June 2011

German Society of Pennsylvania's Barthelmes Auditorium611 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $15 General Admission/$60 Festival Pass (link in event description)
Sponsored by:
Saturday, June 11, 2011 - 8:00pm

An evening of chamber works by Roscoe Mitchell

AACM | Great Black Music

S.E.M. Ensemble, Petr Kotik, cond.
Thomas Buckner, voice
Joseph Kubera, piano
Roscoe Mitchell, saxophones
Evan Parker, saxophones

“Even in the jazz avant-garde, Roscoe Mitchell qualifies as an iconoclast. He uses ideas from Western and non-Western classical music, as well as the jazz tradition, to write music that swings like mad or, deliberately, doesn't swing at all.” - The New York Times

“If human beings are to develop to that next level, we should all look at the examples of what was before us, and then we should go on beyond that. As musicians grow as improvisors we will eventually reach this state.” - Roscoe Mitchell

In celebration of Roscoe Mitchell's 70th birthday, please join Ars Nova Workshop for night one of our Composer Portrait: Roscoe Mitchell series featuring various chamber works written throughout his career including "Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City" and "NONAAH" (for chamber ensemble), "three poems by e.e. cummings (for piano and voice)," and "8-8-88" (for piano). Tonight will also feature a special duo performance by Roscoe Mitchell and British saxophonist Evan Parker.

AACM Festival Passes for admission to all five events are available for $60. You can purchase them here.

A leader in the field of avant-garde jazz and contemporary music, composer-performer Roscoe Mitchell is a founding member of the world renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago, the AACM, and the Trio Space. His role in the resurrection of long neglected woodwind instruments of extreme register, his innovation as a solo woodwind performer, and his reassertion of the jazz composer into what has traditionally been an improvisational form have placed him at the forefront of contemporary music for over four decades. He has recorded over 90 albums and has written over 250 compositions, which range from classical to contemporary, wild and forceful, and free jazz to ornate chamber music. He is currently a faculty member at Mills College, and has recently worked with Vijay Iyer, Dave Burrell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Craig Taborn, and the Janåcek Philharmonic, as well as the S.E.M. Ensemble, Petr Kotik, and Thomas Buckner, who will be performing his compositions tonight.

S.E.M Ensemble

Founded in 1970 by Petr Kotik, S.E.M. Ensemble is dedicated to the performance and advancement of new music. Kotik established The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble in 1992, with its Carnegie Hall performance of “A Tribute to John Cage," and has since performed across Europe, Japan, and the United States. Since 1999 S.E.M. has been collaborating with the Janåcek Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the 5 major orchestras of the Czech Republic, and together they have created a repertoire of works for 3 orchestras, which includes Gruppen by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Nest by Martin Smolka, Modules I,II,III by Earle Brown, and Diamonds by Alvin Lucier. Over the past ten years, the repertoire of S.E.M. has included compositions by Morton Feldman, Kotik, Phil Niblock, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Leroy Jenkins, Robin Haller, and Sinan Savaskan.

Thomas Buckner

For over 40 years, baritone Thomas Buckner has been dedicated to new and improvised music. He has collaborated with diverse new music composers including Leroy Jenkins, Morton Subotnik, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Phil Niblock, Wadada Leo Smith, and Christian Wolff. He has a longtime association with Roscoe Mitchell, and their ongoing collaboration has resulted in the Roscoe Mitchell Chamber Ensemble's Pilgrimage, as well as First Meeting, for which Buckner joined Mitchell and pianist Borah Bergman. Buckner premiered Mitchell’s Fallen Heroes with Petr Kotik conducting the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble at Lincoln Center and the Prague Spring Festival, and their most current collaboration at the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art featured a multimedia performance centered around French sculptor Alain Kirili's work.

Joseph Kubera

Pianist Joseph Kubera has been recognized as a leading interpreter of contemporary music for the past 30 years. One of the few pianists performing John Cage's difficult chance-based, post-1950 works, he has recorded the complete Music of Changes and the Concert for Piano and Orchestra, and has toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Cage’s invitation. Composers who have written for Mr. Kubera include Anthony Coleman, David First, Alvin Lucier, Roscoe Mitchell, and Howard Riley, among others. He's a core member of the S.E.M. and the Downtown Ensembles, and has performed with a broad range of New York groups including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New York New Music Ensemble, and Steve Reich and Musicians. He tours frequently with baritone Thomas Buckner, and has worked with such composers as Robert Ashley, Morton Feldman and La Monte Young.

Roscoe Mitchell-Evan Parker Duo

British saxophonist Evan Parker has been a vital force on the European avant-garde jazz scene since the 1960s, working with artists and ensembles like Peter Brötzmann (Parker was a member of the Machine Gun Sessions ensemble), Derek Bailey (with whom he founded the Music Improvisation Company in 1970), Keith Rowe, Anthony Braxton, the ICP Orchestra, Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, Cecil Taylor and John Zorn. He has appeared on over 200 recordings for labels including FMP, Emanem, and Okka, and is the founder of Psi. Parker has worked with Roscoe Mitchell on several occasions, and in 2004 they co-founded the Transatlantic Art Ensemble. A 14-tet including members of Mitchell's Note Factory and Parker's Electro Acoustic Ensemble, they released an album on ECM in 2008. Tonight these two pioneers of creative music unite in duo for a special transatlantic collaboration.