Soundings: New Music at the Nasher

Soundings: New Music at the Nasher is the critically-acclaimed new music series featuring groundbreaking performances created under the artistic direction of Seth Knopp, a founding member of the Peabody Trio and artistic director of Yellow Barn. Soundings has been hailed as the “most rewarding music in North Texas” by D Magazine and described as “rapt and soulful…beautifully performed” by the New York Times.

Prorated season subscriptions for 2019-20 Soundings: New Music at the Nasher are still available - save up to 20% by purchasing a season subscription. 

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Friends of Soundings members enjoy exceptional benefits and opportunities for special access throughout the year.

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2019/20 Soundings: New Music at the Nasher Season
10th Anniversary Season

Music from Yellow Barn: Sons of Refuge and Resistance
Thursday, October 17, 2019

Described as a “wordless opera,” guitarist and composer Steven Mackey collaborated with percussionist Jason Treuting to create this update on the Music from Yellow Barn: Songs of Refuge and Resistance, the Soundings season opener, is a brilliant example of what makes the series so essential. This concert features the talent melding of Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Theo Bleckmann with the New York-based “accidental brass quartet” The Westerlies. Bleckmann, a German expat who’s called New York home for the past 30 years, is a phenom, often stretching the boundaries of his clarion tenor with ethereal electronic effects. Songs of Refuge and Resistance was first presented at Yellow Barn in the summer of 2018, but its timeliness has not diminished. The program includes original compositions from Bleckmann and members of The Westerlies, as well as songs from Joni Mitchell, Woody Guthrie, Bertolt Brecht and Paul Dessau, Judee Sill, Phil Kline, legendary union organizer Joe Hill, and others. “Whatever time you’re living in there’s always music that speaks to it,” Seth Knopp observes, “and its power rises above things that are happening around it and the climate in which it’s being created.” Music from Yellow Barn: Songs of Refuge and Resistance makes for a diverse, rewarding experience.

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Carolin Widmann: Works for Solo Violin 
December 4, 2019

Hildegard von Bingen: Antiphona
Jörg Widmann: Paraphrase on Mendelssohn’s Wedding March
George Enescu: Fantaisie Concertante
Salvatore Sciarrino: Sei Capricci (after Paganini)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004

The season’s next offering transcends the temporal with Carolin Widmann: Works for Solo Violin. Munich-born Widmann has had a celebrated international career and this concert will showcase her extraordinary breadth—she can do it all. From the haunting, austere beauty of Hildegard von Bingen’s 12th century Antiphona, to the contemporary deranged virtuosity of Salvatore Sciarrino’s Sei Capricci (after Paganini); from Bach’s celestial Partita No. 2 in D Minor to Jörg Widmann’s wry Paraphrase on Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, to George Enescu’s rarely heard Fantaisie Concertante, it’s an evening untethered to time and place. “Carolin is one of those rare people who is a champion of new music—she’s a champion of all music,” Seth Knopp says. “This program really represents who she is.” And while the eclecticism of the five compositions makes for a delightful program, Knopp observes that there are even more than five composers represented: Sciarrino’s work was inspired by Paganini and Jörg Widmann channels Mendelssohn. “I love the fact that those building blocks are being used by composers today,” he adds.

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Travis Laplante: Composer, Saxophonist, and Qigong Practitioner 
February 20, 21 22, 2020

This Soundings season’s musician in residence is saxophonist, composer, qigong practitioner and Renaissance Man Travis Laplante, who divides his time between Brooklyn and southern Vermont. Laplante is an astonishing technician, extending possibilities of the tenor saxophone into new territories that encompass the avant-garde, contemporary jazz and classical, world music, and beyond, swirled into a transformative artistic experience. His mastery of circular breathing, multiphonics and harmonics is virtuosic, and he’s likely to produce dizzying torrents of sound—it’s music as primal therapy, musician as shaman. His six-day residency will involve concerts in Nasher Hall, as well as in the galleries and sculpture garden. As a Pied Piper of improv and the moment, Laplante performances could lead audiences anywhere. “There’s nothing that Travis does that is not rooted in a kind of emotional psychology,” Seth Knopp maintains. “With all his techniques, it’s almost as if he wails beyond what’s humanly, physically possible, but he represents the emotion behind the wail. If he could go on wailing forever he would. It’s incredibly powerful.”

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The Other Mozart with Sylvia Milo, Actress
May 1, 2020

The other Mozart? Introducing Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart, known as Nannerl, Wolfgang’s older sister—prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer, forgotten in the mists of music history. Until now. The Other Mozart is the award-winning creation of actress/playwright Sylvia Milo and the final don’t-miss presentation of the season. The play features Milo in the title role, with music by Nannerl’s composing inspiration, Marianna Martines, two contemporary composers, Nathan Davis and Phyllis Chen, as well as some from her better-known sibling. Seth Knopp rhapsodizes, “It’s a wonderful play. First, it’s a one woman show and a tour de force for Sylvia—it’s a phenomenal amount of material, and really very beautiful. You become a part of that world.” The centerpiece of the set is the 18-foot dress Milo wears in the role, topped by a towering coif and wafting perfume, with dusting powder festooning the air. The parallel zeitgeist between Nannerl’s world and ours is clear, Knopp noting, “You come away feeling not that she was resentful but that she lamented the times and circumstance in which she was born.” The other Mozart lives again.

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Friends of Soundings

Show your support for new music in Dallas by joining Friends of Soundings. In addition to providing the crucial investment that allows the Soundings: New Music at the Nasher series to thrive, Friends of Soundings members also make it possible for local music students to attend performances for free and to engage with Soundings musicians through arts education and community initiatives.

In appreciation of their support, Friends of Soundings members enjoy exceptional benefits and opportunities for special access throughout the year, including:

$100 - $499
• Special recognition in all Soundings: New Music at the Nasher concert program books
• Complimentary wine and beer at concerts
• Email updates from the Nasher and a subscription to The Nasher magazine

$500 - $999
All previously mentioned benefits, plus:
• Season subscription for two to the Soundings: New Music at the Nasher 2019/2020 season
• Priority, reserved seating at all concerts
• Invitation to schedule a free private exhibition tour during museum hours led by a Nasher team member

$1,000 and above
All previously mentioned benefits, plus:
• Invitation to an exclusive appreciation event hosted by Artist Director Seth Knopp and Nasher Director Jeremy Strick
• Annual recognition in The Nasher magazine
• Dedicated phone number and email address for all Soundings questions

For more information, email [email protected] or call 214.242.5151. Friends of Soundings memberships are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law as a contribution to a nonprofit organization.

Soundings: New Music at the Nasher is supported by Jessie and Charles Price, Kay and Elliot Cattarulla, Laura and Walter Elcock, John W. Dayton, and the Friends of Soundings. Additional support is provided by Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger. 

Media Partner: WRR 101.1 FM. 



Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
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