Artists both new and returning make up the schedule for the 2016-17 New Music New College season, dedicated to presenting contemporary and experimental works, along with conversations between those artists and audience members.
For the past 17 years, New Music New College has offered opportunities not just to hear contemporary music but to meet and talk with its creators, in intimate spaces on the New College campus. The coming season boasts the largest group of visiting artists ever, plus a world premiere and drummers facing off against singers in an outdoor performance.
The season begins Oct. 1 at Club Sudakoff with returning pianist Kathleen Supové, joined by violinist Jennifer Choi and guitarist James Moore, presenting music from John Zorn, Lainie Fefferman, Randall Woolf, Vijay Iyer and others. A pre-concert talk takes place at 7:30 p.m., and there’s also a free artist conversation Sept. 29.
New York-based Da Capo Chamber Players have commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Philip Glass, Milton Babbitt, David Lang and Joan Tower. On Nov. 3, also at Club Sudakoff, Da Capo (joined by soprano Lucy Shelton) will present Arnold Schoenberg’s theatrical tour de force Pierrot Lunaire—a performance The New York Times has called both “hair-raising” and “theatrical.” Again, a pre-concert talk is set for 7 p.m. and an artist conversation for Nov. 3.
Gyorgy Ligeti’s Piano Concerto is up next, thanks to Ensemble Mise-En, on Jan. 21 at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion. Pianist Yumi Suehiro will be featured on the program, which also includes the work Crimson Dawn by New College alum Jason Rosenberg. Pre-concert talk at 7:30 p.m.; artist conversation Jan. 19.
New College’s outdoors PepsiCo Arcade is the setting for a performance of musical innovator Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, Paragraph 2. Cardew created a series of works based on the text of Confucius’ The Great Learning, each for different combinations of musicians. Here, groups dispersed over the arcade space—each made up of one drummer and a number of singers—will proceed through the composition independently. In addition to the March 3 concert, pre-concert talk and artist conversation (March 2), NMNC will also offer a free performance of Cardew’s Paragraph 7, for vocalists, March 3 in New College’s library (singers welcome to join, as long as they can match someone else’s pitch).
Finally, the series brings back to Sarasota Greenfield Prize winner Bobby Previte, a composer/drummer whose world premiere of Terminals Part II: In Transit will receive two performances, April 21 and 22 at the Sainer Pavilion. Previte calls the work a “Rhapsody for Acoustic Sextet,” and he’ll be joined by Nels Cline on acoustic guitar, John Medeski on piano, Greg Osby on alto sax, Zeena Parkins on harp, and Jen Shyu, voice and erhu (Chinese fiddle). Two pre-concert talks, and an artist conversation, April 20.
There are other special events related to the NMNC season; for information on those, and to purchase season tickets for the five concerts ($60; $15 for single tickets), call (941) 487-4888 or go to newmusicnewcollege.org. By the way, for the first time free admission to the concerts is available not only to New College students, faculty and staff but to students, faculty and staff at USF Sarasota-Manatee, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida and Eckerd College, as well as Booker High VPA—just bring your school ID.