Acadia New Music Society to present Shattering the Silence

The Acadia New Music Society will present the eighth annual Acadia New Music Festival, Shattering the Silence, from February 2-6 on the campus of Acadia University and in other venues in Wolfville, N.S. 

This five-day festival showcases outstanding acoustic and electroacoustic compositions from composers and performers across the Atlantic provinces and beyond. CellistJeff Zeigler, of Kronos Quartet fame, is this year’s special guest. Other featured performers include the Blue Engine String Quartet and the NBG Ensemble. Shattering the Silence is co-directed by Mark Hopkins and Derek Charke.

Described by The New York Times as “excellent,” and a player who performs with “unforced simplicity and beauty of tone,” Jeffrey Zeigler was the cellist of the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet for eight seasons.  Prior to joining Kronos, he was the cellist of the Corigliano Quartet, which captured the Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming.  Music Director of the interdisciplinary multimedia group VisionIntoArt in New York, Zeigler has made over a dozen recordings and teaches cello at the Mannes College The New School for Music in New York City. He is a regular contribution to the blog, CelloBello, and can be heard on the soundtrack of Darren Aronofsky’s film, “The Fountain”, featuring music by Clint Mansell and including performances by the Scottish band, Mogwai.

Highlights of this year’s festival include:


The opening nightconcert Four Sections, on Monday, February 2 at 7 p.m., features the Acadia Wind EnsembleandAcadia Chamber Orchestra, in the world-premiere of Wired and Wound for solo saxophone (performed by Tristan De Borba, saxophone) and chamber ensemble by Derek Charke (arranged Mark Hopkins); and Four Sections by Steve Reich. The performance takes place in the Festival Theatre and admission is by freewill donation ($20 suggested) and free for students with valid ID.


Jeff Zeigler will be in Halifax giving a lecture/demonstration on contemporary music for strings and an improvisation workshop for composition and string students at Dalhousie University. 

There will be a Chamber Music Showcase: Rising Stars, from 5-6:15 p.m. at Denton Hall. This will feature composers from the Acadia community, including Steve Reich’s 6 Pianos for six electric pianos. Admission is free.

The Festival will also present a CD release in its Late Night at the Anvil concert at 9 p.m. with the NBG Ensemble in their Late Night Jam. Away from the confines of the concert hall, the first half will be a 45-minute set by the NBG ensemble. In the second half, Zeigler will join other musicians for a set of improvised music. The CD release of Live Wired from last year’s Festival is a snapshot of music being created and performed as a direct result of the new music festival. All of the works on the CD were commissioned and premiered by the Acadia New Music Society. Featured composers include Anthony Genge, Derek Charke, Jerome Blais with guest soloists Tristan De Borba, Alto Saxophone and Janice Jackson, Soprano. Admission is $5 cover.


On Wednesday, Jeffrey Zeigler will present a Master class on Contemporary Cello with cello students of Professor Christoph Both at 3:30, which will be open to the public.

In the evening there will be the second concert in Festival Theatre, Ofrenes, at 7 p.m.  This concert includes Blue Engine String Quartet and Zeigler in a program of works by Peter-Anthony Togni, Derek Charke, Anthony Genge, and Marjan Mozetich.  Blue Engine presents a full evening recital, including the world premiere of Ofrenes for string quartet and solo cello by Peter Togni, which was created with the assistance of Arts Nova Scotia. Also included on this program is the JUNO award-winning work Sepia Fragments by Derek Charke. Admission is $20 for students, $10 for seniors and free for students with valid ID.


On Thursday, February 5, Jeffrey Zeigler will present a Lecture/Presentation at Denton Hall at 11:30 (free admission), discussing his work with the Kronos Quartet, and a composer master class on writing for strings at 3 p.m.

Later that day, the Home Grown concert takes place at 7 p.m. at Festival Theatre. This performance features faculty performers from Acadia’s School of Music, local musicians and student performers and composers. The Acadia Youth Band (a group representing eight different schools in the Annapolis Valley) will also perform under the direction of Paul Hutten. This concert will focus on Canadian works and admission is by freewill donation ($20 suggested), and free for students with valid ID.


Shattering the Silence wraps on Friday, February 6 with a solo recital by Jeffrey Zeigler at 7 p.m. at the Al Whittle Theatre, including the world premiere of a new work by Derek Charke for solo cello and electronics, and a selection of works from Felipe Perez Santiago, Paola Prestini, Hauschka, Philip Glass, Razaz, and John Zorn. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students.

Shattering the Silence gratefully acknowledges the support of their funding partners: Fondation SOCAN Foundation, Arts Nova Scotia, The Canada Council for the Arts, the Municipality of the County of Kings, and Acadia University.

Tickets for all shows are available at the door. For more information visit or call (902) 585-1244 or (902) 585-1270. You can visit the Society’s Facebook page here:

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