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23 Apr 2012 | No Comment |

Fuse: Questlove’s Electrifying ‘Shuffle Culture’ Concert
“Questlove spent most of the 75-minute set sitting quietly behind his drum set, a pick sticking out of his Afro as his head swayed to the strings of the Metropolis Ensemble… the highlights were uniquely electrifying. Deerhoof’s fanciful noise-rock paired surprisingly well with orchestral strings.”
Village Voice: Questlove Puts The World On Shuffle At BAM
“On one level, the premise was anticipatory, predicting a future where concertgoers won’t have the time or patience for a low-concept, single-band show. On the other, one could see the evening’s roots: …

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23 Apr 2011 | No Comment |

Sequenza 21 featured Metropolis composer Elliot Cole’s new album release on April 21, 2011.
“Some of you might know Elliot Cole as a composer of concert music, Contributing Editor here at Sequenza 21, or as a doctoral student at Princeton. But do you know Cole as a… rapper?
De Rerum, Elliot’s debut EP as a fast-talking MC, under the project moniker Oracle Hysterical, tackles lofty subject matter. According to Cole, “It’s a verse history of the world as I understand it (to c.2000BCE, after which, I discovered, history is mostly redundant), and …

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21 Apr 2011 | No Comment |

David Peironnet of KCMetropolis interviewed Metropolis composer Avner Dorman ahead of his premiere of Frozen in Time on April 30, 2011 with the Kansas City Symphony.
DP: Frozen in Time is music composed for percussion. That’s always interesting. How do you, as a composer, develop a musical idea when you are essentially limited to banging on things?
AD: Well, listeners will notice that I use both unpitched and pitched percussion instruments. The pitched percussion instruments (marimba, vibraphone, crotales, glockenspiel, etc..) are as melodic as, say, a piano (the piano simply has …

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20 Apr 2011 | No Comment |

Metropolis composer David Bruce was interviewed in April 2011 for his new commission for Silk Road Project.
“David’s music draws inspiration from folk traditions around the world, and he enjoys collaborating with musicians who have strong connections with both classical and folk or world traditions, which made him a prime candidate for working with the Silk Road Ensemble.”
Read the full article…

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26 Mar 2011 | No Comment |

Chicago’s Fulcrum Point New Music Project premiered a new work by Metropolis composer Vivian Fung on March 22, 2011. Lawrence Johnson of Chicago Classical Review lauded the premiere and performance:
“The main event of the night—and the clear audience favorite—was the world premiere of Yunnan Folk Songs by Vivian Fung. The composer has mined several folksongs from various dialects in the Yunnan province in southwestern China, home to more than 25 nationalities and languages.
Yunnan Folk Songs is an engaging and delightful work crafted with great flair, with Fung’s skillful writing and …

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1 Mar 2011 | No Comment |

Ilona Oltuski talked with composer Vivian Fung about her work in gamelan and new music for Sequenza 21, including her new Violin Concerto.
“I invited Andrew Cyr to join me and we both were blown away by her performance. Andrew invited Kristin to join the Metropolis Ensemble, where she also became the concertmaster for the performance of my Piano Concerto in 2009. She loved it, enough so, that she sent me an email after a rehearsal and asked me to write a violin concerto for her. The relationship I have fostered …

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25 Jan 2011 | No Comment |

Ilona Oltuski profiles Metropolis composer Timothy Andres after the Ecstatic Music Festival for Sequenza 21 on January 21, 2011.
“At the festival, pianist/composer Timo Andres performed his Everything is an Onion from his 2010 composition: It takes a long time to become a good composer, as well as Charles Ive’s The Alcotts from Piano Sonata No.2, at the Marathon.
He is one of several performers who studied composition at Yale University. Like many of the festival participants, he is active in a broad spectrum of activities which make for a lifestyle of …

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10 Jan 2011 | No Comment |
Chamber Musician Today: Grammy Party

Ilona Oltuski of shares in the excitement of Metropolis Ensemble’s Dec. 16 Grammy Nomination Party at (le) Poisson Rouge.
“It is highly unlikely that anybody in the audience that evening will ever think of the humble mandolin the way they may have thought about it before hearing Avital play; he certainly changed my appreciation for it tremendously.”

Click HERE for the full report at

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16 Dec 2010 | No Comment |

Just got a note from Andrew Cyr inviting Sequenza 21 readers (and maybe some other less distinguished people) to a free party at Le Possion Rouge tomorrow night to celebrate the Metropolis Ensemble’s Grammy nomination for its Naxos recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto (Avi Avital (soloist) and Andrew Cyr (conductor) with Metropolis Ensemble). Avi, Andrew and the Metropolis crew will perform a few sets during the evening, including the Mandolin Concerto and, maybe, Andrew says, even “a Balkan music jam.” Not only is admission free but the first two …

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15 Dec 2010 | No Comment |

Indeed, it was for a work with an unlikely soloist, the Mandolin Concerto, written in 2006 for Avi Avital, that the disc has received the most attention. Avital’s incisive and nuanced performance has garnered a Grammy nomination. The Mandolin Concerto itself is one of the most adventurous works Dorman has yet composed. Its explorations of many timbres, orchestral effects, and myriad shifts of tempo & demeanor make it a dazzlingly mercurial and potent essay.