New Music Ensemble and Festival April 10 through 15

Created in 2008 by its director, Dr. Gregory Beyer, the Northern Illinois University New Music Ensemble is a performance group dedicated to historically groundbreaking music of the 20th Century and the emerging musical voices of the 21st Century. It officially meets each spring semester to mount a concert of works by a single composer (or collection of related/connected composers) to expose students to the wide range of musical expression that is avant-garde music making. With its flexible instrumentation allowing it to present diverse repertoire, the NIU NME has to date presented concerts of music by Steve Reich, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Olivier Messiaen, and composers of the Wet Ink Ensemble (NYC).

This year the NIU School of Music will present its first annual New Music Festival, featuring music composed by the New York City-based music collective, The Wet Ink Ensemble. The composer members of Wet Ink are all graduates of the doctoral program in music composition at New York City’s Columbia University. Influenced by their common professor, Tristan Murail, the famous disciple of the French “spectral” school of composition, these composers have taken the international musical language of the late 20th Century and turned it on its head in a uniquely American manner. Five of these young and talented composers will be on the NIU campus to take part in the festival, to hear performances of their works and to put on a performance of their own.

The festival includes performances on Saturday, April 10th, Monday, April 12th, Wednesday, April 14th, with the final concert of the New Music Festival taking place on Thursday, April 15th.

Additional events include a discussion of electronic music by composer Sam Pluta for the students of Professor James Phelps on Wednesday, April 14th at 1PM in Music Building room 244, and a saxophone masterclass by Alex Mincek for the students of Professor Steve Duke on Thursday, April 15th at 11AM in Music Building room 202.

Please click on the thumbnail of the festival's poster above to get the full-sized version in order to see more details. All events are free and open to the public. Don’t miss out on this exciting new series of events that brings New York City’s avant-garde art music to the NIU community!

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