Alex Ambrose is the senior producer for Q2 Music, WQXR’s online station and website devoted to discovery, curiosity and vibrant 21st-century music.
Alan Pierson to Lead the Brooklyn Philharmonic
The Appointment of a new Artistic Director for the Brooklyn Philharmonic
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 02:26 PM
Finally!! Brooklyn lives up to its hipper-than-hip image! Alan Pierson, the 36-year old conductor of the groundbreaking New Music ensembles Alarm Will Sound and Dublin-based Crash Ensemble, is bringing his prodigious talents and badass programmatic instincts to the Brooklyn Philharmonic as their new Artistic Director, effective immediately. Pierson has made a name for himself as a tireless advocate of innovative music through collaborations with composers such as Steve Reich, Aphex Twin, Michael Gordon and Donnacha Dennehy.
On the Brooklyn Philharmonic's homepage, Pierson promises that "in re-imagining the role of the Brooklyn Phil, we want the orchestra to connect with the Borough’s population through events that celebrate and reflect its diverse communities." As a means to this end, Pierson is to lead the charge with an active outreach series called Junctions which promises to partner with a variety of local venues in free or low-cost concerts that emphasize collaboration and experimentation across a breadth of genres.
As our way of peeling back the curtain of what's in store for Brooklyn, Q2 is proud to present three major Alan Pierson and Alarm Will Sound works today at 4:10 p.m., EST: Steve Reich's Tehillim and The Desert Music and Michael Gordon's video opera, Van Gogh. You can also stream on-demand the sounds of both Alarm Will Sound and Crash Ensemble in recent concerts recorded live at the Greenwich Village New Music hub, (Le) Poisson Rouge.
Alarm Will Sound: Live from (Le) Poisson Rouge on March 23, 2010 with music of Caleb Burhans
Crash Ensemble: Live from (Le) Poisson Rouge on July 1, 2010 with music of Steve Reich, David Lang, Terry Riley and ensemble director, Donnacha Dennehy.
Here's a word from Q2 Host Nadia Sirota with her thoughts:
Yay Alan! I am so pumped about Alan Pierson's appointment as Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Phil. Alarm Will Sound, Alan's 20-piece band has a wonderful habit of putting on shows with some of the most imaginative programming I've ever seen in an medium-big ensemble setting. I am terribly interested in what Alan's unique sensibility will bring to the orchestral performing arm of my home borough!
I met Alan when we were both fellows at Tanglewood in the summer of I think 2004. Technically, we met on opposite sides of the music stand when he conducted Elliott Carter's surprising Holiday Overture, a Barber-y early work. But soon, we were both engaged in Tanglewood's premiere social outlet (I mean, beer...) and discovered how much we both liked "the new stuff" (I mean, music...). I was then, as I am now, very impressed with his mind and ability to think creatively about programming, promotion, the role of the artist, and so many other really, really important elements of curation. Also creation! I am a huge fan. So congrats to Alan, I can't wait to see what happens next!