Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music—the country’s first youth ensemble dedicated to studying and performing music by living composers—kicks off their 2019-2020 season at Roulette with a program exploring the theme of TRANSFORMATION—a motif that runs continuously throughout our ever-changing world. In the evening’s centerpiece, Face the Music performs alongside violinist-composer-vocalist Finnegan Shanahan in his work The Two Halves, a song cycle tracing the flow of the Hudson River. This concert is part of Kaufman Music Center’s season-long focus on “Transformation”—the power of music to transform lives.
Face the Music is Kaufman Music Center’s contemporary music education program for teenagers, and the country’s only youth program dedicated to studying and performing post-genre music by living composers. Praised for “stunning performances” by The New York Times, Face the Music features a collection of ensembles including a chamber orchestra, a jazz big-band, an improvisation collective, string quartets and mixed chamber-ensembles, all dedicated to studying and performing experimental, new-classical, new-jazz and avant-garde music written exclusively by living composers.
“Finnegan Shanahan is a whirlwind. Sometimes you’re swept away without even opening your eyes: vibrations and dazzling refractions split the air from splintering twisting hairs of a bow — that deeply swinging frenzied violin string — he is the twister. Hard storm comin’ down the falling trees like a nightlight of never-ending fingers, sometimes he carries you in clouds through star-neighboring sweetness, yes, he is the respite, he is the re-arranger of souls across those everlasting sound seas between you and me.”
— Dylan Mattingly