Formed in 1971, Nexus stands out in the contemporary music scene for the innovation and diversity of their programs, their impressive history of collaborations and commissions, and their influential improvisatory ideas.
Recent NEXUS highlights include Rochester Philharmonic, San Antonio, Kansas City and Pacific Symphony performances, a tour of Japan, and back-to-back residencies at the Ojai Festival in California where the L.A.Times music critic commented, “Ojai felt, for that hour, like holy ground,” and that their concerts were “thrilling” and “certainly stand as one of the most memorable in any venue, anywhere."
Compelled to share their insatiable curiosity, knowledge and passion, NEXUS has contributed greatly to musical education with symphonic and solo programs for family audiences from “The Story of Percussion in the Orchestra” to their concert “An African Celebration." In recent seasons they presented three wonderfully received student concerts with the Toronto Symphony, hailed by educators as “the best concert in years." Internationally, NEXUS has participated in high school, college and university residencies, giving master classes, workshops and concerts. NEXUS members consistently write compositions that become core repertoire for percussion ensembles. Pops and family programs, as well as extended residencies, are available in addition to these two signature orchestral works:
FROM ME FLOWS WHAT YOU CALL TIME by TORU TAKEMITSU (30')
Recorded by Nexus and The Pacific Symphony on Sony Classics
Celebrate Takemitsu’s genius with this signature piece. Since the premiere in Carnegie Hall with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Nexus has given more than eighty performances of this magical work. From Los Angeles to Chicago, to Philadelphia, London, Hamburg, Lyon and Tokyo, audiences of all ages have been enraptured by Takemitsu's brilliant orchestration and Nexus' sensitive playing on their fantastic array of instruments. It is a feast for eyes and ears.
" ravishing in atmosphere. … The players of Nexus are uncanny in their precision of ensemble, in their individuality, and in the subtlety of their interaction; each is a master of attack, dynamics, and color." - The Boston Globe
RITUALS by ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH (27'; for chamber orchestra)
Recorded by Nexus and IRIS Chamber Orchestra on NAXOS
As the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Zwilich's music continues to be shared with a broad and appreciative audience. The March 2004 premiere of this work in Memphis, Tennessee was heralded by a standing ovation with rousing applause. At times mysterious, translucent, vivacious and disturbing, Rituals is not of the typical percussion concerto mold of hair-raising bombast, but is rather more introspective, though its last movement is fiery and exuberant. Conductor Michael Stern and Nexus recently recreated the excitement of this work in Kansas City.
“Rituals is a celebration of percussion as used in various world cultures…it's a total delight, from the opening Invocations, with its stunning pageantry of bells, gongs, and cymbals, to the dancing Ambulation, to the electrifying Contests. Under Michael Stern's leadership, NEXUS/IRIS Chamber Orchestra members play magnificently as they build to a frenzied, exhilarating conclusion.” - ClassicsToday