New Music New College Announces 2009-2010 Season

Guest Artists include NOW Ensemble, JACK Quartet and Cellist Victoria Bass
August 3, 2009 — New Music New College, the contemporary music series presented by New College of Florida, has announced five original programs for 2009-2010. This will be the eleventh season that New College and Professor of Music Stephen T. Miles will present cutting-edge music to receptive audiences in our region.
Opening the series on September 26 will be the NOW Ensemble, one of the most sought-after performing groups of a new generation. On January 16, the high-octane JACK Quartet will return for the string ensemble’s second NMNC appearance, performing works from the Modern to the Medieval. On April 24, cellist Victoria Bass, known for her “near-hallucinatory” performances of contemporary compositions, will make her NMNC debut. Also trained as a vocalist, the young musician commissions works that require the cellist to sing while playing.
“Outstanding artists like these enrich the conception of contemporary music and interact with students in workshops and master classes,” said Miles. “This year, each of the guest artists will also offer an afternoon demo/demonstration, free and open to the public.”
Two additional concerts will feature New College students in experimental programs showcasing the interplay between related forms of artistic expression.  The first (Nov 13, 14, 15) is Living and Dead: The Gettysburg Project, in which Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address provides the core text for an original theatrical composition.  The second will be Crossroads 2, a reprise of last season’s rock-band ‘happening under the stars,’ featuring student musicians and Sarasota Orchestra principals Jay Hunsberger and John Miller in a set of original compositions.
“The educational component of New Music New College is paramount,” stated Miles, who has served as the program’s director since inception. “By involving students in the creative process, NMNC functions as a proving ground for compositional and performance projects that begin in the classroom with interdisciplinary investigations of music and theory. And by constructing performing spaces and formats that embrace the audience, we are able to foster an appreciation –if not a true enthusiasm–  for modern music and its connection to what has come before.”
All performances take place at New College, either at the Caples Fine Arts Complex/ Mildred Sainer Pavilion (5313 Bay Shore Road), or at College Hall on the College’s bayfront campus (351 College Drive). Free parking is available.
Tickets to New Music New College events are available by subscription or per event. Subscriptions are $45 and include an additional ticket to one season event. Single events are $12.  For reservations, brochures and information, call the New College Events Hotline at (941) 487-4888, email New College at, or visit

2009-10 Season Calendar

NOW Ensemble

Demo/Discussion (free): Friday, September 25, 3:30 pm
Concert: Saturday, September 26, 8:00 pm
Mildred Sainer Pavilion at New College of Florida, 5313 Bay Shore Road, just south of Ringling Museum

The NOW Ensemble has is one of the most important contemporary music groups to emerge in recent years.   These are musicians who grew up listening to rock, classical and experimental music, and who find it perfectly natural to blend myriad influences into exciting and cohesive compositions. They have performed on some of New York’s most prestigious stages, from major concert venues to big-name festivals to clubs and bars and art galleries. Critics and audiences have taken notice, selling out their shows and filling halls with enthusiastic fans, many of whom are being introduced to new music, or even classical music, for the first time. WNYC radio personality John Schaefer called the NOW Ensemble’s performance of Magic With Everyday Objects, by Missy Mazzoli, “one of the great surprises of the 2007 [Bang on a Can] Marathon.”

Living and Dead: The Gettysburg Project

Friday, November 13, 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 14, 8:00 pm
Sunday, November 15, 3:00 pm
College Hall Music Room at New College of Florida, 351 College Drive

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address provides the core text for this original theatrical composition, combining experimental vocal music, speech, and movement.  Composed by Professor of Music Stephen Miles and Adjunct Professor of Theater Margaret Eginton, “Living and Dead” features seven New College students performing in the intimate space of the College Hall Music Room.  Dealing with issues of unity and conflict, individual agency and social obligation, “Living and Dead” will help mark the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.
Due to limited seating in College Hall, this program will be repeated three times. Subscribers have a choice of any of the three Gettysburg Project performances; single tickets are available for all three performances.

JACK Quartet

Demo/Discussion (free): Friday, January 15, 3:30 pm
Concert: Saturday, January 16, 8:00 pm
Mildred Sainer Pavilion at New College of Florida, 5313 Bay Shore Road, just south of Ringling Museum

When the JACK Quartet (violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards and cellist Kevin McFarland) gave their first NMNC performance in 2008, they were considered a promising group, perhaps an eventual successor to the Kronos Quartet. Since that time, the national reputation of the young string quartet has grown rapidly, thanks to memorable performances at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge and their new recording of the complete quartets of Iannis Xenakis.
In 2009, the quartet received an ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.  For their return performance, the JACK Quartet will play music by Elliot Sharp and Zack Browning, as well as by Medieval master, Guillaume de Machaut.

Crossroads 2

Friday, February 26, 8:00 pm
PepsiCo Arcade (Caples Fine Arts Complex) at New College of Florida, 5313 Bay Shore Road, just south of Ringling Museum

Last year’s Crossroads performance, featuring New College rock bands and musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra, was the hit of the NMNC season.  Principal Bassist John Miller and Principal Tubist Jay Hunsberger will team up again this year with Professor Stephen Miles and New College students for a fresh program of rock, experimental, and electronic music, performed under the stars in the Pepsico Arcade in the Caples Fine Arts Complex.

Victoria Bass, cello

Demo/Discussion: Friday, April 23, 3:30 pm
Concert: Saturday, April 24, 8:00 pm
Mildred Sainer Pavilion at New College of Florida, 5313 Bay Shore road, just south of Ringling Museum

Cellist Victoria Bass is known for her compelling performance of contemporary compositions, many which feature extended techniques for the cello and the extensive use of electronics.  Her debut NMNC concert will include the Florida premiere of the late Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XIV.  Writing for, Alex V. Cook writes, “Equally or maybe even more sexy was the performance by Juilliard cellist Victoria Bass whose dramatic rendition of Berio’s Sequenza XIV was nothing short of astonishing. She did more with two fingers, while beating on the cello’s body with the other hand, than most other bands can do with a full ensemble, looking wilder and scarier than the most monstrous corpse-painted metalhead.”

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