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Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010

Present Music’s restless journey

Being the first ever electronica band from Burkina Faso, the landlocked African nation formerly known as Upper Volta, is an interesting accomplishment. More intriguing, however, is the overall career of the group’s co-founder and percussionist, Lukas Ligeti. The son of one of the mid-20th century’s singular composers, Gyorgi Ligeti (author of the spooky music from 2001: A Space Odyssey), the younger Ligeti has found...
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kala Ramnath adds raga mastery to bill featuring Glass, Nyman and Riley

2008-2009 has been an interesting season for Milwaukee's premier exponents of recent classical music, Present Music. Despite economic woes, attendance has been affected slightly, if at all. And Present Music expanded its scope of venues to include Discovery World, the Wherehouse and Turner Hall Ballroom...
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009

Classical Review

Present Music continued its exploration of untried classical concert venues last Saturday evening at Discovery World's Pilot House. A lovely space, with a panoramic view of the lake and shore, the carpeted room has little natural resonance. This did not matter much since the entire concert was amplified. Attendees also had the chance to tour museum exhibits before and after the concert, with a few music installations...
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009

Classical Review

Present Music explored yet another venue in two concerts last weekend at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, home to the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and other organizations. I caught the Saturday performance. The space, a multipurpose room with moveable seating and a wooden floor, has a clean, true sound with just the right amount of resonance. It may be the best place in Milwaukee for...
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009

Classical Preview

"Present Music is known for building big concerts and big audiences," says Managing Director Eric Lind. Past concerts have been held at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World, Turner Hall and even the zoo. But for its next concert, titled Close Up, the ensemble seeks to replace largeness with intimacy. "I want to try something that really focuses on listening and the virtuosity of our players...
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

Present Music’s season opener

"It's exciting to play new music there," Stalheim says. "You feel the history, and it's like the place is brought back to life." Bringing the feel of old Turner Hall back to life is Sofia Gubaidulina's Witty Waltzing and Igor Stravinsky's Ragtime, two compositions that turn back the clock to the days when the ballroom hosted formal dances. Caroline Mallonee's Keeping Time In a Bottle, a variation on 100 Bottles of Beer in which musicians play empty beer bottles, is a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the old German beer hall tradition. Elena Kats-Chernin's Charleston Noir and Randall Woolf's Hee Haw are digitally sequenced modern variants of antiquated dance numbers . . .
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008

Classical Review

Present Music has held concerts at Windhover Hall at the Milwaukee Art Museum for a few years. For the first time the ensemble moved music into the galleries of the museum last Saturday evening in an exploration of the relationships between art, architecture and music.
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008

Present Music at Milwaukee Art Museum

When attending a classical concert, most of us are accustomed to sitting quietly in one place and allowing the music to transport us. If the venue is particularly noteworthy, you might reflect on how the surroundings are enlivened by the play of sounds.