The Brooklyn Academy of Music's wide-ranging series of concerts and events Nonesuch Records at BAM: Celebrating a Label Without Labels, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Nonesuch Records, kicks off Tuesday night with the first of three consecutive nights of concerts from Philip Glass and Steve Reich plus a separate solo set from Brad Mehldau and continues through September 28. The New York Times says the series "reflects the broad curiosity and high standard of a label that has had notable successes ... with no guiding criteria other than instinct and taste." In conjunction with these events, BAMcinématek presents Nonesuch Records on Film, a salute to the label’s rich catalogue of movie soundtracks.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)'s wide-ranging series of concerts and events Nonesuch Records at BAM: Celebrating a Label Without Labels, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Nonesuch Records, kicks off Tuesday night with the first of three consecutive nights of concerts from The Philip Glass Ensemble and Steve Reich and Musicians, plus a separate solo set from Brad Mehldau. The series continue through September 28, offering diverse engagements that speak to Nonesuch's ongoing commitment to outstanding, unique artists in classical music, contemporary music, jazz, traditional American and world music, popular and alternative music, and music theater. The events also underscore the longstanding relationship between Nonesuch artists and BAM—one that has featured legendary productions including Steve Reich's The Desert Music, John Adams's Nixon in China, Philip Glass's Satyagraha, Glass and Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach, Laurie Anderson's United States: Parts I-IV, and performances by Kronos Quartet, Stephin Merritt, Youssou N'Dour, and Emmylou Harris, among others.
The New York Times includes the Steve Reich and Philip Glass concerts on Times 100 list of "events that have us especially excited" this fall. Times music critic Nate Chinen had previously noted that the series "reflects the broad curiosity and high standard of a label that has had notable successes in modern classical music, jazz, global pop and American roots music, with no guiding criteria other than instinct and taste."
The series and the label are the subject of a feature in the New York Daily News. "Common record companies chase public taste. Uncommon ones create it," writes the Daily News's Jim Farber. "Nonesuch Records falls into the latter category, having anticipated an improbably consistent run of musical movements."
The New Yorker previewed the events with the article "None Better: An essential American record label mounts a festival at BAM," and Listen: Life with Classical Music looks at Nonesuch Records at 50 in "Beyond Genre: The eclectic Nonesuch label celebrates fifty years," which includes input from Chris Thile, Steve Reich, Timo Andres, Jeremy Denk & Nonesuch President Bob Hurwitz.
Below is a complete schedule of the Nonesuch Records at BAM concerts:
Sep 9–11: The Philip Glass Ensemble & Steve Reich and Musicians (Howard Gilman Opera House)
Sep 9: Brad Mehldau (Harvey Theater)
Sep 10: Brad Mehldau & Chris Thile (Harvey Theater)
Sep 11: Dawn Upshaw and Gilbert Kalish (Harvey Theater)
Sep 12 & 13: Don Byron Quartet (BAMcafé)
Sep 12 & 13: Alarm Will Sound (Harvey Theater)
Sep 12 & 13: Youssou N'Dour (Howard Gilman Opera House)
Sep 18: Carolina Chocolate Drops (Howard Gilman Opera House)
Sep 19: Devendra Banhart, Stephin Merritt, and Iron and Wine (Howard Gilman Opera House)
Sep 20: Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Rhiannon Giddens, Sam Amidon, and Olivia Chaney (Howard Gilman Opera House)
Sep 23: Tweedy (Howard Gilman Opera House)
Sep 23–27: Landfall, Laurie Anderson, Kronos Quartet (Harvey Theater)
Sep 24: Rokia Traoré, Toumani Diabaté, and Sidiki Diabaté (Howard Gilman Opera House)
Sep 25 & 26: Caetano Veloso (Howard Gilman Opera House)
Sep 27 & 28: Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters (Howard Gilman Opera House)
For more information and tickets, visit bam.org/nonesuch.
Additionally, The Black Keys will bring their Turn Blue World Tour to Brooklyn to join the celebration, performing down the street at Barclays Center on Wednesday, September 24. For more information on that, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.
In conjunction with Nonesuch Records at BAM, BAMcinématek presents Nonesuch Records on Film, a salute to the label’s rich catalogue of movie soundtracks with a series featuring some of the most memorable film scores of the last 50 years from Leonard Rosenman, Alex North, Toru Takemitsu, Georges Delerue, and more. The series kicks off with a screening of Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, introduced by Philip Glass, who composed the film's score. Next up is Other special guests in the series is Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love, featuring the music of John Adams, who will introduce the screening this Thursday, September 11. For details and tickets, visit bam.org/film.
Watch Nonesuch Records President Bob Hurwitz and Senior Vice President David Bither discuss the history of Nonesuch Records, the family of artists, and the longstanding relationship between those artists and BAM here: