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Stockholm meets New York in ‘Double Quartet’

UB is the first stop on a five-concert tour by the New York City-based Either/Or, pictured above, and Sweden's Ensemble Son.


Published September 26, 2013

Two ensembles with similar backgrounds—but residing on two different continents—will team up next week at UB to present a program featuring five world premieres of work commissioned specifically for this unique international collaboration.

“Double Quartet,” a collaboration between Stockholm’s Ensemble Son and New York City’s Either/Or, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campus. The program includes world premieres of work by American and Swedish composers Richard Carrick, Lisa Streich, Keeril Makan, Ivo Nilsson and Zeena Parkins.

While at UB, Ensemble Son and Either/Or also will conduct a composer reading session, with quartet members reading works by UB composers at 11 a.m. Oct. 4 in Lippes Concert Hall. It is free and open to the public.

The concert and composer reading session are sponsored by the Robert & Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music.

Although they come from different parts of the world, the musicians of “Double Quartet” are all highly regarded as experienced interpreters of new music with broad backgrounds in experimental music as composers and improvisers.

The UB concert is the first stop on the “Double Quartet” tour that also includes performances in Pittsburgh, New York, Malmö and Stockholm.

Ensemble Son consists of some of Sweden’s foremost musicians in the field of contemporary music—Magnus Andersson, guitar and plucked instruments; Jonny Axelsson, percussion; Ivo Nilsson, trombone; and Jörgen Pettersson, saxophone—united by the identical endings of their last names, a prerequisite for becoming a member. The unusual instrumentation of the group’s founders has forced the ensemble to commission new works. One of the group’s main goals is to explore “portrait” programs in the broadest sense, so they invite guests to collaborate with them.

Either/Or—featuring Richard Carrick, piano; Jennifer Choi, violin; David Shively, percussion and cimbalom; and Alex Waterman, cello—is a flexible chamber ensemble based in New York City. Founded in 2004 by Carrick and Shively, Either/Or presents compelling new and recent works for unconventional ensemble formations rarely heard elsewhere. Influenced by American experimentalism and European avant-garde, the quartet performs a repertoire that challenges categorization but shares a common focus on sonic exploration and the energy of live performance.

Advance tickets for the concert are $12 for the general public; $9 for UB faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $5 for students. At the door, tickets are $20, $15 and $8.

The Department of Music also will present three faculty recitals next month. All concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students.

Organist Roland Martin will perform his own work, as well as pieces by Lancen, Bach and Sidney King, on Oct. 12; pianist Stephen Manes, professor emeritus, will perform a program titled “Variations” on Oct. 15; and bassoonist Glenn Einschlag will perform on Oct. 18.

Other concerts on the music department’s schedule for October:

  • Pianist Wilhem Latchoumia will perform works for solo piano, including a new work by composer Franck Bedrossian, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 in Lippes Concert Hall. The concert is part of the Center for 21st Century Music’s Visiting Artist Series. Advance tickets are $12 for the general public; $9 for UB faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $5 for students. At the door, tickets are $20, $15 and $8. 
  • The Center for 21st Century Music will present “Late Night with Leonard Bernstein,” part of the Department of Music’s Slee/Visiting Artist Series, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in Lippes Concert Hall. This “multimedia portrait” focuses on the composer’s personal side and will include audio and video excerpts from Bernstein himself. Advance tickets are $12/$9/$5; at the door, tickets are $20/$15/$8.
  • The Slee Sinfonietta, UB’s professional chamber orchestra in residence, will present its Fall Concert II at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 in Lippes Concert Hall. Robert Treviño will conduct the orchestra in works by Milhaud and Martino. Advance tickets are $12/$9/$5; at the door, tickets are $20/$15/$8.

Tickets to all Department of Music concerts may be obtained by calling the Slee Hall box office at 645-2921, in person at the Center for the Arts box office, or online at