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Ultima Contemporary Music Festival descends on NYC

By Tomas Lauvland Pettersen Posted: 22. Apr, 2014

Frode Haltli

Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival descends on New York this week, featuring a roster with works by composers Arne Nordheim, Øyvind Torvund and performances by Frode Haltli and Serena-Maneesh and more.

Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, the Nordic region’s premier contemporary music festival, descends on New York for its first stateside edition Wednesday April 23rd through Saturday April 26th.

In collaboration with ISSUE Project Room, Ultima Festival New York presents a rich program of diverse and challenging contemporary music as well as avant-garde sounds past and present from the Nordic countries. At the heart of the festival is a special focus on lesser-known and under-recognized Scandinavian composers working across and between electronic music and traditional composition. Cornerstones of the series include ambitious stagings of works not yet seen in the US.

Norwegian works featured on the festival’s NYC programme includes pieces by composers Øyvind Torvund, Arne Nordheim and Magnar Åm performed by among others Frode Haltli and Kristin Norderval. Serena-Maneesh’s piece Somnambulism is also featured on the event’s varied programme.

Arne Nordheim

The festival closes on the evening of Saturday April 26th with attention turned to the iconic composer Arne Nordheim. Nordheim’s ‘Flashing’ is performed by Frode Haltli, one of the most outstanding accordion soloists in contemporary music, alongside works by Magnar Åm, Aldo Clementi, and Hans Abrahamsen. The evening is headlined by Serena-Maneesh and vocal ensemble— a critically acclaimed outfit synonymous with the composer, singer, musician and producer Emil Nikolaisen. The ensemble gives the not-to-be-missed US premiere of Somnambulism (2013), a tribute to Arne Nordheim’s unusual and fascinating musical spirit.

Time Out New York runs a cool preview of the festival this week.

Brooklyn Vegan also has a nice write-up on the upcoming festival, focusing on Serena Maneesh’s contribution to the performance of Somnambulism.

Program – Ultima Festival New York

Wednesday 23 April
ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn
Catherine Christer Hennix: Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage
Cathrine Christer Hennix ensemble

Thursday 24 April
ISSUE Project Room
Øyvind Torvund: The Stacks
Simon Steen-Andersen: Rerendered
Anna Thorvaldsdottir/Sigurdur Gudjònsson: Trajectories

Jacob Kirkegaard presents Else Marie Pade’s Faust & other electronic pieces

Friday 25 April
ISSUE Project Room
Ne(x)tworks Chamber Group
Arne Nordheim: Vevnad
Shelley Burgon: Conchoidal
Kristin Norderval: Re-Play #4: Name Piece

Anton Lukoszevieze with Ne(x)tworks: Henning Christiansen Requiem of Art (NYC) Fluxorum Organum

Saturday 26 April
Unitarian Church of Downtown Brooklyn
Antti Tolvo: Solo piano
Lubomyr Melnyk: Solo piano

ISSUE Project Room
Frode Haltli – Accordion
Hans Abrahamsen: Air
Magnar Åm: On the Banks of the Eternal Second
Arne Nordheim: Flashing
Aldo Clementi: Ein kleines…
Serena-Maneesh and Vocal Ensemble: Somnambulism


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