys about this?

A: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We couldn’t be more excited!!!!!!!!!

Q:  When will it be premiered?

A: The premiere will be during the 2011-12 concert season.

Q: What are your plans for the work?

A: We’re working to plan tours in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. We would record the piece at a later date.