Performance Saturday, April 6, 2013 | 9 PM

Alarm Will Sound

Zankel Hall
Committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music, Alarm Will Sound has a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill. This wildly inventive group, hailed as “the future of classical music” (The New York Times), premieres new works by former Battles singer and guitarist Tyondai Braxton, Dublin-based Crash Ensemble founder Donnacha Dennehy, and AWS founding member John Orfe, as well as compositions by David Lang and Charles Wuorinen.

This concert is part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall and My Time, My Music.


  • Alarm Will Sound
    Alan Pierson, Artistic Director and Conductor
  • Rachel Calloway, Mezzo-Soprano


  • JOHN ORFE Journeyman (NY Premiere)
  • DAVID LANG increase
  • TYONDAI BRAXTON Fly By Wire (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • CHARLES WUORINEN Big Spinoff (NY Premiere)
  • DONNACHA DENNEHY Scenes from The Hunger (NY Premiere)


  • Alarm Will Sound

    Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today's music. It has established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill. The versatility of Alarm Will Sound allows it to take on music from a wide variety of styles. Its repertoire ranges from European to American works, from the arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Since its inception, Alarm Will Sound has been associated with composers at the forefront of contemporary music. Through its work as the resident ensemble at the Mizzou International Composers Festival, the ensemble also champions the work of the next generation of composers. The group itself includes many composer-performers, allowing for an unusual degree of insight into the creation and performance of new work.

    Alarm Will Sound may be heard on six recordings. Canzonas Americanas-its latest release on Cantaloupe Music-features music by Derek Bermel, whose eclectic approach draws on the musical traditions of Europe, North and South America, and Africa. The genre-bending, critically acclaimed recording Acoustica features live-performance arrangements of music by electronica guru Aphex Twin. This unique project taps the diverse talents within the group, from the many composers who made arrangements of the original tracks to the experimental approaches developed by the performers.

    Members of the ensemble began playing together while studying at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. With diverse experience in composition, improvisation, jazz and popular styles, early music, and world music, they bring intelligence and a sense of adventure to all their performances.

    Visit for more information.

    Alan Pierson

    Alan Pierson is the artistic director of Alarm Will Sound, artistic director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and principal conductor of the Dublin-based Crash Ensemble. He has also appeared as a guest conductor with the London Sinfonietta, Steve Reich Ensemble, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Ensemble ACJW, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Silk Road Project. In addition, he has served as a visiting faculty conductor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Mr. Pierson has collaborated with major composers and performers, including Yo-Yo Ma, Steve Reich, Dawn Upshaw, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Michael Gordon, La Monte Young, and choreographers Christopher Wheeldon, Akram Khan, and Eliot Feld. Mr. Pierson has recorded for Nonesuch Records, Cantaloupe Music, Sony Classical, and Sweetspot DVD.

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  • Rachel Calloway 

    Mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway's 2012-2013 season highlights include her Latin American debut at the Festival Internacional Cervantino alongside the Amernet String Quartet, and the world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank's Holy Sisters with the San Francisco Girls' Chorus and Joana Carneiro. This January, she created the title role in the first staged production of Mohammed Fairouz's Sumeida's Song at the inaugural Prototype Festival in New York City and returned to France for performances of Britten's The Turn of the Screw. She joins Ensemble Signal for a portrait concert of Oliver Knussen at Miller Theatre, and appears in numerous performances with the new music vocal ensemble Ekmeles.

    In the 2011-2012 season, Ms. Calloway made her European debut as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw. She has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in workshops of Nico Muhly's Two Boys and Michael Torke's Senna, and at the Castleton Festival in Virginia with Lorin Maazel. She has also sung at Cal Performances, Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. Ms. Calloway has appeared in recital at the Kennedy Center with the Biava Quartet under the auspices of Pro Musica Hebraica.

    A proponent of contemporary and lesser-known music, Ms. Calloway has given numerous world premieres, including Gabriela Lena Frank's New Andean Songs on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series, Nico Muhly's Stabat Mater Dolorosa with Ensemble Signal, and Steven Stucky's orchestration of Wolf's Spanisches Liederbuch. Ms. Calloway is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of Jewish art music suppressed by the Nazis and Soviets. A native of Philadelphia, she holds a bachelor's degree from The Juilliard School and a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and maintains an active teaching studio.

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At a Glance

Alarm Will Sound has been hailed as representing "the future of classical music," and true to form, no aspect of tonight's concert looks to the past. Not only are all of tonight's featured composers active forces in the new-music scene, but three of the works are New York premieres, one is a world premiere, and all were written in the 21st century.
Program Notes
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The Fast Forward series of concerts is sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP
Lead support for Carnegie Hall commissions is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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