S.E.M. Ensemble's Annual Winter Concert at Paula Cooper Gallery

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S.E.M. Ensemble's Annual Winter Concert at Paula Cooper Gallery

Following a tradition started more than 30 years ago, the S.E.M. Ensemble returns to Paula Cooper Gallery for its annual winter concert.

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Date and time


Paula Cooper Gallery 521 West 21st Street New York, NY 10011

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About this event

  • 2 hours
  • Mobile eTicket


Petr Kotik, Many Many Women (1975-78) on text by Gertrude Stein / 60-minutes

Jean-Philippe Rameau, Suite in 8 parts from Les Indes Galantes (1735)

Pauline Oliveros, Tuning Meditation (1997) from Four Meditations for Orchestra

John Cage, Five (1988) orchestra version by Petr Kotik (concert duration - approximately 2 hours 15 minutes)


After three years of hiatus due to the pandemic, the S.E.M. Ensemble returns to Paula Cooper Gallery for a Christmas-time concert. It also marks the return to the grand Gallery space on 21 Street that has not been used since 2018. S.E.M. Ensemble started its Christmas-time concerts at Paula Cooper Gallery in 1983 and have continued presenting them yearly. On occasion, these concerts have also included a piece of early music. This year, it will be the Suite by Jean-Philippe Rameau from his opera of Les Indes Galantes – eight selections of dances with an overture and the well-known Chaconne. All other music on the program is related to SEM and Petr Kotik. His composition for voices and instruments, Many Many Women on text by Gertrude Stein, premiered at the Paula Cooper Gallery in 1979, can be performed either complete (the duration being up to 6-hours), or in part (John Cage started such a strategy in his Concert for Piano and Orchestra in the mid-1950s). On December 11th, the selected sections will be performed for 60 minutes. A shorter performance does not diminish the composition (a six-hour performance is rarely done). Tuning Meditation is part two of Four Meditations for Orchestra, which Pauline Oliveros created in 1997 for Petr Kotik's "Music of Extended Duration" festival in Prague. She premiered it as soloist with the Janáček Philharmonic, led by Kotik, at the Spanish Hall of the Prague Castle. Five by John Cage was composed in 1988 for the performance by the S.E.M. Ensemble at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik festival in Germany. Since then, the piece has become part of SEM's repertoire, including a version for larger ensemble created by Petr Kotik in 1990s.