Johnny Gandelsman / J.S. Bach

The Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin
First annual Terry and Rick Stone Concert

October 30, 2015 / 8:00 PM
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

Russian-born violinist Johnny Gandelsman’s singular musical voice comes from the spirit of collaboration. As a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, he has distilled the creative sensibilities of a wide range of master musicians from around the world. At MIT last January, Gandelsman returned to the classical repertoire with a pop-up, unadvertised recital, performing Bach’s Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin to a small but packed house. Lloyd Schwartz, describing the event on NPR’s Fresh Air, said, “I’ve heard some famous violinists attempt this epic feat, but none of them gripped me and delighted me as thoroughly as Gandelsman.” In 2015, Gandelsman took his powerful interpretation of these landmark works to the concert hall, reprising his riveting performance for the first annual Terry and Rick Stone Concert in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium on October 30, 2015.

Johnny Gandelsman has worked with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Bono, Osvaldo Golijov, David Byrne, Bela Fleck, Kayhan Kalhor, Suzanne Vega, James Levine, Mark Morris, Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, Nigel Kennedy, and Anna Sofie von Otter. Over the last several years he has premiered works by Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Vijay Iyer, Bela Fleck, Daniel Cords, Rubin Kodheli, Dana Lyn, Gabriel Kahane, Colin Jacobsen, Shara Worden, John Zorn, Christina Courtin, Ethan Iverson, Padma Newsome, Gregory Saunier, Evan Ziporyn, Bill Frisell and Nik Bartsch, as well as a violin concerto by Gonzalo Grau.  In 2008 he founded In a Circle Records, releasing award winning discs by the Knights, Silk Road Ensemble, Nicholas Cords, and Brooklyn Rider.

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) as part of the 2015-16 MIT Sounding Series.

Learn more about Johnny Gandelsman.

Image: Johnny Gandelsman. Credit: Demetrius Freeman/The New York Times.

Persona MIT Workshop

October 17, 2015 / 8:00 PM
MIT Rinaldi Tile Building, E33
34 Carleton Street, Cambridge

Free and open to the public

Persona, a chamber opera based on Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 classic film, composed by Keeril Makan, with direction and libretto by Jay Scheib, was previewed in a workshop performance at MIT on October 17, 2015. Rome Prize winner Makan and Obie-award winner Scheib—both MIT faculty—audaciously transplant Persona’s famously provocative and complex depiction of human frailty, cruelty, and identity into operatic form.

The fully staged production later premiered at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York on October 23-24, 2015.

Persona starred soprano Amanda Crider, was produced by Beth Morrison, and was conducted by Evan Ziporyn.

Learn more about Persona.

Maya Beiser: Uncovered

Cellist Maya Beiser, accompanied by Jherek Bischof on bass and Matt Kilmer on drums, performed music from her album Uncovered, featuring arrangements of classic rock tunes by MIT’s Evan Ziporyn.

September 25, 2015 / 8:00pm

Pre-Concert Talk by composer Evan Ziporyn (part of ArtWeek Boston; included with ticket purchase)
September 25, 2015 / 7:30pm

MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts

$20; $10 Students; Free with MIT ID

Cellist Maya Beiser has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. At MIT, Beiser performed a program built around her acclaimed album, Maya Beiser: Uncovered. This concert of canonical rock tunes, re-imagined and re-contextualized, expands the concept of a “cover tune” to be more than an homage to the original. These “uncovers,” in new arrangements by MIT professor and composer Evan Ziporyn, evoke the unprecedented power of the music of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Howlin’ Wolf, and AC/DC.  The September 25, 2015 concert also included a new work by indie rock bassist/composer Jherek Bischoff.

Learn more about Maya Beiser.

Image: Portrait of the artist. Credit: loulex.

FLUX Quartet Concert

6-hour uninterrupted String Quartet No. 2 by Morton Feldman Boston Premiere

February 28, 2016 / 2:00-8:00pm
MIT Killian Hall, 14W
160 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Free and open to the public

FLUX Quartet performs the long-awaited Boston premiere of Morton Feldman’s epic six-hour uninterrupted String Quartet No. 2 at MIT in 2016. FLUX was the first group to undertake this late 20th-century masterwork of sustained, quiet intensity, developing new performance techniques to deal with the piece’s extremes of stamina and concentration. They have since made the work one of their trademarks, with critic Alex Ross describing their performance as “a disorienting, transfixing experience that repeatedly approached and touched the sublime.”

Violinist Tom Chiu founded FLUX Quartet in the late ‘90s, cultivating an uncompromising repertoire that follows neither fashions nor trends, but rather combines yesterday’s seminal trailblazers with tomorrow’s new voices.

Learn more about FLUX Quartet.

Image: Flux Quartet. Courtesy of the artists.

Pamela Z

Works for Voice & Electronics
March 11, 2016 / 6:30pm
Le Laboratoire Cambridge
650 East Kendall Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Free and open to the public

Virtuosic singer, composer, electronic musician, and media and performance artist Pamela Z is a true pioneer of live digital looping techniques and a tireless creator and inventor. She presents a program of her own works at Le Laboratoire, Cambridge. With body-sensors, customized hardware, and software of her own design, she uses elegant physical gestures and intricate real-time digital processing to create dense, complex sonic layers in solo works that combine experimental, extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, and sampled concrete sounds. What results are aural and visual landscapes of stunning beauty and originality.

Learn more about Pamela Z.

Image: Pamela Z performs at Ars Electronica, Brucknerhaus, Linz Austria, 2008. Credit: Rubra.

MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble featuring EVIYAN

Exploring Improsition—the melding improvisation and composition
April 22, 2016 / 8:00pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts

EVIYAN is Iva Bittova, Gyan Riley & Evan Ziporyn – three unique composer/performers merging into a singular sound; a blend of world roots, post-minimalism, and jazz.

Founded in 1963 by Boston jazz icon Herb Pomeroy, the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble is comprised of MIT undergraduate and graduate students studying a wide variety of fields. Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director.


World premiere arrangements of EVIYAN compositions by Jamshied Sharifi, and music of Kurt Rosenwinkle, Thad Jones, and Bob Mintzer. Ricky Richardson, ’12, and members of the MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble also featured.

Learn more about EVIYAN.


Image: Portrait of the artists. Credit: Christine Southworth.