Press

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The New York Times called the programming of the 2013 MATA Festival “intriguing” and the works performed “played with a poise and precision that sought and found the[ir] unique character. ” – The New York Times, April 19, 2013

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“Each concert was a non-stop rollercoaster ride of challenging new works that defied practical considerations. The players of the various invited ensembles—including Israel’s Meitar and NYC’s own Talea Ensemble—seemed to completely revel in it, ” – Frank Oteri, New Music Box, April 29, 2013

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The place to catch up on international cutting-edge talent. ” – The New Yorker, April 22, 2013

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At fifteen, Music at the Anthology is practically venerable but still fresh. After a kickoff (with drinks) at Paula Cooper Gallery on April 17, it’ll move to Roulette in Brooklyn for three nights of music you’ve never heard by composers you don’t know, played by two crackerjack ensembles. Discovery is the whole point. – New York Magazine, April 14, 2013

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“This year’s MATA Festival proved beyond a doubt that it’s still a strange world. Representing 19 composers from four continents, MATA is the contemporary classical equivalent of the U.N. General Assembly.” Village Voice, April 23, 2012

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The Programming of the 2012 MATA Festival was hailed as “a testament to MATA’s enduring mission and to the high standards maintained by its current directors, David T. Little and Yotam Haber” by The New York Times, April 23, 2012

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“Truly Visionary” -  Capital New York, April 20, 2012

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MATA is “the city’s leading showcase for vital new music by emerging composers.” - The New Yorker, April 2012

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“If you like knowing ahead of time exactly what a concert will bring, if you feel that the phrase “string quartet” evokes silver-haired listeners in gilt halls, if “recorder quartet” suggests to you fifth-graders piping, if you think composers should have both birth and death dates after their names, and if you prefer your music to be soothing and soporific—then you probably should avoid the face-off between the crackling JACK Quartet (strings) and the avant-garde Quartet New Generation (recorders) that anchors the Music at the Anthology (MATA) Festival.” -New York Magazine on the opening night of the 2012 Festival

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“The performance was as much an urban happening as an outdoor concert, and though the weather was steamy, an eager audience in rowboats did not seem to mind.” -New York Times, June 22, 2011 (Coverage of SWELTER)

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“For this summer, there was the prophetically named Swelter; the grim humidity had broken and made way for a brilliantly sunny afternoon. Conceived by three Australian sound artists named Julian Day, Luke Jaaniste and Janet McKay, some three dozen brass players, assembled in small sub-groups, were stationed around the Central Park Lake. The audience gathered around the shoreline and in rowboats out in the water. The brass calls really resounded across the shining surface. -National Public Radio, June 22, 2011 (Coverage of SWELTER)

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“This inventive, stylistically nondogmatic new-music festival…” -New York Times, May 6, 2011

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“…a veritable Tower of Babel of contemporary classical music. A bellwether of shifting tides in the genre’s current scene–having helped launch the careers of Nico Muhly, Lukas Ligeti, and Annie Gosfield–MATA moves beyond the pale of mainstream institutions, a diverse summit of cosmopolitan voices continuing a lively musical conversation. Think Wagner with laptop-driven electronica. This year just might get Stockhausen rolling in his grave.” -Village Voice, April 27, 2011

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“The MATA Festival, now in its 13th year, has always been nondogmatic, even antidogmatic. Its focus is young composers, never a monolithic bunch even when they share nationalities and musical backgrounds, and even harder to pigeonhole once you bring them in from around the globe, as MATA’s directors have always done.” -Allan Kozinn, New York Times, May 12, 2011

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“NYC’s trendiest new-music fest”
-Time Out NY

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MATA interval is “…edge of the cutting-edge.”

Bruce Hodges, Music Web International, January 13, 2011

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MATA is an “…energetic organization, which attracts some of the country’s best young compositional talent…”

The New Yorker, January 17, 2011

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MATA is a “…vibrant annual celebration of young composers…”

Steve Smith, New York Times, April 15, 2010

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Celebrating a decade of nourishing young composers, the MATA Festival provides them with an annual platform for their work, often by some of the most cutting-edge musicians on the scene. Of this year’s four nights at (Le) Poisson Rouge, I caught the middle two. If there are any conclusions to be drawn, other than the level of skill telegraphed by both composers and performers, it would be that no stylistic trend prevails. Composers incorporate everything under the sun—and we are the happy beneficiaries.

Bruce Hodges, MusicWeb International, May 11, 2010

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“This year, variety was the thing, and it was refreshing to the ears and the reason for the festival’s aesthetic success.”

George Grella, The Big City, May 5, 2010

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MATA is “making New York a better place for new music“.

Jeffrey Edelstein, MusicWeb International, April 3, 2009

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There were many incredible discoveries [at the 2009 MATA Festival]—from a piano and string quartet composition by MATA artistic director Chris McIntyre (whom I normally associate with trombone improv-type things) to a surreally meditative percussion work (those words already something of an oxymoron) by Cenk Ergün done by So Percussion (a group I normally associate with kinetic postminimalism). Then there were amazing pieces by international composers I had never heard of before—a dreamy and occasionally nightmarish solo piano piece by Kate Moore, an Australian now based in the Netherlands, and a joyous orchestra sing-a-long by Irish maverick Andrew Hamilton which came across as something of a Gavin Bryars’s Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet arranged by Conlon Nancarrow.”

Frank Oteri, newmusicbox.org, April 4, 2009

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“[Le Poisson Rouge] is a perfect home for the MATA festival: the club’s programming philosophy overlaps with MATA’s mission of presenting young composers who write in any style that suits them.

Allan Kozinn, New York Times, April 1, 2009

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“The MATA Festival, held every spring, specializes in recent works by young composers. And although its mandate covers a variety of styles, music that borrows heavily from pop has become an increasingly important component. Given the hot market for music by composers who disregard the classical-pop divide, MATA’s directors have wisely reasoned that it makes no sense to lay low between festivals, so last season, the organization began presenting MATA Interval, a series of bimonthly concerts at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn that has kept the franchise in view and virtually doubled the amount of music presented under MATA’s imprimatur.”

Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, November 11, 2008

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“Having presented chamber groups and soloists in its first decade, the five-day festival passed a milestone on Tuesday night when it imported the energetic Boston Modern Orchestra Project and its conductor, Gil Rose, for its first orchestral offering.”

Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, April 3, 2008

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“Eclectic, genre-defying programming”

Bloomberg Press, April 1, 2008

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“This roughhewn former public bath on bustling Fourth Avenue provided an ideally funky setting for MATAs experimental aesthetic.”

Steve Smith, The New York Times, March 22, 2007

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“Since the Bang on a Can Festival moved uptown a decade ago, it has become a more polished enterprise and lost some of the funkiness and sense of adventure of its salad days. But more and more, the MATA Festival has picked up the slack.”

Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, May 2, 2004

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“The MATA Festival, once presented at the Anthology Film Archives (the name is an acronym for Music at the Anthology), has migrated from the East Village to Chelsea, but its freewheeling spirit has remained intact.”

Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, May 14, 2004

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“MATA Festival named #1 Classical Music Moment of the Year!

The New York Times, December 28, 2003

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“Zany new music, but quirkily compelling.”

Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, May 14, 2003

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“Plenty of things scare us, but that doesn’t stop us. In fact, if it scares us, we get more excited about it and try to figure out how we can do it.”

Lisa Bielawa, as quoted in New York Magazine, April 1, 2002