“…the most bracing combinations of adventurous, fulfilling music in recent memory.”
(Joel Harrison, National Public Radio)
“…a who’s who of the current music scene, with names like Nico Muhly, Gabriel Kahane, So Percussion, Missy Mazzoli and Jefferson Friedman crowding the schedule.” (WQXR)
“Rarely can we promise in advance that a concert will be among the most talked-about events of a given year, but this seven-hour introduction to a border-crashing three-month series at Merkin is pretty much a lock. Nearly all the cool kids of the postclassical generation are here.” (Time Out New York)
“Though the festival includes acts such as Alarm Will Sound and the Bang On a Can All-Stars – the two best-known contemporary music supergroups to emerge in the past two decades – it offers a platform for the next generation of composers just hitting their stride, regardless of what category their music is filed under on iTunes.” (Steve Dollar, The Wall Street Journal)
The Ecstatic Music Festival is a series of collaborative, commissioned-based concerts exploring and showcasing the products of the fertile terrain between classical and vernacular musics. Introduced in 2011 with the Kaufman Center’s Ecstatic Music Festival, it is a series that is both of and about the present musical moment, one in which composers and performers bring together the best aspects of all their influences, yielding beautiful music that is sophisticated yet viscerally engaging and serving emotional, not technical ends. The contemporary music scene, examined “from above” without preconceptions of where the lines between genres ought to be drawn, looks more expansive and full of possibility than ever before. Participants in the Ecstatic series have included a talented and diverse group of groundbreaking artists paired in never-before-seen tandems: So Percussion and Dan Deacon, Merrill Garbus and Roomful of Teeth, Buke & Gass and Victoire, Clogs with Shara Worden and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, just to name a few. The series has continued into 2014, including a special free Ecstatic Summer series produced by Brookfield Arts and curated by New Amsterdam.
The 2014 season included collaborations between So Percussion & Buke and Gase, Timo Andres, Gabriel Kahane, Becca Stevens & Ted Hearne, Saul Williams & Mivos Quartet, People Get Ready & Lesley Flanigan, Mirah & Susie Ibarra, Man Forever & William Basinski, and Glenn Kotche, Missy Mazzoli & Victoire. In addition, EMF once again presented the Bang on a Can’s People’s Commissioning Fund Concert, with World premieres by Alvin Lucier, Richard Reed Parry & Daniel Wohl.
Events of the 2014 Ecstatic Music Festival were held at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC and WQXR, and continued with nine concerts at Merkin Concert Hall and one concert at Carnegie Hall. Q2 Music was the festival’s digital venue and the center for on-demand artist interviews and concert audio. Click here to listen to the 2014 EMF performances.