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Fireworks Ensemble

New York, NY            

A small ensemble with a huge musical vocabulary, Fireworks presents a contemporary American vision of chamber music. Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “the bridge between the contemporary classical new music ensemble and the mainstream popular audience,” Fireworks has led the charge to bring a fresh perspective on chamber music to established audiences, and to create a vital and thrilling experience for new generations of listeners beyond the concert hall. Fireworks defies convention with a jazz-like approach to repertoire that treats each piece as a canvas for a unique, personal interpretation.

Fireworks has premiered dozens of new works by both emerging and established composers such as David Del Tredici, Scott Johnson, Glenn Branca, and Robert Kyr.

Founded in 2000 by composer/bassist Brian Coughlin, Fireworks burst onto the music scene with Coughlin’s rock-inspired version of Stravinsky’s orchestral masterpiece, The Rite of Spring. Called “adventurous and ahead of the curve,” “classically-trained but musically fearless,” Fireworks quickly drew the attention of critics and a national audience. Since then, the ensemble has expanded its repertoire with projects as far ranging as Frank Zappa’s instrumental rock, Bach’s The Art of the Fugue, dance music from around the world, arrangements of 20th-century orchestral works, classic cartoon scores, and Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. Fireworks’ current program, American Tapestry, celebrates the diversity of American music from classical to rock, blues to bluegrass, and Lindy Hop to hip hop, revealing the hidden threads that tie traditions together.

Fireworks tours throughout the United States each year and has appeared on many of the country’s most prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, The Library of Congress, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and The Chautauqua Institution. The ensemble has made numerous radio and TV appearances, including Minnesota Public Radio, WNYC, and NBC’s “The 10 Show.”

Passionate about its work with young people and dedicated to reaching new audiences of all ages, Fireworks devotes a large part of its time each year to educational activities. Fireworks has participated in Chamber Music America’s Residency Partnership Program, Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program, and is currently ensemble-in-residence at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium.

Based in New York City, Fireworks is a regular at many of New York’s most venerable halls including Carnegie, Merkin Hall, and Miller Theatre. In her review of the group’s sold-out concert at Miller, Anne Midgette of the New York Times wrote, “Finally labels ceased to matter: this was just music and it sounded like music to keep.”

David Del Tredici: Beside a Pool (from “A Field Manual”)

Melissa Fogarty, soprano (LIVE RECORDING)

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David Del Tredici: Book of Sorrow (from “A Field Manual”)

Chris Trakas, baritone (LIVE RECORDING)

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