Michael Mizrahi’s “Currents”



Michael Mizrahi, piano

Works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, Troy Herion, Mark Dancigers, Asha Srinivasan, Missy Mazzoli, and Patrick Burke

New Amsterdam CD/DL

Pianist Michael Mizrahi’s sophomore album Currents is out this week via New Amsterdam Records. Below is the considerably charming video introduction to the release, featuring  excerpts from Troy Herion’s Harpsichords. 


The title track, by Sarah Kirkland Snider, is a real standout. It adroitly covers a wide swath of both emotional and technical terrain. Thus, it is an ideal solo vehicle for Mizrahi, a pianist who clearly treasures this collection of works, each one filled with abundant variety. And the way that he plays them, he’s likely to make many listeners treasure them too.





Contemporary Clavichord

inventions release party

Our friends at Parlour Tapes are preparing to release Inventions, a collection of contemporary pieces for clavichord, composed and remixed by Danny Clay and played by Mabel Kwan. Out soon via Bandcamp. Take a listen below to a teaser track.

There will be a release party for the recording in Chicago on 3/26 (details here).

Happy 90th Birthday Ben Johnston

Ben Johnston

Tomorrow, famed microtonal/just intonation composer Ben Johnston turns ninety. To celebrate his 90th birth year, the Kepler Quartet releases the third and final volume of their series of Johnston’s string quartets in April on New World.


Cooman in NYC

On Thursday, March 17, my friend and frequent collaborator, Carson Cooman will be playing organ works by living German composer Lothar Graap at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan.

The early music early music ensemble The Sebastians (Jeffrey Grossman and Daniel S.Lee, artistic directors) will also appear, playing works by Baroque composer Christoph Graupner.

graupner and graap

March 15: Quintet 2 Premiere at Tulane


My Quintet 2 will be premiered Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30 in Dixon Recital Hall at Tulane University by East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Jean-Philippe Wurtz. If you are near Tulane, you should check out ECCE’s whole residency (March 11-17). It features composers Erin Gee, Yu-Hui Chang, Isabel Mundry, and Chaya Czernowin and guest vocalist Amanda DeBoer Bartlett.

Quintet 2 will be repeated twice on the East Coast in May: on the 3rd at DiMenna Center for Classical Music and on the 6th at Le Laboratoire in Cambridge, MA.
East Coast Contemporary Ensemble

Ariana Kim Plays ART


In honor of International Women’s Day, violinist Ariana Kim has released a video of her performance of Augusta Read Thomas’s Incantation for solo violin (1995). I’ve long loved Incantation – it is one of Thomas’s most beautiful works: poignant, supple, and exquisitely well-paced.

Kim’s current project is Routes of Evanescence, a recording of works by women composers.

Program note: Quintet 2

Quintet 2 will be premiered later this month at Tulane University by East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Jean-Philippe Wurtz.

Quintet 2 – by Christian Carey (2016)

Quintet 2 was composed for East Coast Contemporary Ensemble and conductor Jean-Philippe Wurtz at the request of John Aylward, their artistic director. The quintet is cast in a single movement that is about fifteen minutes in duration. It utilizes the group’s core instrumentation – oboe, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano – marrying their respective timbres and techniques in a variety of combinations and interactions.

First stated in the clarinet, there is a tune that reappears in different guises, treated as a lyrical melody that travels from instrument to instrument and as a contrapuntal building block in faster passages. Towards the end of the piece, we begin to hear melodies being shaded microtonally, with quartertones appearing, notated in the Maneri-Sims (New England Microtonal School) fashion. This is contrasted with chromatic verticals that become increasingly triadic. The piece ends with a widely spaced version of a major triad with chromatic extensions.


Christian Carey is Associate Professor of Music Composition, History, and Theory at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. His music has been performed by ACME, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, C4 Choral Ensemble, the Choral Fellows at Harvard’s Memorial Church, Chamber Players of the League of Composers/ISCM, loadbang, Locrian Chamber Players, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, New York New Music Ensemble, Righteous Girls, and the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. Recordings of his music have appeared on New Focus Records and Perspectives of New Music/Open Space.




Explosions in the Sky: “Logic of a Dream”


Explosions in the Sky’s next recording is out in one month on Temporary Residence. They’ve shared a light-show strewn version of teaser track “Logic of a Dream” (see video below).