An enchanting outdoor performance of John Luther Adams’ Ten Thousand Birds, in its New York premiere by the commissioning ensemble, Alarm Will Sound with music director Alan Pierson. For this immersive work, performers are situated throughout Morningside Park, playing material based on the songs of birds native to the eastern hardwood forest.
Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member band committed to innovative performances and recordings of today’s music. They have established a reputation for performing demanding music with energetic skill. Their performances have been described as “equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity” by the Financial Times of London and as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The New York Times says that Alarm Will Sound is “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene.”
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. Alarm Will Sound has been associated since its inception with composers at the forefront of contemporary music, premiering pieces by John Adams, Steve Reich, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Augusta Read Thomas, Derek Bermel, Benedict Mason, and Wolfgang Rihm, among others. The group itself includes many composer-performers, which allows for an unusual degree of insight into the creation and performance of new work.
Alarm Will Sound is the resident ensemble at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. Held each July at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the festival features eight world premieres by emerging composers.
In 2013-14, Alarm Will Sound also served as artists-in-residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Alarm Will Sound may be heard on nine recordings, including our most recent, Modernists, released by Cantaloupe in May 2016, and the premiere recording of Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite. Their genre-bending, critically acclaimed Acoustica features live-performance arrangements of music by electronica guru Aphex Twin.
In 2016, Alarm Will Sound (in a co-production with Opera Theatre of St. Louis) presented the world premiere of the staged version of Donnacha Dennehy’s The Hunger at the BAM Next Wave Festival and the Touhill Performing Arts Center. alarmwillsound.com
Part of the John Luther Adams Residency
Supported by the Isaiah Sheffer Fund for New Initiatives