In a day and age when all we hear about is one artistic institution falling after another, it’s nice to get some good news. Ever since I first played with Novus NY, the contemporary music ensemble at Trinity Wall Street in 2011, it’s been full of good news. Trinity has been known for years for its commitment to the arts, but last year Julian Wachner, its new music director, decided to extend that umbrella to include contemporary music. This year, with the Twelve in 12 festival, they are doing something entirely unique and completely incredible.
During the course of the festival, we’re going to play a piece by each of the last twelve winners of the Pulitzer Prize in music. The festival actually kicked off last week….but I wasn’t playing in that concert so I forgot to write about it. However, I am playing this week, next week and the week after. All of the concerts are on Thursdays (today!) at 1pm at Trinity Wall Street, are free and will be streamed live here. Even if you can’t make or watch the show live, Trinity archives all of its concerts for viewing at your leisure (check out this gem from last year – the Wanmu trio plays percussion music by de Mey, Kagel and my good friend Jordan Kuspa).
And now for the music….this week we’re playing two Pierrot ensemble pieces: these broken wings by David Lang and wissahickon poeTrees by Jennifer Higdon. Rounding out the program will be John Corigliano’s solo piano work Winging It performed by Novus and Trinity’s own music director – Julian Wachner.
Next week features Yehudi Wyner’s The Second Madrigal and Kevin Puts’ Einstein on Mercer Street. The Puts was actually commissioned by the excellent Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (a group I had the pleasure of performing with this past summer) and it turns out to really be one of the best pieces I’ve heard recently. Finally, two weeks from now we finish with a bang: Henry Brant’s Four Skeleton Pieces, John Adams Son of Chamber Symphony and Steve Reich’s powerful Daniel Variations.
Hope to see you there!