The Ecstatic Music Festival, presented by Kaufman Center in association with New Amsterdam Presents, concluded its second year at the Merkin Concert Hall with a successful performance of new music from China and Copland House featuring the music of Samson Young, Derek Bermel, Du Yun, and Gaybird Leung. In the past 3 months – over the course of 11 collaborative concerts featuring over 150 performers – the Ecstatic Music Festival has proved once again that intelligent and unexpected cross-genre collaborative programming can yield incredibly rewarding (often ecstatic) results. From the Festival preview at WNYC’s Greene Space, the starstudded and highly emotional performance by Jherek Bischoff and the Wordless Music Orchestra, and the heartwarming technical precision of yMusic, Son Lux, and Richard Reed Parry to the eager playfulness of Nick Zammuto and Jason Treuting, the ear-searing bombast of Oneida and Rhys Chatham, the utter ambition of Dan Deacon’s hourlong new work for NOW Ensemble and Calder Quartet, and the sublimely muted spirituality of The Mountain Goats and Anonymous 4, the Festival continually challenged traditional expectations for what concert programming can be.
You can listen to archive recordings of many of the performances at WNYC and at NPR. If you’d like to read more, check out these NY Times articles about the Oneida/Rhys Chatham show and the Dan Deacon/NOW Ensemble/Calder Quartet show.