New commissions and world and U.S. premieres will represent voices from America and Thailand to Mexico and Iran in performances by ensembles and soloists including Denmark’s Scenatet, Novus NY, Hocket Piano Duo, and others. Among this year’s offerings are a drone concerto for retuned viola da gamba, a boxing melodrama, and a piano recital like no other.
April 25–29, 8pm
Tuesday, April 25: SCENATET: Wow and Flutter
Denmark's buzzy SCENATET makes its official New York debut with a potent program that belies the cozy Danish stereotype of 'Hygge.' Along with the twitchy improvised grooves of Yu Oda and the strobe-funk theatrics of Kaj Duncan David's Computer Music, highlights include the first of this year's MATA commissions, a world premiere by Eric Wubbels. Also on tap: the hermetic canons of Daniel Tacke’s musica ricercata | musica poetica, Turkish composer Murat Çolak's Orchid, an octet by rising Danish star Christian Winther Christensen, and German composer Martin Grütter's Messer Engle Atem Kling (Cleaver Angel Breathing ‘Ding’).
Wednesday, April 26: 88 Keys Open Many Doors
LA's fearless Hocket piano duo, heard in its New York debut, joins NY's fiercest new-music pianists in an evening of keyboard adventures. Adam Tendler explores unintentional sounds in Charlie Sdraulig’s subtly choreographed collector, and repurposes the piano in Marina Poleukhaina’s for thing. Hocket teases the ebonies and ivories in Joseph Michaels's Together in Perfect Harmony and Michael Laurello’s Touch. Molly Herron's trio resonates in her exquisite Full Blood Moon. Soprano Sarah Brailey is joined by pianist Blair McMillen in Sojourner Hodges’s eloquent Fire Command Room, while interloper harpist Bridget Kibbey gives life to Iranian composer Karen Keyhani’s Nightly Monologue II.
Thursday, April 27: plus 1
Three-dimensional works for one or two players. Thursday’s MATA Festival concert opens with Oleg Elagin’s space age electronic fanfare, The Formation of New Sensual Experience, setting the tone for an evening of evolution and innovation. Samuel Cedillo’s Monólogo III refashions the viola in an incredible tour de force of expression. The consummate Daniel Lippel brings elegance to the shifting guitar figures of Karin Wetzel’s Amorphose II and Basque composer Mikel Urquiza’s dialogues with Dowland, Belarretan. The evening reaches for the heavens with Nikolet Burzyńska’s Cold burning out, played by TIGUE's Matt Evans, and Liisa Hirsch’s ethereal Cloud Tones for piano "glides" and viola.
Friday, April 28: Stencils and shadows
Performing as Friends of MATA, nine of NYC's top new-music interpreters – including violinist Miranda Cuckson, cellist Mariel Roberts, and pianist Isabelle O'Connell – play works that explore what remains unsaid. Bangkok native Siraseth Pantura-Umporn’s MATA-Commissioned Ripples, inspired by disturbances of water, exposes what lies beneath the surface. Chilean composer Francisco Concha-Goldschmidt reflects on the loneliness of existence in his mesmerizing …y te pierdes y te hundes…. Foreground and background are engaged through the vibrant absences of the Italian Giovanni Bertelli’s quartet Libro d’Aprile and the shifting shapes and contours of Piano by Krists Auznieks from Latvia.
Saturday, April 29: Dangerous Currents
Novus NY, the vibrant new music ensemble based at Trinity Church, makes its MATA Festival debut in an evening of large-ensemble works. British composer Philip Venables uncovers a vein of Shakespearean tragedy in his boxing melodrama The Revenge of Miguel Cotto. In Letters from Brown Men, Paul Pinto explores the fallout from natural disasters. A monolithic yet ethereal stillness infuses Russian composer Dmitri Timofeev’s elegy, Angel. This year's final MATA commission, Kristina Wolfe's Record of Ancient Mirrors, conjures the drones of temple bells through retuned viola da gamba and large ensemble. Bringing it all back home, the Festival closes with New Yorker Pascal LeBoeuf’s bracingly inventive Alkaline for string quartet and jazz combo.