WEEK ONE events

Monday, June 24th
8pm, Bentley Concert Hall

Claire Chase and Steven Schick, with special guests Tyshawn Sorey and Levy Lorenzo


Getting started with a bang is the EVO way! From the sheer electricity of our special guest Tyshawn Sorey on stage with Claire Chase in their raucous duo Bertha’s Lair, to the inward gaze of Phyllis Chen’s haunting Roots of Interior - a duet for flutist and her heartbeat - this program explores the outer edges of the newest music.

An Empty Garlic by Du Yun - who is a founding member of ICE and the first Asian-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music - explores new timbral spaces and blends new sounds for the bass flute with provocative narrativity.  Steven Schick contributes Here and There by the experimentalist Roger Reynolds, his new setting of texts by Samuel Beckett for speaking solo percussionist. We finish together with our favorite composer Pauline Oliveros, who has been with us at every EVO concert over the past three summers, in spirit. This is an outward-bound program that patrols the hidden spaces of sound and psyche!

Marcos Balter (b. 1974) Soliloquy (2018)
Claire Chase, flute               

Du Yun (b. 1977) An Empty Garlic (2014)
Claire Chase, bass flute           

Phyllis Chen (b. 1979)                         Roots of Interior (2019)
for flute and heartbeat (10 mins)
Claire Chase, flute

Tyshawn Sorey (b. 1980)                    Bertha’s Lair (2016, rev. 2019)
for flutes and percussion
Claire Chase, flutes; Tyshawn Sorey, percussion


Roger Reynolds (b.1934)                    Here and There (2019)
Steven Schick

Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016)        Old Sound New Sound Borrowed Sound Blue (1994)
Steven Schick, Claire Chase

Tuesday, June 25
Faculty Recital
7:30pm, Rolston Recital Hall

Matana Roberts, Liza Lim, Tyshawn Sorey, Lisa Harris, Aiyun Huang
International Contemporary Ensemble


Ode to Gust Burns by the indomitable Tyshawn Sorey and played by an ensemble of ICE superstars kicks off a kaleidoscopic faculty concert that ranges from the intimacy of two brief but colorful duos by Australian composer Liza Lim to the international musings (from New York to Copenhagen) of Sorey in partnership with the extraordinary violinist, Jennifer Curtis. We highlight Lisa Harris, vocalist and composer in a new work for herself and our ICE faculty.

Do not miss a new work by returning faculty member Matana Roberts, who inspired and amazed us in 2018 with her artistry as saxophonist and composer.  She gives full voice to music that resonates from the enormous space of her imagination and reaches across all boundaries. With the extraordinary talent on stage, this evening will be more of a launching pad than a concert.  Buckle up!

Tyshawn Sorey (b. 1980)                    Ode to Gust Burns (2012)
Cory Smythe, Dan Lippel,
Ross Karre, Rebekah Heller

Liza Lim (b. 1966)                               Inguz (Fertility) (1996)
Josh Rubin, Katinka Kleijn

Liza Lim                                              Ming Qi (Bright Vessel) (2000),
James Austin Smith, Aiyun Huang

Lisa Harris                New Work (2019)
Lisa Harris, Daniel Lippel,
Jennifer Curtis, Katinka Kleijn

Tyshawn Sorey                                   NY/Copenhagen (2013)
Jennifer Curtis, Tyshawn Sorey

Matana Roberts (b. 1975)                  New Work (2019)
International Contemporary Ensemble

Wednesday, June 26: Participant Throw-Down
8pm, Bentley Concert Hall


Join us for a Banff staple: the throw-down, featuring the passion projects of our participants. They’re informal, self-directed, fresh and fabulous.

Thursday, June 27: Participant Composers Encounter
8pm, Bentley Recital Hall


In addition to everything else it does, EVO is an incubator of new ideas. Poke your head into the middle of the process in our Composers’ Encounter, where just-completed works, works-in-progress, and even new shiny ideas are tried for the very first time.

Friday, June 28
Tyshawn Sorey Portrait
7:30pm, Rolston Recital Hall


Rolston Hall will quake in this dynamic portrait of Tyshawn Sorey—though dynamic doesn’t really begin to describe the molten talent of Tyshawn Sorey, as composer, percussionist, conductor, pianist and musical thinker!

Intimacy comes in Sorey’s tribute to composer Fred Lehrdal, which shares the stage with electrifying Auto-schediasms, a wild ride featuring Tyshawn in a virtuoso display of conduction that will include all of the participants of Ensemble Evolution, a handful of batons, and 45 minutes of dizzying creativity.  

Tyshawn Sorey (b. 1980)                    For Fred Lehrdal  (2018)
for vibraphone, piano, viola

Tyshawn Sorey                                    Auto-schediasms (2019)
feat. faculty + participants

Saturday, June 29: How Forests Think
With special guest speaker, Eduardo Kohn
7:30pm, Rolston Recital Hall


Dominating the Banff skyline is the boreal forest—ringing the world in the largest connected intelligent organism on the planet.   Taking inspiration from Eduardo Kohn’s provocative book, “How Forests Think,” Liza Lim explores the idea of the communal intelligence of forests and the way that illuminates human interactions in a chaotic world in her stunning eponymous setting of Kohn’s ideas for ensemble with sheng solo.  The virtuoso Wu Wei joins as soloist.

Daring musical textures probe important questions of identity and politics in George Lewis’s Will to Adorn, a musical essay inspired by writer and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston, whose description of “decorating a decoration” prompted Lewis’s exuberant musical embellishments.  The sonic and cultural richness of this program is completed by a new work by EVO faculty member and iconic saxophonist, Matana Roberts.

Matana Roberts (b. 1975)                  New work (2019)

George Lewis (b. 1952)                      The Will to Adorn (2011)

Liza Lim (b. 1966)                               How Forests Think (2016)


Tuesday, July 2
Faculty Recital
7:30pm, Rolston Recital Hall

Featuring Alvin Lucier, Peter Evans, Mazz Swift, Levy Lorenzo, International Contemporary Ensemble


Another star-studded faculty concert featuring the eloquent violinist/composer/improviser Mazz Swift, trumpet legend Peter Evans, technology wizard Levy Lorenzo, composer Miya Masaoko and newly arriving members of ICE.  The second half of this concert will be devoted to the great Alvin Lucier. You can be sure it will be amazing!

Wednesday, July 3: Participant Throw-Down
8pm, Bentley Concert Hall


Join us for a Banff staple: the throw-down, featuring the passion projects of our participants. They’re informal, self-directed, fresh and fabulous.

Friday, July 5


Catalytic energies abound with Miya Masaoka in a Banff Centre commission for members of the International Contemporary Ensemble and participants of Ensemble Evolution. It’s a new piece so we don’t know what we’ll be hearing.  But Miya’s work spans a gamut from amplified leaves and electronically activated glass bottles to a string quartet and partnerships with the world’s most exciting improvisers. Whatever she offers will be vibrant, colorful and unexpected!

Every time we work with George Lewis, we come away inspired.  A pioneer as an improvising trombonist, a designer of real-time electronic instruments, writer, scholar and composer:  George is a living embodiment of the 21st century musician! In Soundlines, his work for ensemble with soloist Steven Schick, he explores sound, color, choreography and, above all new musical territory.   The program will be rounded out by the intrepid improvisers of EVO.

Miya Masaoka (b. 1958)                              New Work, Banff Centre Commission

George Lewis (b. 1952)                                Soundlines (2019)
Steven Schick with EVO participants

New works by EVO Improv Groups, led by Peter Evans, Mazz Swift, Levy Lorenzo and Cory Smythe

Saturday, July 6: Portrait of Alvin Lucier
7:30pm, Rolston Recital Hall


On this special evening, we celebrate one of the greatest artists of our time, the roshi of American experimentalists, Alvin Lucier, with a program of Lucier’s most profound compositions, including a new work commissioned by Banff Centre.  Alvin has spent his life writing love songs for the open mind. Experience them in the shadow of Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain.


Tuesday, July 9
Faculty Recital
7:30pm, Rolston Recital Hall

Miranda Cuckson, Wilfrido Terrazas, Reut Regev, Cris Derksen, Yvette Janine Jackson
International Contemporary Ensemble


Miranda Cuckson, Wilfrido Terrazas and Reut Regev make their instruments into vehicles for the exploration of distant musical spaces. And if you still think of these instruments as the genteel instruments of classical music aristocracy, get ready to be completely upended.   With them, you are invited to explore an extraordinary range of styles, historical periods, levels of virtuosity, and just-down-to-it artistry. Join us in the second half of the concert for a radio play in the dark by Yvette Janine Jackson, whose newest work will be premiered later in the week.  

Wednesday, July 10: Participant throw-down
8pm, Bentley Concert Hall


Join us for a Banff staple: the throw-down, featuring the passion projects of our participants. They’re informal, self-directed, fresh and fabulous.

Friday, July 12: Participant Composers Showcase
7:30pm, Rolston Recital Hall


Featuring world premieres of works by our stellar Ensemble Evolution participant composers Lisa Atkinson, Gabriel Champagne, Liam McGill, and Kristina Wolfe.

Saturday, July 13
EVO ARCADES/Open Studios 3PM-6pm


Continuing an EVO tradition, we’ll offer an exciting set of simultaneous performances we called the ARCades.  Nearly every space on the Music and Sound building will host performances - including new work by our participants collaborators, and some much loved traditional repertory. Poke your head into a room to sample something new, then move on when the spirit moves.

Saturday, July 13: Final performance
, Rolston Recital Hall

Yvette Janine Jackson, Julius Eastman, Pauline Oliveros, IONE
Faculty + participants


So it goes, it must be said.  Ensemble Evolution says farewell in style with a program of new music for the sojourning soul, featuring the world premiere of Yvette Janine Jackson’s Banff Centre commission for an ensemble of ICE faculty members and EVO participants (including a full set of marching percussion instruments!), alongside Julius Eastman’s ‘Gay Guerrilla,’ an EVO tradition. With the wind at our backs, and in the company of a family of fellow musicians, we sail away on the luminous sounds of Pauline Oliveros, in a performance of her 1971 Tuning Meditation led by IONE, our distinguished guest.