Posts Tagged: NEXUS Percussion

What Is Music?

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One of two large sets of Woodstock Chimes suspended over the audience in Disney Hall for the Takemitsu Concerto with NEXUS and the Los Angeles Philharmonic

On the first day of music history class at the Oberlin Conservatory in 1967, our professor asked, “What is music?”. It was like a Zen kōan, and everybody contemplated it for the rest of the semester. We continued to learn music of the classical European repertoire, but I don’t remember if there was an answer to… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 33: 2013

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VIRGILIANA   We kicked off 2013 with two premieres. At the New Music Festival at the University of Toronto we presented the newly-commissioned work “Virgiliana” by Canadian composer Norbert Palej. It was his strong response to “Naples’ sun-bathed heat” and the “cool damp gloom and millennia-old mysteries” of the caves and grottos associated with Virgil and… Read more »

Honours for Garry and Russell

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At this month’s Percussive Arts Society International Conference in Indianapolis, Garry Kvistad and Russell Hartenberger received high honours. Russell received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Education, and Garry was inducted into the PAS Percussion Hall of Fame. Russell actually received the honour in 2020, along with co-recipients F.Michael Combs and William Moersch. But due to… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 25: 2006

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TIKI TIME AND MOZART   We opened the inaugural season of the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival (TSMAF) in Summer ’06 with four world premieres! Following its recent preview, Bill Cahn had been able to put the finishing touches on his new work “Night Ride” so it received its official premiere here. The piece was… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: PART 24: 2005

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THE ABILITY TO BREATHE TOGETHER   We were honoured to have our Drumtalker album nominated for a Juno, the Canadian equivalent of the Brit Awards of Great Britain or the Grammy Awards in the USA. The reviews were in:   Payton MacDonald (American Record Guide) said,  “Nexus remains one of the great percussion groups in the world…. Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 17: 1998

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KIDS AND CONCERTS    We kicked off 1998 with 3 months of intensive touring, beginning with Canada’s National Arts Centre where we presented our new commissions and a new piece by John Wyre called Still Life. We would come back to the NAC in May for 3 more concerts with its orchestra under Boris Brott. From… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 16: 1997

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RUNE We seemed to hit some kind of perfect constellation for CD recordings in 1997. February took us to California where we performed with the Pacific Symphony Orhcestra under Carl St. Clair in preparation for recording Takemitsu’s “From me flows what you call Time…” the following days. The reviewer of the performance said, “You listen… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 15: 1995-1996

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1995   CATHEDRAL SONGS, PEEPERS and COLGRASS   CBC Producer David Jaeger had asked the Winnipeg Symphony’s composer-in-residence Glenn Buhr “to compose a piece that would be an expression of musical community building. The work would be designed as a surround-sound symphony for performance in the Barbara Frum Atrium at the new CBC Centre: on the ground… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 14: 1993-1994

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1993   KROUMATA AND AMADINDA IN BUDAPEST   In Spring’93 the New York Times pointed out that “Canada takes the spotlight at this year’s Budapest Spring Festival”. We were honoured to represent Canada along with the Canadian Brass, Trio Lyrika, flautist Robert Aitken, pianist Katja Cerovsek and violinists Corey Cerovsek and Erika Raum. (In ‘92, Erika had… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 13: 1991-92

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#NEXUSat50    1991    ORIGINS   We decided to release our Direct-to-Disc LP Ragtime Concert of 1976 on CD. It would still be a recording of a live performance in every meaning of the word. We also recorded ORIGINS in 1991 and, similar to the ragtime recording, the music on ORIGINS was recorded directly from the studio floor… Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 11: 1986-88

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#NEXUSat50   1986    RARE INSTRUMENTS FOR GEORGE HAMILTON GREEN – with sound bytes: Between an Australian tour, Expo86 World Drums, Kennedy Center with Sharda Sahai (PASIC86) and a week-long tour of Tennessee, we found time to go into McClear Place in Toronto (photo attached) and record THE NOVELTY MUSIC OF GEORGE HAMILTON GREEN. Bob Becker says,… Read more »

Remembering My Good Friend and Colleague Ron Snider

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I first met Ron Snider in the 1980s while touring with Steve Reich and Musicians and later while working with NEXUS Percussion. Besides being an amazing musician, a loving husband and father, an expert in world music and inventive designer and builder of musical instruments, Ron was a wonderful human being. His recent untimely passing… Read more »

NEXUS AT FIFTY: Part Three

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1975:   DIFFERENT MUSIC   We continued performing our George Hamilton Green ragtime arrangements. Bob Becker was totally smitten, and says, “I was tracking down all of it”. For two appearances, we played rags and also our improvisation at the famous (or infamous) Bohemian Embassy coffeehouse in Toronto which (thanks to founder and long time CBC performer… Read more »

NEXUS performs Bolero: Spanish Dance

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For your enjoyment, the NEXUS performance of “Bolero – Spanish Dance No.5“ is now on YouTube! You can access it HERE.  “Bolero – Spanish Dance No. 5” by Moritz Moszkowski, performed by NEXUS with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992 on “The Story of Percussion in the Orchestra” (NEXUS CD#10306). Featuring Bob Becker on xylophone…. Read more »

NEXUS at Fifty: Part 2

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1973:   EXPANSION  We were performing “our own unique brand of improvised music”, says Bill, with the “simple desire to expand our own musicianship…There was absolutely no thought given to marketing – there was no market!” 1973 took us to the CBC Winnipeg Festival and also brought us our first foray into film music for Canadian… Read more »

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