Playing it UNsafe

We’re excited to start our series of workshops today for Playing It UNsafe, the first and only professional research and development lab to support the creation of cutting-edge new American orchestral music through no-holds-barred experimentation, encouraging composers to do anything but “play it safe.” 

The Playing It UNsafe program that starts today will last throughout the entire season, and includes a series of laboratory workshops and public readings, culminating in a concert on March 4, 2011 in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. This afternoon, audiences will have their first opportunity to see and hear the composers’ works-in-progress at the opening lab workshop. 

The composers participating in Playing It UNsafe are Sean Friar, David Heuser, Joan La Barbara, Laura Schwendinger, and Henry Threadgill, selected from a national search for their willingness to experiment and stretch their own musical sensibilities, and their ability to test the limits of the orchestra. Playing It UNsafe grew out of ACO’s ongoing mission to commission and perform new music that expands the range of possibilities for – and challenges conventional notions about – orchestral music. 

In the coming weeks, Laura Schwendinger and Sean Friar will be joining us here at Sound Advice to write about their experiences with the program. Until then, you can find more information about Playing it UNsafe and read about each piece at

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