Give now to support our 2016-2017 season!

New Year’s Countdown!

Hey, all! It’s been another wonderful year here at Wild Rumpus. We’ve premiered a ton of new works, including pieces by Joshua Carro, Leaha Maria Villareal, Lee Weisert, Eliza Brown, Per Bloland, and Ruby Fulton; we’ve added the fabulous Mia Nardi-Huffman (violin), David Wegehaupt (saxophone), Eugene Theriault (bass), and Weston Olencki (trombone) to our roster; and we’ve played music by emerging and established composers of new music alike, from our commissions to György Kurtág’s eloquent Kafka Fragments, from Caroline Miller’s dreamy, surreal Berceuse et Jeux to John Luther Adams’ expansive, crystalline The Light Within, from Asha Srinivasan’s intricate, sinuous Dviraag to Lee Hyla’s blistering We Speak Etruscan. We’re so proud of the fantastic talent we’ve been able to showcase, and the vibrant, challenging music we’ve gotten to share with you this year, and next year’s going to be even bigger! Coming up are new commissions by Ioannis Angelakis, David Bird, Ben Richter, Stefan Weisman, Emma O’Halloran, David Biedenbender, and Christopher Cresswell; another round of the Wild Rumpus Commissioning Project, our open call for composers to commission; recording our first album; and more stuff we’ll be so excited to announce! We’d like to celebrate 2014 and welcome 2015 with you in style: with the first-ever…

New Year’s Countdown!

If you donate $25 or more, then every so often throughout December, we’ll send you a fun little thing via e-mail, until we ring in the new year together!

For every additional $25 you donate, you’ll get more little fun things: $50 gets you something every few days, and $75 gets you everything we’ve got—something for every day, December 7-January 1!

What kind of fun stuff?

It’s a surprise! But you can give us a few hints about the kind of stuff you like below, and we’ll keep it in mind! They’ll be small, but fun, and we think they’ll be a fun addition to your holiday season!

Where do donations go?

Donations go to our general operating fund—your donation will help us:

  • Produce concerts
  • Commission composers
  • Hold open salons
  • Make our very first album (!)

All donations are tax-deductible thanks to our fiscal sponsor, San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. Payments are securely processed using Stripe.

Thanks so much for your support, and happy new year!

— Love, Wild Rumpus

Concert: “Kafkaesque” September 5, 2014

Wild Rumpus presents “Kafkaesque” at Old First Concerts in San Francisco on Friday September 5, 2014 at 8PM. The performance marks the first in a series of three concerts featuring winners of the 2014 Wild Rumpus Commissioning Project. Two world premieres explore expressive extremes: Per Bloland’s wildly expressionistic Solis Overture and the serene, hypnotic loops of Ruby Fulton’s you & me in a concert exploring the surreal, the complex, the bizarre, the illogical and the shadowy. The ecstatic Music in Similar Motion by Philip Glass, the dreamscape of Caroline Miller’s Berceuse et Jeux, the heavy funk of Lee Hyla’s We Speak Etruscan, interwoven with excerpts from György Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments, form a truly Kafkaesque journey through the contemporary landscape.

$17 General, $14 Seniors, $5 Full Time Students (Children 12 and under are free)
Location: 1751 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94109
For Tickets and information: (415) 474-1608

Per Bloland – Solis Overture (2014) World Premiere
Ruby Fulton – you & me (2014) World Premiere
György Kurtág – Kafka Fragments (1986) (excerpts)
Philip Glass – Music in Similar Motion (1969)
Lee Hyla – We Speak Etruscan (1992)
Caroline Miller – Berceuse et Jeux (2012)

Wild Rumpus:
Nathaniel Berman, conductor
Joanne de Mars, cello
Margaret Halbig, piano
Sophie Huet, clarinet, development director
Vanessa Langer, soprano
Amy Sedan, flute
Eugene Theriault, bass
Dan VanHassel, electric guitar, composer, artistic director
Jen Wang, composer, executive director
David Wegehaupt, saxophone

Mckenzie Camp, percussion
Joseph Maile, violin
Mia Nardi-Huffman, violin
Weston Olencki, trombone

Concert: “Migrations” May 3, 2014

Wild Rumpus presents pieces that reinterpret and reinvent existing materials in “Migrations”, on May 3 at 8 PM at the Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco). The program features two world premieres commissioned for the ensemble by Lee Weisert and Eliza Brown.


Lee Weisert – Minutiae (2014) (World Premiere)
for bass clarinet, soprano, trombone, percussion, and electronics

Eliza Brown – …in hora mortis nostrae (2014) (World Premiere)
for clarinet, electric guitar, percussion, prepared piano, and double bass

J.M. Gletle – Ave Maria
for soprano, cello, and theorbo

Daniel Wohl – Pixelated (2010)
for piano/toy piano, percussion, and electronics

David Lang – Stuttered Chant (2011)
for cello and percussion

Asha Srinivasan – Dviraag (2010)
for flute and cello

The 2013-2014 Commissioning Project Results!

After 404 submissions and a lot of listening, we’re delighted to announce the winners of the 2013-2014 Commissioning Project! Thanks again to all who applied! Here they are:

David Biedenbender
David Bird
Christopher Cresswell
Emma O’Halloran
Ben Richter
Stefan Weisman

David Biedenbender


A musical omnivore and a passionate collaborator, David Biedenbender is inspired by a diverse array of interests and experiences. His present creative interests include working with everyone from classically trained musicians to improvisers, acoustic chamber music to large ensembles, and interactive electronic interfaces to live brain data. He has had the privilege of collaborating with many talented performers and ensembles, including Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Stenhammar String Quartet, United States Navy Band, Philharmonie Baden-Baden, VocalEssence, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Detroit Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist Randy Hawes, and the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble. He recently completed a doctorate in music composition at the University of Michigan and has also studied at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, and carnatic music in Mysore, India. His musical mentors include Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, Stephen Rush, Kristin Kuster, Christopher Lees, and David R. Gillingham.

David Bird


David Bird is a composer and producer from Laguna Beach, California. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and currently studies composition at Columbia University. His work frequently employs the use of live electronics with aims to strengthen the relationships between acoustic and electronic instruments. His music has been a “Staff Pick” on Vimeo and featured on their homepage, as well as publications such as The Atlantic and The Plain Dealer. A review from Pitchfork’s Altered Zones has described his expansive sound as, “vibrant, shirt-staining, color squirting… amidst swirling layers of white noise and choir… I do believe a lie-down is in order.” He’s participated in workshops on MIR (music information retrieval) at Stanford’s CCRMA facility, and has been an artist in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada.

Christopher Cresswell


Originally from Cazenovia, NY, Chris Cresswell (b. 1988) is a young composer who is gaining recognition for his work in a wide variety of music genres. Praised for his idiosyncratic sense of sonority, Cresswell’s music frequently explores the timbral possibilities of acoustic, electro-acoustic, and electronic only sonic worlds while still retaining an emotional core that is central to his expression. Having received awards and commissions from the American Composers Forum, the Jerome Foundation for New Music, the National Band Association, the Renee Crown Honors Program, the Setnor School of Music, Sar Shalom Strong, and the Society for New Music, his music has been presented by Kathleen Supove’s Music with a View Festival, Hot Air Music Festival (SF), Rhymes with Opera, ETHOS Society, the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble, among others, with additional performances at Syracuse University, Hamilton College, San Francisco Conservatory, The National Opera Center, the Tenri Cultural Institute, The Firehouse Space, The Flea Theater, MoMA, and the Kennedy Center.

Cresswell had a busy 2013, with premieres of hesheyoumeus at the Hot Air Music Festival in San Francisco, Description of a Lost Thing at the Tenri Cultural Institute, After Beauty at the National Opera Center, and Stone Seeking Warmth at Syracuse University. The Steve Weiss Percussion Group will premiere Some Faraway Outpost in April 2014 in Lancaster, PA and the film score for Dorian Green will have its premiere in June 2014 in New York City. Upcoming collaborations are planned with Tempus Continuum Ensemble, trombonist Kevin A. Virgilio and pianist Holly Roadfeldt.

Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition, Cresswell has studied with Donald Bohlen, James O. Welsch, Andrew Waggoner, Gregory Mertl, and Nicolas Scherzinger. In addition to composition, he has studied tuba with Raymond Stewart, Michael Coldren, and William Harris, conducting with James O. Welsch, and classical guitar with Kenneth Meyer. He currently lives in Astoria, NY and studies with Zibuokle Martinaityte.

Emma O’Halloran

ohalloranEmma O’Halloran is an Irish composer who writes both electronic and acoustic music. Her works have been performed by Concorde, Crash Ensemble, orkest de ereprijs, Yurodny, Dublin Laptop Orchestra, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, and has been featured at festivals including the International Young Composer’s Meeting, New Music Dublin, and Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. Emma lives in New Jersey, and is currently a doctoral fellow at Princeton University.

Ben Richter


Ben Richter is a composer and accordionist from New England. His music is concerned with consciousness and transcendence, the intersection of memory and imagination, and the evolution of worlds and beings, focusing on the immersive totality of musical experience.

Ben Richter is the founding director of Ghost Ensemble, dedicated to performances of experiential and experimental music. He has composed for the American Symphony Orchestra, Nieuw Ensemble, S.E.M. Ensemble, Ostravska Banda, Da Capo Chamber Players, Ensemble Royaal, accordion duo Toeac, and New York Miniaturist Ensemble. He also produces recorded electronic music, film and theater scores, and installation sound pieces, and has performed with the Da Capo Chamber Players, S.E.M. Ensemble, and rock, jazz, and klezmer bands. From 2004 to 2008, he was musical director of New York’s Surrealist Training Circus.

Ben Richter’s principal teachers include Pauline Oliveros, George Tsontakis, Joan Tower, and Kyle Gann. He studied composition at Bard College and received his M. M. from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with research focused on parahypnotic phenomena in music.

Stefan Weisman


Stefan Weisman is a composer living in New York City. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times described his music as “personal, moody and skillfully wrought.” When his song “Twinkie” was featured on the nationally syndicated program The Wendy Williams Show, the host said, “Very unique…You’re not going to hear opera like this anywhere else…Fabulous!” His compositions include chamber, orchestral, theater, dance and choral pieces, and he has specialized in vocal works that explore edgy and compelling topics. His opera Darkling, commissioned by American Opera Projects, was included in the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, premiered to great acclaim at the East 13th Street Theater and toured Europe in 2007. It was released by Albany Records in November 2011. His one-act opera Fade, commissioned by the British opera company Second Movement, premiered in London in 2008 and also had successful performances in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Brooklyn. He is currently developing an evening length opera, The Scarlet Ibis, for the PROTOTYPE opera festival, co-produced by HERE and Beth Morrison Projects.  Among his other commissions are works for Bang on a Can, Sequitur, and the Empire City Men’s Choir. In 2012, Inside Jersey Magazine selected him as one of twenty-one artists from New Jersey who are “breaking big.” He is a graduate of Bard College (BA), Yale University (MA), and Princeton University (PhD). His composition instructors include David Lang, Joan Tower, Daron Hagen, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey, and Paul Lansky. Presently, he is on the faculty of the Bard High School Early College in Queens, New York.  He has also taught at Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, the City College of New York, CUNY, and the Princeton University Department of Music. His music is available on New Amsterdam Records and Albany Records.

Concert: “The Light Within” February 22, 2014

This evening will feature a tour through the evocative landscape of contemporary music, from the serenely beautiful sonic landscapes of John Luther Adams and Radiohead, to the funk-minimalism of Ryan Brown to the latest in interactive technology featured in the work of co-director Dan VanHassel. Wild Rumpus will also be performing world premieres, created in collaboration with the group by Joshua Carro and Leaha Maria Villareal.


Joshua Carro: Spectral Fields in Time (2013) (World Premiere) for piano, electric guitar, bass clarinet, trombone, double bass, percussion

Leaha Maria Villareal: Never Not (2014) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, electric guitar, percussion, double bass, soprano

John Luther Adams: The Light Within (2007) for alto flute, bass clarinet, vibraphone/crotales, piano, violin, cello and electronics

Dan VanHassel: Ever Expanding (2013) for flute, cello, percussion, and live electronics

Radiohead: Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (2007) for Wild Rumpus

Ryan Brown: Our Friend Adam (2005) for flute, bass clarinet, piano, electric guitar, and double bass

Salvatore Sciarrino: Let Me Die Before I Wake (1982) for clarinet solo