“Bryce Dessner’s MusicNOW Festival is putting Cincinnati on the map for new music,” writes Janelle Gelfand in Sunday’s (1/8) Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio). “Collaborations with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra next weekend will include cutting-edge music by a new generation of top-flight composers—starting with Gen X composer Andrew Norman’s ‘Play.’ … At the other end of the spectrum, the festival will open on Thursday at the Aronoff Center with Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead) and his band, The Campfire Boys…. ‘I’m fascinated by the orchestral world. I find it to be a frontier in music right now,’ said Dessner…. This year’s MusicNOW Festival concerts on Friday and Saturday … which Dessner curated with CSO music director Louis Langrée, will push boundaries more than ever before by featuring mostly up-to-the-minute new music. The only ‘historic’ work is Ligeti’s Violin Concerto of 1990-92, with Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto as soloist…. Dessner’s own chamber concerto, ‘Wires,’ will be given its United States premiere on Saturday. Last fall, the Orchestre de Paris performed its world premiere.” Dessner says he approached writing the concerto by studying “a lot of amazing works … by people like Ligeti, Elliott Carter and Boulez.’ ”

Posted January 10, 2017