Hear cross-genre pairings at the 2013 Ecstatic Music Festival

The third annual Ecstatic Music Festival presents collaborations by innovative artists for its three-month series.

Shara Worden

Shara Worden Photograph: Denny Renshaw

Few organizations have done more to shape 21st-century music in New York City than New Amsterdam, a vital record label launched in 2007 by composers William Brittelle, Judd Greenstein and Sarah Kirkland Snider. Early last year, the fiercely creative institution set up shop in a Red Hook warehouse space and hatched ambitious plans to present concerts and tours. Then Hurricane Sandy hit, and the label endured devastating losses from which it is still recovering. (You can lend support by making a donation via newamsterdampresents.com.)

Bloodied but unbroken, New Amsterdam has forged ahead with its third annual Ecstatic Music Festival, a genre-flouting series presented in collaboration with the Kaufman Music Center, which operates Merkin Concert Hall. A preview concert on January 25 at WNYC's Greene Space brings together Shara Worden, the chanteuse and composer behind My Brightest Diamond, with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, an ensemble whose courage and skills belie the tender age of its members. The first Merkin concert, on January 26, features singer, violinist and composer Carla Kihlstedt; the intrepid International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); and Face the Music, the Kaufman Center's amazing teen-riot house band.

Further highlights of the festival, which runs through March 21, include a large-scale premiere by Snider (Feb 6); a meeting of avant-rock band Deerhoof and Chicago's brash Ensemble Dal Niente (Feb 20); a triple bill of Laurel Halo, Julia Holter and Daniel Wohl (Feb 23); and a collaboration between postminimalist composer Arnold Dreyblatt and freak-folk combo Megafaun (Feb 27). Visit ecstaticmusicfestival.org for a complete scorecard.

Upcoming Ecstatic Music Festival shows

Ecstatic Music Festival: Shara Worden and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Returning for a third season, this groundbreaking festival jointly mounted by the Kaufman Center and New Amsterdam Presents brings together unconventional, individualistic artists and bands from the worlds of contemporary classical music, jazz, avant-garde rock and more. This intimate preview concert, hosted by WNYC, brings together vocalist and composer Shara Worden, the guiding light of My Brightest Diamond, with the fresh voices of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

  1. The Greene Space 44 Charlton St, at Varick St
  2. Fri Jan 25
More info

Ecstatic Music Festival: Carla Kihlstedt with ICE + Causing a Tiger + Face the Music

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Violinist, vocalist, composer and bandleader Carla Kihlstedt, a creative spark behind projects like Tin Hat, 2 Foot Yard and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, teams up with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in a newly composed song cycle. Kihlstedt also plays with her newest band, Causing a Tiger; teen ensemble Face the Music joins ICE in George Lewis's Artificial Life 2007.

  1. Merkin Concert Hall 129 W 67th St, between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave
  2. Sat Jan 26
More info

Ecstatic Music Festival: DJ/rupture and Zs

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Turntable maverick DJ/rupture crosses swords with experimental-rock combo Zs for a hard-hitting evening featuring alternating minisets and aggressive combined clashes in one of the boldest, most provocative meetings of the genre-flouting Estatic Music Festival.

  1. Merkin Concert Hall 129 W 67th St, between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave
  2. Sat Feb 2
More info

Ecstatic Music Festival: Clogs, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Orchestra for the Next Century

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Sarah Kirkland Snider, composer of the ravishing 2010 orchestral song cycle Penelope, oversees the unveiling of Unremembered, a new piece for seven voices and chamber orchestra based on poetry by Nathaniel Bellows. Among the vocalists performing with the Orchestra of the Next Century are Shara Worden, DM Stith and Padma Newsome, whose own works are also on the bill; completing the program is Newsome's beguiling chamber group, Clogs, which presents new material.

  1. Merkin Concert Hall 129 W 67th St, between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave
  2. Wed Feb 6
More info

Ecstatic Music Festival 2013 full schedule

Fri, Jan 25 at 7:00pm
Shara Worden & the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
(see a live webcast of the show, and others, at WXQR's Q2 Music)

Sat, Jan 26 at 7:30pm
Carla Kihlstedt, ICE, Causing a Tiger & Face the Music

Sat, Feb 02 at 7:30pm
DJ /rupture & Zs

Wed, Feb 06 at 7:30pm
Clogs, Sarah Kirkland Snider & Orchestra for the Next Century (with guests DM Stith and Shara Worden)

Wed, Feb 20 at 7:30pm
Deerhoof & Dal Niente with Marcos Balter

Sat, Feb 23 at 7:30pm
Laurel Halo, Julia Holter & Daniel Wohl with Transit

Wed, Feb 27 at 7:30pm
Arnold Dreyblatt & Megafaun

Thu, Mar 14 at 7:30pm
Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund Concert (with music by Anna Clyne, Dan Deacon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Paula Matthusen, Tyondai Braxton, and Fay Kueen Wang)

Sat, Mar 16 at 7:30pm
Joseph C. Phillips, Jr. & Imani Uzuri with Numinous

Wed, Mar 20 at 7:30pm
Steven Mackey & Rinde Eckert with Big Farm & JACK Quartet

Thu, Mar 21 at 7:30pm
Simone Dinnerstein & Tift Merritt