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The Unusual Suspects


Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 8:00 pm
Chapel of the Holy Innocents | Bard College
Free and open to the public

Get ready for a program of surprises from a bevy of composers who find themselves in a line-up at the Bard College Chapel. All are convicted of writing insanely fantastic music — all are found GUILTY! With a musical mug shot of eight composers from vastly different backgrounds and influences, this concert is a cross-section of new music – hardly just your average night at the county courthouse. Come and hear this grooving, brash, beautiful, and sometimes otherworldly concert, our second of 2011.

The uber-hip NYC composer Nico Muhly, whose prior offenses include team heists with Björk, Grizzly Bear, and sigur rós, is the first suspect with a funky piece aptly titled How About Now. Next, California native Gabriella Smith, is caught on a beautifully bluesy and fearlessly folklsy joyride though the American backwoods. Two unforgettable nights of star-gazing through the crisp, clear mountain air are captured by Bard College's own Conor Brown and John Boggs, cohorts in a recently-uncovered plot to infuse rock and global folk into classical tradition.

A passionate and vivid dance of lights, Indiana-based composer Jeremy Podgursky is not the only unusual suspect in his piece. We also pulled in guest clarinetist Brad Cherwin from the Manhattan School of Music, guilty of being the "tour guide" of this evocative work through its East Coast premiere. The most unusual of our suspects is a piece that has never been heard in concert before: a pulsing and moving world premiere work by Bard senior Benjamin Pesetsky. Pulled from the local tapas bar, witty minimalist composer Marc Mellits surrenders a rambunctious romp to ends the line-up!


Nico Muhly (b. 1981): How About Now (2006)
Gabriella Smith (b. 1991): Travelogue (2010) *
Conor Brown (b. 1988): Constellation (2009)
John Boggs (b. 1986): Gemini Montes (2009/2010)

– Intermission – 

Jeremy Podgursky (b. 1975): Oh Dance! Oh Light! Onami! (2005/2007) **
Benjamin Pesetsky (b. 1989): Description Without Place (2010) 
Marc Mellits: from String Quartet No. 3: Tapas (2008)

* New York premiere
** East Coast premiere
† World premiere