Jonathan Hepfer, Artistic Director of Monday Evening Concerts, inside the KUSC Studios | Photo by Susie Goodman
Monday Evening Concerts is the oldest new music concert series in Los Angeles, and possibly the oldest in the world. Percussionist, conductor, concert curator, CalArts professor and writer Jonathan Hepfer is MEC’s Artistic Director.
“It’s a series that started as Evenings on the Roof in 1939 on a rooftop in Silverlake and it’s existed in several forms over the years,” Hepfer says. “These days it exists primarily as a new music series, but new music that seeks to illuminate the possibilities of what new music could be, especially by contrasting or juxtaposing or complimenting very recent music with quite old music. Earlier than Bach or later than the year 2000 seems to be our primary repertoire.”
For example, on the series’ season-opening concert on December 4th music by Hildegard von Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess born around 1098, will share a program with the West Coast premiere of a piece called FACE by contemporary composer Pierluigi Billone.
“It’s been done a handful of times before in Europe, but this will be a joint US premiere. We’re doing it first in New York, then in Los Angeles,” says Hepfer. “Billone is a composer who’s been very, very important for me in that he’s somebody who represents the best of what avant-garde music is doing right now. I see him as something more like an alchemist or a poet than somebody who is strictly trying to accomplish novel things. Billone is in the prime of his career right now and his works have never been heard on the West Coast in a large-scale format.”
The concert on December 4th takes place at 8 PM in Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School. MEC’s next program will take place on January 8th. For tickets and more about their upcoming season, click here.