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Emerald City Music Presents the World Premiere of Andy Akiho’s Seven Pillars with Sandbox Percussion

Seven Pillars Nominated for Two Grammy Awards:

Best Contemporary Composition & Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

Live World Premiere Performances:

Friday, December 3, 2021 at 8pm & 10:30pm in Seattle, WA Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 5pm & 7:30pm in Olympia, WA Tickets and Information:

On the heels of the Friday, December 3, 2021 in Seattle and Saturday, December 4, 2021 in Olympia world premiere performances of Andy Akiho's Seven Pillars performed by the Brooklyn-based quartet Sandbox Percussion, Emerald City Music (ECM) is delighted to share that this work has been nominated for two 2022 Grammy Awards. Akiho is nominated in the category of Best Contemporary Composition for Seven Pillars and Sandbox Percussion is nominated in the category of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for Seven Pillars.

Sandbox member Ian Rosenbaum says, “Making Seven Pillars over the past couple of years has been the thrill of a lifetime – Andy has created something truly special, and we are honored to be helping to bring it into the world. It is humbling to be recognized with these GRAMMY nominations, and we are so very excited to be performing the world premiere of this singular work at Emerald City Music in December! We can't wait to celebrate with you all – please join us!” Limited concert tickets are available here:

Prior to the performances, tonight, Monday, November 29, 2021 at 7:30pm PT, the members of Sandbox Percussion and Andy Akiho will be the featured guests on ECM’s Wine Down Monday, giving audiences a chance to learn about how this piece was created and hear what it sounds like. This special preview event will be held live at 415 Westlake and available to join on Zoom.

Whether you join online or in person, Wine Down Monday is an opportunity to be with fellow music lovers to have a conversational, music-filled Monday night with a drink in hand and the chance to meet the guest artists. In-person tickets are available for Emerald TV subscribers and online tickets are free for all, with advance registration here:

Akiho and Sandbox Percussion released the world premiere recording of Seven Pillars on September 24, 2021 and with the album, they commissioned 11 video artists to create original films – one film for each movement of the work. These collaborative videos encompass the worlds of dance, animation, experimental narrative film, time-lapse, and more. The form of Seven Pillars mirrors the ambitious nature of this multimedia work. The seven main movements function as a palindrome, with the music and their corresponding films highlighting the relationships between the various movements. The Seven Pillars film anthology is available here.

“Known for music of frisky energy, this composer unveils work on a new scale for him,” wrote The New York Times’ in its 2021 Fall preview, highlighting Emerald City Music’s Seven Pillars concerts. This evening-length work consists of eleven movements – seven quartets and one solo for each member of Sandbox. This production features original staging and lighting design by Michael Joseph McQuilken that seamlessly integrates with the music. Sandbox member Jonny Allen writes, “Seven Pillars is the culminating project of our first decade as an ensemble. It’s also a project whose lifetime we hope will last well beyond our own. Seven Pillars began with the mind of its composer, Andy Akiho, whom each of us came to know in a unique way—through overlapping years at school, early exposure to his compositions, binge-watching marching percussion shows he was a part of, or admiring his work as a steel pan virtuoso. The common thread between these encounters was a recognition of his exceptional creativity. Andy has a rare ability to write music unlike anything we’ve ever heard, and yet it has a transcendent familiarity, an inevitability. This combined with his understanding of the percussive craft makes him a truly exciting collaborator.” Emerald City Music’s full COVID-19 Policy: Mainstage #3: Seven Pillars Friday, December 3, 2021 at 8pm & 10:30pm at 415 Westlake in Seattle Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 5pm & 7:30pm at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia (512 Washington Street SE) Tickets and Information: Andy Akiho: Seven Pillars (2020) World Premiere Sandbox Percussion Jonathan Allen; Victor Caccese; Ian Rosenbaum; Terry Sweeney Michael Joseph McQuilken, stage and lighting designer This performance, and all of ECM’s Mainstage performances this season, will be recorded live and then made available on Emerald TV, ECM’s newly launched subscription-based streaming platform for performances and additional video content. A one-month trial subscription is available until October 15 at, which includes unlimited access to Emerald City Music’s video library, ticket discounts, priority access, and more. About Andy Akiho Described as “trailblazing” (The Los Angeles Times) and “an imaginative composer” (The New York Times), Andy Akiho is a composer and performer of new music. ​ Recent engagements include commissioned premieres by the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, China Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony, Oregon Symphony with Soloist Colin Currie, American Composers Orchestra, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, LA Dance Project, and experimental opera company The Industry. Akiho has been recognized with many prestigious awards and organizations including the Rome Prize, Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize, Harvard University Fromm Commission, Barlow Endowment, New Music USA, and Chamber Music America. Additionally, his compositions have been featured on PBS’s “News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and by organizations such as Bang on a Can, American Composers Forum, The Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong, and the Heidelberg Festival. Akiho is also an active steel pannist and performs his compositions with various ensembles worldwide. He has performed his works with the Charlotte Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony, Nu Decco Ensemble, LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series, the Berlin Philharmonic’s Scharoun Ensemble, Miyamoto is Black Enough, the International Drum Festival in Taiwan, and has had four concerts featuring his compositions at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Akiho’s recordings No One To Know One (innova Recordings) and The War Below (National Sawdust Tracks) features brilliantly crafted compositions that pose intricate rhythms and exotic timbres inspired by his primary instrument, the steel pan. For more information, please visit About Sandbox Percussion Described as “exhilarating” by The New York Times, and “virtuosic and utterly mesmerizing” by The Guardian, Sandbox Percussion has established themselves as a leading proponent of this generation of contemporary percussion chamber music. Brought together by their love of chamber music and the simple joy of playing together, Sandbox Percussion captivates audiences with performances that are both visually and aurally stunning. Through compelling collaborations with composers and performers, Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum, and Terry Sweeney seek to engage a wider audience for classical music. Sandbox Percussion performs throughout the United States and made their United Kingdom debut in 2019 at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Cardiff where they premiered a new work by Benjamin Wallace for percussion quartet and fairground organ. In the 2019-20 season Sandbox Percussion premiered Don’t Look Down, a new work by Christopher Cerrone, with pianist Conor Hanick, as part of a new live stream concert series at the Caramoor Center for Music. They also presented a performance at Dumbarton Oaks of a new work by Viet Cuong. Sandbox Percussion has presented four separate programs of music by John Luther Adams at Storm King Art Center, Tippet Rise Art Center, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and the String Theory concert series in Chattanooga, TN. Sandbox performed Viet Cuong’s concerto Re(new)al with the Albany Symphony and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, as well as premiered a wind ensemble version of the work with the Brooklyn Wind Symphony. Sandbox collaborated with actor and writer Paul Lazar on a portrait concert of music by John Cage at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, and gave three sold out performances of Music for Eighteen Musicians with Emerald City Music in Seattle, WA. In addition to maintaining a busy concert schedule, Sandbox is ensemble-in-residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Sandbox has also led masterclasses and coachings at schools such as the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, the University of Southern California, Kansas University, Cornell University, and Furman University. While there, they coached students on some of the most pivotal works in the percussion repertoire including Steve Reich’s Drumming, György Ligeti’s Síppal, Dobbal, Nádihegedüvel, and John Cage’s Third Construction. These teaching experiences have inspired the quartet to pursue a role of pedagogy and mentorship for today’s young generation of musicians. In 2016, Sandbox Percussion founded the NYU Sandbox Percussion Seminar – this week-long seminar invites percussion students from across the globe to rehearse and perform some of today’s leading percussion chamber music repertoire at the iconic Brooklyn venue National Sawdust. In 2021, Sandbox Percussion released Seven Pillars, an evening-length work by Andy Akiho. The project includes an album, and film anthology with films that accompany each of the 11 movements of the work, and a live performance with original staging and lighting design by Michael Joseph McQuilken. Seven Pillars will receive its world premiere at Emerald City Music in Seattle, WA, and will tour around the world in 2021/2022. In the 2020-21 season, Sandbox Percussion launched a group of new virtual initiatives: a concert series live-streamed from their studio in Brooklyn, #sandboxsunday – a live-streamed series of conversations with composers, performers and other close collaborators, and monthly live-readings of new works submitted by composers from around the world. Sandbox Percussion endorses Pearl/Adams musical instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Remo drumheads, and Black Swamp accessories. For more information, please visit About Kristin Lee, ECM Artistic Director A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post‑Dispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists. In addition to her dynamic performing career, Lee was recently appointed to the faculty of University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin. She is the artistic director of Emerald City Music in Seattle, a chamber music series she co-founded in 2015. Also an accomplished chamber musician, Kristin Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at Lincoln Center in New York and on tour with CMS throughout each season, as well as a member of Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara, sitting as The Bernard Gondos Chair. Kristin Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic, and many others. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Louvre Museum in Paris, Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery. Born in Seoul, Lee began studying violin at age five and within one year won First Prize at the Korea Times Violin Competition. In 1995, she moved to the US to continue her studies under Sonja Foster and in 1997 entered The Juilliard School’s Pre-College. In 2000, Lee was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform with the Pre-College Symphony. Lee holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School. For more information, visit About ECM Emerald City Music (ECM) is the Pacific Northwest home for eclectic, intimate, and vibrant classical chamber music experiences. Deemed "the beacon for the casual-classical movement" (CityArts), ECM hosts world-renowned musicians in unique concert experiences in its South Lake Union home venue, 415 Westlake. Catch them on tour also in residence in Olympia, Bellingham, and New York City. Founded in 2015, Emerald City Music produces and tours seven productions annually, with each tour visiting Seattle’s South Lake Union (415 Westlake, a chic contemporary venue with an open bar), Olympia’s Minnaert Center (a 495 seat modern concert hall), a once annual concert at the Bellingham Music Festival, and an annual concert in New York City. ECM gained recognition regionally and nationally as a major player in the chamber music scene. Artistic Director Kristin Lee –– a touring violinist awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant and who is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center –– is regarded for her innovative programming that both honors the tradition of chamber music while expanding the genre’s boundary past common limits. Emerald City Music made a name for itself beginning in its second season with a national collaborative commission with Grammy-winning composer John Luther Adams, and has continued to press the boundary of chamber music with accolades like a tour of Steve Reich’s iconic and rare Music for 18 Musicians, a pitch-black performance of Georg Haas’s “In the Dark” quartet, and the West Coast debut of the Danish folk group The Dreamers’ Circus. Follow ECM on Social Media Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

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