Presenters and Ensembles Honored for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music

For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Dadian
(212) 242-2022 x5082

Awards to be presented at the Chamber Music America National Conference
January 20, 2013, at the Westin New York at Times Square

New York, NY—Three ensembles and five presenters will be recognized with CMA/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming at the 35th Chamber Music America National Conference on Sunday, January 20, 2013. The ceremony will take place at the Westin New York at Times Square (270 W. 43rd Street) in New York City. Cia Toscanini, vice president of concert music, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), will present the awards.

Established jointly by Chamber Music America and ASCAP, the annual awards recognize U.S.-based professional ensembles and presenters for distinctive programming of music composed within the past 25 years. The recipients, chosen by an independent panel of judges, were evaluated on the basis of their programming and innovations in attracting audiences to performances of new music.

“Today’s composers are writing exciting and beautiful music for small ensembles,” said Chamber Music America’s CEO, Margaret M. Lioi. “Innovative presenters and artists in the chamber music community are introducing this music to audiences around the country, and this year weare pleased to recognize eight ensembles and presenters whose accomplishments in this area are particularly inspiring.”

The 2013 CMA/ASCAP Awardees are:

Contemporary: SOLI Chamber Ensemble (San Antonio, TX)
Jazz:Slumgum (Altadena, CA)
Mixed repertory:Radius Ensemble (Concord, MA)  

LARGE PRESENTERS (10 or more concerts per year)
Contemporary:Miller Theatre at Columbia University (New York, NY)
Mixed repertory:Yellow Barn (Putney, MA)

SMALL PRESENTERS (9 concerts or less per year)
Contemporary:Musiqa (Houston, TX)
Jazz:Magic Triangle Jazz Series/UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center (Amherst, MA)
Mixed repertory: Kyo-Shin-An Arts (New York, NY)

Details on the recipients can be found on the following two pages.


2013  Recipients

SOLI CHAMBER ENSEMBLE(Ensemble, Contemporary)
Through its commissioning activities, the SOLI Chamber Ensemble (San Antonio, TX) has impressively expanded the repertoire for its instrumentation—clarinet, violin, cello, and piano—a combination inspired by Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. The group was cited for an award based on its programming and commissions, which included premieres of works by such composers as Brian Bondari, Xi Wang, Dan Welcher, Doug Balliett, and Paul Moravec, as well as Prelude to the End—created for the group’s 20th anniversary by composer Steven Mackey and video artist Mark DeChiazza. (www.solichamberensemble.com)

SLUMGUM (Ensemble, Jazz)
Among the innovations of the jazz ensemble Slumgum (Altadena, CA) is its practice of choosing a single concept, based on which all four band members agree to create at least one new work. Other recent projects include the creation of a new work for octet (Slumgum musicians plus a traditional chamber ensemble of flute, horn, clarinet and voice) and performances of original works interpreting the written word, ranging from a passage in Charles Mingus’s autobiography to poems, a Biblical passage, and a Buddhist reading. (www.slumgum.com)

RADIUS ENSEMBLE (Ensemble, Mixed Repertory)
To introduce new music to its classically oriented audience,Radius Ensemble(Concord, MA) has been offering programs that pair contemporary composers with past masters—Jan Bach and Katherine Hoover with Mozart and Françaix, György Ligeti with Robert Schumann. The ensemble (wind quintet, strings, and piano) was cited for its programming and related audience-engagement activities, including accessible spoken introductions to the works performed, meet-the-artists receptions, podcasts of live recordings, and live streaming of concerts. (http://radiusensemble.org)

MILLER THEATRE (Large Presenter, Contemporary Music)
Columbia University’s Miller Theatre(New York, NY) was cited for its many original new-music events, in particular its Composer Portraits Series, evening-length programs exploring the oeuvres of Tobias Picker, George Lewis, John Zorn, and Hilda Paredes; its Sounds of a New Century (SONiC) Festival, which included a 12-hour marathon curated by the JACK Quartet and eight world premieres; and Pop-Up Concerts, a newly inaugurated free series. (www.millertheatre.com)

MUSIQA (Small Presenter, Contemporary Music)
Musiqa(Houston, TX) is being honored for its wide-ranging commissioning, performance, and educational activities. “Free of the Ground,”—part of Musiqa’s Downtown Series—was an exploration of fellow artists’ influences on composers’ works; a concert in its Loft Series, held in conjunction with Contemporary Art Museum of Houston’s survey of the career of visual artist Donald Moffett, included politically charged works such as Frederic Rzewski’s No More War. Audience-engagement activities includetalks by the composers, question-and-answer sessions, and a variety of new-music concerts for children. (www.musiqahouston.org)

The Magic Triangle Jazz Seriesat the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center is being honored for its programming and associated activities organized by music curator Glenn Siegel. James “Blood” Ulmer, Joshua Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith, the Frank Lacy Trio, Shakers ’n’ Bakers, and Steve Coleman and the Elements performed on the series, conducted student workshops, and participated in live radio interviews that were later made available as podcasts. (www.fineartscenter.com/magictriangle

YELLOW BARN (Large Presenter, Mixed Repertory)
Yellow Barn(Putney, VT) is being honoredfor its summer-festival programming and for emphasis on new music in its year-round concerts, lectures, and educational offerings.  The festival’s 2012 routinely juxtaposed new music and iconic classical works, and included several works by composer-in-residence Brett Dean. A May open-air performance featured Gérard Grisey’s Le Noir de l’Étoile (for six percussionists surrounding the audience)—a composition inspired by the discovery of pulsars—and included a pre-concert talk with an astrophysicist. An artist residency in public schools, featuring the ensemble Due East, also highlighted the music of today’s composers. (www.yellowbarn.org)

KYO-SHIN-AN ARTS (Small Presenter, Mixed Repertory)
Kyo-Shin-An Arts(New York, NY)integrates Japanese instruments into contemporary Western  music. A typical collaboration, supported by the Japan Foundation, was titled Kammerraku (Kammer is “chamber” in German, and raku, “music”in Japanese) and featured new music performed by the Voxare String Quartet with koto, shakuhachi and shamisen players.  Another partnership, with the Colorado Quartet, featured four works composed for shakuhachi and string quartet, including a commission from Paul Moravec. The works were toured to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during the 100th anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. (www.kyoshinan.org)



Chamber Music America,the national service organization for the ensemble music profession, was founded in 1977 to develop and strengthen an evolving chamber music community.  With a membership of nearly 6,000—including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists’ managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music—CMA welcomes members representing a wide range of musical styles and traditions.  In addition to its funding programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to health and instrument insurance, conferences, seminars and several publications, including Chamber Music magazine and a website, www.chamber-music.org.

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is a membership association of more than 435,000 composers, songwriters, and publishers of every music genre. Founded in 1914, ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and governed by its members.  ASCAP licenses non-dramatic public performances, and distributes royalties to its members.  ASCAP makes obtaining permission to perform music simple and economical for all who wish to perform copyrighted music publicly.