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Fireworks Ensemble
THE BOX: music by living composers

Fireworks Ensemble will perform as a part of “The BOX – music by living composers” series sponsored by the Williams College Department of Music on Friday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. on the Centerstage at ’62 Center on the Williams College campus. This free event is open to the public however tickets will be issued as seating is limited. For tickets, call the ’62 Center Box Office: 413-597-2425.

This evening of music will feature works by David Del Tredici, Brian Coughlin, Lois V. Vierk, Scott Johnson, and the world premiere of a new work by David Kechley of Williams College.

Hailed as “the hottest classical band in New York,” Fireworks redefines the chamber music experience for a new generation of listeners. Founded with the goal of creating a single, small ensemble capable of representing the full scope of today’s musical diversity, Fireworks combines the talents of classically-trained but musically omnivorous young virtuosi who pride themselves on being able to play just about anything, regardless of style, time period, or instrumentation. Drawing on a vast musical palette, along with the creative vision and arranging skills of its director, Brian Coughlin, Fireworks develops innovative, eclectic programs which are both carefully unified and yet defy classification. Fireworks embraces eclecticism not for its own sake but in order to spotlight works it believes deserve wider recognition as vital, living art, regardless of style. The ensemble’s thrilling performances and contagious enthusiasm for the music of our time continue to attract critical acclaim and large, diverse, and enthusiastic audiences wherever the ensemble performs.

Highlights of the ensemble’s 2006-07 season included a presentation of its new program, Cartoon, celebrating music and video created for and inspired by shorts from the golden age of Warner Bros. animation at the Lied Center of Kansas, and a sold-out portrait concert of the maverick 20th-century master, Frank Zappa, including both the composer’s challenging instrumental rock music and rarely-heard works for traditional classical ensembles at the Miller Theater in New York City.

Other recent engagements include The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Minnesota State University, and The Deer Valley Music Festival. In 2005, Fireworks was invited to participate in the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Young Performers’ Career Advancement program, which culminated in a showcase performance at Carnegie Hall. Recent Fireworks programs include Dance Mix, party music from five continents and over 700 years, and Pyrotechnics, highlighting the vibrancy of contemporary composers from John Adams to John Zorn.

A fearless champion of new music, Fireworks collaborates with dozens of composers each year to push the boundaries of contemporary musical expression. In the last five years, Fireworks has premiered over 100 compositions and arrangements, including new works by Glenn Branca, Robert Carl, and Nick Didkovsky.

Passionate about its work with students of all ages, the ensemble devotes a large part of its time each year to residency and outreach activities. Over the last few years, the group has conducted workshops and residencies at the Oregon Bach Festival (where the ensemble worked with fifty emerging composers and premiered fifteen new works over the course of a week-long residency), Minnesota State University, GWSD School system in New Hampshire, the Lawrence, Kansas school district, Williams College in Massachusetts, and The Hartt School in Connecticut. This season, the ensemble will conduct workshops and composer readings at almost every stop on its west and east coast tours.

Fireworks’ recordings have enjoyed critical praise and radio play worldwide. Their acclaimed, rock-inspired recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (2003) was recently broadcast on Soundcheck on WNYC in New York, La Otra Musica in Spain and Radio Rock in Italy. The group’s first recording, First Tracks (2002) was recently featured on John Schaefer’s New Sounds on WNYC. Dance Mix, their highly-anticipated third CD, is now available.

For more information, go to www.fireworksensemble.org