AME and TCI
by Victoria Paterson
Violinist and Managing Director of the American Modern Ensemble
|Victoria with her husband, Robert
American Modern Ensemble (AME) was founded in New York City, and
from its inception has performed exclusively at Tenri Cultural Institute.
My husband, Robert Paterson, is the Artistic Director, as well as a composer
and AME's percussionist and conductor.
There tends to be a lot of new music concerts at Tenri, and this
is no accident: word gets around in New York's vibrant new music scene
that Tenri is the ideal venue for new music, and as a result Tenri is
now it's the hottest space in town for chamber groups that focus on new,
classical music. One of the benefits of Tenri is the intimate space where
you can meet the composers after the concert at the reception in an informal
yet elegant setting. Part of its charm is that there is a special intimacy
and everyone feels a closeness to the performers and the composers.
Some may wonder what the phrase "new music" means. New
music can mean anything from music of the twentieth century to music that's
hot off the press, written by living composers. Like contemporary visual
art, some new music can be challenging, stretch the limits of what's possible,
introduce new ideas and provoke you to feel something you have never felt
AME's goal is to introduce the audience to the best new music, with
a full range of styles by composers from all over America. Each season
we choose one American composer to feature on a program devoted to his
or her music. On any given concert you might hear anything from very tonal
music to the extremely avant-garde. We feature all the instruments from
strings to woodwinds, percussion to singers.
We are very happy with the space at Tenri and our special relationship
with the Institute. Our first concert was in April 2005 and featured the
music of my husband, Robert. All our concerts have had full houses and
the response from the audience is tremendously positive towards AME and
Tenri. The Steinway piano is fantastic, the acoustics are wonderful, and
the overall feel of the space is perfect for presenting our concerts.
AME is having a fabulous first season- we had a “standing room only”
crowd for our October concert entitled Powerhouse Pianists.
|From left to right: composers
Derek Bermel, David Del Tredici and contest winner Karim Al Zand at
AME's February 14th concert reception at Tenri
Here’s what the New York Times had to say about AME:
"The contemporary music scene in New York may seem like a niche
within the niche of classical music. But this teeming musical world has
an intensely loyal audience and its share of brilliant young stars...
You could call Mr. McMillen and Mr. Gosling the dynamic duo of contemporary
music pianists in New York. In a rare occurrence, they are sharing a recital
program on Oct. 15 at the Tenri Cultural Institute, with Mr. McMillen
playing the first half, and Mr. Gosling the second. Presented by a new
group, the American Modern Ensemble, the program of mostly new and recent
works by, among others, Chester Biscardi, Lee Hyla, Eric Moe, David Rakowski
and George Tsontakis, is called “Powerhouse Pianists.” And
few people who have heard them would quibble with that billing for these
thoroughly impressive players."
– Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, October 7, 2005
"Pessimists about the future of classical music may be looking
in the wrong places. There were empty seats at the Metropolitan Opera’s
estimable “Aida” on Friday night, but on Saturday, 'Powerhouse
Pianists' filled the Tenri Cultural Institute to its gills, with standees
crowding the rim of this small West Village gallery and hopeful ticket
buyers stretching out onto 14th Street."
– Bernard Holland, New York Times, October 18, 2005
|The Patersons perform together
at AME's debut concert
Love and Sensuality in February was a Valentine’s Day inspired
concert that featured great works by composers such as Jacob Druckman,
Leonard Bernstein, William Bolcolm, David Del Tredici, Alex Shapiro, and
others. This concert featured a number of world-class performers, including
Paul Sperry, one of America’s greatest singers and proponents of
American song. There was a special reception, including exquisite, gourmet
desserts, champagne and strawberries—the perfect ending to a night
on the town.
Our last concerts of the season on May 27th and 28th will feature
the music of 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, who will
be in attendance. These concerts will include many of his classic chamber
works, including Boston Fancies, Ad Parnassum, and his beautiful, recently
written Partita-Pastorale, after J.S.B., and we will also be presenting
the NYC premiere of his brand-new Piano Quintet. Please join us to meet
and hear the music of one of America’s greatest living composers.
American Modern Ensemble exclusively programs and celebrates American
music. This unique philosophy makes AME a real standout among the diverse
new music groups in the United States. We provide a terrific forum for
the diverse cornucopia of American composers in an intimate setting at
the Tenri Cultural Institute.
Visit our brand-new website at www.americanmodernensemble.org
to see more coverage and upcoming concert information. American Modern
Ensemble is a non-profit organization where tax deductible donations can
be made that ensures a successful first season and beyond that, a successful
future at the Tenri Cultural Institute.