The 2013 Festival of New American Music opens on Friday, November 1 with an 8:00pm gala performance featuring the Sacramento based new music ensemble Citywater (pictured), the percussion and piano quartet Yarn/Wire, and the McAllister Keller Guitar Duo. Hailed by the Sacramento Bee's Edward Ortiz as “a top-flight interpreter of contemporary classical music,” Citywater is comprised of flutist Cathie Apple, clarinetist Milun Doskovic, violinist Dagenais Smiley, cellist Timothy Stanley, pianist Jennifer Reason, and percussionist Ben Prima. Establishing itself as one of Sacramento’s premiere chamber ensembles, Citywater performs regularly on the Festival of New American Music, was invited to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Crocker Art Museum by performing a new work written for the occasion, and was appointed last year as the ensemble in residence at the Sacramento State music department. In keeping with its goals to get new music heard, Citywater established a bimonthly concert series, featuring newly composed works by composers such as Kenji Bunch, Alexandra Gardner and Nico Muhly, along with modern classics by composers such as George Crumb and John Cage.

Yarn/Wire continues on the festival with their own concert on Saturday, November 2 at 8:00pm. Founded in 2005, Yarn/Wire is admired for the energy and precision they bring to performances of today's most adventurous music. Members include percussionists Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg and pianists Laura Barger and Ning Yu. Antonio has performed to great acclaim across the US and collaborated with groups such as Wet Ink Ensemble and Talujon. He holds a B.M from the Manhattan School of Music and an M.M. and D.M.A. from SUNY Stony Brook. Barger has performed with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Argento Ensemble and Wet Ink Ensemble, and also holds an M.M. and D.M.A. from SUNY Stony Brook. Ning has appeared with the Bang On a Can All-Stars, Signal Ensemble, and the Mabou Mines theater group. In 2010, she won the André Boucourechliev Prize at the 2010 Orléans International Piano Competition in France, and she has performed worldwide at the Muziekgebouw, Kölner Philharmonie, Kwai Tsing Theatre, and Alice Tully Hall in New York. Greenberg has performed with Wet Ink Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Argento, Signal Ensemble, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He has appeared internationally at the Darmstadt, Acanthes, Klangspuren, and the Lucerne festivals.

SWARMIUS rounds out the opening weekend with a performance Sunday, November 3 at 8:00pm. Self-described as a Trans-Classical/ Avant-Pop group, the ensemble uses "catchy instrumental grooves, soaring melodies & multi-level syncopations that draw from rock, jazz, the Yoruba music of Nigeria, Eastern European Klezmer, Surf music, Indonesian gamelan, electronica, hip-hop, vaudeville, European classical and more."

The Keynote Address is on Tuesday, November 5 at Noon with composer Christopher Theofanidis. Thefanidis has had performances by many leading orchestras from around the world, including the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the National, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit Symphonies, and many others. He holds degrees from Yale, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Houston, and has been the recipient of the International Masterprize (hosted at the Barbican Centre in London), the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, six ASCAP Gould Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship to France, a Tanglewood Fellowhship, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Charles Ives Fellowship. In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy for best composition for his chorus and orchestra work, The Here and Now, based on the poetry of Rumi. His orchestral concert work, Rainbow Body, has been one of the most performed new orchestral works of the last ten years, having been performed by over 100 orchestras internationally. Some of his works will be performed at 8:00pm by the Empyrean Ensemble.

Pianist Gloria Cheng performs at 8:00pm on Wednesday, November 6. A Grammy-winning artist, Cheng has won widespread acclaim as a discerning artist noted for her illuminating programs and devotion to tapping the emotional core of contemporary music. She has been presented in recital by the Ojai Festival, Chicago Humanities Festival, William Kapell Festival, Mendocino Festival, and Tanglewood's 2012 Festival of Contemporary Music, and has been a frequent guest on the L.A. Philharmonic Green Umbrella series, chosen to perform such works as Elliott Carter's Double Concerto for Piano and Harpsichord conducted by Oliver Knussen, John Cage's Concerto for Prepared Piano, and the world premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Dichotomie, composed for and dedicated to her. Currently on the faculty of UCLA, she served as 2012 Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, and previously earned her graduate degrees in Music from UCLA and the University of Southern California. At the invitation of film composers who include Don Davis, James Horner, Maurice Jarre, and John Williams, Cheng has been featured in movie soundtracks such as The Matrix Trilogy and The Adventures of Tin Tin.

Vox n Plux performs on Friday, November 8 at 8:00pm. The group combines the Anderson-Fader Guitar Duo with noted soprano Elizabeth Farnum. Specializing in contemporary American music, the trio has been heard in concerts in New York, and New Jersey as well as in San Francisco and in other states across the U.S. Composers who have written works for these artists read like a who’s who of contemporary composers: Babbitt, Brickle, Bond, Davidovsky, Naito, Rakowski, and Wuorinen, among others. Ms. Farnum is also a prolific studio artist, and has been featured on over 30 recordings, four of which were nominated for Grammy awards. She is one of today’s most highly sought-after vocalists in the field of modern music. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Fader were students of the legendary guitarist David Starobin. Now based in New York City, they have performed with many presenters and organizations, most notably with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Players at Zankel Hall.

On Saturday, November 9, saxophonist Timothy McAllister performs at 8:00pm. Soprano chair of the renowned PRISM Quartet and internationally-acclaimed soloist, McAllister has emerged as one of today’s premier concert saxophone performers and teachers. Since his solo debut at age sixteen with the Houston Civic Symphony, his career has taken him throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria, with solo performances in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Krannert Center, Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo, Dallas’ Meyerson Center, and Rotterdam’s Zaal de Unie. In 2009, he appeared as saxophonist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Maestro Gustavo Dudamel’s Inaugural Gala concert performing the world premiere of John Adams’ major new work, City Noir. This year, he performed the World Premiere of John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, with subsequent US Premieres and international performances by the Baltimore and Sao Paulo State (Brazil) symphonies. McAllister serves as Associate Professor of Saxophone and Co-Director of the Institute for New Music at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.

The Festival closes on Sunday, November 10 with a performance by our Symphonic Wind Ensemble at 6:00pm. Saxophonist Timothy McAllister will be joing the group as guest artist, performing the John Mackey Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Wind Ensemble.