Bienen Ensembles

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

Part of NUNC! 5 (the Northwestern University New-Music Conference)

Friday, April 21, 2023 at 7:30pm CDT

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

Alan Pierson, conductor
Jennifer Huang, graduate assistant conductor
Julia Wolfe, guest composer

The opening performance of NUNC! 5 culminates in Luciano Berio's iconic Sinfonia, for voices and orchestra. Both an expression of the political tumult of the late 1960s and a reflection on the entire history of Western music, Sinfonia is one of the most influential works of the 20th century.

The orchestra welcomes guest composer Julia Wolfe with a performance of her Fountain of Youth, commissioned by the New World Symphony and Carnegie Hall and premiered in 2019. Wolfe explains, "My fountain of youth is music, and in this case I offer the orchestra a sassy, rhythmic, high energy swim." The program opens with a uniquely mind-bending fanfare, Nautilus, by Scottish electronic music producer and composer Anna Meredith, and features a rare performance of James Tenney's magical 1976 landmark exploration of spectral tuning, Harmonium #1.

Anna Meredith, Nautilus
James Tenney, Harmonium #1
Julia Wolfe, Fountain of Youth
Luciano Berio, Sinfonia

View NUNC! 5 Program Book

Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid ID.

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About NUNC! 5

April 21-23, 2023

The Institute for New Music’s fifth conference and festival, NUNC! 5, will feature guest composers Julia Wolfe and Alex Temple as well as guest keynote speaker Miki Kaneda (Boston University). Guest ensembles include the New York-based Yarn/Wire, who will present a concert, workshop and master class.

The Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alan Pierson, will open the conference with a performance of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia alongside Julia Wolfe’s Fountain of Youth and Anna Meredith’s Nautilus. The Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, led by Donald Nally, will give the Midwest premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Letter from Abigail together with David Lang’s the national anthems. The conference will close with a Contemporary Music Ensemble concert conducted by Ben Bolter and Alan Pierson, featuring Julia Wolfe’s Impatience, Alex Temple’s The Man Who Hated Everything and Tania León’s Rítmicas.

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Pick-Staiger Concert Hall


50 Arts Cir Dr
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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Pick-Staiger is a 972-seat hall located in the Arts Circle on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University. The main lobby entrance for concerts is on the west side of the building (revolving and regular doors). Since its inception in 1975, the hall has functioned as both a classroom and performance facility for Bienen School of Music performing ensembles, faculty recitals, festivals, and professional guest artists.