• New American Mandolin Ensemble - Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings

    New American Mandolin Ensemble - Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings

    Hampton, Conn. — The New American Mandolin Ensemble (NAME) has announced the release of its first recording entitled Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings. Subtitled "New classical music for plucked string instruments reflecting folk, jazz and world music influences," the selections reflect the eclectic, international character of modern mandolin composition.

    The recording includes original compositions for plucked strings performed by NAME on their European tours in 2014 and 2016.

    About the New American Mandolin Ensemble, Director Mark Davis told us, "Back in 2013 I was feeling the American classical mandolin was under-represented in international plucked string festivals. I had amassed a large collection of recent works for mandolin orchestra that had come my way since I took over as Music Director of the Providence Mandolin Orchestra in 1989. I put together a team of professional performers to take on some of these interesting new compositions. My first goal was the huge Eurofestival Zupfmusik festival which is held in Germany every four years. I had performed there a few times in a duo format, but thought that they would be receptive to this new ensemble.

    "I was right — we were invited to perform there in 2014. After that we went to the Netherlands hosted by Alex Timmermann's HET CONSORT. Our next trip was to the the 45th Festival Internacional de Plectro in Rioja, Spain, in the summer of 2016. En route we performed in Porto, Portugal as invitees of Antonio de Souza Viera and his burgeoning classical mandolin program. We're now preparing new repertoire for our trip to Great Britain next spring where we will be performing with Simon Mayor on his composition 'Tarantella Thirty-Seven'."

    Members of NAME include Bob Asprinio (bass), Beverly Davis (classical guitar), Mark Davis (mandolin, director), Judy Handler (classical guitar), Mark Levesque (mandolin), and Robert Margo (liuto cantabile, mandola).


    From the recording Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings, the track "Philoxenia," written for NAME and premiered recently in Europe. "Philoxenia" is Greek for "love of the stranger," the subtext being the hospitality shown by Greece towards Syrian refugees in James Kellaris' evocative work.

    Track Listing

    • Dances for the Mandolin and the Moon - R. Charlton
    • Urban Sketches: Circuits - O. Hartford
    • Urban Sketches: Underground - O. Hartford
    • Urban Sketches: Walkabout - O. Hartford
    • Urban Sketches: Fast Lane - O. Hartford
    • Dreamtime - A. Kruisbrink
    • Homeward Bound - E. Macadam-Somer
    • The City Awakens - E. Stopler
    • Song for My Father - C. Assad
    • Philoxenia - J. Kellaris
    • The Song of Japanese Autumn - Y. Kuwahara
    • Yutuma - C. Acquavella
    • Tema De Soto - M. Davis

    Additional Information