Touted by music writers as a major musical event of the New York City concert season, the revelatory American Mavericks series of concerts featured the work of groundbreaking composers who changed music forever, including John Cage, Steve Reich, John Adams, Meredith Monk, and more. Performances by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony—along with Jessye Norman and Emanuel Ax—formed the backbone of this momentous exploration of American music, which also featured performances by a new breed of musical interpreters including Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, Matmos, Joan La Barbara, Jennifer Koh, Lisa Moore, JACK Quartet, and Jeremy Denk.
The two-week celebration went citywide with events at several of New York’s leading cultural institutions, including free Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts at Abrons Arts Center, the Brooklyn Public Library, and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center; film screenings at Anthology Film Archives; dance performances, visual art exhibits, and classes as part of the 2012 Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art; and concerts at (Le) Poisson Rouge and The Kitchen. In addition, Q2 Music—WQXR’s online new-music station devoted to works of living composers—dedicated the entire month of March to coverage of the events, featuring playlists and programs curated by hosts with strong connections to contemporary music.
The National Endowment for the Arts is the lead donor of American Mavericks at Carnegie Hall.