Present Music Announces 2019-20 Season

Posted on: August 12th, 2019 by Tai Renfrow

(Milwaukee, WI) – Present Music announces its 38th season, Full Speed Ahead!, curated by Co-Artistic Directors Eric Segnitz and David Bloom. This dynamic and bold season of new music experiences includes four ensemble concerts and three piano recitals, held in diverse venues in and around Milwaukee. Season highlights include Caroline Shaw’s inviting work, This Might Also be a Form of Dreaming, and performances by internationally renowned guest artist, Sophie Dunèr.

“We are excited to assume our roles as Co-Artistic Directors and exceedingly grateful to all of the people who have contributed so much to shape Present Music into the special organization that we all love deeply,” said Bloom and Segnitz in a joint statement. “The opportunity to collaborate with our community to create programs for Milwaukee is a dream come true for both of us, and we can’t wait to share new experiences with an eager and expanding audience.”

Season subscriptions and single tickets are on sale now through or by calling 414.271.0711×2.

Following founding Artistic Director Kevin Stalheim’s retirement in June of this year, Present Music returns to the stage to offer engaging and provocative experiences with new music in comfortable and inviting spaces.

Present Music opens the 2019-20 season one month from today on September 7th with re:re:rewrite.

Centered on legendary new music composer Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite a propulsive, a high-octane reworking of two songs by legendary indie-rock band Radiohead, the concert explores the intertwined networks of inspiration, recasting, and reimagining at the heart of the creative process.

Reich’s minimalist style and phasing influcenced Gabriella Smith’s mind-bending Brandenburg Interstices, which weaves music from J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with music she loves from American folk to minimalism to Ligeti. Follow Smith’s thread of inspiration as the ensemble goes wild playing a dozen car horns in Ligeti’s manic Prelude and Intermezzo.

The web of inspiration continues throughout the evening with music by Rhiannon Giddens, Christopher Cerrone, a special arrangement for Present Music by Wisconsin-native Caleb Burhans, and a bonus ensemble-led performance of a Radiohead song!

For tickets and information, please visit

The main-stage concert season continues on November 17th with Present Music’s annual Thanksgiving concert, a musical celebration of joy, hope, family, and the dreams we share.

This year, the program will continue the longtime traditions of the massive community friendship dance led by The Bucks Native American Singing & Drumming Group with angelic choral works reverberating throughout the immense Cathedral, interspersed with some new additions to the program.

The concert features music by Caroline Shaw, Eve Beglarian, Pauline Oliveros, Bruce Springsteen, and teenage Milwaukee composer Lauren Barta, an alumna of Present Music’s Creation Project.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Present Music will offer two special evenings on February 13th and 14th, 2020.

An edgy, love-themed chamber program, it features works by Swedish singer/composer/visual artist Sophie Dunèr and post-modern love songs by Americans Corey Dargel, Carla Kihlstedt, Louis (Moondog) Hardin and John Zorn.

The Avant-Garden of Love includes a screening of the American 1927 avant-garde silent film, The Love of Zero, with a world premiere score composed by Eric Segnitz.

Finally, on May 22nd, 2020, Present Music brings the season to a close with Spaghetti Western, a program of crosscurrents between music by Americans living in Italy and Italians whose music has permeated US culture.

This season finale features music by the legendary film composer Ennio Morricone, text from a Dust Bowl novel by Woody Guthrie, and music by David Lang, Kyle Gann, Henry Threadgill, and more.

Additionally, Present Music will present the Powerhouse Pianist Series, three piano recitals in the beautiful, state-of-the-art showroom at Hulbert Piano in Brookfield. Piano masters Phillip Bush, Michael Mizrahi, and Cory Smythe bring their passion projects to these recitals on October 19th, March 13th, and April 4th, respectively.

More information on each concert may be found on Present Music’s website at