UMBC's Livewire Festival celebrates new music

Before Mobtown Modern hit the scene or the Evolution Contemporary Music Series evolved, Baltimore-area fans of new sounds could get an earful at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where the music department continues to champion adventurous repertoire.

"That's kind of our thing out here," said composer and faculty member Linda Dusman. "We decided to consolidate this year into a festival."

That would be Livewire, a four-day presentation of concerts and lectures at UMBC next week exploring a hefty sampling of fresh music, including world premieres. Faculty members and guest artists will be featured in performances.

"It's a chance to reflect back on the first decade of the new millennium," said Dusman, who organized the festival and whose wry work "O Star Spangled Stripes" will be featured. "It has been an extraordinary decade, with enormous political, economic and even social upheaval, but the amount of creativity has kept apace. Composers seem to be more active than ever."

That means a lot of diversity; any style goes. "I think you can sense the joy of all different kinds of sounds and genres coming together," Dusman said. "That's a fantastic place to be."

UMBC should be a cool place to be during Livewire. Highlights include the Ruckus ensemble at 8 p.m. Thursday playing works by Douglas Boyce, Sofia Kamayianni and others. The Hoffmann/Goldstein Duo performs Oct. 29; the Synchronous Trio and Damocles Trio performs Oct. 30.

Livewire will be held in UMBC's Fine Arts Building, 1000 Hilltop Circle. Tickets are $5-$10, free for students. Call 410-752-8950 or go to More info:

—Tim Smith

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