Zeitgeist Announces Pianist Nicola Melville

August 25, 2014

Zeitgeist is pleased to introduce the newest member of the ensemble, pianist Nicola Melville! Zeitgeist is delighted to welcome Nicola into the ensemble as they look ahead to a season of new music and new collaborations. Stay tuned for details about Zeitgeist’s 2014-2015 season to find out when you can meet Nicola and hear her perform! 



US-based New Zealand pianist Nicola Melville has been described as “having an original and intelligent musical mind” (Waikato Times), “a marvelous pianist who plays with splashy color but also exquisite tone and nuance” (American Record Guide), and “the sort of advocate any composer would love” (Dominion Post). Her live performances and recordings have been broadcast on Canadian, U.S., New Zealand, South African and Chinese radio, and she has been involved in numerous interdisciplinary projects with dancers, filmmakers and visual artists, including performances at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Recent performances include solo appearances and residencies in Chile, New Zealand, Ohio, Florida, Chicago, Vermont and New York City, and several collaborations with cellist Jeff Zeigler (formerly of the Kronos Quartet), violinist Chris Otto of the JACK quartet, and various members of the Minnesota, Detroit, Boston, and Saint Paul Chamber orchestras. Upcoming engagements will feature performances in Birka, Sweden, Helsinki, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, New York and a tour of New Zealand. She is also working on a multi-phased recording project with the prolific New Zealand/UK composer, Christopher Norton, and will be creating new works with Berlin-based media artist, Mark Coniglio.

Nicola attended Victoria University School of Music, Wellington, where she studied with Judith Clark, and then earned Masters and Doctorate degrees from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Rebecca Penneys. Nicola won both the National Concerto Competition and the Auckland Star Concerto Competition while in New Zealand, and has been a prizewinner in several competitions in the U.S., including being the winner of the SAI Concerto Competition at the Chautauqua Music Festival. While at Eastman, Nicola was awarded the Lizzie T. Mason prize for Outstanding Graduate Pianist, and the Performer’s Certificate. She has won grants from such organizations as Meet the Composer, Creative New Zealand, the Argosy Fund for Contemporary Music, and the Jerome Composers Commissioning Program for the commissioning and performance of new music. Nicola has recorded for the Innova and Equilibrium labels, including a CD of thirteen new solo pieces dedicated to her, entitled “Melville’s Dozen.” Nicola is Associate Professor at Carleton College, Minnesota, where she heads the piano and chamber music programs, and is Artistic Co-Director of the Chautauqua Music Festival Piano Program in New York. 


 

Inuksuit: Clues for Listening

August 14, 2014

Zeitgeist and Caponi Art Park will team up to bring 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams’ major work Inuksuit to the Caponi Art Park Summer Performance Series on August 17. Before you go, Zeitgeist offers some background, insight, and clues for listening to and experiencing the work. 

Inuksuit
is a 70-minute musical work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Adams lived for decades in Alaska, and the seasons and landscape of the arctic infuse his creativ...

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Zeitgeist's Jazz Commissions at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

June 24, 2014

Known for their 35+ year history as an acclaimed new music ensemble, Zeitgeist is always eager to explore new artistic frontiers and is dedicated to the creation and production of new and diverse music. This year, Zeitgeist has commissioned four new works from local jazz artists Chris Bates, Steve Kenny, Zacc Harris and Davu Seru to be premiered at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. The ensemble is collaborating with each of the artists this week in rehearsals and will welcome them to the st...

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Spitting Image Collective Concert Preview

June 4, 2014

Spitting Image, a brand new composer collective in the Twin Cities, will make their debut this weekend with their The Hear and Now concerts at Studio Z in Lowertown St. Paul and Honey in Northeast Minneapolis.

Spitting Image was formed in 2013 by composers Katherine Bergman, Ted Moore and Daniel Nass with a mission of bringing together composers, performers, and listeners in order to strengthen the Minneapolis/St. Paul new music community. Their work includes commissioning new work from local ...

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Notes on høle in the skY

May 16, 2014

Høle in the skY is an artistic response to climate change and the specter of ecosystem collapse and extinction. With this work, Kathy McTavish uses film, music, poetry, narrative, and scientific data to create a world on the brink of a bleak and awful reality. In this world, the environment is changing dramatically, living things are disappearing, and hope is dwindling. Is this our world? Are we Martha? Is collapse inevitable?
 
The musicians of Zeitgeist, her fellow collaborators, enter this ...

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Interview with Kathy McTavish

May 14, 2014

We caught up with Duluth composer/cellist/sound artist Kathy McTavish for a look at her unique path as an artist, activist, and environmentalist and to hear the back-story for her new work høle in the skY. Drawing on McTavish’s past work in ecosystem modeling, the work considers the delicacy of ecosystems, our human quest to recover those systems, and what it might mean to be the last of a species left alive. Zeitgeist will present the world premiere of høle in the skY this weekend, May 1...
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Kathy McTavish's "høle in the skY" Concert Preview

May 12, 2014

Composer Kathy McTavish is our guest blogger today, providing insight on her new chamber work høle in the skY. Zeitgeist will present the premiere performance of høle in the skY this week, May 16-18 at Studio Z



I created an early sketch of this work for the 2013 Zeitgeist Composer Workshop funded by the Jerome Foundation. This opportunity "is a five-day workshop designed to give emerging composers the opportunity to develop creative ideas and stretch their artistic boundaries in an environ...

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Interview with Scotty Horey: Letting Go

May 7, 2014

Percussionist Scotty Horey was kind enough to share some of his thoughts with us as he prepares for his “Letting Go” concert at Studio Z this Friday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets and info here


Preston Duncan will be joining you on the program--a saxophonist I understand you've worked with quite a bit. How did your collaboration come about and what have you worked on together? 

Preston and I met in graduate school in 2008. Now 6 years has passed and we have played together all around the twi...

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Eric Stokes Song Contest Winner Elaine Klaassen

February 18, 2014

Elaine Klaassen, a Hillsboro, Kansas native who currently lives in Minneapolis, was recently named a winner of Zeitgeist’s 19th annual Eric Stokes Song Contest. 

Elaine is originally from Hillsboro, Kansas and currently lives in Minneapolis, where she is a piano teacher and newspaper journalist. She has written experimental music for dance, theater and performance art events in addition to traditional music for churches and community theater productions.

Elaine’s winning piece, Beat No More...

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Interview with Nathan Hanson

February 17, 2014

Zeitgiest’s annual Playing it Close to Home concert is a celebration of the wealth of musical creativity found right here in our own backyard. This year we’re featuring Nathan Hanson, a local saxophonist and composer who has been described as “unexpectedly tasteful and dignified” by ImproJazz-France. Over his career, he has performed with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Carei Thomas and Douglas Ewart, as well as with current stars Chris Potter, Tony Malaby...

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