Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble, which calls itself “a 21st century chamber orchestra,” mixes new classical composers with Radiohead, Daft Punk and, this January, Frank Zappa
This piece was posted on the Knight Foundation blog in January 2017
At the Dranoff 2 and Nu Deco Ensemble concert at New World Center in Miami Beach on Sunday, solemnity lasted a few bars — just enough for the orchestra to unpack the famous theme of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor,” and turn the piece into “Tocatta y Fuga en Re Minor,” as the program titled it. The arrangement by composer Sam Hyken, co-founder and co-artistic director of Nu Deco, quickly put Bach in the Caribbean, swaying in clave and leaving room for congas and a timbales solo — and off we were.
The collaboration between the 29-year-old Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation and the upstart Nu Deco Ensemble, a Knight Arts Challenge winner, could not have begun much better. The evening featured terrific performances by the piano duo Yoo + Kim (Jackie Jaekyung Yoo and Yoon-Jee Kim), winners of the 2013 Dranoff International 2 Piano competition in Miami, including the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances” and the premiere of “Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra” by Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten, who was in attendance. The program also featured the ensemble at its best, playing music by Steve Reich, Jessie Montgomery, Radiohead, Bach and Frank Zappa. Better yet, it all played before an enthusiastic and diverse sold-out audience.
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