Lauded by The Washington Post as “revitalizing the world of contemporary music” with “jaw- dropping virtuosity,” Sandbox Percussion has established themselves as a leading proponent in this generation of contemporary percussion chamber music. Brought together by their love of chamber music and the simple joy of playing together, Sandbox Percussion captivates audiences with performances that are both visually and aurally stunning. Through compelling collaborations with composers and performers, Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum and Terry Sweeney seek to engage a wider audience for classical music.
Last season Sandbox Percussion presented 35 performances throughout the United States. During a tour through California they gave the world premiere of Thomas Kotcheff’s percussion quartet not only that one but that one & that too, and were presented on the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, CA. In collaboration with Ensemble HOWL they gave the world premiere of Amy Beth Kirsten’s Quixote at Montclair State University’s Peak Performances concert series. During the American Music Festival at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, NY, Sandbox gave the world premiere of a concerto by Viet Cuong entitled Re(new)al along with the Albany Symphony. During the festival they also gave a recital which featured works by American composers Steve Reich, Christopher Cerrone, and David Crowell.
In addition to keeping a busy concert schedule Sandbox has also participated in various masterclasses and coachings at schools such as the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, the University of Southern California, Kansas University, Cornell University, and Furman University. While there they coached students on some of the most pivotal works in the percussion repertoire including Steve Reich’s Drumming, György Ligeti’s, Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel and John Cage’s Third Construction. These teaching experiences have inspired the quartet to pursue a role of pedagogy and mentorship for today’s young generation of musicians. This season Sandbox Percussion will present the second annual NYU Sandbox Percussion Seminar. This week long seminar invites percussion students from across the globe to rehearse and perform some of today’s leading percussion chamber music repertoire. A culminating performance is held at the iconic Brooklyn venue, National Sawdust.
Most recently has marked the quartet’s growing interest in composition. Last season Jonathan Allen’s Sonata and Victor Caccese’s A Part, Apart were featured on ten separate programs throughout the U.S. Sandbox also worked closely with composer David Crowell on a marimba arrangement of his saxophone sextet, Point Reyes. They gave the world premiere in November 2014 in Brooklyn, NY.
This season Sandbox will collaborate with The Industry, an opera company in Los Angeles, for the world premiere of Galileo, a 90-minute theatre piece by Andy Akiho. Other highlights will include a performance of Jerome Begin’s Wilderness in collaboration with the Brian Brooks Moving Company at Choregus Productions in Tulsa, OK, the first ever percussion quartet concert at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, a performance of Gyorgy Ligeti’s Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel with mezzo-soprano Elspeth Davis at the Percussion Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, IN, and a second west coast tour including 11 performances from Seattle to Los Angeles. Sandbox Percussion endorses Pearl/Adams musical instruments, Vic Firth drumsticks and Remo drumheads.
Composer/bassist James Ilgenfritz leads The Anagram Ensemble, featured on his 2015 CD, the William Burroughs-inspired opera The Ticket That Exploded. He has performed throughout the US, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Poland, and Switzerland. He has worked with composer/improvisers Anthony Braxton, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Pauline Oliveros, Roscoe Mitchell, Rufus Reid, John Zorn, and many others. His recent CD Origami Cosmos features works by Annie Gosfield, Miya Masaoka, Elliott Sharp, & JG Thirlwell. His trio Hypercolor (w/ Lukas Ligeti & Eyal Maoz) released their debut CD on John Zorn’s label Tzadik in January 2015. James has received grants from New Music USA and American Composers Forum.
Georgia-born, Brooklyn-based artist Julia Easterlin purls a modern Southern Gothic lament in new works from the album ‘Light of a Strange Day’. Through the language of baroque pop and Appalachian folk music, Easterlin and producer Shahzad Ismaily (Lou Reed, Karla Kihlstedt, Marc Ribot, Sam Amidon, etc.) bring to light a collection of new pieces John Schaefer of NPR Music calls, “at once lovely and unsettling… a striking debut.”
For Carnegie Hill Concerts, Easterlin will be performing a minimalist duo with composer and clarinetist Michael Sachs. The two met as students in Boston and have recently been collaborating in intimate performances featuring themselves, their instruments, and a single light bulb.
Will Healy is a composer and pianist based in New York. Noted for his “lushly bluesy” sound and “adroitly blended… textures” (New York Times), he is the artistic director of ShoutHouse, an ensemble of 15 hip-hop, jazz, and classical musicians. After playing trumpet in an Afrobeat band for a few years, he grew interested in collaborating with performers from many corners of the New York music scene. In addition, he is an accomplished pianist specializing in Bach, with a repertoire that includes the complete Goldberg Variations and WTC Book 1. Recent awards include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an ASCAP Morton Gould Award, and prizes in the Juilliard and Kaleidoscope Orchestra Composition Competitions. Healy recently completed his M.M. at The Juilliard School, where he studied with Samuel Adler, John Corigliano, and Steven Stucky.
Violinist and composer George Meyer has performed his own compositions at Chamber Music Northwest (Portland, Oregon), the Telluride and RockyGrass Bluegrass Festivals, and the Savannah Music Festival. in 2016 Ensemble Quodlibet premiered his Concerto Grosso for string quartet and orchestra in New york City. His other performances include those at the Rome Chamber and Aspen Music Festivals. He has appeared with his father Edgar Meyer and with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Mike Marshall. After graduating from Harvard in 2015 with an English degree, he began a master’s degree in violin at Juilliard in 2016.