New music and video inspired by the world of botany

New York City’s Avian Orchestra returns this fall with Vegetative States, a new program touching on the growth of vines, carnivorous plants, psychedelic gardens, and more. The concerts will feature world premieres by a lush and vibrant range of living American composers, including Bret Battey, Max Duykers, Peter Flint, and Jonathan Newman, as well as arrangements by Michael Gandolfi from his symphony The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. The orchestra will be performing against a backdrop of video created by composers Bret Battey and Peter Flint with collaborator Katie Flint.

Pre-show will include a audio/video installation piece by Peter Flint involving long term time lapse video of one of the last stands of old growth forest in Delaware.

The Avian Orchestra is: Ann Sterman, flute; Andrew Sterman, woodwinds; Cyrus Beroukhim, violin; Arash Amini, cello; Blair McMillen, piano; Chris Nappi, percussion; and Peter Flint, accordion

PERF. # 1: Saturday, September 24, 8pm
VENUE: The Barn @ Flint Woods, 205 Center Meeting Road, Greenville, Delaware
INFO: Admission is $15.

PERF. # 2: Monday, September 26, 8pm
VENUE: The Cell, 338 W. 23rd Street, New York City
INFO: Admission is $20.


• Bret Battey – “Clonal Colony”

• Max Duykers – “Arborescence” for accordion and pierrot sextet.

• Peter Flint – “Ascending Tendrils”

• Michael Gandolfi – arrangements from “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation” (working title)

• Jonathan Newman – “These inflected tentacles” (working title)

About the composers:

Bret Battey ( creates electronic, acoustic, and multimedia concert works and installations. He has been a Fulbright Fellow to India and a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and he has received recognitions and prizes from Austria’s Prix Ars Electronica, France’s Bourges Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique, Spain’s Punto y Raya Festival, Abstracta Cinema of Rome, and Amsterdam Film eXperience for his sound and image compositions. He studied composition and electronic music at Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Washington, and is a Senior Lecturer with the Music, Technology, and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

Max Giteck Duykers ( is a composer whose music has been performed throughout the United States, in Italy, England, and Romania. He was recently commissioned by the Jerome Foundation and Western Michigan University to create a chamber opera for his father, tenor John Duykers, electro-acoustic percussionist Joel Davel, and pierrot sextet, called The Apricots of Andujar. The piece is being developed with acclaimed playwright and filmmaker Philip Gotanda, and will be co-presented by the Astoria Music Festival in Astoria, OR. His numerous other commissions and premieres include The Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the Oakland Youth Orchestra, The Seattle Chamber Players, Anti-Social Music, Trio Tara, The Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, HERE Arts Center, PS122, La Mama ETC, and the Stony Brook Department of Theatre Arts.

Peter Flint ( was born in Delaware and currently resides in New York City, composing music for all sizes and shapes of ensembles. He received a B.A./B.Mus. in History and Electronic Music from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music where he studied with Conrad Cummings, and his M.Mus. from New England Conservatory where he studied with Michael Gandolfi, Lee Hyla, and Scott Wheeler. Recent works include The International Lover, songs of love, lust, sex, and jealousy; Migratory Routes for mixed chamber ensemble, Dance Dance Dance, a string quartet which won the New England Conservatory Honors Quartet Composition Prize and was premiered in March 2001 by the Delaware Symphony String Quartet; as well as a short orchestra piece, entitled Eroding the Helix, which was premiered by the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble in New York in February 2003.

Michael Gandolfi ( received B.M. and M.M. degrees in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as fellowships for study at the Yale Summer Schoul of Music and Art, the Composers Conference, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Mr. Gandolfi is the recipient of numerous awards including grants from the Fromm Foundation, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music has been performed by many leading ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

Jonathan Newman ( is an accomplished composer of diverse skills, having written orchestral, chamber, vocal, choral, wind ensemble, and electronic music, as well as music for dance and theater. A recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he has been described as “an outstanding composer…with a quirky and intellectually provocative bent.” Newman (b.1972) hulds degrees from Boston University’s School for the Arts, where he studied with Richard Cornell and Charles Fussell, and The Juilliard School, where his principle teachers were Pulitzer Prize-winning composers John Corigliano and David Del Tredici. Early training includes studies at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Aspen Music Festival, with studies under George Tsontakis and Bernard Rands.

The New York City-based Avian Orchestra ( is a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to the music of living American composers. Our mission is to provide opportunities for emerging American composers in an ongoing series of thematic concerts and recordings that engage, build, and broaden the links between composers, audiences, and performers. Past concerts have focused on such themes as birds and music; sports-inspired music performed in a 19th century gymnasium, a Valentine’s Day concert of songs of love, lust, sex, and jealousy, which featured the burlesque performer Miss Dirty Martini, and an election season revue of music about politics. Their performances have been popular and critical successes, described in the New York Times as “played beautifully and sensitively.” Their “Play Ball!!!” concert was a featured web-cast on the NewMusicBox website.