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Fireworks New Music Ensemble

As befits its name, Fireworks New Music Ensemble has been dubbed "The hottest classical band in New York." Rogue Valley audiences will have an opportunity to hear this octet perform as part of the Chamber Music Concerts series at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at the Southern Oregon University Music Recital Hall, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

Fireworks redefines the chamber music experience for a new generation of listeners. Founded with the goal of creating a single, small ensemble capable of representing the full scope of today's musical diversity, Fireworks combines the talents of classically-trained but musically omnivorous young virtuosi who pride themselves on being able to play just about anything, regardless of style, time period or instrumentation.

"I believe the most interesting and exciting music is being created right now, and that the greatest music has yet to be written," says the group's director, Brian Coughlin, in a press release. "Every style of music and every culture on the planet has something unique and wonderful to offer and great masterpieces waiting to be discovered. Why not experience it all?"

The group draws on a vast musical palette and develops innovative, eclectic programs. The Feb. 1 program will feature a wide range of music from across the musical spectrum from classical to jazz to modern.

Tickets are $26/$30, and $5 for students. See www.sou.edu/cmc or call 552-6154. including "Istampita Palamento" (traditional); Franz Joseph Haydn's Minuet from String Quartet in d minor, Op. 76 no. 2; Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore;" AFX's "Analogue Bubblebath;" Jean Baptiste Lully's "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite;" Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango" and "Tres Minutos con la Realidad;" "Suite of Norwegian Folk Dances" (traditional); Sapo Perapaskero's "Turceasca" (Turkish dance); and Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." In addition to the concert, Fireworks will present educational outreach programs at St. Mary's School and Ashland Middle School. The group also will present a lecture and performance for SOU music majors, and a composer reading for SOU composition majors. Highlights of the ensemble's 2006-07 season included a presentation of its new program, Cartoon, celebrating music and video created for and inspired by shorts from the golden age of Warner Bros. animation at the Lied Center of Kansas, and a sold-out portrait concert at the Miller Theater in New York City of music by Frank Zappa, including both the composer's instrumental rock music and rarely-heard works for traditional classical ensembles.A champion of new music, Fireworks collaborates with dozens of composers each year to push the boundaries of contemporary musical expression. In the last five years, Fireworks has premiered over 100 compositions and arrangements.CMC is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Tickets are $26/$30, and $5 for students. See www.sou.edu/cmc or call 552-6154.

Fireworks New Music Ensemble will present a concert of chamber music of varying styles.