Callithumpian Consort: Richardson, Mumford, Lachemann, Wolff, & Sheets

NEC faculty Stephen Drury created the Callithumpian Consort in the belief that new music should be an exciting adventure shared by performers and listeners alike, and that the brand new masterpieces of our day are beautiful, sensuous, challenging, delightful, provocative, and a unique joy.

Callithumpian’s repertoire is the new and unusual, encompassing a huge stylistic spectrum from the classics of the last 100 years to works of the avant-garde and experimental jazz and rock. It is grounded in the musical discoveries of John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Zorn, Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman, and Iannis Xenakis.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council and administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and also a generous grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

Watch Live Stream from Jordan Hall:

  • Callithumpian Consort
  1. Sid Richardson | Next Time Will Be Different (premiere) (2021)

    Next Time Will Be Differentwas conceived as a companion piece in response to a work for violin by Kenji Bunch, Until Next Time. Both pieces feature a unique scordatura tuning, in which the bottom two strings of the violin are tuned down a semitone and the upper two strings are tuned down a minor third. This results in two stacked fifths an octave apart, a tuning that limits the possibilities for natural harmonics and darkens the timbre of the instrument.       

    Next Time Will Be Different takes the form of five miniatures in which thematic gestures from the opening movement are reimagined in the subsequent pieces. I loosely envisioned the set as a theme-and-variations form, with the inherent promise that each piece would truly be different from those that came before it. As I composed, however, I realized there was a through-line that emerged throughout the piece in the form of open-string drones and double stops. As a result, the key areas of F# and C# predominate among several harmonic excursions. The use of microtones in the odd movements offers some variety to ensure that, in response to the Bunch, this set will live up to its title and be truly different from that work.

    Next Time Will Be Different is dedicated to violinist Lilit Hartunian, who gives the premiere performance tonight.

    - Sid Richardson

    • Lilit Hartunian, violin
  2. Kenji Bunch | Until Next Time (2010)

    Kenji Bunch has emerged as one of the most engaging, influential, and prolific American composers of his generation.  Hailed by the New York Times as “A Composer To Watch” and cited by Alex Ross in his seminal book The Rest Is Noise, Mr. Bunch’s unique blend of wit, exuberance, lyricism, unpredictable stylistic infusions, and exquisite craftsmanship has brought acclaim from audiences, performers, and critics alike. Mr. Bunch’s symphonic music has been performed by over forty orchestras, and his genre-defying chamber works have been performed in premiere venues on six continents.  A native of Portland, Oregon, Mr. Bunch studied at the Juilliard School, receiving his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in viola with Toby Appel, and in composition with Robert Beaser.  Other composing mentors include Eric Ewazen and Stanley Wolfe.

    Until Next Time is written in the style of an old Scottish air, with a middle section that transcends that reference with a series of arpeggios that escalate in intensity, leading to a short improvised passage that ensures a unique performance, definitive in its own way, until the next time.

    • Lilit Hartunian, violin
  3. Jeffrey Mumford | eight musings...revisiting memories (2005)

    eight musings  . . . revisiting memories was written for Ole Bohn in 2005, who premiered it at the Monadnock Festival in New Hampshire. It is as the title implies, a recasting of fragments of earlier chamber works of mine seen in a new light in the context of a work for solo violin.          
    – Jeffrey Mumford

    • Gabriela Díaz, violin
  4. Helmut Lachenmann | Pression (1969)

    Pressionwas composed in 1969 for cellist Werner Taube.

    • David Russell, cello
  5. Christian Wolff | Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida (1981)

    The song, by Holly Near, is on her album Imagine My Surprise. It is a lament, commemoration and protest for the women who "disappeared," imprisoned and killed by the junta in Chile. The music is a reflection on the song.         
    – Christian Wolff

    An interview with Christian Wolff about Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida is available at

    • Stephen Drury, piano
  6. Zach Sheets | that colors the stone (2013)

    • Zach Sheets, flute