2018-19 New Music at Lawrence Series

Atlantic Brass Quintet
Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 8:00 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel


Widely acclaimed as one of the world's finest and most versatile brass chamber ensembles, the Atlantic Brass Quintet has performed in 48 of the United States and dozens of countries across four continents. Atlantic specializes in masterful and vibrant presentations of repertoire spanning five centuries and a broad spectrum of styles, from Bach and Brahms to Mehldau and Monk to Brazil and the Balkans.  Winner of six international chamber music competitions, the Quintet's distinctive sound, impeccable ensemble, stunning virtuosity, and warm, inviting stage presence have won praise from scores of critics.
Founded in 1985, the Atlantic Brass Quintet launched its career with a phenomenal string of competition victories over a period of two years.  Grand prizes include the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, Carmel Chamber Music Society Competition, the Shoreline Alliance Chamber Music Competition, the Summit Brass First International Brass Ensemble Competition, and the Rafael Mendez International Brass Quintet Competition.  Following these remarkable achievements, the ABQ was honored by Musical America by being named "Young Artists of 1988". In May 1992, by unanimous decision, the Quintet won the "Premiere Prix" at the International Brass Competition of Narbonne, France, recognized worldwide as the preeminent competition of its kind.

Lawrence University New Music Ensemble Performance
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Harper Hall, Music Drama Center

Lawrence University faculty and students unite in the LU New Music Ensemble (Michael Clayville, director) to present evocative and challenging works from the past fifty years. In this, its first concert, the ensemble will mark the 90th birthday of American composer George Crumb, with a performance of his "Night of the Four Moons." The work, scored for mezzo soprano voice, alto flute/piccolo, banjo, electric cello, and percussion, explores the composer's feelings about the Apollo 11 moon mission through text of Frederico Garcia Lorca, timbre, dynamics, texture, and density.

The New Music Ensemble will also present Kate Soper's Voices from the Killing Jar, which musically depicts "a series of female protagonists who are caught in their own kinds of killing jars – hopeless situations, inescapable fates, impossible fantasies, and other unlucky circumstances," and Clint Needham's Urban Sprawl, a work for 16 musicians (strings, winds, brass, and percussion), the composer describes as a "funky, kitschy, and hopefully fun ode to suburban life."

Alarm Will Sound
Friday, April 5, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Alarm Will Sound is “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene” (The New York Times). A 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music, they have established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill.

With classical skill and unlimited curiosity, Alarm Will Sound takes on music from a wide variety of styles. “Stylistically omnivorous and physically versatile” (The Log Journal), their repertoire comes from around the world, and ranges from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Since its inception, Alarm Will Sound has been associated with composers at the forefront of contemporary music. The group itself includes many composer-performers, which allows for an unusual degree of insight into the creation and performance of new work.

Alarm Will Sound is the resident ensemble at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. Held each July at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the festival features eight world premieres by early-career composers. In 2013-14, Alarm Will Sound served as artists-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alarm Will Sound may be heard on thirteen recordings, including its most recent, Splitting Adams, and the premiere recording of Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite. Acoustica, their genre-bending, critically-acclaimed album, features live-performance arrangements of music by electronica guru Aphex Twin.

For more information and to join the mailing list, visit Alarm Will Sound’s website at www.alarmwillsound.com.

This event is also a part of the Artist Series.

NOW Ensemble
Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Harper Hall, Music Drama Center


NOW Ensemble has "the formal elegance of chamber music with a pop-honed concision and rhythmic vitality" (Time Out New York). An innovative quintet, they are a dynamic group of performers and composers dedicated to making new chamber music for the 21st century. With a unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, and piano, the ensemble brings a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical tradition, infused with the musical influences that reflect the diverse backgrounds of its members.

NOW Ensemble has brought some of the most exciting composers of their generation to national and international recognition. One of their main goals has been to create a musical paradigm in which continuous collaboration between composers and the performers is taken as a given. This philosophy has been put into practice in residencies at numerous institutions including Yale, Princeton, University of Virginia, and the New College of Florida. NOW Ensemble's performances have been featured on NPR's “All Things Considered” and live on WNYC, and its sophomore album “Awake” charted at #1 in Amazon's Classical Chamber Music Charts. “Plan of the City,” NOW's collaboration with film maker Joshua Frankel, was praised in the Washington Post as “one of the best matches of visuals to music I’ve seen.” Since 2004, NOW has worked with over 60 of today's most exciting composers, including Nico Muhly, Timothy Andres, Missy Mazzoli, Judd Greenstein, Kathryn Alexander, Jason Treuting, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Sean Friar.