Press reviews

FREQ: Review of Ostrava Days Live 2019–2021!


Ostrava Days, for those not in the know, is quoted as being “…a platform for making the music of our time…. No attention was paid to what the powerful cultural institutions expected or supported”. In the world of composition, there’s a constant struggle to stage “new” works — where new often means ... View Article

The NYC Jazz Record: Roscoe Mitchell's CD review


Conductor/composer Petr Kotik is a living link to an important part of New York’s musical history not so distant as it would seem. His association with the “New York School” of Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff and John Cage began with his producing the latter’s first concert in his nativ... View Article

The New York Times: Experimental and Luminous (CD review)


The saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell is best known as a founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. But even when operating outside that pan-stylistic group, his approach contains multitudes. When I reviewed Mitchell’s concerts at the Park Avenue Armory in 2019, I marveled at his solo-sa... View Article

Space & Sound, Ostrava in Prague


Check out the newest review about Space & Sound project for Czech music Quarterly by Matěj Kratochvíl. Page 1Page 2Page 3... View Article

The New York Times: Celebrating the Birthday of an Avant-Garde Hotbed


If you were an avant-garde composer about a half-century ago, the answer to the question of where you’d spent your summer vacation was, more likely than not, unassuming Darmstadt, Germany. Established in 1946 in that small city near Frankfurt was a warm-weather music course that proved peerlessly in... View Article

New York Classical Review: Darmstadt Institute goes back to the future, brilliantly


Darmstadt Institute New York exists to bring to the city new performances of all the old favorites from the original Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music. The latter is still extent, in its 70th year—the local version is a relative grandchild, 59 years behind. The Darmstadt course is... View Article

The Guardian: Roscoe Mitchell played with startling precision


The SEM Ensemble has always held a missionary zeal for contemporary programming. That was the case when composer-conductor Petr Kotik founded the group and led its initial performances of works by John Cage and Cornelius Cardew in the 1970s. And this crew is still ahead of the curve – as they demons... View Article

ConcertoNet: Creations Alluring And Alienating


Any concert by the extraordinary virtuosi of the S.E.M. Ensemble is a celebration, though I did almost walk out of their performance of John Cages Atlas Eclipticalis several years ago. That was, I am assured by those wiser than myself, my own shortcoming. Artistic Director Petr Kotik may have conten... View Article

New York Classical Review: S.E.M. Ensemble serves up a bounty of old and new premieres


The S.E.M. Ensembles annual December concert at the Paula Cooper Gallery has been dominated in recent years by music from Petr Kotik, the ensembles founder and music director. The previous two concerts have featured Kotiks substantial settings of text from Gertrude Stein, Many Many Women and his new... View Article

NY Times: A New-Music Concert by the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble


A New-Music Concert by the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble NY TimesNate Chinen... View Article

Musical America: Christian Wolff @ 80 Spry in Every Respect


During the postwar years, the "New York School" of composers - Christian Wolff, John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown - helped to refine the aesthetic of American experimental music. Although calling the group a "school" has stuck as a moniker, it suggests a lockstep organisation of rules and ideals that this ad hoc family of free thinkers decidedly was not. View Article

Brooklyn Rail: Christian Wolff @ 80


Two nights at the end of March served both to celebrate the 80th birthday of the composer Christian Wolff and to remind that connections to the New York School of composers—those responsible for some of the most radical and influential American music of the 20th century—are still very much with us. View Article

The New York Times: Celebrating a Centenary With Works by a Friend


You can picture the beatifically amused smile that would crease John Cage’s face, were he somehow able to witness the outpouring of tributes celebrating his 100th birthday this year. Yet as I was waiting to attend the latest event in his honor, at Alice Tully Hall on Monday evening, I was thinking a... View Article

Sequenza 21: Cage and Beyond


Just before intermission of the opening concert of the Beyond Cage Festival on October 22, I pulled out my iPhone to see if the Giants were beating the Cardinals for the National League Pennant, and was disoriented to see that it was 9:49pm. It seemed like there must have been a massive network malf... View Article

New Yorker: Atlas Returns


Atlas Returns New YorkerAlex Ross... View Article

Brooklyn Rail: Cage at 100


If you surveyed the concert programs of orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music ensembles across the country, then sorted the statistics, you would think that the center of gravity in classical music was slowly rotating through Central Europe—with occasional vacations to France, Italy, and Ru... View Article

NODO Festival: White operatic spots / Petr Bakla


Definitions of art genres are, naturally, neither absolute, nor sharp, nor unchangeable. Moving away from the clearly determined centre concurred by more or less all, and the nature of which is given mainly in historical terms, the unambiguity gets weaker and intersections with the other areas of art activities increase in number. View Article

Zapisnik zmizelého: Gate to the Law Wide Open - Try to Enter


With the Waiting for Godot dramaturgical ground-plan, the congeniously seized part of the Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial closed the New Opera Days Ostrava. The Gate to the Law by Salvatore Sciarrino is excellently written and Petr Kotík rehearsed it in adequate quality. The perfectly launched new festival saved the best for the last. View Article

The New York Times: When Soloists Dont Necessarily Star


When Soloists Don t Necessarily Star By ALLAN KOZINN Published: April 15, 2011 The composer Petr Kotik is also an adventurous conductor who founded and directs both the S.E.M. Ensemble, based in New York, and the Ostravska Banda, based in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic. Every now and then Mr. K... View Article Wilder Shores of Music


Petr Kotik is not a household name. But he wears as many elegant hats in the field of contemporary music as Ginger Rogers wore in the field of 1930’s musicals.  Not in order of importance, but Mr. Kotik is Founder, Director and Artistic Director of New York’s S.E.M. Ensemble, Artistic Director of th... View Article

ART on AIR interview - Petr Kotik & Joseph Kubera


David Weinstein in conversation with composer, conductor, flutist, and founding director of the S.E.M. Ensemble Petr Kotik and longtime ensemble member pianist Joseph Kubera in advance of their 2011 concert at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.  The conversation ranges from specifics about the wide rang... View Article


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