Press

“Bolter spotlighted the showiest aspects…”

...and made it look easy.

(National Symphony Orchestra, Washington D.C.)

Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post

2018-02-01T11:49:59+00:00

Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post

...and made it look easy. (National Symphony Orchestra, Washington D.C.)

“A mesmerizing exploration of resonance”

Bolter also led Northwestern University's Bienen Contemporary Music Ensemble in the Chicago premiere of Hans Thomalla's 'Wonderblock,' a sometimes mesmerizing exploration of resonance. Movement from watery long-sustained tones to ones clipped and dry repaid significant concentration.

Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune

2018-02-01T11:55:42+00:00

Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune

Bolter also led Northwestern University's Bienen Contemporary Music Ensemble in the Chicago premiere of Hans Thomalla's 'Wonderblock,' a sometimes mesmerizing exploration of resonance. Movement from watery long-sustained tones to ones clipped and dry repaid significant concentration.

“Quite the best of the Ear Taxi events I had witnessed up to then”

“The culminating event of the evening concert, the world premiere of Drew Baker's ‘NOX’, made listeners feel as if they were living inside a giant loudspeaker, surrounded by an otherworldly continuum of sound.

Conductor Ben Bolter, presiding from the rear of the darkened stage, coordinated the far-flung performers by means of semaphore cues. The aural environment began as unpitched, barely audible murmurs and rustlings before coalescing into sustained, slowly evolving sonic planes. The graded crescendo built to an ear-piercing climax before dying away in flurries of strings, winds and percussion.

"NOX" made an altogether striking close to an absorbing, eclectic program, quite the best of the Ear Taxi events I had witnessed up to then.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

2018-02-01T12:14:11+00:00

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“The culminating event of the evening concert, the world premiere of Drew Baker's ‘NOX’, made listeners feel as if they were living inside a giant loudspeaker, surrounded by an otherworldly continuum of sound. Conductor Ben Bolter, presiding from the rear of the darkened stage, coordinated the far-flung performers by means of semaphore cues. The aural environment began as unpitched, barely audible murmurs and rustlings before coalescing into sustained, slowly evolving sonic planes. The graded crescendo built to an ear-piercing climax before dying away in flurries of strings, winds and percussion. "NOX" made an altogether striking close to an absorbing, eclectic program, quite the best of the Ear Taxi events I had witnessed up to then.”

“We could only pray that maybe, just maybe, we could live long enough to experience something this great once again.”

“Capping off this evening was the world premiere of Drew Baker’s NOX, performed by the All Ear Taxi Festival Musicians. In a darkened Harris Theater, the ensemble members were scattered all over the house, some on-stage, some in the aisles, and others up in the balcony. They were taking directions from conductor Ben Bolter, who, facing the audience from the back of the stage, was the only illuminated person in the whole hall. He started by pointing to the various groupings of musicians, who, beginning with whispers, gradually created a brilliant crescendo that got to ear-splitting levels. As the music intensified, he was wildly swinging his arms, increasing the number of fingers as he pointed around the hall to the scattered musicians.

The music of Baker and the presence of Bolter were so engrossing, when silence was restored, I discovered I had been perspiring and my body had been trembling. There was a sense of total awe. Something totally extraordinary had just taken place, greatness defined, truly one of a kind. The hope is that maybe, just maybe, I will experience something this great once again.”

-Louis Harris, Third Coast Review (announcing Best Classical Performances of 2016 in Chicago)

2018-02-27T11:29:16+00:00

-Louis Harris, Third Coast Review (announcing Best Classical Performances of 2016 in Chicago)

“Capping off this evening was the world premiere of Drew Baker’s NOX, performed by the All Ear Taxi Festival Musicians. In a darkened Harris Theater, the ensemble members were scattered all over the house, some on-stage, some in the aisles, and others up in the balcony. They were taking directions from conductor Ben Bolter, who, facing the audience from the back of the stage, was the only illuminated person in the whole hall. He started by pointing to the various groupings of musicians, who, beginning with whispers, gradually created a brilliant crescendo that got to ear-splitting levels. As the music intensified, he was wildly swinging his arms, increasing the number of fingers as he pointed around the hall to the scattered musicians. The music of Baker and the presence of Bolter were so engrossing, when silence was restored, I discovered I had been perspiring and my body had been trembling. There was a sense of total awe. Something totally extraordinary had just taken place, greatness defined, truly one of a kind. The hope is that maybe, just maybe, I will experience something this great once again.”

“Bolter’s spontaneous zestfully-informed gestures…”

... led the musicians and thus the audience in an hour and a half of inspiration amid technical complexity...
2018-02-01T11:52:11+00:00
... led the musicians and thus the audience in an hour and a half of inspiration amid technical complexity...

“All business as he wove together Balter’s imaginative soundscape”

… cuing the young musicians at every entrance. As mentioned in his note, Balter sought to create a union between ICE and the youth ensemble, and, in that goal, the music was successful.

Tyler Krause, Chicago Classical Review

2018-02-01T12:09:23+00:00

Tyler Krause, Chicago Classical Review

… cuing the young musicians at every entrance. As mentioned in his note, Balter sought to create a union between ICE and the youth ensemble, and, in that goal, the music was successful.