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Category Archives: Blog

iNSIDE Out Returns

By Zach Sheets A few days ago, I had the chance to chat with Chris Gross about the upcoming iNSIDE Out concerts on January 18th and January 20th at the Flea Theater. Our conversation touched on the music for this weekend, Chris’ vision for the iNSIDE Out series, on being a new father, and on  Continue Reading »

Billone: FACE

FACE for voice and ensemble (60′) (U.S. premiere) Pierluigi Billone writes: Face has a double meaning: light/star in Old Italian, as well as its typical English meaning. But, both expressions—“Voice and ensemble” and “Voice”—must be clarified. Voice, in a general sense, appears in all parts in different ways and according to particular hierarchies. It deals with a main vocal part (the female voice)  Continue Reading »

Folk Tunes (part I)

By Zach Sheets. Before this weekend’s concert, I had the chance to sit down with vocalist Lucy Dhegrae and composers Christopher Trapani and Shawn Jaeger. Chris moved back to Astoria just ten days ago, after a year in Rome, and we spent the afternoon in his living room talking about inspiration, style, identity, and what’s  Continue Reading »

Folk Tunes (part II)

By Zach Sheets. Before this weekend’s concert, I had the chance to sit down with vocalist Lucy Dhegrae and composers Christopher Trapani and Shawn Jaeger. Chris moved back to Astoria just ten days ago, after a year in Rome, and we spent the afternoon in his living room talking about inspiration, style, identity, and what’s  Continue Reading »

Be the First

Written for Talea is a landmark series of concerts that Talea has been presenting for the past four seasons. Written for Talea is a unique set of concerts because it puts the audience and the ensemble in the same boat- positioning them as explorers. We navigate the pieces together with a blank slate of expectation,  Continue Reading »

Insider Look: Taylor Brook

Exploded Views (2016) Taylor Brook Most people are familiar with exploded views from putting together Ikea furniture: they are the diagrams that display all the individual parts separated out, showing how they may be assembled, usually via dotted lines connecting the parts. A musical phrase may be understood as a set of connected parts and  Continue Reading »

Insider Look: Lewis Nielson

…in terra aliena…(2015) Lewis Nielson in terra aliena deals directly with the structure and demeanor of the trial of the American revolutionary John Brown in Charlestown, Virginia (now West Virginia).  After a series of all-too-predictable events in the US involving race relations and issues, I asked myself if there had been even one white American  Continue Reading »

Insider Look: Natacha Diels

Princess Nightmare Moon (2016) Natacha Diels Fairytales for performers: Phantasms return Adjourned spirits draw near Six heads snap left Nervous glances Pages turn. Scornful wistful slow singsong Lonesome hiss of air expired A silver lining, deceptive mirror Pages turn. Carved from cotton candy, A transient ritual— a fragile fancy. Wanna hear and see what  Continue Reading »

Grüße aus Darmstadt

We arrived at the Frankfurt International Airport as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as jet-lagged travelers can be, looking forward to a fantastic week ahead at the International Music Institute Darmstadt. Usually packing for a tour not only involves your traditional travel items- layered clothing, sleeping masks, power outlet converters- we also need to think about concert  Continue Reading »

From Russia with Love

St. Petersburg: May 2016 Beth Weisser Helgeson At the very end of May, Talea had a whirlwind trip into St. Petersburg to play at the Mariinsky Concert Hall as part of the reMusik Festival. What the trip lacked in length (we were there for just slightly less than 48 hours) was made up for in  Continue Reading »

La vie en rose

Marseille: May 2016 Matthew Gold A few weeks ago, in late May, I was lucky enough to travel to France with Yuki Numata Resnick and Stephen Gosling to represent Talea at Le Festival Les Musiques 2016, a weeklong program of GMEM, the Centre National de Création Musicale in Marseille. As a trio we presented two  Continue Reading »

Notes to Russia

As we gear up for Talea’s Russian debut, checkout a preview by Matt Mendez. For nearly a decade now, the Talea Ensemble has been one of the principal American conduits for recent music from the Continent—vital compositional work that remains all too slow in making its way over the Atlantic, even in our age of  Continue Reading »

A Seasonal Talea Tune

You know Rane and Matt Gold and David and Steve Beck, Chris Gross, Greg, Beth, Adrian, Yuki Numata Resnick**- But do you recall? The common thread of them all… Alex Lipowski founded it Along with his friend Anthony Cheung And if you ever heard them You’d say it was super fun. All of the great  Continue Reading »

Written for Talea 3

Written for Talea is now becoming a tradition, an annual of concert of works written expressly for the flexible configurations of the Talea Ensemble and reflecting our belief in the creation of a new repertory that highlights important and varied voices. The admiration goes both ways: performers who thrive on the new bring to life  Continue Reading »

He’s Making His List and Checking It Twice!

Wondering if Santa’s coming down your chimney? Talea has the inside look at Santa’s list: Gave a compliment? ✔ Nice! Didn’t get your flu shot? ✘ Kinda naughty Listened to a new composer? ✔ Definitely nice! Didn’t try anything new? ✘ Not naughty, but kinda boring. Took a risk on a world premiere? ✔ Very  Continue Reading »

iNSIDE Out: Georges Aperghis

In anticipation of the US premiere of Georges Aperghis’ multimedia extravaganza Happy End on April 23, 2014, the Talea Ensemble offers a portrait concert of solo and chamber works by the Paris-based Greek composer, whose lifelong engagement with experimental musical theatre has influenced every aspect of his work, including the purely instrumental. Aperghis (b. 1945  Continue Reading »

Zorn @ 60

Check out a beautiful article written by Ben Sisario for the New York Times about John Zorn’s life and a year-long celebration of a life-long journey of music making. Zorn is one of the most influential artists across a variety of genres of music. Talea is gearing up for a concert as a part of  Continue Reading »

Steve Coleman

Talea hits the Newport Jazz Festival this Sunday, August 4th, with a brand new piece by legendary jazz saxophonist, Steve Coleman. Checkout Anthony Cheung’s post about working with Steve on his new piece for Talea. After rehearsal yesterday, I had a chance to sit down with Steve Coleman and talk about his approach and interests.  Continue Reading »


Read what Hannah Duebgen, librettist from Toshio Hosokawa’s Matsukaze, says about Hosokawa’s connection to nature. Re-posted from Talea’s blog from January 2012. “When I first met Toshio Hosokawa, two things about him struck me immediately: On the one hand his life in two cultures, the Japanese and the Western world, and, along with it, his  Continue Reading »


Come hear Talea perform Hans Abrahamsen’s Schnee at the Bang on a Can Marathon on June 16th. More info here. Hans Abrahamsen’s Schnee is a wonder. How to say how? It is a sequence of aural images of snow, in some cases onomatopoeic (the swish of brushing off a wooden deck, the soft ease-crunch of  Continue Reading »

Learning Ferneyhough

This is one way of learning Brian Ferneyhough’s Incipits- graphed above by Talea violist, Elizabeth Weisser. Come out for June in Buffalo on June 5th to hear Elizabeth and Talea featured at this year’s festival!

Tara on FAMA

American Immersion: Beat Furrer is coming to New York May 14-17. Checkout what Tara says about learning this masterpiece and preparing her brand new contrabass flute for FAMA Scene VI. FAMA is really an amazing composition and it’s a thrill to be a part of this project. The writing is so imaginative and colorful and  Continue Reading »


FAMA is coming!  Mark your calendars for American Immersion: Beat Furrer for May 14-17.  Together with the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Bohemian National Hall, Talea will present an evening of chamber music as well as the US Premiere of Beat Furrer’s chamber-opera, FAMA. Read what Michelle Lou says about her experiences upon first hearing  Continue Reading »

Against the Morning

As we get ready for Saturday’s show at the MATA Festival, Taylor Brook gives some insight into his piece, Against the Morning. Come check it out this weekend at Roulette! The Talea Ensemble will be giving the US premiere of my recent composition, Against the Morning, as part of the MATA festival this Saturday night at Roulette  Continue Reading »

Play Ball!

Talea is westward bound this week for concerts in Seattle and Victoria, BC.  If you can’t join us out west, checkout Anthony Cheung’s program note about Tuesday’s concert at Town Hall Seattle.  We’re psyched to be collaborating with rock star cellist, Joshua Roman. The Talea Ensemble presents a concert on the theme of “games,” loosely  Continue Reading »


In case you missed Talea’s performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Mikrophonie I, you can checkout a recording of the concert here. Happy listening!

Mikrophonie I

The man who excites hardly can judge upon what he is doing… (Karlheinz Stockhausen) It is late Saturday night, and we have spent many hours over the last few days in a white room making noises on a very, very large tam-tam. We will spend many more hours doing the same over the days to  Continue Reading »

On Ralph

  The first nine months of 2012 have been filled with an underlying sadness in the wake of the death of Ralph Kaminsky, who died on January 15 at age 85. I have never met anyone like him. In a state-of-the-art listening room (with, for equipment geeks, two Wilson Audio Alexandria speakers holding court) he  Continue Reading »


About this time a couple years ago, Talea was getting ready to perform a portrait concert of Boulez’s works at Miller Theatre.  Boulez had been with us for the few rehearsals leading up to the performance and we were honored to have David Robertson, conductor of St. Louis Symphony and former music director of Ensemble  Continue Reading »


  Your new work, SynchroniCities is a play on words; you’ve turned it into a compound word: time and place. I understand you took field recordings in different locations and worked them into the piece. What inspired you to do this? And can you describe the processes involved in incorporating these recordings? I was interested  Continue Reading »


                Columbia Professor, legendary trombonist, improvisor and scholar George Lewis speaks a bit about his new work for Talea and about his compositional approach.     Talea will be premiering your work, Mnemosis, on December 14th. What was the point of departure for this piece? Mnemosis draws inspiration from  Continue Reading »


    Composer, saxophonist Steve Lehman fields questions about his work and his upcoming piece, Khalid. Can you talk a bit about how you found yourself choosing to study music composition first at Wesleyan while concurrently at the Hartt School of Music and then later at Columbia? What attracted you to these institutions? Well, my parents  Continue Reading »

SYNCHRONICITIES: Christopher Trapani

  Composer Christopher Trapani talks about his new work, Waterlines, written for Talea and funded by an American Composers Forum Jerome Foundation commissioning grant. You were born and raised in New Orleans and it is clear that the rich sonic tapestry of blues and jazz is an important element that you draw from in your  Continue Reading »

torsion: transparent variation

Looking back on last night’s concert at Wien Modern and looking forward to tomorrow’s concert at Contempuls, Talea bassoonist talks about learning Olga Neuwirth’s torsion: transparent variation for solo bassoon and ensemble. When I first received my part to Olga Neuwirth’s torsion: transparent variation for solo bassoon and ensemble, I quickly realized the amount of  Continue Reading »

Ca tourne ca bloque

Hear an excerpt of Ondřej Adámek’s Ca tourne ca bloque and read what Talea intern, Zach Seely, says about Adámek’s fascinating music. Come hear the US Premiere of Ca tourne ca bloque on September 21st at the Bohemian National Hall. [Audio clip: view full post to listen] I am always excited when introduced to a composer’s  Continue Reading »

Recording Romitelli

July 31, 2012!  Talea Record Release on Tzadik Anamorphosis: Music by Fausto Romitelli Read what Beth Weisser says about her experience in working on the new disc. In March of this year, Talea traveled to EMPAC to record works by one of our favorite composers, Fausto Romitelli. Recording is something that comes with the territory of  Continue Reading »

James Dillon: New York Triptych

In anticipation of the world premiere of James Dillon’s New York Triptych, Talea cellist and Dillon-veteran Chris Gross talks about his experience in learning Dillon’s music. Come hear the world premiere on July 16, at the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt Practicing your own part of a new work is kind of like studying an elephant by  Continue Reading »

Persephassa at Storm King

Of all of the music we play that makes reference to nature, it is the work of Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) that for me most clearly suggests natural phenomena in their manner of operation and capacity for overwhelming power. The Greek born Xenakis was a trained and practicing architect, engineer, mathematician, music theorist, and not least  Continue Reading »

Gala 2012

If you missed Talea Gala 2012, you can catch a glimpse of the festivities here! Stay tuned for announcements about Talea Gala 2013!  

Listening to Gérard Grisey’s Talea

Come hear Talea play Grisey’s Talea this Friday April 20th at the DiMenna Center! Talea friend and wonderful music journalist, Bruce Hodges, shares his insight on listening to this spectral masterpiece and Talea’s namesake. In Latin, “talea” means “cutting,” and in Gérard Grisey’s Talea, an initial idea is gradually excised—elements removed and others taking their  Continue Reading »

A Tribute to Fausto Romitelli

As we gear up for a week of recording Fausto Romitelli’s music at EMPAC, get to know Fausto through some beautiful tributes written by his friends and family. We were fortunate to have gathered these for a concert back in April 2010, and happy to share them again here with our e-fans! Riccardo Nova: Composer  Continue Reading »

Thomalla’s Capriccio

We are excited to premiere a brand new work by Hans Thomalla. Come hear Capriccio on March 9th! Read what Talea’s Artistic Director, Anthony Cheung, and Hans had to say about it recently. AC: Many of your works reference historical genres pieces of the past, particularly the early 19th Century. Titles such as “Character pieces,”  Continue Reading »

Sequenza VI

  Read what Talea violist, Elizabeth Weisser, says about learning and performing Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VI.  Then come hear her shred this Sunday, February 26th at 4 PM, at the Roger Smith Hotel! iNSIDE Out Series Negative Space: Music and Silence for One Viola Works by Ianns Xenakis, J.S. Bach, and Luciano Berio I was  Continue Reading »

Get to know Donatienne

We are excited to have the fabulous Donatienne Michel-Dansac joining us from Paris very soon.  Come hear her sing Bernhard Lang’s DW 16: Songbook 1 as a part of the Austrian Cultural Forum’s 10th Anniversary Series at the Bohemian National Hall on February 17th. Get to know her here first!   You joined a chorus  Continue Reading »

Enno Poppe’s Holz

In preparation for Saturday’s Inharmonic/ (X)enharmonic concert at Merkin, Rane Moore tells us about mastering Enno Poppe’s clarinet concerto, Holz. Listen Here: Enno Poppe: Holz (excerpt) Klangforum Wien, Stefan Asbury (conductor) “I’ve spent the last month or so engrossed in the music of Enno Poppe. His clarinet concerto Holz, was written for one of my heroes, clarinetist  Continue Reading »

John Zorn Portrait

John Zorn Composer Portrait Video Preview We are psyched to premiere  John Zorn’s Bateau Ivre (2011) on Friday December 9th at Miller Theatre.  Join us and a great collection of all-stars including Fred Sherry, Jennifer Koh, Stephen Gosling, and many more. Bateau Ivre (2011) has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning  Continue Reading »

Revisiting Kontakte

Last night, Alex and I rehearsed Stockhausen’s Kontakte for the first time since our performance of it at the Spark festival in Minneapolis last fall. The concert on Friday at the German Consulate New York will be our third outing with the work, a milestone of electroacoustic music which remains mesmerizing a half century after  Continue Reading »

Welcome to the New Talea Site!

Welcome to the Talea Ensemble’s newly revamped website! With this digital makeover we are pleased to announce the 2011-12 season and several new features of the site itself: updated audio/video clips as well as the beginning of a regular blog series that will feature the contributions of performers, composers, and audiences. 2011-12 marks Talea’s fifth  Continue Reading »