The MusicNOW Festival continues to present adventurous new music, exciting collaborations and US premieres January 12 – 14, 2017 at the Aronoff Center and Taft Theatre. The 2017 MusicNOW Festival kicks off on Thursday, January 12 (7:30 p.m.) at the Aronoff Center for the Arts as Bob Weir (of the legendary Grateful Dead) performs music from his recent solo release Blue Mountain and more. His band, The Campfire Band, features members of The National — Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf and Scott Devendorf—along with Josh Kaufman and Jon Shaw.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) also announces the program and artists scheduled for its fourth annual groundbreaking artistic collaboration with the MusicNOW Festival and Artistic Director Bryce Dessner. On Friday, January 13 (8 p.m.) at the Taft Theatre, the CSO will present a rare performance of Andrew Norman’s 21st century masterwork for orchestra, Play, followed by Matthias Pintscher’s idyll for orchestra, a work originally commissioned for the Cleveland Orchestra in 2014. After intermission, acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, accompanied by Aaron Dessner, will perform works from her new recording, which Dessner produced.
The Festival continues at the Taft Theatre on Saturday, January 14 (8 p.m.) as the CSO performs an ambitious program of contemporary music. The evening opens with Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Aeriality, a work for full-scale orchestral forces that “can be said to be on the border of symphonic music and sound art.” Ligeti’s Violin Concerto follows with soloist Pekka Kuusisto, making his CSO debut. Composer Timo Andres will perform his work for piano and orchestra The Blind Banister, which was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.
The evening concludes as Bryce Dessner performs the U.S. premiere of his chamber concerto for electric guitar, Wires. Guest conductor Matthias Pintscher, known for his work as a conductor and composer for contemporary music ensembles around the world, will lead both performances.
The CSO’s MusicNOW performances (Friday and Saturday) will include additional artist talks and performances. Details will be announced a later date.
Tickets for the Thursday Bob Weir concert start at $58.50 and are available by contacting the Aronoff Center Box Office at (513) 621-2787 [ARTS] or visiting cincinnatiarts.org. A pre-sale for this performance opens Friday, November 18 for Bob Weir Fan Club members and CSO patrons. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, November 21. Tickets for the CSO concerts at the Taft Theatre start at $12 and are available now by calling the CSO Box Office at (513) 381-3300 or visiting www.cincinnatisymphony.org. Two-day Friday/Saturday passes are also available through the CSO Box Office. Ticket purchasers to the Thursday Bob Weir performance are able to purchase discounted tickets for both remaining shows with the CSO. Visit cincinnatisymphony.org for details.
Past highlights of the CSO’s collaboration with MusicNOW include world premieres of works by Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw, Daniel Bjarnason and David Lang, a pioneering performance with the CSO and The National, a collaborative work with Sufjan Stevens, and performances of works by Jonny Greenwood, Scriabin, Prokofiev and more.
MusicNOW was founded in 2006 by Cincinnati-born Bryce Dessner of The National with the mission to present the best in contemporary music, offer artists an opportunity to take risks and commission new work.
“Since its founding in 1895, the CSO has always been commissioning and premiering new works,” said CSO Music Director Louis Langrée. “Promoting contemporary music was always part of the vision and the mission of this orchestra.”
The CSO is grateful to Boundless Series Sponsor Macy’s. The CSO and MusicNOW collaboration is supported by Daniel R. Lewis.