October 16, 2014

In March 2015, Boston Modern Brass will present a program of works that explore the connections and relationships between sound and visual cognition. Works by Jason Huffman and Kevin Joest, exploring the inspiration of paintings in the composition process and Hume’s thought experiment on the missing shade of blue, will have their world premieres. Additional pieces by Edward Miller and Gottfried von Einem take inspiration from the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Karl-Hartwig Kaltner respectively. Carl Ruggles’ “Angels” for muted brass choir and Henry Brant’s post-apocalyptic “The Fourth Millennium” round out the theme of the night. C. Neil Parsons joins the program on Bass Trombone.

March 4, 2014

A great review by Matthew Guerrieri of New Music Box of our recent concert with Equilibrium Concert Series just went live.

February 22, 2014

Thanks to everyone who came out last night. It is always rewarding to present such a diverse and challenging program to an appreciative audience. If you couldn’t make it to the concert and haven’t listened yet, be sure to check out the livestream before it vanishes into the ether in 30 days!

February 17, 2014

We are pleased to announce that our upcoming concert will be streamed live. If for some reason you can’t make it to the concert this Friday, February 21st at 8 PM, be sure to follow Equilibrium Concert Series (just Equilibrium) on Livestream.com to be notified of the event. Even if you can’t watch it live, the stream is available for 30 days after the concert as well.

February 13, 2014

In addition to Boston Modern Brass, our members can be regularly heard playing in a wide variety ensembles including Sound Icon, Callithumpian Consort, Discovery Ensemble, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Grand Harmonie, Lexington Symphony, Symphony by the Sea, New England Philharmonic, Brookline Symphony Orchestra, Odyssey Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, MetroWest Opera, Lowell House Opera, Charles River Wind Ensemble as well as the Brian Friedland Big Band and Korean Jeans. Some can also be found behind the scenes at Equilibrium Concert Series and August Noise. Somehow we still find the time to prepare a challenging program of brass quintet music. We hope you will join us there and at concerts of the groups above.

February 10, 2014

John Huggler’s Quintet for Brass Instruments closes out our February 21st program. Huggler taught for many years at UMass Boston as well as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was composer in residence with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1964-65. He also wrote several pieces for Boston Musica Viva. His first brass quintet is a splendidly quirky work and it is a shame that his music has lapsed into obscurity even here in Boston.

February 8, 2014

William Mayer’s Brass Quintet was commissioned by the New York Brass Quintet. It has been described as a “rambunctious fete” by the Manhattan Brass Quintet, yet in the midst of all the crackling motion, serious and tragic figures well up, generally without warning. It’s second movement is an elegy in memory of Peter Liebhold, a college student who was killed on his way back to winter term in Oberlin when his car skidded out of control.

February 7, 2014

“Radical traditionalist” Ralph Shapey’s Fanfares was commissioned by 98.7 WFMT, a classical radio station in Chicago in celebration of their 30th birthday. Listen to a broadcast of featuring Shapey’s violin music on their website.

February 6, 2014

First on the program and a world premiere, Counterpoint was written by our horn player Yoni Kahn who studied composition with Lee Hyla at Northwestern in addition to horn and physics. The opening trumpet figure which becomes the fugue subject contains all twelve chromatic notes, but similar to the row in Berg’s Violin Concerto still gravitates toward various tonal centers. The counterpoint of the title, in addition to this fugue and various canons is also worked out rhythmically.

Yoni is also a deft natural horn player and co-founded the period-instrument group Grand Harmonie which has a concert this Friday featuring music for natural, keyed, and slide brass instruments.

February 5, 2014

Also a horn player before he turned to composition, Hans Abrahamsen was a key figure in the Danish New Simplicity movement which was a reaction to the complexities of the Darmstadt school. Though an early piece, his brass quintet Round and In-Between already exemplifies his interest in the temporal aspect of music. Episodes and figures are moved in and out of phase, mechanically repeated and combined like a series of slides. On January 26, 2011, Boston received a nearly perfect performance of his masterpiece Schnee (Snow) by the Ludovico Ensemble, not only musically but environmentally as well as a winter storm was in the process of burying New England in 10-15 inches of snow. Here are some thoughts on this piece by Jeff Means.