Groundbreaking acts such as electronic explorers Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Mouse on Mars and Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir (formerly of alt-rock favorite Múm), along with leading new classical pioneers eighth blackbird – with special guest Bonnie “Prince” Billy – and the Crash Ensemble, will join Bryce & Aaron Dessner and others in an unforgettable weekend of kaleidoscopic performances. Former Westminster Abbey organist James McVinnie will also return to MusicNOW to present a special concert.
Some of MusicNOW’s many highlights will include:
• eighth blackbird with Bryce Dessner perform the evocative music of late composer Julius Eastman
• eighth blackbird join Bonnie “Prince” Billy in a powerful performance of Frederic Rzewski’s politically-charged classic, “Coming Together”
• Ireland’s Crash Ensemble perform Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s masterpiece, “Schnee”
• Organist James McVinnie performs the work of Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Meredith Monk, Bryce Dessner and others.
Noted writer and musicologist Will Robin will host several pre-concert discussions.
Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center will host an exhibition by photographer Graham MacIndoe, featuring images from The National’s “Sleep Well Beast” and subsequent tour curated by The National’s Scott Devendorf.
Also running concurrently with the festival: two video installations by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson – a frequent collaborator with The National and the Dessners – on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum, “The Visitors” and “Scenes from Western Culture.”
The Cincinnati Ballet will present a work based on Bryce Dessner’s “Murder Ballads” with music performed by eighth blackbird and choreography from the legendary Justin Peck of the New York City Ballet in several performances during the weekend.
The full lineup and program for MusicNOW – along with the full schedule and ticketing information – will be announced in early February. Homecoming passholders and VIPs will be offered a special pre-sale, along with discounts and free admission to select MusicNOW programs.
Please contact Jonathan Lippincott if you would like to Donate to MusicNOW. MusicNOW is a 501©(3) corporation. All contributions to musicNOW are tax deductible. Contributions may be sent to:
PO Box 43144
Cincinnati, OH 45243
MusicNOW was founded in 2006 by Bryce Dessner of The National. Through the years, the festival has invited contemporary musicians and risk-taking artists who do not fit neatly into genre defined categories. Past performances have included festival-only collaborations, world premiere compositions, and sold out audiences.