The MATA Festival returns home to Brooklyn for its fourteenth annual iteration with a curious collection of motors, new ensembles, installations, and new works from nineteen young composers around the globe (April 17, 18 – 20). Festival Directors David T. Little and Yotam Haber sifted through international submissions from a record-breaking 500+ composers, bringing only the most intriguing selections to and from our metropolis. This year offers a stunning roster of global voices, previewed in an intimate opening night salon at Chelsea’s ultra-chic Paula Cooper Gallery with wine and music (Tuesday, 4/17), featuring live re-mixes of music on this year’s MATA Festival by Preshish Moments’s Michael Carter, and loadbang. The “vibrant annual celebration of young composers” (The New York Times) continues over three nights at Roulette (4/18-20), Brooklyn’s newly-reopened Art Deco hot spot for contemporary music. Ticket details, starting times, and at-a-glance program information appear below.
Opening night boasts a quartet face-off between Quartet New Generation (QNG), a recorder collective from Berlin unlike any other, and NYC’s rock-solid JACK Quartet, with a new work for each by two of MATA’s 2012 commissionees: the West Coast’s Huck Hodge and Shanghai’s Yi Qin. loadbang serves as house band for the second night’s festivities, with a focus on performing composers like Kate Soper (featuring her microdrama, Only the words themselves mean what they say) plus two large-scale installations with hand-constructed instruments from Cecilia Lopez and Eli Keszler. SIGNAL sweeps in to close the Festival on the third night with a broad swath of new works from places afar like Iceland, Mexico, Greece, and, in the case of the Festival’s third commissionee, Francesco Filidei, both Italy and France. Over all, the Festival boasts music from twenty contemporary voices, including Matt Marks, Lesley Flanigan, Oscar Bianchi, Gordon Beeferman, David Coll, and Hugi Gudmunsson, plus video art by Jacob Cooper. Soloists Kathleen Supové, Mellissa Hughes, and Finland’s premiere kantele (plucked zither) player, Eva Alkula, join.
Following the success of last year’s new composer workshops, MATA offers three more this year, hosted by experts from around the field, including soprano Susan Narucki, engraver-publisher Bill Holab, John Nuechterlein, president of the American Composers Forum, Scott Winship and Frank J. Oteri of New Music USA. MATA is thrilled to once again welcome WQXR’s Q2 Music as the festival’s online partner. Q2 Music will record all the concerts of the 2012 MATA Festival, making them available for on-demand streaming at www.wqxr.org/q2music.
MATA has an outstanding track record in spotting new talent: the first three installments alone (1997-99) brought composers such as Jennifer Higdon, Randall Woolf, Lukas Ligeti, and Derek Bermel to wider notice, while later festivals have spotlighted Julia Wolfe, Annie Gosfield, and Nico Muhly, among many others. Say Festival Directors Little and Haber: “We received 500 submissions for this year’s festival – not only a MATA record, but also making it among the largest, most competitive music competitions in the world, with submissions from five out of seven continents. Featuring performers from the USA, Argentina, Finland, and Germany, it marks our most diverse festival to date. We could not be more proud of the exceptional and explosive music showcased this year.”