Ecstatic Music Festival At NYC's Merkin' Concert Hall Continues

Article Contributed by press | Published on Thursday, January 27, 2011

The 2011 Ecstatic Music Festival, presented by New York City's Merkin Concert Hall in association with New Amsterdam Records, is a showcase of collaborative evenings between more than 150 genre-pushing composers, songwriters and performers who represent a new generation of artists combining diverse influences and techniques to explore the crossover of classical and pop music. All concerts will include premieres.

February 2011 Ecstatic Music Festival Schedule:

Thu, 2/10/11 at 7:30 pm

Bang on a Can All-Stars 2011 People’s Commissioning Fund Concert

New Sounds® Live hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer

Famed electric chamber ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform three world premiere commissions by composers Bryce Dessner of The National and Clogs, Nick Brooke, whose gamelan-inspired theatrical soundscapes are a genre all their own, and Karsh Kale, known for his genre-bending fusions of electronic, Indian classical music, rock, jazz and hip-hop. Also on the program: the pulsating, virtuosic Horses of Instruction by British composer Steve Martland, the hauntingly subtle Convex/Concave/Concord by Danish composer Pelle Gudmunsen-Holmgreen, and the intensely grooving Believing by Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe.

Sat, 2/19/11 at 7:30 pm

Roomful of Teeth & tUnE-yArDs: The Music of William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans & Merrill Garbus

The eight-voice polystylistic vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth are joined by three rising star composer/performers in a concert of new works and expanded arrangements: William Brittelle, whose latest album was called "expansive, anthemic, all-encompassing, [and] shot through with raw emotion" (eMusic); the multi-talented "new music virtuoso" (New York Times) Caleb Burhans; and Merrill Garbus, lead singer of tUnE-yArDs, hailed for her "extraordinary voice" (The Guardian) and described as "somewhere between Aretha Franklin and Yoko Ono " (New York Times).

Thu, 2/24/11 at 7:30 pm

Newspeak & Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society: Works by Darcy James Argue, Vijay Iyer, Nicole Lizée

& David T. Little

New Sounds® Live hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer

The eight-piece, high-powered electric chamber ensemble Newspeak premieres The Sleep Room, Part 1, the first-ever commissioned work for an ensemble other than his own by 2011 Grammy nominee Darcy James Argue, director of Darcy James Argue's Secret Society. Argue is winner of the 2010 Downbeat Critics Poll in the categories of Big Band Rising Star, Composer Rising Star and Arranger Rising Star. Argue’s 18-piece big band Secret Society, called "a wholly original take on big band's past, present and future" (Newsweek), will perform new works by highly-acclaimed pianist/composer Vijay Iyer, winner of the 2010 Jazz Journalists Association Artist of the Year Award, the Montreal-based composer Nicole Lizée and Newspeak founder David T. Little.

The Sleep Room is underwritten by the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.


The Ecstatic Music Festival continues in March:

All concerts below are at 7:30 pm

Thu, 3/3/11: Judd Greenstein (The Yehudim) & Olga Bell (Bell)

Sat, 3/5/11: Timo Andres & Gabriel Kahane: An Evening with Charles Ives

Wed, 3/9/11: Nadia Sirota & Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) with Owen Pallett

Sat, 3/12/11: Clogs & Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Wed, 3/16/11: Sarah Kirkland Snider & yMusic & Special Vocal Guest TBA

New Sounds® Live hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer

Mon, 3/28/11: So Percussion & Bobby Previte with Zeena Parkins, John Medeski, DJ Olive & Jen Shyu New Sounds® Live hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer

Single tickets: $25; Students with ID (in person sales only): $15

Subscriptions: Tickets are $20 each for 4 or more concerts.

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center
129 West 67th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam)

Tickets and information at 212 501 3330 or