In Tuesday’s (12/15) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes, “ ‘ACJW Gets Extreme: The Mix Tape’ was the wry title of the concert on Sunday night by the Ensemble ACJW at Le Poisson Rouge, the Greenwich Village nightclub for contemporary music. Extreme is a relative term. In the context of their classical training, the select young musicians of this ensemble—all participants in the Academy, a training program run by Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education—really were cutting loose. … The evening, the first in a series of three ACJW concerts at the club, began with an exhilarating account of ‘Tierkreis’ (‘Zodiac’), 12 short pieces in which the players freely expand upon themes derived by Stockhausen from astrological signs. The program ended 90 minutes later with the New York premiere of ‘Bow to String,’ an elusive work by a young Icelandic composer, Daniel Bjarnason. The music blithely draws from diverse styles, with hard-driving rock riffs; neo-Romantic melodic lines breaking out from nebulous instrumental bustling; and a cosmic final movement with hints of sturdy chorales filtering through pungently dissonant harmonies.” Also on the program were solo works by Babbitt, Berio, Biber, Mario Davidovsky, and Jon Deak.

Posted December 15, 2009