#Contemporary Music

Chanda Dancy’s Music for ‘Devotion’ Places Her in Awards Contention

“Devotion,” says composer Chanda Dancy, “is about true eternal love. How do you translate love for family, love for your fellow man, love for your country, into music? That’s what the director and I wanted to create.” Dancy’s score for the J.D. Dillard film about an African-American pilot who became a Korean War hero is among its biggest assets: a work for massive orchestra (and, briefly, choir) that underlines the thrill of flight, the dangers of war, and the close emotional ties forged between fellow airmen along with their families waiting back home. It took 109 Nashville musicians eight days of recording...
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When he’s not creating string flourishes for the likes of Selena Gomez or Shawn Mendes, producer, songwriter, and arranger Johan Lenox has spent his career attempting to bridge the gap between popular and classical music. Before the pandemic, Lenox, conductor Yuga Cohler, and composer Ellen Reid had planned a Lincoln Center concert series featuring classical compositions by pop musicians such as James Blake. As COVID hit, the trio devised a new strategy: a concept record featuring music written by contemporary composers like Bryce Dessner, Wang Lu, and Carlos Simon, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, then forwarded to Lenox, Cohler, and Reid for chopping up. The idea was to make a contemporary classical record in the piecemeal style of a rap mixtape, recruiting guest vocalists including Danny Brown and Empress Of for a collision of voices and genres that would explore loneliness in pandemic times. Despite the conceptual potential and considerable talent involved, the execution is oddly narrow-minded, and Isomonstrosity ends up both tasteful and weirdly frustrating.
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Two Sarasota arts groups use new music to create original choreography

Two arts groups dedicated to presenting new work to area audiences are joining together to create something original with a weekend of performances of “SCD + enSRQ.”. It features the collaboration between Sarasota Contemporary Dance, led by Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, and ensembleNEWSRQ, a contemporary classical chamber group founded by Samantha Bennett and George Nickson.
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Composing the New by Interweaving the Old at CSO MusicNOW Concert

Something old, something new and something subtly borrowed. Altogether, something totally original is created. That only begins to capture the captivating intermarriage of classical, modern, jazz and Irish music at the root of the immensely engaging works that comprised “Common Ground,” the CSO MusicNOW concert performed at Orchestra Hall last week.

Bruce Coppock, Former SPCO leader, dies at 71

Bruce Coppock, former president, and managing director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra passed away at the age of 71 after a 16-year struggle with cancer. “He was a force of nature,” remembered Kyu-Young Kim, creative director of the SPCO. “He was so inquisitive, in addition to possessing an extraordinary mind and a passion for learning.”

Media Star Segall Marries in Telluride

Alpacas greeted guests at the Oct. 2 wedding of Laurie Segall and Jon Jones, in Telluride, Co. As Mother Nature cooperated, the couple married at their cabin below the San Juan Mountains. One hundred guests looked on with parents, Toni and Dave Jones, of Scranton, Pa., Susanne Segall and Dr....

Four excellent November programs: NOVA Chamber Music Series’ Britten and Shostakovich, Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation’s Andrey Gugnin, Repertory Dance Theatre’s Sojourn, Spy Hop’s 20th anniversary PitchNic

November has been packed with concerts and presentations by numerous local performing arts and culture organizations. Four are reviewed in this roundup. This week, many organizations are in the midst of various end-of-the-year fundraising efforts and holiday season promotions for gift giving. Also, many local groups will be participating in the National Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday), which takes place tomorrow (Nov. 29).

A question of trust

The first post-pandemic full season of Weymouth Lunchtime Chamber Concerts (WLCC) drew to a close with a beautiful rendition of Liszt’s transcription of Robert Schumann’s Widmung, played by pianist and artistic director of the series, Duncan Honeybourne. This glorious piece of music was written by Schumann as a gift to his beloved Clara; for Duncan, playing it at the close of his concert, and the finale to the series’ 20th anniversary season, it also felt like a gift to our audience to thank them for their ongoing support.
Henry County Daily Herald

RONDA RICH: There’s gonna be some good gospel singing there

Tink and I were watching the award show for the Gospel Music Association Doves, which celebrates Jesus from traditional to Southern to contemporary music. The cameras moved to a black-clothed figure on a darkened stage. Her blonde hair glistened. Then, her voice, a perfect soprano, pierced sweetly through the air. Tink watched my best friend, Karen Peck, then turned to me.

Visionary Quintet Imani Winds Concludes Artist Residency with Grand Finale Performance

December 5th Concert Celebrates Black and Brown Composers. Chamber Music Pittsburgh will host the revolutionary quintet Imani Winds for a chamber music performance celebrating their one-year artist residency with the organization. This concert is part of CMP’s MainStage Live series, which explores the vibrancy and diversity of the chamber music genre. It takes place on Monday, December 5th, at Pittsburgh Playhouse’s PNC Theatre in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Retro Music Obsession: Why Are People in Love With This Genre?

The 80s were a time of big hair, shoulders, and music. And while the 80s may be over, the music lives on. In recent years, there’s been a surge in popularity for all things retro, including retro music. Why are people so obsessed with retro music? It’s catchy, fun,...

Music Business Students Hold Rock Concert to Benefit World Central Kitchen

The Cookin’ With Rock Concert was held by Converse’s Music Business & Technology Program to showcase the incredible talent among our faculty, students, and alumni. This concert was also a fundraiser to donate money to World Central Kitchen, in their efforts to support communities impacted by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. The concert started as an opportunity to display the creativity, diversity and togetherness of the Converse music community and served as a great learning experience for students in the MUB&T program and Contemporary Music ensembles.

Classical music for the holidays

The season’s classical holiday concerts arrive on the heels of Thanksgiving and run until a week before Christmas. They encompass choral performances, orchestral presentations, pops and kids’ concerts, chamber music, Irish music, the Nutcracker, and Handel’s Messiah, which begins the festivities on 3:00 p.m. Sunday, November 27, at St. Mary’s in Swormville, performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus directed by Adam Luebke. The program repeats the following Sunday evening, December 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Victory Basilica.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents Sybarite5 performing “Apartments,” a world premiere by composer Jackson Greenberg

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents Sybarite5 performing “Apartments,” a world premiere by composer Jackson Greenberg, on November 15. SARASOTA, FLORIDA – Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is pleased to present Sybarite5 opening the Tuesdays at the Historic Asolo Theater Series at 7:30 p.m. on November 15. They will perform their Groove Machine program with new dance-inspired works along with the world premiere of “Apartments” by Jackson Greenberg, which was commissioned for them. The piece explores the intersection between everyday sounds (rain, electrical wires, coffee machines), human communication (via string instruments), and current events (via AM news radio). The concert is sponsored by Charlotte and Charles Perret. For more information and tickets, visit or call (941) 306-1202.