Following 70 years of new music from the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany, New York’s top ensembles and performers come together to celebrate a legacy of radical innovation. Founded in 1946, the Darmstadt Summer Course emerged as one of the most critical epicenters for international contemporary music. In the 70 years since the festival's beginnings, many of the twentieth century's most influential composers and performers have premiered major works and engaged in fierce debates about the future of music. Faculty and students at Darmstadt have included Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Olivier Messiaen, John Cage, Morton Feldman, György Ligeti, and David Tudor.
The final evening of the festival features Talea Ensemble and S.E.M. Ensemble performing compositions from the grandfathers of the avant-garde: Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, and Morton Feldman.
First up, Talea Ensemble presents Stockhausen’s 1964 process composition work Mikrophonie I, which consists of 33 structural units ordered according to a "connection scheme" specifying the relationships between successive moments by a combination of three elements. Labeled “a crucial part of the New York cultural ecosphere” by The New York Times, the Talea Ensemble was the 2013 recipient of the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.
The second half of the program will feature S.E.M. Ensemble performing five compositions: Petr Kotik’s Music for 3 (1964), Alvin Singleton’s Be Natural (1974), Morton Feldman’s Why Patterns? (1978), Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Zietmasze, and John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957-58).Founded in 1970 by Czech composer Petr Kotik, S.E.M. Ensemble is a leading contemporary classical group based in New York City.