MFA in Music Composition

Winter 2017 The City of Tomorrow / Visiting Ensemble

The City of Tomorrow, photo by Tarina Westlund

Approaching the delta where contemporary classical music, experimental music, environmentalism, and humanism converge, The City of Tomorrow is a woodwind quintet with unusual ambition. Seeking to give voice to emotions of people living in the world today, the quintet makes music to provide an outlet for our reactions to environmental destruction, endless war, the pixelization of our memories, the overwhelming mass of information collected on humanity every day, and other contemporary issues.

Forging a new identity for the wind quintet in the same way that Kronos Quartet did for strings, the City of Tomorrow commissions new works, seeks relevancy for older compositions from the 20th century, and continues to shatter expectations for a concert of wind chamber music. This frequently means unexpected sounds: conch shell horns, strange timbres coming from double-reed instruments, wails from the French horn, improvisation in the clarinet, and a flute that can whisper, spit, talk, and sigh.

Elise Blatchford, flute

A flutist who embraces the independent, experimental, and the DIY, Elise Blatchford is a professor, a member of the City of Tomorrow wind quintet, and a frequent soloist and recitalist. Her solo playing has been hailed for its "superb command of color and nuance" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Ms. Blatchford's willingness to take risks has extended to multidisciplinary performance art at the Next Wave Festival at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), touring with the amplified cello rock band Portland Cello Project, and arranging and performing an entire album by singer-songwriter Mirah with her partner Leander Star.

Stuart Breczinski, oboe

Stuart Breczinski is a New York-based oboist, improviser, composer, and educator whose early interest in making unusual sounds on the oboe has developed into a passion for creating and sharing innovative audio with audiences of all backgrounds. In addition to his work with the City of Tomorrow, he has performed as a chamber musician with Bang on a Can, Contemporaneous, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), ensemble mise-en, the New York New Music Ensemble, NOVUS NY, Signal, and the Talea Ensemble. Breczinski is the curator of Title Pending, a concert series that promotes and presents exceptional performers playing exceptional music of slightly eccentric orbit. He recently completed his tenure as the oboist with Ensemble ACJW, a program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

Rane Moore, clarinet

As well as her current work with the City of Tomorrow, Rane Moore is a member of Callithumpian Consort, Talea Ensemble, and Sound Icon. She is also a regularly invited collaborator with the Boston Musica Viva, International Contemporary Ensemble, Firebird Ensemble, Guerilla Opera, Collage New Music, Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Steve Coleman's Council of Balance among others. She is a frequent guest with Boston-based chamber music groups Raduis Ensemble and Vento Chiaro as well as the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the Boston Ballet Orchestra.

Nanci Belmont, bassoon

New York bassoonist Nanci Belmont is a dynamic musician who enjoys a diverse career as a performer, teaching artist, and arts advocate. She is a member of The City of Tomorrow, a touring wind quintet dedicated to the performance of contemporary repertoire. From 2010-2012 she was a fellow with Ensemble ACJW- a Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute.

Leander Star, horn

As well as his current work with the City of Tomorrow and orchestras in Portland, Oregon, Leander Star has performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under Maestros Riccardo Muti and Esa Pekka Salonen, Gruppo Montebello (the faculty chamber orchestra at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada), Fear No Music (Portland, Oregon), and the Friends of Rain Ensemble (the faculty new music ensemble at Lewis and Clark College.) He plays regularly with the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, Tennessee and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.