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The Music of Bryce Dessner

“Dessner’s sensibility as a composer is furtive, urgent, intense—nothing at all, in other words, like his rock band.” —Pitchfork

Respected equally in the worlds of indie rock and new classical, sought-after composer/guitarist Bryce Dessner is busy making richly imagined music and defying definitions. Celebrate Dessner’s “gorgeous, full-hearted music” (NPR) in two full evenings of kaleidoscopic work. Highlights include the epic Lachrimae for 17 players, featuring members of the SPCO, and a resounding new piece with invented instruments for Sō Percussion. Collaborators new and familiar will be present as Dessner draws friends from both the pop and classical worlds to perform his work.

In addition to working with composers such as Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, and David Lang, Dessner is also a guitarist with the National and cofounder of the instrumentalist group Clogs. As put best by composer Steve Reich: “I can’t believe one person can be such a good composer, a great guitarist, a wonderful curator—and a nice guy!” General admission seating.

Copresented with the SPCO’s Liquid Music series.

Program A

Friday, April 3

New music by Dessner including Lachrimae and Tenebre for chamber orchestra (Minneapolis Music Company featuring musicians of the SPCO) conducted by Mischa Santora; selections from Richard Reed Parry’s Music for Heart and Breath; string quartets by Pulitzer Prize–winner Caroline Shaw; and the Minnesota debut of Parry’s new band Quiet River of Dust, which includes Laurel Sprengelmeyer (Little Scream) and Stefan Schneider (Bell Orchestre).

  • Dessner: Lachrimae
  • Parry: Interruptions
  • Parry: Quartet
  • Shaw: By and By
  • Shaw: Entr’acte
  • Quiet River of Dust
  • Dessner: Tenebre

Program B

Saturday, April 4

An evening of special guests and new compositions includes the resounding Music for Wood and Strings for Sō Percussion; solo trombone and electronics by Ben Lanz (Beirut, The National); new collaborative work by Buke & Gase and Sō Percussion; a mesmerizing piece for solo violin and voice by Caroline Shaw; and a fascinating assortment of invented instruments.

  • Dessner: Solo guitar
  • Lanz: Solo trombone and electronics
  • Buke & Gase and Sō Percussion: New collaborative work (six-movement suite)
  • Shaw: Solo violin and voice
  • Dessner: Music for Wood and Strings