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Exploring links between the visual arts and music is always a fascinating venture, and that's certainly the case when examining the rich connections that brought together artists of myriad disciplines and persuasions in New York during the 1950s. This week, a new exhibition mining that fertile territory will open at the Hauser & Wirth gallery on the Upper East Side.
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The Passionate Pilgrim, a new collaboration between composer-performer collective Oracle Hysterical and period-instruments ensemble New Vintage Baroque, is a fascinating Baroque-pop song cycle based on mostly debunked Shakespeare, coming soon on VIA Records and at National Sawdust January 21.
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Kate Soper, a composer, vocalist, and core member of the composer/performer collective Wet Ink, has announced the New York City debut of her newest music-theater piece, IPSA DIXIT, coming to Dixon Place February 3 and 4.
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A recording of Dirt Road, a gorgeous, austere 70-minute, 15-movement work by the Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith on the label Another Timbre, landed on my year-end Best of 2016: Noteworthy Recordings list. Now, welcome news: In February 2017, Another Timbre will launch a Canadian Composers Series with a two-disc collection of works by Smith and four further volumes.
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Trying to tally the year's "best" recordings is a thankless task, not least because there's no realistic chance anyone has heard everything.… every listener's taste is individual, and focus can be contingent upon situation. All of which said, the following lists comprise the new recordings and archival projects that impressed and moved me most in 2016, with an appendix of still more albums that brightened this year.
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For anyone expecting a painstakingly winnowed-down, tightly focused tabulation of the most significant events to take place in the musical world circa 2016: I apologize, but you'll have to look elsewhere. Even so, it's not at all difficult to name 10 meaningful and affecting musical performances I witnessed this year.
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For all the manifold benefits that come with being a music journalist and critic embedded at a performing-arts incubator and presenter – and they are substantial – one meaningful constraint is that it feels inappropriate now to include my employer's projects and products among my year-end best-of listings. What follows is a concise tally of NS-related events and releases that under other circumstances absolutely would have figured into my own personal summaries of the year's most vital art.
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The Dec. 2 print edition of the Boston Globe includes a terrific profile of the Dutch pianist Reinier Van Houdt, who has just released a new 3CD set of Michael Pisaro's music and will perform in Boston, New York, and Minneapolis.
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Unless you’re already an expert in early electrical instrumentation, you may not yet know what to expect from the Ondioline Orchestra concert at National Sawdust Nov. 22. Here are five quick things you'll want to know about the rise, fall, and revival of this historic instrument.