Keeping the new ideas coming: concert:nova’s season 15

Season 14 for concert:nova existed totally in the digital space. Taking what they learned last year, the ensemble’s artistic team has created a hybrid model for Season 15, with most performances available live and, for fans near and far, via streaming. And the plan is to keep that mix going forward.

According to founder Ixi Chen, “Folks tune in from around the world, and we kinda love that.” 

The concert:nova artistic team, made up of Cincinnati Symphony members, remains in place:

  • Ixi Chen, clarinet, managing artistic director
  • Ted Nelson, cello, producing artistic director
  • Michael Culligan, percussion
  • Hiro Matsuo, cello
  • Stefani Matsuo, violin
  • Christopher Pell, clarinet

The overall hybrid plan is to perform each 60-75-minute concert twice on the same evening, with concertgoers enjoying ample time and space around the event. 

Michael Culligan, Stefani Matsuo, Hiro Matsuo, Christopher Pell, Ixi Chen and Ted Nelson

Season 15 concerts:

Nov. 9: “Tree of Life.”
This digital-only presentation features a premiere of a cantata by Jacob Lindy memorializing the victims of the Tree of Life shootings in Pittsburgh. Also on the program is the rarely performed second String Quartet by Pavel Haas, a Jewish Czech composer murdered in the Holocaust.

Nov. 21: Octets
Eight string players onstage, with no sign of Mendelssohn and his famous childhood creation. Music of Bruch, Glière and Shostakovich played by a “small army of people with bows.”

Timo Andres

Jan. 30: Timo Andres World Premiere.
Composer/pianist Timo Andres has been a frequent guest of the CSO. This new piece, commissioned by concert:nova, features a collaboration between c:n musicians of concert:nova and students enrolled in the Ben Carlson-Berne Scholarship program.

March 6: Mozart and Beethoven
The two pieces in this concert were written only 11 years apart – Mozart’s Divertimento for String Trio K.563 and Beethoven’s Septet op. 20. And they remain linked by these composers’ connections to the Empress Maria Theresa. 

April 4-5: Five Durations
In these relatively short works (his Second String Quartet clocks in at around six hours long…), Morton Feldman explored the concept of time, and how do we define and experience the passage of time. This performance is a partnership with Brianna Matzke’s Response Project, which will create a series of films presenting Durations I-V along with brief discussions of “time” from varying perspectives and original animation.

April 24: Houses of Zodiac
Cellist Jeff Zeigler returns to present his latest joint project with (his wife) Paola Prestini, Houses of Zodiac. “Zodiac: Poems for Cello is an album and multimedia experience combining spoken word, movement, music and imagery in a unified exploration of love, loss, trauma and healing.” The work includes poetry, video art, original works by Paola Prestini and the artistry and virtuosity of Zeigler.

June TBA: User Agreement/Craiglistlieder
This is the show concert:nova lost in March of 2020. In many ways, it is more relevant than ever, as we emerge from our individual caves dimly lit by the screens of our phones. Ian Dicke, Andy Akiho and Gabriel Kahane reflect on the influence and pervasiveness of technology in their music.

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