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Apr 29, 2015 8:00 PM

AACM @ 50: SEM Ensemble

AACM @ 50 continues with large orchestra works by Muhal Richard Abrams, Mitchell, Lewis, SEM Ensemble, Petr Kotik, conductor, Thomas Buckner, baritone & Abrams–Mitchell–Lewis Trio


April 28, 2015: S.E.M. Ensemble with Ostravská banda
29, 2015: The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble

with soloists:
Roscoe Mitchell, Saxophones, Flute
Muhal Richard Abrams, Piano
George Lewis, Trombone and Electronics
Thomas Buckner, Baritone
Petr Kotik, Conductor

The grand finale of the celebration of the AACM’s 50th anniversary, presented by the S.E.M. Ensemble in partnership with the Interpretations series, features major works for symphony and chamber orchestra by composers associated with the AACM – Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis and Henry Threadgill – as well as works by John Cage, Christian Wolff and Petr Kotik. April 28 includes a duo by Mitchell and Lewis (Lewis’ Bound) and on April 29, a rare performance by the distinguished improvising trio of Abrams, Lewis, and Mitchell.

Originating on the South Side of Chicago in 1965 and very much active today, the AACM has garnered international recognition for the major role it has played in the history of American experimental music. Both concerts are co-produced by Ostrava Center for New Music and the Czech Center New York.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2015 @ 8 pm

The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble
Petr Kotik, Conductor
Thomas Buckner, Baritone

The Trio:
Roscoe Mitchell, Saxophones, Flute
George Lewis, Trombone and Electronics
Muhal Richard Abrams, Piano

Large orchestral works
MERGERTONE (2007) Muhal Richard Abrams
KINGMAKER (2015) Roscoe Mitchell (World Premiere)
MEMEX (2014) George Lewis
THE TRIO Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis

TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2015 @ 8 pm
The S.E.M. Ensemble and Ostravská banda
Petr Kotik, Conductor
Thomas Buckner, Baritone
Roscoe Mitchell, Saxophones, Flute
George Lewis, Trombone and Electronics

BOUND (2012) George Lewis
AND YET (2001) Henry Threadgill
NINE +1 (2013) Petr Kotik
FIVE (1989) John Cage
TRUST (2012) Christian Wolff
WOULD YOU WEAR MY EYES (2011) Roscoe Mitchell
(On a poem by Bob Kaufman)

Admission: Suggested Donation at door
For more information, visit: www.semensemble.com

The two concerts highlight the collaboration that began 20 years ago between the AACM and the S.E.M. Ensemble, when the SEM Orchestra under Petr Kotik began performing works by members of the AACM’s New York chapter. This collaboration was further expanded at the Ostrava Days Festival, which featured works by composers Muhal Richard Abrams and Roscoe Mitchell. Abrams’ Mergertone for large orchestra was composed for and premiered at the 2007 Ostrava Days. George Lewis will be a resident composer at the Ostrava Days 2015. The programmatic combination of works by founding composers of Ostrava Days (Cage, Wolff, Kotik) and AACM composers (Abrams, Mitchell, Lewis, and Threadgill) underline the proximity of their musical ideas, characteristic of American experimental tradition.


The international chamber orchestra Ostravská banda consists of young musicians from Europe and U.S. Formed in 2005 by Petr Kotik, Ostravská banda started as the resident large-scale ensemble for the Institute and Festival Ostrava Days. Besides Petr Kotík, Ostravská banda has also worked with conductors Roland Kluttig, Peter Rundel, Ondřej Vrabec, Barbara Kler, and Johannes Kalitzke. Apart from regular performances at Ostrava Days festivals, Ostravská banda has performed and toured at such venues as the Paris Conservatoire, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Vredenburg Music Centre, Musicadhoy series in Madrid, and Prague Spring festivals, to name just a few. On March 2014, Ostravská banda was part of “Christian Wolff @ 80 & Ostrava Days in New York“ events, which was chosen by ArtForum International as one of 10 best musical events in 2014.

Hailed by The New York Times as “the best of what is left of the experimental tradition,” S.E.M. Ensemble was founded in 1970 when Petr Kotik gathered a group of musicians from the fellows at the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts, SUNY/Buffalo. Since then, S.E.M. Ensemble has established itself as one of the most distinguished ensembles for new music in the U.S., maintaining a continuous schedule of concerts in New York, touring annually in Europe, and also performing in South America and Japan. SEM has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and Merkin Hall. Recent recordings, all on the Dog w/a Bone label (New York), include Morton Feldman’s For Philip Guston (4-CD set), Petr Kotik’s Many Many Women (3-CD set), Music by Marcel Duchamp (1 CD) and Spoken Music —a live performance recording with John Cage, Dick Higgins, Jackson Mac Low and others. Recent recordings of The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble are also available on Asphodel Ltd. (San Francisco) and Wergo (Mainz).



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Apr 29, 2015 8:00 PM


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