Petr Kotik:
Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble

April 21, 2009
Suzanne Thorpe

Conductor / composer Petr Kotik is one of the most interesting and compelling voices in the new music scene in New York. On Wednesday, May 6, in the newly re-opened Alice Tully Hall, he will conduct the Orchestra of the S.E.M Ensemble and Ostravská Banda in a program that will include premieres by Kotik, Christian Wolff, and Salvatore Sciarrino, as well as works by Elliott Carter and Gyorgy Ligeti. The FLUX Quartet will also perform. Belgian pianist Daan Vandewalle and Czech violinist Hana Kotková will make their Alice Tully Hall debuts.

Petr Kotik

Born in Prague, Czech Republic, Kotik became a resident of the United States in 1969 when he was invited by Lejaren Hiller and Lukas Foss to join the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1970, Kotik founded the S.E.M. Ensemble, which he relocated to New York City in 1983. In 1992, he founded the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, recognized as one of the foremost large-scale new music groups. Since its debut in Carnegie Hall in 1992, the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble has performed, to name a few venues, at Alice Tully Hall and Zankel Hall in New York, at the Konzerthaus Berlin, at the 1995 and 1999 Prague Spring festivals, at Oji Hall in Tokyo, at Spanish Hall in Prague Castle, and at Kunstmuseum Bonn. Kotik is also the founder and artistic director of Ostrava Days, the biennial summer institute and festival that takes place in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

We asked a few questions about the concert.

AE  How did the May 6 program come about?

AE  Can you tell us about the music being performed?

AE  You've been well known for your performances of music by John Cage, Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, but it's new for you to program Elliott Carter's music. Could you say a few words about this?

For recordings of Petr Kotik's work and performances of the S.E.M. Ensemble, visit CDeMusic.