On November 8th at Salon 33, an ongoing series of intimate gatherings in a private home for the appreciation of live music and good company, Composers Concordance and The Composers Guild of New Jersey present a program featuring two contrasting groups: CompCord Ensemble and the Argus Quartet. The former seeks to develop repertory for an unusual combination of instruments, whereas the latter, a string quartet, represents a more traditional instrumentation, with an extensive literature which remains ever-evolving.
CompCord Ensemble will perform compositions for violin, trumpet, electric guitar, and bass clarinet by Seth Boustead, Dan Cooper, Franz Hackl, Peter Jarvis, Melanie Mitrano, Ginka Mizuki, Gene Pritsker, and Carlton Wilkinson. Premieres will include Peter Jarvis' 'Built for Four (Opus 111),' Gene Pritsker's 'Happiness Is Unmoored,' and Carlton Wilkinson's 'Beach 676.' The Argus Quartet will present the world premiere of a new work by Shuying Li, winner of the Composers' Guild of New Jersey's CGNJ/Argus Quartet Commissioning Competition. Li's work, 'A Strange Story - Miss Ying-Ning,' is based on a tale by the Qing Dynasty writer Pu Songling, illustrating scenes from the adventures of the young Miss Ying-Ning, a girl born to a human father and a fox mother. Rounding out the Argus Quartet's portion of the program are works by Chris Cerrone, with whom Argus has frequently collaborated, and others.
Based in New York City, the Argus Quartet was founded in Los Angeles in 2013, where its members shared many meals at their favorite taco truck on Argus Drive. The Quartet served as the Fellowship Quartet in Residence at the Yale School of Music, and from 2017-19 held the position of Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School. They have also held residencies at New Music on the Point and at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. Increasingly busy concert seasons have taken Argus to some of the country's most prestigious venues and festivals, including Carnegie's Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Ravinia Festival, the Albany Symphony's American Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West. http://www.argusquartet.com
The Composers Guild of New Jersey was founded in 1981 by Robert Pollock with support from the NJ State Council on the Arts. The original focus of the organization was on presenting concerts, festivals, education programs, and international exchanges. Over time, the organization's focus has shifted away from concert presentation, and in the direction of composer advocacy, seeking to increase public awareness of the significant contributions made by New Jersey's composers, primarily through our commissioning and project support programs. https://www.cgnj.org
Staying in rotation for 35 years in NYC is a rare feat. In the case of a new music presenting organization, it requires not only diligence and cognizance of achievements of the past, but also an ethic of keeping one's ear to the ground for emerging stylistic and technological developments, as well as talented new composers on the scene. Composers Concordance, founded in 1984 by Joseph Pehrson and Patrick Hardish, advised by Otto Luening, strives to present contemporary music in innovative ways, with an emphasis on thematic programming. Directors Gene Pritsker and Dan Cooper co-curate the programs, and lead the CompCord Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, String Orchestra, and Big Band. Associate Directors are Milica Paranosic, Peter Jarvis, Debra Kaye, and Seth Boustead. Composers Concordance has also created a Naxos-distributed record label: Composers Concordance Records, co-directed by Peter Jarvis. Composers Concordance's overriding vision is to promote contemporary music, composers, and new works as a rightful and respected part of society. Good music, performed and recorded well, pushing the boundaries of sound and composition.
"An unwavering force in giving composers exposure through concert bookings and its own record label, the intrepid new-music organization Composers Concordance" -The Brooklyn Rail. "For the past 30 years, Composers Concordance has been a booster for local composers, through both its concerts across the city and a record label." -The Wall Street Journal. "Enterprising new music organization"-The New York Times. "The Composers Concordance folks are unpredictable and at times refreshingly irreverent in a reverent sort of way....ingenious fun" -Classical-Modern Music Review. "Edgy... boisterous... demanding our attention" -San Diego Story. "These men and women are creating exciting music with elements of jazz, world music and many experimental techniques blended with equal parts classical tradition and playing techniques." -Asbury Park Press. "There is considerable evidence to show that Composers Concordance may be one of the most exciting labels in American contemporary music." -JazzdaGama.