This Winter, the Kaufman Center, in association with New Amsterdam, will present the second annual Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall. The concerts will run February 4 through March 28. This year’s enticing pairings include the Mountain Goats & Anonymous 4, Rhys Chatham & Oneida, Dan Deacon with NOW Ensemble & the Calder Quartet, and Glasser & Roomful of Teeth, among others. Overall, the series will feature nearly 150 performers and composers from different musical backgrounds in 11 collaborative concerts, all with first performances of new works.
“This year’s Ecstatic Music Festival brings the themes from the 2011 Festival into new focus, with an incredible breadth of creative musicians working in brand-new collaborations,” says festival curator and New Amsterdam co-director Judd Greenstein. “Most of this year’s artists didn’t know their collaborator before the Festival brought them together, making the resulting concerts as adventurous for the artists as they are for the audience. The 2012 Festival is also a celebration of geographic diversity, with artists from 5 countries and 9 states, from China to Sweden, Washington to Texas, California to North Carolina, represented across the 11 evenings. All in all, the 2012 Ecstatic Music Festival continues to provide artists with the opportunity to grow in new directions, and provides audiences the opportunity to witness that growth as it occurs in front of them, live and on stage in one of New York’s great concert halls.”
Hailed as “a who’s who of the current music scene” (WQXR), last winter’s Ecstatic Music Festival was a critical and popular success. Critics called the festival “too engaging, too thought-provoking, and too musically compelling to pass up” (Daniel Kushner, Huffington Post) and “the most bracing combinations of adventurous, fulfilling music in recent memory” (Joel Harrison, National Public Radio).
The 2012 Ecstatic Music Festival kicks off on Saturday, February 4, when Jherek Bischoff and the Wordless Music Orchestra will be joined by special guests David Byrne, Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Mirah and Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls). The festival continues throughout February and March with programs pairing artists well-known in the indie/pop world with composers and performers with a more classical bent in collaborations such as Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Perry with Son Lux and yMusic, Dan Deacon with NOW Ensemble and the Calder Quartet, and the Mountain Goats with Anonymous Four.
The series includes New Sounds® Live concerts hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer, which will be webcast live on Q2 Music and taped for future broadcast on WNYC. WQXR and Q2 Music are the media partners of the Ecstatic Music Festival, and Q2 Music will serve the festival’s digital venue offering a plethora of on-demand artist interviews and concert audio. For a full schedule, hop over to the Kaufman Center’s site here.