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S.E.M. Ensemble

2017-2018 Season

During the 2017-2018 season, the S.E.M. Ensemble explored its past, focusing on the music of John Cage, Julius Eastman and Morton Feldman, all of whom had long relationships with the ensemble. There were also premieres of new works by Petr Kotik, and a successful Emerging Composer's Workshop. Below are pictures and descriptions of the SEM's 2017-2018 season.

SEM Looks back : September 18, 2017

SEM Looks Back: Eastman, Cage, Kotik

Monday September 18, 2017; 8:00 pm
- at -
Willow Place Auditorium, 26 Willow Pl., Brooklyn Heights

Julius Eastman, Roberto Lanieri, Jan Williams, and Petr Kotik ca. 1971, photo by Jim Tuttle, SUNY Buffalo

Ahead of its September 27th performance at the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow, Poland, SEM presented a free preview concert nearly identical to those from the ensemble’s early days in the 1970s. During this time, founding members Petr Kotik, Julius Eastman, and Jan Williams presented avant-garde performances in Buffalo, Albany, and later New York and began collaborating extensively with John Cage. Included in this program was Cage’s Song Books (1970), the first extended ensemble performance of which was realized by SEM.

Program

John CageSong Books I, II (1970)

Petr KotikThere is Singularly Nothing (1971 -72)

Julius EastmanJoy Boy (1972)

Julius EastmanMacle (1971 -72)

Julius EastmanOur Father (1989)

S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Director

Petr Kotik - flute, voice

Christopher McIntyre - trombone, voice

Joseph Kubera - piano, voice

Jeffrey Gavett, Charlotte Mundy, Nathan Repasz - voice

Paula Cooper Gallery: December 7, 2017

Cage, Kotik, and Eastman: 1972 / 2017

December 7, 2017; 8PM

- at -

Paula Cooper Gallery
543 West 21st St, Manhattan

This program, originally presented 45 years ago – Song Books I, II, There is Singularly Nothing, and Macle – demonstrates the vitality of the forward-looking programming of SEM. The program was conceived for SEM’s first European tour in January and February of 1972, with concerts at WDR Cologne Funkhaus, the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, the Gemeindesaal in Düren, as well as concerts in Aachen and Geneva.

SEM started to study and perform Song Books in 1971, when Petr Kotik received a copy of the piece from John Cage, at that time still in manuscript form. There is Singularly Nothing is the first composition that Kotik wrote for SEM. It was the first time that Kotik composed music for voice, writing specifically for Julius Eastman’s three-octave vocal range. It took some time for Kotik to find a suitable text and he decided on Gertrude Stein, whose texts he used for each of his compositions until 1978. Julius Eastman composed Macle for Petr Kotik and the S.E.M. Ensemble in 1972.

Program

John CageSong Books I, II (1970)

Petr KotikThere is Singularly Nothing (1971 -72)

Julius EastmanMacle (1971 -72)

S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Director

Petr Kotik – flute, voice

Christopher McIntyre – trombone, voice

Will Lang – trombone, voice

Matilda Sakamoto – movement

Voices: Kamala Sankaram, Jeffrey Gavett, Jake Ingbar, Adrian Rosas, Nathan Repasz

The Kitchen: January 25, 2018

That Which is Fundamental

Femenine + Joy Boy with the S.E.M. Ensemble

January 25, 2018; 8PM

- at -

The Kitchen
512 West 19 St, Manhattan

Program

Julius Eastman: Joy Boy (1974)

Julius Eastman: Femenine (1974)

S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Director

Petr Kotik – Flute

Sara Schoenbeck – Bassoon

Christopher McIntyre – Trombone

James Johnson – Synthesizer

David Miller – Vibraphone / Marimbaphone

Robert Boston – Piano

Conrad Harris – Violin

Pauline Kim Harris – Viola

Voices: Kamala Sankaram, Jeffrey Gavett, Nathan Repasz

 

Emerging Composers Workshop 2018

Emerging Composers Workshop 2018

Tues. February 13, 2018, 8:30 pm
- at -
Willow Place Auditorium, 26 Willow Pl., Brooklyn Heights


Petr Kotik conducts during the 2017 Workshop concert.

The S.E.M. Ensemble’s Reading of New Compositions was initiated in 1997 and has continued, every season, to the present. During the four-day workshop each composer is provided with time and space to work directly with the conductor and musicians. The workshop culminates in a reading-performance, open to the public. This year’s reading included works by an international group of composers: Jay (Yair) Vilnai, Joel Kirk, Peter Kramer, Pauline Kim Harris, Jack Callahan, James Falzone, and Dongryul Lee.

Program

Jay (Yair) VilnaiE.P.

Joel Kirkreflection of light is either specular or diffuse

Peter KramerUnfinished Bridge

Pauline Kim Harrisdongmae

Jack Callahan - 106 Kerri Chandler Chords

James Falzone - Normal Deviate

Dongryul Lee - quasi una macchina

S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Director

Willow Place Auditorium: March 10

The Depth of Simplicity

Morton Feldman's For Philip Guston

Sat. March 10, 2018, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

- at -
Willow Place Auditorium, 26 Willow Pl., Brooklyn Heights

Petr Kotik, Joe Kubera, and Chris Nappi performing Feldman's Why Patterns? in 2010 at Paula Cooper Gallery.

 

In the lead-up to SEM's performance at MaerzMusik in Berlin on March 25, the S.E.M. Ensemble performed Morton Feldman's five-hour long masterpiece For Philip Guston at Willow Place Auditorium on March 10th. For Philip Guston is rarely performed live due to its extreme duration (the last US performance by SEM was in 2000).

Program

Morton Feldman - For Philip Guston

S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Director

Petr Kotik - Flute

Joe Kubera - Piano

Chris Nappi - Percussion

MaerzMusik: March 25

The Long Now

MaerzMusik Festival, Berlin

Sat. March 25, 2018, 11:30 AM - 4:30 PM

- at -

Kraftwerk Berlin
Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179 Berlin, Germany

Tickets Here

Chris Nappi, Joe Kubera, and Petr Kotik at the first SEM performance of For Philip Guston. Paula Cooper Gallery, 1988.


SEM performed Morton Feldman's five-hour long masterpiece For Philip Guston at the MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin on March 25. This performance was part of "The Long Now," the festival's 30-hour closing concert.

Program

Morton Feldman - For Philip Guston

S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Director

Petr Kotik - Flute

Joe Kubera - Piano

Chris Nappi - Percussion

DOX: April 7th

Essential Feldman

Sat. April 7, 2018, 7PM

- at -

DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
Dox+, Poupětova 3, Prague 7, Czech Republic

 


Petr Kotik conducted The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra on April 7th at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague. The concert was the first European performance dedicated entirely to Morton Feldman's large-scale orchestral compositions. 

Program

Morton Feldman - Piano and Orchestra (1975)

Morton Feldman - Structures (1960-62)

Morton FeldmanViolin and Orchestra (1979)

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Petr Kotik, Conductor

Conrad Harris, Violin

Daan Vandewalle, Piano

Bohemian National Hall: April 28th

Master-Pieces

Sat. April 28, 2018, 8:30PM

- at -

Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73rd St, New York, NY 10021

Petr Kotik’s chamber opera, Master-Pieces (2014-2015) received its first staged performance in the U.S. at Bohemian National Hall (NYC) on Saturday, April 28, 2018 (8:30 pm). The 70-minute work was commissioned by the new opera festival NODO (Czech Republic), which premiered it in 2014. The revised and final version was performed at the Ostrava Days 2015 Festival and directed by Jiří Nekvasil, who will stage the New York performance.

Program

Petr Kotik - Master-Pieces (2014-15)

S.E.M. Ensemble

Christina Kay, Soprano

Steven Wilson, Tenor

Jose Pietri-Coimbre, Baritone

Nicholas Hay, Bass

Pauline Kim Harris, Violin

Liuh-Wen Ting, Viola

Jeffrey Reinhardt, English Horn/Oboe

Tim Leopold, Trombone

Amanda Gookin, Cello

Chris Nappi, Percussion

Debra Kay Anderson, Narrator

James Falzone, Narrator

Kerry Wolf, Narrator


 

Roulette: May 3rd

Interpretations: Thomas Buckner

Works by Malcolm Goldstein, Jacques Bekaert, Bun Ching Lam

Thurs. May 3, 2018, 8PM

- at -

Roulette Intermedium
509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217


Program

Jacques Bekaert - Requiem

Thomas Buckner, Baritone

S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Conductor

Roberta Michel, Flute

Sara Schoenbeck, Bassoon

Kate Amrine, Trumpet

Tim McCarthy, Horn

Jen Baker, Trombone

Chris Nappi, Timpani

Pauline Kim Harris, Violin

Jake Charkey, Cello

Troy Rinker, Contrabass

 

Jacques Bekaert - A Distant Harmony

Thomas Buckner, Baritone

S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Conductor

Roberta Michel, Flute

Liuh-Wen Ting, Viola

Tierney O'Brien, Bass Clarinet


S.E.M. Ensemble’s 2017-2018 season was made possible with the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.; The Phaedrus Foundation; The Low Road Foundation; The Fifth Floor Foundation; Ronald Feldman Fine Arts; Rackstraw Downes; Noni Pratt; Virginia Dwan; Raymond Learsy; Martina and Milos Forman; C. Andrew Reynolds; William and Priscilla Newbury; Julian Lethbridge. Special thanks to Paula Cooper, Mark di Suvero, Jasper Johns, Werner Kramarsky, and NYC Councilmember Stephen T. Levin.

 

NODO 2018

NODO 2018

New Opera Days Ostrava

Sun. June 24, 2018 - Thurs. June 28, 2018

- at -

Ostrava, Czech Republic

SEM performs John Cage's Song Books I, II at NODO, June 28th, 2018.


June 24

Alois Hába - Thy Kingdom Come (1939-1942)

ONO / Ostravská banda

with members of the S.E.M. Ensemble

June 25

Alois Hába - Thy Kingdom Come (1939-1942)

ONO / Ostravská banda

with members of the S.E.M. Ensemble

June 26

Salvatore Sciarrino - Luci mie traditrici (1998)

Ostravská banda

with members of the S.E.M. Ensemble

June 27

Julius Eastman - Macle (1971-1972)

S.E.M. Ensemble

Daniel Lo - A Woman Such as Myself (2018)

Ostravská banda

Petr Kotik, Conductor

June 28

John Cage - Song Books I, II (1970)

S.E.M. Ensemble


This engagement was supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.