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PRISM Quartet

Donate to PRISM Quartet, Inc. by May 31st!
PRISM Quartet taping Lisa Bielawa's TV/online opera Vireo. Photo by Bernie Wire

Dear friend,
A student at a school program in Detroit recently asked members of the PRISM Quartet why we play music. It’s a question that gets to the fundamental importance of creativity and connectivity. We responded by describing music as a profoundly powerful means of communication that encompasses the full range of human experience; music enables us to share our ideas and feelings with one another and with listeners through a remarkable language of saxophone sounds.
For more than 30 years, PRISM has conducted school programs as a platform to encourage students from all walks of life to appreciate and study music, and to develop their own creativity. Your support has provided the means for PRISM to pursue this vital work. As our fiscal year comes to a close, we’re writing to ask for your help again.
In addition to our outreach and educational efforts, PRISM’s 2016-17 season is defined by a whole range of creative connections, with composers, record producers, and other performing artists and ensembles. Most significantly this season, PRISM has released two recordings: Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century with The Crossing choir under Donald Nally on ECM, and Color Theory with So Percussion and Partch on our own label, XAS Records. In the coming months, two additional albums will be released: Paradigm Lost, also on XAS, and Wayne Peterson’s And The Winds Shall Blow with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project under Gil Rose on BMOP/SOUND.
Color Theory (Trailer)
The PRISM Quartet will also appear in "Dismal Pure Inane," Episode 7 of made-for-TV opera VIREO: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser by visionary composer Lisa Bielawa. VIREO will make its world broadcast television premiere on Tues., June 13 on both KCET in Southern California and Link TV nationwide. KCETLink will release all 12 of the approximately 15-minute episodes of VIREO at once for free, on-demand streaming starting May 31 at, and on Apple TV and Roku.
Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser (Trailer)
Another highlight of the season took place in March when we made our debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a new production of John Adams' Nixon in China. The program featured Adams on the podium, and was part of a worldwide celebration of his 70th birthday.
John Adams, center bottom, conducts the Los Angeles Master Chorale with the L.A. Philharmonic. Photo by Patrick T. Fallon for the Los Angeles Times
A mainstay of PRISM’s creative work is our concert series in Ann Arbor, Philadelphia, and New York City. It spotlights composers at every stage of development, from college students to Pulitzer Prize-winners. The series wraps up on June 3rd and 4th at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philly and (le) poisson rouge in NYC with a new iteration of our Heritage/Evolution project featuring jazz legend Joe Lovano. The program includes world premieres by Lovano, resident composer Matthew Levy, and Reiny Rolock, winner of the PRISM/Walden School Student Commissioning Awardplus music by Emma O’Halloran and Robert Carl.
Joe Lovano appears with PRISM on June 3rd and 4th in Philly and NYC
Next season promises to be equally ambitious. We’ll collaborate with filmmakers Bill Morrison and Mark DeChiazza, composers Julia Wolfe and Dan Truman, and a computer programmer on a pilot project called Breath Beneath, hybridizing interactive music and video technologies. We’ll also collaborate with composer/percussionists Susie Ibarra and Tyshawn Sorey in the next phase of our Color Theory project, with new works combining saxes and percussion. We’re preparing to launch a major new adult-learning initiative called Unlocking Your Inner Composer, and finally, release several new recordings, including The Book of Days by and with pianist/composer Uri Caine, and a brand new adaptation of Chen Yi’s saxophone quartet concerto, BA YIN with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble under Steve Davis.
Decasia by filmmaker (and PRISM collaborator) Bill Morrison with music by Michael Gordon
Bringing this music to life is expensive. Guest artist and composer fees, hall rental fees, and recording costs are significant. Please help PRISM continue to commission and document new works, present exciting concert programs across the country, and sustain important community outreach efforts to young people. We invite you to make a tax-deductible contribution online at Thank you for your continued support and interest.     

Best regards,
Matthew Levy
Executive and Co-Artistic Director

Winston Collier
Chair, Board of Directors
Copyright © 2017 PRISM Quartet, Inc., All rights reserved.

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