S.E.M. Ensemble


Art of Music and Ideas


Ostravská banda

with members of the S.E.M. Ensemble

Petr Kotik, Jiří Rožeň, Conductors

April 19th (preview), 20th and 21st

Petr Kotik (conducting) with Roscoe Mitchell and Ostravská banda in rehearsal, 2017


Wednesday, April 19 at 7 pm

Willow Place Auditorium

26 Willow Place, Brooklyn Heights

Preview of selected compositions from April 20 th and 21st programs.

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Thursday, April 20 at 7 pm

Buchwald Theater

at the Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts

2920 Campus Road, Brooklyn College


Philip Glass                   Two Pages                                (1968)

Jan Rychlík                     African Cycle                           (1961)

Frederic Rzewski          Les Moutons de Panurge     (1969)


Phill Niblock                  Petr’s Charm                           (2021)

Jana Vörösová             Oratio Phillipica                      (2021)

Roscoe Mitchell            Nonaah                                   (1977/2023)


The following composers will be present:

Roscoe Mitchell, František Chaloupka, Phill Niblock

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Friday, April 21 at 7 pm

The Grand Ballroom

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York

František Chaloupka   The Witch Waltzers                (2023)

Petr Bakla                     Elsewhere                                  (2017)

Rudolf Komorous        Olympia                                     (1964)

Pauline Oliveros          Meditation for Orchestra      (1997)

Christian Wolff            Trust                                           (2012)


Improvisation: Roscoe Mitchell, Thomas Buckner and Guests

Pavel Zemek Novák   Quartet No. 3                           (1998)

Petr Kotik                     Nine + 1                                     (2012)


The following composers will be present:

Petr Kotik, Petr Bakla, Christian Wolff, Roscoe Mitchell, Jana Vörösová

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* * *


When Luigi Nono arrived in Prague In autumn of 1960, he gave Petr Kotik transcripts of Darmstadt lectures. That year, most of them were by John Cage. His ideas about music, his esthetics and thoughts about the arts inspired a group of composers in Prague who were associated with Kotik. This influence was not unlike the one Cage had a decade earlier on a number of important American artists and musicians. In Prague, it started a change in orientation from Darmstadt to American music. Although later, the American influence spread gradually throughout Europe, Prague was the first place where it had an important impact. It is interesting to note that the Czech Republic was then a country behind the Iron Curtain. The two New York concerts with music from Prague and New York (going back more than sixty years) will demonstrate an independence from the post-Webern Darmstadt style in new music, that was prevailing at that time both here in the U.S. and in Europe. Combining the Czech and American compositions will demonstrate a proximity of ideas and sensibilities, which originated here in the U.S.  When John Cage visited Prague in 1964 and listened to music by Rudolf Komorous and Petr Kotik, he told them:

"What you are doing in Prague is extraordinary, I have never encountered anything like it".


Produced by the Ostrava Center for New Music, these performances have been funded by the Recovery Plan at the Czech Ministry of Culture, the City of Ostrava and privately by Veronika and Libor Winkler.

S.E.M. Ensemble’s 2022-23 season has been made possible with the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts in partnership with Governor Kathy Hochul 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 Amphion Foundation, The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and private donors: Stephen J. Deutsch, Virginia Dwan, Martina Forman, Philip Foster, Allegra Fuller Snyder, Beth Greenberg and Jim Wright, Charlotta Kotik, Raymond Learsy, Julian Lethbridge, Rotraut Moquay, and Noni Pratt. Special thanks to Brooklyn District 33 Councilman Lincoln Restler.

Special thanks for the support of Brooklyn College and the Czech Center New York.

For more information:

Ostravská banda (​​
S.E.M. Ensemble (

Conductor Jiří Rožeň (

Information about Petr Kotik can be found on both, the Ostravská banda and SEM websites.