Past Events

Past Event Archive

Big Ears Festival: John Luther Adams's Four Thousand Holes
12:30 pm12:30

Big Ears Festival: John Luther Adams's Four Thousand Holes

  • The Square Room

Square Room concert by the Nief-Norf Project at Big Ears Festival anchored by John Luther Adams' Four Thousand Holes, a 30-minute submersion in Beatles harmonies, fused with piano, percussion, & electronics. Also a performance of Alvin Lucier's Nothing is Real and Elliot Cole's Postludes.

University of Kentucky: Boulez's "Le Marteau sans Maitre"
7:30 pm19:30

University of Kentucky: Boulez's "Le Marteau sans Maitre"

  • Singletary Center for the Arts

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2016) — Dieter Hennings, assistant professor of guitar at University of Kentucky School of Music, and an all-star ensemble will present "Le marteau sans maitre" ("The Hammer Without Master"), the 1953 masterwork by iconic composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, along with Pulitzer Prize finalist Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon's stunning song cycle "Sones de tierra fría." The free public concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall.

A controversial work of chrystalline, hallucinatory beauty, "Le marteau sans maitre" by Pierre Boulez is rarely performed due to its monumental technical and interpretive demands. The "Marteau" perplexed many composers and theorists of the day with the complexity of its harmonic language. It was a rallying cry for the postwar avant-garde, and became one of the most important works of the 20th century, standing alongside Arnold Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire," Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du soldat" and Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" as one of the greatest achievements in modern chamber music.

Historical importance and infamous difficulty aside, the music speaks for itself: amidst an exotic and seductive sound world of alto flute, xylorimba, vibraphone, percussion, guitar and viola, texts by the surrealist poet René Char melt into a sea of colors and textures. Australian, Chicago-based mezzo-soprano Jessica Aszodi, member of the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble, delivers the virtuosic solo vocal part. Grammy Award-winner Molly Barth takes the stage with the alto flute, and Andrew Bliss, the distinguished UK graduate, joins the percussion section.

"Sones de tierra fría" is by Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, one of Mexico's most prominent composers, who studied with George Crumb and Franco Donatoni and teaches at Eastman School of Music.

"'Sones de tierra fría' is an extended 'cancionero' (a songbook), currently 'under construction.' The title of the work refers to my having composed all these songs — my tribute to the 'sones' of México — in Rochester, New York, the cold northern region where I have made my home for the past 13 years," the composer said.

When completed, "Sones de tierra fría" will include settings of poems in several languages, penned by a number of authors from different eras, but woven together by a common thematic thread — love and absence. The cycle is also unified by its musical content: each song develops and recasts a small collection of harmonic and melodic archetypes, resulting in an overall formal design that is akin to a set of variations. The composer draws on texts from William Shakespeare (sonnets relating to night and day), and the Mexican poet Raúl Aceves. Internationally renowned soprano Tony Arnold is the soloist in these lush, evocative and rhythmically vital settings.

Other guest artists joining Hennings on stage are percussionist Stuart Gerber, fellow member of Bent Frequency and professor of percussion at Georgia State University; violinist Hanna Hurwitz, fellow member of Eastman BroadBand; violist John Richards, of JACK Quartet; percussionist Paul Vaillancourt, professor of percussion at Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University; and conductor Tim Weiss, director of Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble.

For more information on this concert, contact UK doctoral candidate Jeremy Bass, at

The UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, theory and music history.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;

nief-norf Summer Festival 2015
Jul 19

nief-norf Summer Festival 2015

  • University of Tennessee

Directing the 5th-annual nief-norf Summer Festival. Featuring guest artists Nicholas Deyoe, Jason Eckardt, Jennifer Ellis, Robert Honstein, and Sid Richardson.

Steve Reich's Four Organs and David Lang's child
Harrison Birtwistle's For O, For O the Hobbyhorse is Forgot
Philip Glass's Music in Similar Motion
Simon Løffler's b

2015 Fesitval info:

University of Kentucky: John Luther Adams' "Inuksuit"
2:00 pm14:00

University of Kentucky: John Luther Adams' "Inuksuit"

  • Singletary Center for the Arts

The University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of James Campbell will join forces with a generation of its distinguished alumni to present a performance of John Luther Adams’ outdoor masterpiece Inuksuit for 9 to 99 percussionists. 

The concert celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the award-winning UK Percussion Ensemble, who recently won the PAS International Percussion Ensemble Competition for a record 5th time.

Grammy Award-winning musician Glenn Kotche and the Artistic Director, Dr. Andrew Bliss, will lead a pre-concert talk in the SCFA President’s Room at 2pm. In addition, the UK Wildcat Marching Band Alumni Drumline will perform on Stoll Field in a pre-concert exhibition.

Designed as a concert with an open footprint, Inuksuit will take place on and around Stoll Field, the Student Center and the Singletary Center. If inclement weather arises, the concert will be moved inside the Singletary Center.

Tennessee Tech University Residency
8:00 am08:00

Tennessee Tech University Residency

  • Tennessee Tech University
"Andy Bliss' residency at Tennessee Tech University changed the way my students think and made me re-evaluate my approach as an educator. His expertise as a pedagogue, scholar, and performer are of the highest quality and I would welcome him back anytime! If you ever have the chance to work with Andy Bliss or bring him into your program, I couldn't recommend it more." 
Dr. Colin Hill ///   Director of Percussion - Tennessee Tech University
Northern Illinois University New Music Festival Residency
Nov 7

Northern Illinois University New Music Festival Residency

  • Northern Illinois University

Concerts with the Nief-Nord Project featuring work by Steve Reich, David Lang, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Nicholas Deyoe, John Supko, Evan Ziporyn and Christopher Adler. 

3 concerts, lessons, coaching, and all-school convocation.

University of North Carolina - Asheville "Ecomusics" Conference: John Luther Adams' "Inuksuit"
12:30 pm12:30

University of North Carolina - Asheville "Ecomusics" Conference: John Luther Adams' "Inuksuit"

  • University of North Carolina at Asheville

Musicians, scholars and activists from around the nation and abroad will gather at UNC Asheville Oct. 2-6 for Ecomusics & Ecomusicologies 2014: Dialogues – five days of concerts and workshops connecting music and ecological awareness.

99 percussionists led by Andy Bliss and the nief-norf Project perform Inuksuit by composer John Luther Adams, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for music.