I still owe you a conversation with the dynamic flutist and composer Nathalie Joachim, whose Fanm d’Ayiti was among the very best records to drop in 2019, period, and who will participate in a St. Louis Symphony Symphony “Lunch & Learn” Zoom webinar with Kevin Puts, Timothy Munro, and Stéfane Denève today at 1pm. It’s coming, I promise, and there’s another excellent interview on temporary hold right behind it.
Fact is, I still have to prioritize work I make for other outlets. In this case, writing a New York Times obituary for the brilliant saxophonist and composer Jon Gibson, a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble for more than 50 years, followed hard on the heels of my Sarah Hennies profile for the same paper. And, I’m happy to say, I’m already working on my next Times feature—details to come.
My joyous gab with Nathalie is still in preparation, though, and happily, she’s so busy that it’ll always be current. Another very significant and satisfying interview is queued up right behind that one, pegged to a concert streaming a few weeks from now.
But for today, speaking of streaming: how about we look at what’s coming in the week ahead? Because: it’s a lot.
Photograph courtesy of the artist
All times listed in EDT
Oct. 21, 8pm: The second episode of BSO Sessions, the thoughtful documentary-style concert series launched last week by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, focuses entirely on composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery. The program includes performances of six of her appealing compositions, including two that already have seen a lot of play across the country this season, Starburst and Banner. The ticket price allows you to access the video through next June. $10; offstage.bsomusic.org
Oct. 21, 8pm: Read this, and let it sink in: “Since in-person events were suspended in March, ISSUE has worked with more than 100 artists, committing $50,000+ in fees for their projects. At the same time, ticket revenue has ceased as we pivoted to present all events online, free to the public.” Tonight, Issue Project Room hosts an online benefit for its 2020 Artist Fund, through which it supports the activities mentioned above. The program includes new audiovisual works by Jim O’Rourke, Sarah Hennies, and past and present resident artists Holland Andrews, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, and Will Rawls, and more besides. $25 suggested donation; issueprojectroom.org
Oct. 22, 8pm: If you spend a lot of time absorbing new music online (and right now that’s probably all of us), you’ve likely encountered Stephanie Lamprea. The dynamic Colombian-American soprano, who specializes in rigorous new works and interdisciplinary arts, has commissioned and recorded dozens of tiny new songs for unaccompanied voice during the present pandemic, releasing them on her Bandcamp page. In her live performance at Roulette for an audience online, she’ll present works by George Crumb, George Aperghis, Tania León, Rebecca Saunders, Sky Macklay, and more. Free (donations suggested); roulette.org
Oct. 23, 8:30pm: Like most opera companies, Houston Grand Opera does not anticipate a return to live performance any time soon. Instead, the company has busied itself recently with digital offerings, presented in partnership with the streaming-arts channel Marquee TV. The presentation coming this Friday is the company’s most ambitious so far: a video-native realization of Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera, a 2010 comic opera by composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek (in a 2018 chamber version prepared by Little for Opera Saratoga), directed by E. Loren Meeker and Ryan McKinny. Free with registration; marquee.tv
Photograph courtesy of the artist
Oct. 24 at 2pm: The adventurous ensemble Either/Or presents the world premiere of As a Song of a World, a new opera by Jessie Cox, a dynamic Swiss-American composer and percussionist with roots in Trinidad and Tobago. The opera employs new technologies (including a “cyber clarinet”), and draws upon the influence of Sun Ra, Helmut Lachenmann, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and more. A live chat with Cox follows the performance. $5; jessiecoxmusic.com
Oct. 24 at 2:30pm: London’s Royal Opera House devotes its estimable resources to a program showcasing women composers and directors: New Dark Age bundles a one-act chamber opera by Hannah Kendall, The Knife of Dawn, with a multimedia creation that shares its name with the overall event, jointly composed by Missy Mazzoli, Anna Meredith, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir. Your ticket entitles you to stream the show for 30 days. $10.83; stream.roh.org
Oct. 27 at 8pm: Metropolis Ensemble, le poisson rouge, and House of Yes join forces for a mighty celebration of collaboration: Free Assembly involves creative contributions from – deep breath, now – Andy Akiho, Ambrose Akinmusire, Charmaine Lee, Vijay Iyer, Paula Matthusen, Sandbox Percussion, Wadada Leo Smith, and even more. Phew. Free; eventbrite.com