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Lewis, George: Assemblage (New World Records)

Composer George Lewis leads an ensemble that bridges compositional and improvisation skills through four large works written between 2012 and 2014 using the concept of "assemblage," a pragmatic, material, non-teleological approach to composition on four differing themes, yielding fascinatingly complex yet diverse, thrilling and embraceable results.

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product information:

UPC: 093228079224

Label: New World Records
Catalog ID: NW 80792CD
Squidco Product Code: 25229

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at the NIU Recital Hall, in DeKalb, Illinois, on August 27th and 28th, 2016, by Dan Nichols.


Katie Schoepflin-clarinet

Michael Lewanski-conductor

Emma Hospelhorn-flute

John Corkill-percussion

Mabel Kwan-piano

Ammie Brod-viola

Tarn Travers-violin

Chris Wild-cello

Winston Choi-piano

Minghuan Xu-violin

Ben Melsky-harp

Gregory Beyer-percussion

Taimur Sullivan-saxophone

George Lewis-composer

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Artist Biographies:

"Katie Schoepflin is a clarinetist, vocalist, pianist and composer who lives in Chicago and works as a freelance musician. As a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, she has had the privilege of working with and performing the works of Hans Abrahamsen, Louis Andriessen, Raphael Cendo, Brian Ferneyhough, Lee Hyla, George Lewis, Enno Poppe and Augusta Reed Thomas. Katie has recently had the extraordinary privilege of performing Enno Poppe's clarinet concerto, Holz. She also performed with Dal Niente at the 2014 International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. Katie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University where she won the IU clarinet concerto competition and was awarded a Performer's Certificate. As a participant of the 2006 Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, Katie worked with many renowned artists including Tony Bennett and Jon Williams. In 2008, Katie spent a year abroad in Japan where she was principal clarinetist of the Kakogawa Philharmonic Orchestra in Hyogo prefecture. She also sang jazz sets regularly in Kobe. She earned her Master of Music degree in 2011 from McGill University where she was awarded a full Schulich School of Music scholarship. While studying at McGill, Katie was a participant in the 2011 National Youth Orchestra of Canada, touring and performing extensively throughout Canada. Her primary instructors have been John Bruce Yeh, Alain Desgagne, James Campbell, Frank Kowalsky and Mary Kantor. When she is not making music, Katie is designing and creating jewelry for her shop."

-Ensemble Daliniente (

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"Conductor, educator, and writer Michael Lewanski is a champion of new music and older repertoire alike. His work seeks to create deeper and more engaged connections between audiences, musicians, and the music that is part of their culture, history, and psychology. Based in Chicago, he is conductor of Ensemble Dal Niente and associate professor of instrumental ensembles at the DePaul University School of Music. His recent guest-conducting has included work with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, chamber ensembles from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Turkmenistan. Michael has an extensive discography as both conductor and producer with Ensemble Dal Niente, Spektral Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, Ensemble 20+, and others.

A native of Savannah, Georgia, he studied piano and violin in his youth; he made his conducting debut at age 13, leading his own composition. At 16, he was the youngest-ever student in the legendary Ilya Musin's class at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He attended Yale University; he subsequently studied with Cliff Colnot and Lucas Vis."

-Michael Lewanski Website (

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"Emma Hospelhorn is a Chicago-based flutist, collaborator, teacher, and researcher. She is a member of Ensemble Dal Niente and the New Millennium Orchestra, as well as one half of The Machine Is Neither..., a computer music collaboration with composer Ben Sutherland that pushes the boundaries of live electronics processing through sonic and gestural control (this is to say, she makes awesome sounds happen with a wave of her hand). A versatile and magnetic performer, she has also recorded and performed with a number of rock and pop groups, and is on the flute faculty at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and New Trier High School.

She has been featured live on numerous radio broadcasts for WBEZ and WGN 9 Chicago, and performs regularly on stages large and small throughout the United States and Europe. Emma holds a PhD in Learning Sciences from University of Illinois at Chicago, where her research focuses on spatial and embodied group learning in musical contexts. She also holds bachelor's degrees from Columbia University and CUNY Queens College, and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2007-2009. For a list of her recordings and publications, visit"

-Ensemble Dalniente (

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"John Corkill is currently serving as the Instructor of Percussion Studies at the Merit School of Music and Loyola University Chicago. John's musical curiosity is guided by his passion between the primal relationship of sound and gesture. As a founding member of the Wanmu Percussion Trio, John has mesmerized audiences across the country with a wide variety of theatrical percussion repertoire ranging from stages of Carnegie Hall in New York City to the Rose Theatre in Portland, Oregon. The trio has also held a yearlong residency for young composers at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, as well as provided master classes to high school students throughout New England.

As a chamber musician, John has held residencies at the Chamber Music Northwest, Norfolk, and Yellow Barn Festivals. He has also garnered awards at the Yale Chamber Music Competition and the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition. Originally trained as an orchestral musician, John is currently a member of the NOVUS Orchestra in New York City and frequently substitutes with orchestras throughout the Chicago area. He has also had the privilege of working with many of today's leading orchestral conductors and composers such Marin Alsop, Peter Oundjian, Reinbert de Leeuw, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Oliver Knussen, and Krzysztof Penderecki.

John received his Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University where he graduated cum laude and Master of Music Degree from the Yale University School of Music. His teachers include Robert van Sice, Michael Burritt, and James Ross."

-Loyola University of Chicago (

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"Chicago-based, Austin-born pianist Mabel Kwan performs with the new music collective Ensemble Dal Niente, the improvising group Restroy, and as one half of the synth duo Mega Laverne and Shirley. She has commissioned and premiered new works for piano and clavichord which can be heard on her solo albums one poetic switch and Inventions. She has performed nationally and internationally, including concerts at Ravinia, Millennium Park, the Library of Congress, and the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music. Mabel is a 2017 3Arts awardee."

-Ensemble Dalniente (

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"Violist and sout1hwest native Ammie Brod holds a B.M. from the University of Arizona with Hong­Mei Xiao and an M.M. from Northwestern University with Roland Vamos, as well as studying for two years with acclaimed performer and pedagogue Emanuel Vardi. As a member of Dal Niente, Ammie has worked with composers such as Chaya Czernowin, Mark Andre, Kaija Saariaho, Hans Thomalla, Marcos Balter, and Augusta Reed Thomas. She also attended the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, helping to earn Dal Niente a Kranischteiner Stipiendieum Prize and a Kranichstein Musikpreis, the latter being the highest honor for performers in the Courses. In addition to her work with Dal Niente, Ammie has recently made appearances with Quince Vocal Ensemble, the Omaha Under the Radar festival, and Project Incubator at the University of Chicago, which emphasizes direct collaboration between composers and performers during the compositional process. When not performing, Ammie works as a professional floral designer and enjoys making homemade gourmet ice cream."

-Ensemble Dalnienete (

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"Noted for his "polished, atmospheric performances", violinist Tarn Travers has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan as a soloist and a chamber musician. He is an accomplished performer of classical repertoire from early works to contemporary masterpieces and in 2001 was a prizewinner at the Heifetz Guarneri auditions, which led to a performance on the historic "ex-David" Guarneri, the favored violin of Jascha Heifetz.

Travers spent three years as a violinist in the New World Symphony, where he often led the orchestra as concertmaster under numerous conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, baroque expert Ton Koopman, and new music specialist Susanna Mälkki.

During his tenure with the New World Symphony, he appeared three times as a soloist (once in every season) to perform the music of Béla Bartók, Ramiro Cortés, and Chen Yi. After giving the world premiere of Maria Newman's Triple Concerto, he was asked by the composer to record the piece, which was released in 2010.

Tarn is currently a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and was Principal Second Violin of the Festival Orchestra for the International Beethoven Festival in Chicago in 2012 and 2013, where he also performed chamber music as a part of the Prometheus Ensemble live on WFMT.

Recent performance highlights include an Austrian tour of Sibelius' Violin Concerto that culminated in a performance in Vienna's Konzerthaus, a performance at the Library of Congress, a residency at Harvard University, and concerto and chamber music appearances in New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and the west coast.

Tarn served on the faculty of Luther College for four years, beginning in 2010. During his tenure, he performed as a member of the Luther College Piano Quartet and released a CD of chamber music by Beethoven, Brahms, and Brooke Joyce (2011). His love of teaching has taken Travers to far flung locations such as Haiti and Austria, where in 2014 - 2015 he joined the faculty of AlpenKammerMusik in the Austrian Alps to teach, coach and perform chamber music. He regularly performs master classes as part of his touring schedule. In 2015, Travers joined the faculty at the DePauw University School of Music to teach violin and chamber music.

He holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Stony Brook University, where his primary teachers included Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil, concert violinists Camilla Wicks and Axel Strauss, and Emerson Quartet violinist Philip Setzer."

-Ensemble Dalniente (

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"Conductor & cellist Chris Wild's performances have been lauded as "insatiable" (The New York Times), resulting from his enthusiastic pursuit of musical connections. He has performed in concert halls throughout the Americas and Europe and for various live broadcasts & studio recordings. Currently based in Chicago, recent and upcoming projects include leading interdisciplinary productions with Après L'Histoire at The Poetry Foundation, The Arts Club of Chicago, and Constellation; leading staged productions with Northwestern University Opera; the completion of a Doctoral Project detailing updates to Ives' Three Places in New England; and performances of the album Assemblage with Ensemble Dal Niente at The Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chris has led concerts, readings, and education concerts with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (New York), Windsor Symphony Orchestra (Canada), Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra & Chorus, Camerata Antonio Soler (Spain), Highland Park Strings (Illinois), Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Illinois), Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, and performances with Northwestern University's Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Bienen Strings. His debut cello album, Abhanden, is described by New Music Box as "a virtuosic tour-de-force for solo cello... Wild's approach to the material is soaring, lyrical, and bold... confirms that Wild is not only an exciting performer to watch, but also a wise programmer and collaborator." Chris performs regularly as a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, a Chicago-based contemporary music collective noted for its "bracing sonic adventures" (Chicago Tribune). In the summer of 2018, he will serve as Assistant Conductor for the Peninsula Music Festival, leading the orchestra in works by Wagner, Borodin, and Glazunov.

Chris began his cello studies at the age of five in British Columbia, Canada, where he would later win first place in the strings category of the Canadian Music Competition. He moved stateside to attend the University of Michigan, where he studied with Erling Blöndal Bengtsson and Richard Aaron and won first place in the school's Concerto Competition. His solo performances have included classical and contemporary repertoire with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Canada), Third Coast Percussion (Chicago), Experimental Sound Studio SWR (Germany), and University of Michigan Philharmonia Orchestra. He can be heard on the New Amsterdam, New Focus, New World, Navona, Naxos, and Carrier record labels.

Chris' work as a conductor grew out of a love for teaching that has included work with orchestras, chamber ensembles, and private cello students of all ages. Upon moving to Illinois, he led a pre-college orchestra program in DeKalb that doubled its enrollment, won multiple awards, moved into new facilities, and added the DeKalb High School String Band, for which he arranged dozens of songs. Chris is currently completing a DMA in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University under the tutelage of Victor Yampolsky, and has also studied with Lucia Matos (Northern Illinois University), Cliff Colnot (Civic Orchestra of Chicago), Randal Swiggum (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance), and Robert Culver (University of Michigan), and worked in master classes with Leon Fleisher, Jorma Panula, Neil Varon, Robert Franz, Matthew Halls, Mark Gibson, Robert Hasty, Louis Bergonzi, Donald Schleicher, Michael Jinbo, and Edward Maclary. In addition to instrumental repertoire, Chris has conducted staged productions and excerpts from multiple requiems, operas, musicals, oratorios, cantatas, and motets."

-Chris Wild Website (

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"Canadian pianist Winston Choi is the Head of the Piano Program at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. His professional career was launched when he was named Laureate of the 2003 Honens Piano Competition and winner of France's Concours International de Piano 20e siècle d'Orléans in 2002. An inquisitive performer, his fresh approach to standard repertory, and masterful understanding, performance and commitment to works by living composers, make him one of today's most dynamic young concert artists.

Choi maintains an active international performing schedule. In demand as a concerto soloist, orchestras he has appeared with include the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, the New Philharmonic, the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, La Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, the Symphony Orchestra of Oak Park and River Forest, l'Orchestre Symphony d'Orléans, l'Orchestre National de Lille, the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.

Known for his colorful approach to programming and insightful commentary from the stage, Choi has recently appeared in recital at the National Arts Centre of Canada, the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, New York's Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., the Kravis Center in Florida, and the "Cicle Grans Solistes" in Spain. Choi performs extensively in France, having played venues such as the Salle Cortot, Lille's Festival Rencontre Robert Casadesus, the Messiaen Festival, and the Strasbourg Festival. Frequently in demand throughout his native Canada, his numerous performances can often be heard on CBC radio broadcasts. Recently, he toured Eastern Ontario and Quebec under the auspices of Jeunesses Musicales and embarked on a 10-city Prairie Debut tour of the Canadian Prairie provinces. An accomplished chamber musician, he tours regularly with his wife, violinist MingHuan Xu as Duo Diorama, as well as with the Pivot Chamber Soloists. He has also performed with the Aeolus, Avalon, Philomusica and Spektral string quartets, and is a member of the Civitas Ensemble.

As a dedicated champion of contemporary music, Choi has premiered and commissioned over 100 works by young composers as well as established masters. A composer himself, being involved with the creative process is an integral part of his artistry. He was the first pianist to perform Pierre Boulez's last version of Incises in North America and made the South American premiere of Luciano Berio's Sonata for pianoforte solo. He also regularly appears in concert at IRCAM, the world's most renowned institution for contemporary music. Composers he has collaborated with include William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Brian Ferneyhough, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bright Sheng, Christian Wolff, Chen Yi and John Zorn. He is also a core member of one of the country's most exciting new music groups, Ensemble Dal Niente. A frequent performer on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW Series, Choi has also performed with Contempo and the Fulcrum Point New Music Project.

Already a prolific recording artist, Choi's debut CD, the complete piano works of Elliott Carter (l'Empreinte Digitale in France) was given 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine. He has also recorded the complete piano music of Jacques Lenot for the Intrada label, having won the Grand Prix du Disque from l'Académie Charles Cros for Volume I. His recording of the piano works of Thomas Adès was recently released on the Buisonne label. Other labels he can be heard on include Albany, Arktos, Crystal Records, Naxos and QuadroFrame.

Choi obtained his Bachelor and Master of Music from Indiana University, and his DM from Northwestern University. His studies were with Vivienne Bailey, James Tweedie, Menahem Pressler and Ursula Oppens. An accomplished teacher, he is also in demand as a master class clinician and lecturer on a variety of pedagogical topics. Prior to his position at Roosevelt University, he was on the faculties of Bowling Green State University and the Oberlin Conservatory. He also currently teaches at the Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago."

-Winston Choi Website (

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"A multi-faceted performer with unique communicative abilities, MingHuan Xu has delighted audiences with her passion, effortless technique, sensitivity and charisma. Her versatility allows her to perform an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from the standard works to avant-garde contemporary repertoire. She has performed extensively as a concerto soloist, duo-recitalist and chamber musician throughout five continents.

Ms. Xu's latest recital and chamber music performances have brought her to prominent American venues including Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Her Carnegie Hall debut was featured on Voice of America, a weekly television show viewed by millions of people in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2010 she performed recitals and taught master classes in China: at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Her South American debut in 2006 brought her to the Festival Musica Nova in Brazil and the Festival Encuentros in Argentina. Her numerous performances have included live radio broadcasts on National Public Radio (NPR), WFMT (Chicago) and CBC (Canada) Radio.

Recent festival and concert series appearances also include Chamber Music North (MI), the Colours of Music Festival (ON), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts (Chicago), Hawaii's Ebb & Flow Arts Concert Series, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, the Mammoth Lakes Music Festival (CA), the SoundaXis Festival (ON), the X-Avant Festival (ON), and the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival (WA). She has performed with such chamber musicians as Colin Carr, Eugene Drucker, Ilya Kaler, Ani Kavafian, the Pacific String Quartet and the St. Petersburg String Quartet. She also tours extensively and internationally as a part of Duo Diorama (with her husband, pianist Winston Choi) and as a member of Pivot Chamber Soloists.

As a dedicated champion of contemporary music Ms. Xu believes fervently in the importance and relevance of the music of our times. She has closely collaborated with William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Gunther Schuller and Bright Sheng on performances of their music. She was recently awarded a Classical Commissioning Grant from Chamber Music America for a new work by Huang Ruo for her to premiere in late 2012 and beyond. She has also commissioned and premiered over 40 works by composers such as Marcos Balter, Burton Beerman, George Flynn, M. William Karlins, Felipe Lara, Jacques Lenot, George Lewis, John Melby, Robert Morris, Robert Pollock, Daniel Weymouth, Amy Williams, Jay Alan Yim, and Mischa Zupko. Her passions involve multi-disciplinary projects, which also include collaborations with dance, electronic media, poetry and visual arts. She is a member of Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente, one of the most original and important new music groups active today. Other new music series and groups she has appeared with include Contempo, Eighth Blackbird, MusicNOW and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.

At the age of 18, she made her New York debut as a soloist with the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra, and since then has soloed with orchestras such as the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra. Her recent guest concertmaster stints include the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony in Virginia, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra in Wisconsin and the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra.

At the age of six, Ms. Xu made her recital debut in Beijing and at the age of eleven, she won the 1st Prize at the Beijing Young Artists Competition. Her many competition successes also include being winner of Artists International Presentations Auditions, grand prize winner of the International Young Artist Competition of Midland-Odessa, and finalist of the Concert Artist Guild competition in New York. She was also one of the inaugural recipients of the Banff Centre's Rolston Fellowships in Music.

Ms. Xu's studies were at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, the Interlochen Arts Academy, Northwestern University and Stony Brook University. Her principal teachers were Julia Bushkova, Victor Danchenko, Almita Vamos, Pamela Frank and Ani Kavafian. Now an accomplished and devoted teacher, Ms. Xu taught at Grand Valley State University before moving to Chicago, where she is now an Artist-Faculty member at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. She also coaches chamber music for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Xu plays on a 1758 Nicolas Gagliano violin."

-Minghuan Xu Website (

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"A bold, expressive, risk-taking performer, and called "a phenomenal harpist" by Chicago Magazine, Chicago-based harpist Ben Melsky is committed to breaking pre-conceived notions of the harp's capabilities and re-defining them. Through performance, collaboration, residencies, educational initiatives and presentations he encourages creating new, effectual means of expression.

Dedicated to connecting audiences to the music of the 21st century, Ben is Executive Director and harpist of the highly acclaimed Ensemble Dal Niente with whom he has performed nationally in concerts and residencies. Additionally, he is the principal harp for the Joffrey Ballet and has played with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, Grant Park Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic and Ann Arbor Symphony among many others. He has worked closely with or premiered works by leading composers of today including George Lewis, Augusta Reed Thomas, Marc Andre, Anthony Cheung, Raphael Cendo, Tomas Gueglio, Eliza Brown, Katherine Young and Marcos Balter among others.

In addition to his work as an orchestral musician, he has played in numerous Jeff-Award winning musicals including Sunday in Park with George and Follies at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, A Little Night Music at Writer's Theater, and Animal Crackers at the Goodman Theater. Solo and chamber highlights include appearances at the Kennedy Center, Northwestern University, Art Institute of Chicago, Latino Music Festival, Music Institute of Chicago and WFMT broadcasts. His debut recording Sommeil was released in December 2013 and he can be heard on Ryan Muncy's Hot, released in November 2013 for the New Focus Label and one of the NYTimes Artsbeat best CD's of 2013. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral degree at Northwestern where he has both B.M. and M.M."

-Ben Melsky Website (

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"Hailed as a "prodigiously talented percussionist" (Chicago Classical Review) Gregory Beyer is a contemporary music specialist with significant experience in orchestral, jazz, and world music who combines the multiple disciplines of 21st Century percussion into a singular artistic voice. He has given solo performances and masterclasses throughout the world.

In 2015 under the auspices of the Fulbright Scholar Program, Beyer is an invited visiting scholar at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, where he will focus entirely upon his project, Arcomusical - a multi-faceted resource for the Afro-Brazilian berimbau dedicated to performance, publication, research, and community building. Arcomusical has grown steadily for over fifteen years and has recently enjoyed a myriad of successes, including: invited festival performances, capoeira workshops, film scoring contracts, and international percussion convention presentations. In Brazil, Beyer will study the berimbau in the larger context of the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira Angola and will share his knowledge of the instrument with music students UFMG.

Beyer is a member of Dal Niente, the award winning Chicago based contemporary chamber music ensemble, and he has performed as soloist and chamber musician in Europe, Central America, and the United States.

Beyer is Associate Professor and Head of Percussion Studies at Northern Illinois University, where he directs the Percussion Ensemble (performed at PASIC in 2009 and 2013) and New Music Ensemble."

-Gregory Beyer Website (

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"Taimur Sullivan is Associate Professor of Saxophone at Northwestern University, and a member of the acclaimed PRISM Quartet. His performances have taken him from the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Knitting Factory, to engagements in Russia, China, England, Germany, and throughout Latin America. He has garnered critical praise as "outstanding...his melodies phrased as if this were an old and cherished classic, his virtuosity supreme" (New York Times), and as a player of "dazzling proficiency" (American Record Guide).

Mr. Sullivan has dedicated much of his career to promoting new repertoire for the saxophone, and has given the premieres of over 200 solo and chamber works by composers including William Bolcom, Alvin Lucier, Gavin Bryars, Libby Larsen, Gunther Schuller, Olga Neuwirth, John Harbison, Martin Bresnick, Donnacha Dennehy, and many others. He has also presented the American premieres of compositions by important European figures such as Gerard Grisey, Toshio Hosokawa, Philippe Hurel, Michael Finnissy, Bruno Mantovani, Giya Kancheli, and Jean-Claude Risset. In honor of his distinguished record of promoting and presenting new works for the saxophone, the New York-based arts-advocacy organization Meet The Composer named him one of eight "Soloist Champions" in the United States.

As a member of PRISM Quartet for 21 years, Sullivan has performed concertos with orchestras nationwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and has been invited to conducted residencies at the nation's leading conservatories including the Curtis Institute of Music, Rice University, and Princeton University. Champions of new music, PRISM has commissioned over 200 works, many by internationally celebrated composers, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Julia Wolfe, William Bolcom, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, and Bernard Rands; MacArthur "Genius" Award recipients Bright Sheng and Miguel Zenón; Guggenheim Fellows William Albright, Martin Bresnick, Chen Yi, Lee Hyla, and Steven Mackey; and jazz masters Greg Osby, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Steve Lehman, and Dave Liebman.

From 2005-2016, Mr. Sullivan was the saxophone professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and from 2000-2005 was on the performance faculty at Columbia University. He appears on over 30 recordings, and performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces."

-Taimur Sullivan Website (

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"George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A 2015 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis has received a MacArthur Fellowship (2002), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2015, Lewis received the degree of Doctor of Music (DMus, honoris causa) from the University of Edinburgh.

A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisative forms is documented on more than 140 recordings. His work has been presented by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Talea Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Wet Ink, Ensemble Erik Satie, Eco Ensemble, and others, with commissions from American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Harvestworks, Ensemble Either/Or, Orkestra Futura, Turning Point Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, IRCAM, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and others. Lewis has served as Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley; Paul Fromm Composer in Residence, American Academy in Rome; Resident Scholar, Center for Disciplinary Innovation, University of Chicago; and CAC Fitt Artist In Residence, Brown University.

Lewis received the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society's Music in American Culture Award. Lewis is co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016), and his opera Afterword, commissioned by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in October 2015 and has been performed in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.

Professor Lewis came to Columbia in 2004, having previously taught at the University of California, San Diego, Mills College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Koninklijke Conservatorium Den Haag, and Simon Fraser University's Contemporary Arts Summer Institute. Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey."

-Columbia University (

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track listing:

1. Mnemosis 13:44

2. Hexis 13:00

3. The Mangle of Practice 12:54

4. Assemblage 14:36
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"George Lewis (b. 1952) combines an astonishing level of creativity with trenchant critiques of many traditional conceptions about experimental music. The four compositions on this album reference a wide range of ideas, from rhetoric in Ancient Rome to actor network theory, and the album's eponymous composition finds its grounding in the concept of the "assemblage," (or agencement in French) a pragmatic, material, non-teleological approach to composition.

Among the album's compositions, Mnemosis (2012) and Hexis (2013) foreground repetition, and feature hypnotic patterns with striking sonic surfaces. Mnemosis, scored for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, and a percussionist, features repeated cells of dissonant interlocking lines that take shape as elaborate, even baroque loops. The overall impression is one of a clock with several hands turning unpredictably in different directions, triggering an oddball circus of sounds, recurring asynchronously, sometimes raucously. Hexis (2013) appears as something of a slightly smaller and shorter sequel to Mnemosis, and is scored for the same band of instruments, but without viola.

By comparison with Hexis and Mnemosis, Assemblage (2013) is more energetic, even chaotic. Written for a 9-piece version of Ensemble Dal Niente, Lewis describes Assemblage as having a feeling of pushing ahead all the time, "or turning a wheel." It can give the impression of an urban crowd bustling in every direction. Or a rising and falling activity of bouncing against the interior of a box that nonetheless manages to contain a certain sense of entropy.

The unpredictable interplay between human and material agencies is an explicit theme of the piano and violin duo, The Mangle of Practice (2014). It explores how practical relationships, decisions, and mediations structurally disfigure the elements in a given situation. Over the course of minutes, one hears episodes of internally consistent materials that are set in motion like windup toys, until a cut occurs, and a new sonic palette unfolds. It gives the impression of a single sonic object with over a dozen sides, being gradually flipped from one side to the next."-New World Records

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Improvised Music
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Large Ensembles

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