Artistic Director Kevin Stalheim’s Last Season Opener

Close-up shot of Flutist and Cellist
Posted on: August 10th, 2018 by Tai Renfrow

In Kevin’s Last Season Opener, Kevin Stalheim and David Bloom will face off and turn out a concert featuring Present Music’s past hits and music new to Milwaukee’s ears.

CONTACT: Tai Renfrow, Production/Ops Manager, 414-271-0711×3 C: 214-444-9526

Kevin’s Last Season Opener
A concert by collaboration, looking back and forward

Saturday September 8, 7:30 pm
Zelazo Center for the Arts

MILWAUKEE, WI (July 24, 2018)—Present Music’s 2018-19 Season is called Past Present (Music) and Future. The season title is a nod to Artistic Director Kevin Stalheim’s upcoming retirement, the audience’s last chances to experience his curation of the Present Music Ensemble’s concerts, and the repertoire that audiences will hear.

In Kevin’s Last Season Opener, Artistic Director Kevin Stalheim finds the past, present, and future of new music in a collaboration of curation and conducting with young conductor and frequent Present Music visitor, David Bloom. Bloom, well-established with the NYC ensemble, Contemporaneous, shares a vision and passion with Stalheim; both are devoted advocates for new music who regularly work with composers, visiting artists, and their ensembles to bring new works to life.

In Kevin’s Last Season Opener, Stalheim and Bloom will face off and turn out a concert featuring Present Music’s past hits and music new to Milwaukee’s ears. The concert will take the audience on a scintillating spin from Sinatra to Stravinsky, America’s Deep South to Africa, and to the waters of Turkey and Ireland.

Highlights of the program include:

  • Petroushskates by Joan Tower for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, and violoncello. Humorous and lively in addition to being a tribute to Stravinsky and to the Olympic skaters who were the inspiration for the title and the music. Tower turns 80 this year — two days before Present Music’s concert! See more about her birthday celebration (or lack thereof) and retrospectives this year here:
  • Sinatra Shag by Michael Daugherty was composed when Daugherty was working with Present Music during a residency. This 1997 Present Music commission was inspired by a postcard — “During a lunch break, I chanced upon an alternative rock record store with an impressive array of unusual postcards. One postcard in particular interested me: Nancy Sinatra, circa 1966, sporting a pair of knee high white boots sitting on a Harley Davidson motorcycle . . . . and Sinatra Shag … was born.”
  • Endless Colored Ways by Michael Lanci is an ensemble work inspired by the tightly rhythmic guitar fingerpicking patterns of musician Nick Drake. For Drake, see: To hear the piece:
  • Waiting for Billy Floyd by Eve Beglarian is a reaction to a short story by Eudora Welty. influenced by the composer’s travels down the Mississippi River. More at:
  • Another Present Music retrospective, Waves of Talya was composed by this season’s composer-in-residence, Kamran Ince. The piece was named one of the best chamber works of the 20th Century by a living composer in the Chamber Music Magazine. See more:
  • Endless Deeps by Irish composer Emma O’Halloran was inspired by watching waves in Ireland/. A textural, electronic piece, the work was commissioned in 2015 by WildRumpus. See more: hear more:
  • Alla L’aa Ke, by Alhaji Bai Konte is based on an 70’s performance by Konte, the first Kora player to perform in the US. From The Gambia in Africa, Konte’s piece originally for Kora and song has been arranged for ensemble by guest conductor, David Bloom See:

Single tickets are available for $25 (Value General Admission Tickets) and $55 (VIP Tickets) are on sale now. VIP and Value Subscription Packages, offering discounts and special perks for attendance at two or more concerts this season, are available if ordered on or before September 8th, 2018. Student tickets are half-price with a valid student id. Tickets are available for purchase by phone and online, as well as at-the-door the day of the concert. Online ticket sales end 24 hours prior to each concert. To learn more and purchase tickets, go to or call 414-271-0711.


    • NOVEMBER 18, 2018
    • FEBRUARY 21 AND 22, 2018
    • JUNE 1, 2018

Present Music is Milwaukee’s internationally acclaimed new music ensemble. Celebrating 37 years of new music, Present Music commissions, performs, records and tours the music of living composers. Over 65 new compositions from around the world have come into existence because of Present Music.

Founded by Kevin Stalheim, Present Music works closely with many of the world’s most exciting and significant composers while supporting the talents of emerging voices. It nurtures the next generation of composers through its education program, the Creation Project. More information:

Download the PDF of this Press Release Here: