Dec 16

Music of the North on Music Mondays with JACK Quartet

Ekmeles performs a trio and duo by Karin Rehnqvist and Kaija Saariaho, as well as solo performances of songs with piano accompaniment by Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Jean Sibelius, all interspersed with performances by JACK Quartet of music by John Luther Adams and Marc Sabat, under the theme Music of the North.

Ekmeles repertoire for concert

  • Karin Rehnqvist – Davids Nimm (1983)
  • Kaija Saariaho – From the Grammar of Dreams (1988)
  • Jean Sibelius – Selected songs
  • Anna Thorvaldsdottir – Hvolf (2009)

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Oct 16

Composer Portrait: Zosha Di Castri

The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are NamedEkmeles performs both solo, and with piano percussion quartet Yarn/Wire as part of Zosha Di Castri’s Composer Portrait at Miller Theatre.

  • Zosha Di Castri – The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named (2013)
  • Zosha Di Castri – Near Mute Force (2016)

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Sep 16

Ekmeles at Gettysburg College

3 Angels

Ekmeles travels to Gettysburg College for a residency, culminating in a concert performance featuring contemporary favorites for one to four voices.

  • John Cage – Four Solos for Voice (1988)
  • Kaija Saariaho – From the Grammar of Dreams (1988)
  • Milton Babbitt – Three Cultivated Choruses (1987)
  • Giacinto Scelsi – Le Grand Sanctuaire (1970)
  • Ben Johnston – Rose (1971)
  • Liza Lim – 3 Angels (2011)
  • James Tenney – Hey When I Sing These 4 Songs Hey Look What Happens (1971)
  • Vykintas Baltakas – Instruktionen zur Durchführung… (2007) U.S. Premiere

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Aug 16

Ekmeles sings David Lang and J.S. Bach

The little match girlEkmeles travels to the Skaneateles Festival, to perform David Lang’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning the little match girl passion, and is joined by orchestral collective The Knights to perform J.S. Bach’s Cantata 40, Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes. Several instrumental selections by Lang and Bach will be performed, including Brandenburg Concert No. 3, and Lang’s Light Moving.


  • David Lang – the little match girl passion (2008)
  • J.S. Bach – Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes BWV 40 (1723)

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Mar 16

Ekmeles and Instruments perform U.S. premieres

Ekmeles is joined by the Mivos Quartet, augmented by two extra players to form a sextet, as well as bass clarinetist Carlos Cordeiro, to perform the U.S. premieres of works by Stefano Gervasoni and Bernhard Lang.


  • Stefano Gervasoni – Dir – In Dir (2003-2004, 2011) U.S. Premiere
  • Bernhard Lang – Hermetica V – Fremde Sprachen (2011-2012) U.S. Premiere

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Ekmeles performs U.S. premieres with instruments is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.DCA_color_logo_300dpi

Mar 16

Ekmeles and Yarn/Wire perform Columbia Composers

Ekmeles joins powerhouse piano percussion quartet Yarn/Wire to perform new works by Columbia Composers at DiMenna Center.

  • Martin Hiendl – Testomania (2016)
  • Shih-Wei Lo – On the Fringe (2016)
  • Ashkan Behzadi – Till Still Again (2016)
  • William Dougherty – Eidos (2016)
  • Matthew Ricketts – Fälscherlieder (2016)

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Feb 16

An Evening of Luigi Nono

Ekmeles performs a program of works relating to Luigi Nono, featuring music by Italian composers as well as Nono’s aesthetic forebears in the Franco-Flemish school. The concert will feature works for up to eight voices, showcasing the virtuosity of the Ekmeles vocalists in a range from the highest soprano to basso profundo.

Nono’s own Sarà Dolce Tacere will be set in relief by a wide  range of styles. Giacinto Scelsi’s Tre Canti Sacri represents Italian music before Nono, while Salvatore Sciarrino’s 3 canti senza pietre is a striking example of the contemporary Italian scene. Medieval works by Josquin and Ockeghem, aesthetic forebears of the kind of compositional rigor characterizing Nono, will round out the program.

Following Ekmeles’s set, violinist Miranda Cuckson and sound artist Christopher Burns will perform Nono’s La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura, or “The nostalgic, utopian, future far-distance. Madrigal for a ‘wanderer” with Gidon Kremer, solo violin, 8 magnetic tapes and 8 to 10 music stands.” While the electronics are molded in real time, the violinist adds her singing voice to the polyphonic texture, as suggested in the composer’s markings. This duo’s recording, of the same title, was declared Best Recording of 2012 by the New York Times.

  • Salvatore Sciarrino – 3 canti senza pietre (1999)
  • Josquin des Prez – Mille Regretz (15th c.)
  • Josquin des Prez – Nymphes des Bois (15th c.)
  • Luigi Nono – Sarà dolce tacere (1960)
  • Johannes Ockeghem – Missa “Fors seulement” – Kyrie and Gloria (15th c.)
  • Giacinto Scelsi – Tre canti sacri (1958)

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Jan 16

Music on the Edge

The program is built around a range of modern interpretations and possibilities for the idea of the madrigal. In his In Dir, Stefano Gervasoni sets the tightly-constructed koan-like texts of medieval German mystic Angelus Silesius. Gervasoni uses the enigmatic texts as inspirations for a distinctive kind of text-painting that informs the structure of each movement. Salvatore Sciarrino’s L’alibi della parola leverages the composer’s unique language of skitters and sighs to create a space of wonder – of special interest is the pulsing of the second movement’s quasar. My Peccavi fateor is based on a few lines of music from an eponymous work by Michael Praetorius, and explores every possible combination of the six voices of our ensemble. Peter Ablinger’s Studien nach der Natur is a collection of ten canons, each of which is a clever imitation of the sounds of everyday life. Finally, Elliott Carter’s Mad Regales brings the composer’s vital rhythmic impetus to bear on a set of witty and strange texts by John Ashbery.

  • Stefano Gervasoni – In Dir (2003-2004)
  • Salvatore Sciarrino – L’alibi della parola
  • Jeffrey Gavett – Peccavi fateor (2015) (US Premiere)
  • Peter Ablinger – Studien nach der Natur (1997, 2002)
  • Elliott Carter – Mad Regales (2007)

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Sep 15

litany and panic

panic around deathThis intimate concert will feature two expansive American works for small forces. John Cage’s 1980 duo Litany for the Whale will be paired with the premiere of the full version of Timothy McCormack’s panic around death, for solo vocalist performing on various objects, with electronics. While Cage’s work is focused around five simple pitches, and McCormack’s creates a complex nest of noise that envelops the audience, both works conjure a rich and immersive atmosphere.

  • John Cage – Litany for the Whale
  • Timothy McCormack – panic around death (World Premiere)

Ekmeles personnel for concert

Apr 15

Five Boroughs Music Festival – Premieres with Brass

Featuring two US Premieres by contemporary European masters and a World Premiere by a young American talent, this new program showcases the flexibility and expressive possibilities inherent in voice and brass. Musicians from TILT Brass and loadbang will perform along with Ekmeles, under the direction of Jeffrey Gavett. Join us before the concert for a special discussion about creating works for these forces led by Ekmeles director Jeffrey Gavett, composer Christopher Fisher-Lochhead, and trombonist Will Lang (soloist in Christopher Fisher-Lochhead’s new work).

  • Wolfgang Rihm – SKOTEINOS (U.S. Premiere)
  • Christopher Fisher-Lochhead – prosodia daseia (World Premiere)
  • Matthias Spahlinger – über den frühen tod fräuleins anna augusta marggräfen zu baden (U.S. Premiere)

This concert is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; by New Music USA’s Cary Fund For New Music Performance Fund; the Aaron Copland Fund for Music; and the Amphion Foundation.


Ekmeles personnel for concert


  • Andy Kozar, trumpet
  • Will Lang, trombone
  • Chris McIntyre, trombone
  • Jen Baker, trombone
  • Benjamin Harrington, trombone
  • Matt Melore, trombone
  • Scott Bartucca, oboe
  • Carlos Cordeiro, clarinet