Posted 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

New Music Festival

Concerts over three days planned on campus

A variety of new music will be featured in the annual New Music Festival at UW-La Crosse.

The concerts, all free and open to the public, are in the Annett Recital Hall, Lowe Center for the Arts, 333 N. 16th St. The performances include:

  • Concert of Music by Living Composers, performed by UWL students and student ensembles, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2.
  • Concert of Recent Music for Voice and Cello, featuring Sarah Brailey, soprano, and Caleb van der Swaagh, cello, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. 
  • Concert of Music by Living Composers, performed by UWL faculty and guests, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4.

A Grammy Award-winning soprano, Brailey — a vocalist, cellist, recording artist and educator — enjoys a versatile career that defies categorization. She has been praised by The New York Times for her “radiant, liquid tone,” and by Opera UK for “a sound of remarkable purity.”

Sarah Brailey, soprano

Brailey’s numerous career highlights include performing Handel’s “L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato” with the Mark Morris Dance Group, serenading the Mona Lisa with John Zorn’s “Madrigals” at the Louvre in Paris, and performing the role of The Soul in the world premiere recording of Dame Ethel Smyth’s “The Prison,” for which she received the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.

Brailey is a member of Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a percentage of concert fees to non-profit organizations. Through Beyond Artists, she supports the Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and the Animal Welfare Institute.

Caleb van der Swaagh, cello

Van der Swaagh, a versatile chamber musician and soloist, has been praised for “entrancing” performances by National Sawdust Log. He is an alumnus of Ensemble ACJW, now known as Ensemble Connect, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

In demand as a chamber musician, van der Swaagh belongs to Exponential Ensemble, a mixed instrumentation chamber ensemble. As an advocate of contemporary music, van der Swaagh is a member of counter induction, Ensemble Échappé, and Ensemble Ipse. He also performs regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles.

A native New Yorker, van der Swaagh graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University as part of the Columbia – Juilliard Exchange program with a degree in classics and medieval and renaissance studies. He received a master’s with academic honors from the New England Conservatory and later studied at the Manhattan School of Music.