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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Festival Preview: Lincoln Center Festival

No symphonies. No concertos. No opera. No problem?
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The legendary saxophonist Ornette Coleman's spirit lives on at this year's Lincoln Center Festival.
The Lincoln Center Festival continues to push the cutting edge, leaving symphony, concerto (and yes, opera) behind for a bold poutpurri of world music, electronica and one of the most innovative voices in American jazz: Ornette Coleman.

This year's Festival features Tomorrow is the Question, a five-day tribute to Ornette Coleman, the saxophonist and composer who transcended the limitations of his instrument and helped birth the free jazz movement in the 1960s.
Highlights include:

  • A live performance of the score to the film Naked Lunch, with music by Ornette and composer Howard Shore. Ravi Coltrane is among the featured soloists in this July 11. concert at Alice Tully Hall.
  • A three-hour celebration of Prime Time, Ornette's band that allowed the composer to push the edge of what he called "harmelodics" in a jazz-fusion context. Alice Tully Hall will rock on July 14.
  • Chamber Music explores Coleman the "classical" composer, with works for violin, oboe and trumpet. Ensemble Signal plays at the Kaplan Penthouse on July 15.

On July 14 and 15, Bang on a Can and the singer Gong Linna will play the Lynch Theater at John Jay College. The program: Cloud River Mountain, a new collaboration between BOAC composers David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe with Chinese composer Lao Luo. This is antipating the release of Cloud River Mountain on CD on July 21.

On July 15, Brazilian guitarist, composer, songwriter and music educator Carlinhos Brown brings his thunderous big band to David Geffen Hall. Expect to dance.

The innovative electronic master Morton Subotnick comes to the Kaplan Penthouse on July 20-22, offering programs of contemporary interest. This concert marks the 50th anniversary of Silver Apples of the Moon, the first electronic album ever commissioned by a classical music label, as well as the composer's new piece Crowds and Power.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats