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Blog Archive



Kate Soper's "Here Be Sirens" Performed in Massachusetts and New York

Kate Soper'sHere Be Sirens has been hailed as "audacious, genre-bending music theatre", and is described by the composer as "an opera/theatre work that blends beautiful music, terrifying noise, screwball comedy, and Aristotelian tragedy." After two widely acclaimed stagings in 2014, Fresh Squeezed Opera will mount a new production directed by Amber Treadway, featuring sopranos Victoria Benson, Claire Myers McCormick, and Devony Smith. Before its performance at National Sawdust on January 28th, Fresh Squeezed Opera will also perform the work on January 12th at the I/O Fest at Williams College, where Soper will also herself perform George Lewis' 2011 work, Anthem, for ensemble. 

Fresh Squeezed Opera has previously performed a suite from Here Be Sirens at New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on a program of "nano-operas" in 2017. 

PSNY Composers in Alex Ross' 2017 Top Ten Lists

As the year ends, critics are busy preparing their annual accountings of the very best music of 2017. Alex Ross, the classical music critic of The New Yorker, has deftly diversified his year-end top ten lists, counting his favorite notable performances and recordings from the year. At the top of these lists is Kate Soper'sIpsa Dixit, performed at Dixon Place on February 4th. Ross describes Soper as "one of the great originals of her generation—a maker of erudite entertainments that inhabit a self-invented realm halfway between opera and philosophy."

Next on Ross' list is Chaya Czernowin's opera, Infinite Now, which premiered on April 23rd at the Flemish Opera. Check out an interview with Czernowin about this work below. 

Annie Gosfield's new adaptation of War of the Worlds, presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and narrated by Sigourney Weaver, also made it to Ross' list of notable performances. Check back soon for the full score of Gosfield's War of the Worlds on PSNY. 

Ross has been a vocal proponent of the music of Scott Wollschleger, so it is no surprise that Wollschleger's recent album on New Focus Recordings, "Soft Aberration", made it to his top ten records of 2017. That album features many of Wollschleger's recent works, including Brontal Symmetry, Soft Aberration, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, and String Quartet No. 2 "White Wall". Check out Brontal Symmetry below.

Last but not least on Ross' list of notable recordings is Gregory Spears'  "Fellow Travelers", the very first recording produced and performed by the Cincinnati Opera. Three pieces from this opera—"I worry, that's all"; "Last Night"; and "Our Very Own Home"—are available from PSNY. See a concert performance of this last piece below.

Pierre Jalbert's "Sonatine" Sees NYC Premiere

Whether he's writing for a full orchestra or a small chamber ensemble, Pierre Jalbert composes with a hallmark intensity of spirit, a forward-moving propulsion, and virtuosic precision. This trademark style is apparent in his Sonatine, for violin and guitar, which was originally composed for Duo 46, and which saw its New York City premiere on December 5th at Symphony Space, performed by guitarist David Leisner and violinist Jesse Mills.

This performance was part of a concert celebrating the tenth anniversary of Guitar Plus, for which Leisner serves as Artistic Director, and was co-sponsored by the New York City Classical Guitar Society.

For more on Jalbert's compositional style, check out his interview with NewMusicBox below. 

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