review of the Berlin frozen Present concert at the 2019 Outreach Festival in Schwaz, Austria
"Pritsker seems outwardly sedentary, as a conductor and even more as a musical genius than anyone else. He boldly combined Bach's motifs with cool techno sounds, interpreted Franz von Suppé jazzig, Mendelssohn mixed with punk. Music age and aesthetics tumbled wildly together. Pritsker's "Berlin Suite" brought every (intellectual) wall to collapse. Even Schoenberg was significantly shaken - the old avant-gardist got hip hop beats administered. Only Kurt Weill's heartwarming "Oh, Heart of Love" from the Broadway opera "Johnny Johnson" allowed singer Chandra Rule to develop without any progressive insertions from the band."
- Samir H. Köck, Die Presse - 8/4/2019
Interview in the online site Musical Klondike as part of the Borislav Strulev & friend series.
GENE PRITSKER: “THE COMPOSER SHOULD DISCOVER ALL THE POSSIBILITIES OF SOUND”
Review of The Gene Pritsker Trio at Cafe Museum in Passau, Germany
“Gene Pritsker is a huge musical joker, a magician. Here, a sleepwalker juggles sounds, effects, notes, and electronics, creatively creating and creating with the intensity and joy of children immersed in the game”
- Christine Pierach, PNP.de - 2/26/2019
Review of 'Babylon Style concert in Friedberg, Germany as part of the Outreach Sattelite Festival
"He is an artist who knows no taboos and genres...unbelievable composer, conductor, rapper, arranger, guitarist, of course, an exciting jazzman...For concert purposes, Gene Pritsker has created a "Berlin Suite", which he performed brilliantly as a conductor...Pritsker, who has a precise classical stroke technique, is more than a conductor. How he almost pantomime, even with a berserker dance choreography, the jazzy arranged passages, the solistic theme deliveries, the instrumental pairings, radiating a aufheizende scale of joyous-casual coolness and explosiveness, transmitted to the fantastic musicians. The mixture of swinging euphoria, touching salon-gigolo-impressions, naïvely sober matter-of-fact atmosphere à la Kurt Weill, dreary Moritatenton and dancing Charleston jerks was well received by the audience. Likewise his own groove and swing jewels independent of "Babylon Berlin". Gene Pritsker in Friedberg - that suited."
Eclectic Music eXtravaganza (EMX) -Release date 8/18 on Composers Concordance Records
“Composer Gene Pritsker writes here with all the colors of the musical history rainbow, and this is a very good cross-genre collection of work.”.."This is a wild, eclectic (obviously) mix of music."
- Stephanie Boyd, American Record Guide, 12/18
Full Review (on page 217)
"Composer Gene Pritsker gets adventurous with some modern sounds"... "some fun swing actually gets you on your feet for “Plie’.” Cut up clippings from various musical magazines?"
- Jazz weekly G. Harris, 12/15/18
“…Gene Pritsker who is not only prolific, but whose sensibility seems to subsume a variety of sources – not only of music, but also literature and painting – and is yet a singular voice in contemporary music. Mr Pritsker is also a proverbial chameleon and one is always at a loss as to what to expect from him from one composition to the next…Naturally one expects nothing to be predictable – and indeed it is as if Mr Pritsker’s musical world comprises of the sun revolving around the earth instead of otherwise…..This is a recording that bears listening over and over again for the pure pleasure of it.”
World Music Report
- Raul da Gama, 9/2018
“ …a talented collective of musicians performed at various European venues, and represents a stimulating sampler of Pritsker’s wide-ranging musical interests”
“Pritsker moves fluidly between jazz, rock, electronic and contemporary classical music. Eclectic Music eXtravaganza is a satisfying combination of intense artistic vision and first-rate performances.”
"Eclectic Music Extravaganza is everything the title suggests and is yet another solid collection from Gene Pritsker and his group of talented musicians.”
- Paul Muller, Sequenza 21 - 9/2018
“..the eclec-ticity is not so much a shocking thing as a familiar and reassuring sort of familiarity-in-difference. I do recommend you hear this by all mean. Gene Pritsker is a force! Bravo.”
- Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, 10/2018
“ ...This disc presents Pritsker in multiple roles: composer, performer… I think you could add “mischief-maker” and “cultural blender-in-chief.” Pritsker is a serious artist, yet much of his work is witty and irreverent.”…”There's great musicianship here, and also great creativity. You might not like it all, but it is difficult to remain indifferent about it.”
- Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine, 9/2018
New Review on Jazzdagama:
About Melodies Alone Can Proudly Carry Their Own Death – The Chamber Music of Gene Pritsker
"Mr. Pritsker’s speaks with a new mature musical language, in which a sense of alienation and human frailty is never far from the surface"
About Sound Liberation: Rite Through An Eclectic Spectrum
"As always eight sections of this work are all pure-Pritsker in that you could not have predicted what you were going to hear until you actually heard i"
"It is, by now, an aphorism that “You never know what the composer Gene Pritsker will create next”. His composes with chameleonic facility and like that fascinating creature whose every colorful incarnation is stunning, so too is the music of Gene Pritsker. However, unlike the improbable doppelgänger whose transformation is slow and statuesque, Mr. Pritsker seems able to make sudden changes in musical sensibility very quickly and seamlessly, often turning on a proverbial dime. Anyone forgetting how magnificently he can do so need only revisit Mr. Pritsker’s William James’s Varieties of Religious Experiences. Or as the case may now be: consider any one of these two records – Melodies Alone Can Proudly Carry Their Own Death and the more recent, live recording Rite Through An Eclectic Spectrum."
Reviews of ‘Rite Through an Eclectic Spectrum’
"Messing around with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring is not a new thing. I don't think I've ever heard it done as well as this, though.” …" if you are interested ian cutting-edge, progressive rock or jazz, you really need to check this out.”…."Pritsker and his fellow musicians gleefully crash through borders and smash conventions in this performance. In world dominated by safe, carefully calculated music-making—calculated to make money, that is—this CD is refreshing. If it tweaks our collective noses, perhaps they deserve tweaking.
- Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine 7/18
“A remarkable CD...Big sound with an impressive punch...impressive solos and a compelling dynamism…piercingly intense guitar solo…
intending to make music dangerous again.”
Paul H. Muller, Sequenza21, 1/18
“…a fine tribute to Stravinsky's courage…mixes and remixes the original themes brilliantly…a nice surprise”
- Réjean Beaucage VOIR, 1/18
“serious high energy virtuosic jazz by a truly driven and dedicated group”…”What is very clear is that these musicians are having a lot of fun”…”Gene Pritsker strikes again.”…”This is a very appealing album “ - New Music Bugg, 12/17
"The result is quite energetic (that's probably where the 'riot' part comes in) and the influence is obvious.
In his typical eclectic style, mixing hip-hop and beats with jazz, Gene Pritsker gives ‘The Rite Of Spring’ a contemporary twist.
"Rite Through An Eclectic Spectrum".
I like it. "
- Peter Van Laarhoven, United-Mutations, Nov. 2017
Review of the premiere of 'Trump, A Di.J. Concerto' with MDR Symph. @ the IMPULS Festival
Another world premiere - the "Trump Concerto" by Gene Pritsker
The many world premieres make up the charm of the festival IMPULS every year. Particularly exciting is the "Trump Concerto" of the Russian-born and New York-based composer, guitarist and DJ Gene Pritsker, created in collaboration with festival director Hans Rotman and premiered by the MDR Symphony Orchestra under Ulrich Kern in the Steintor-Varieté in Halle. In eight sentences, Pritsker caricatures the way of life and the performances of the American president, making his constant twittering heard with a good deal of musical sarcasm. The festival motto and Dutch word "Volharding" for perseverance also fits perfectly as a piece of advice for the critics of this presidency.
Reviews of 'MELODIES ALONE CAN PROUDLY CARRY THEIR OWN DEATH'
“On this latest release on the Composers Concordance record label, various musicians and small ensembles perform chamber music pieces that were composed by Gene Pritsker. Readers of this blog probably know that Gene Pritsker has no musical boundaries. On "Melodies Alone Can Proudly Carry Their Own Death", the listener gets a glimpse of Gene's chamber music output. These are beautiful and impressive pieces. My favorites are 'A Certain Degree Of Neurosis' and 'Essence', mostly because the use of melodic percussion, and 'Ineffably Still', an amazing piece that is performed by an unusual combination of instruments: bass clarinet and electric guitar. Something that you should check out !”
- Peter Van Laarhoven, United-Mutations, Nov. 2016
“In a way anything goes here but it goes in ways that stand out as fully Pritskeresque--finely constructed pieces with idiomatic part writing, stylistic multiplicity, rhythmic vitality and a recognizable Pritsker wholeness. Perhaps only Zappa before him has combined so much and so selectively, yet with such individual personality…Pritsker is a composer of our times, and undeniably one of the most original, daring and satisfying…Very recommended.”
- Grego Applegate Edwards, Classical Modern Music, 11/2016
“This album neatly captures Pritsker’s restlessly eclectic sensibilities…a generous assortment of the diverse and various, performed with precision and sensitivity by a talented collection of musicians…wonderfully eccentric…a beautifully dramatic work…a nicely organized collection that showcases the diversity and kaleidoscopic style of the chamber music of Gene Pritsker.”
- Paul Muller, Sequenza21 12/16
“Composer Gene Pritsker shows his skill at the pen with eleven rich compositions in a variety of milieu…Melodies and mirth”
- George W. Harris , Jazzweekly., 1/17
Reviews of 'Groove Possessed: Electronic Groove Music of Gene Pritsker’
“Gene Pritsker's versatility keeps amazing me…his album will not cease to amaze you”
- Peter Van Laarhoven, United-Mutations, Oct. 2016
"Are you ready for a game-changing, trend-setting record that doesn’t play by conventional rules or standards? If you said yes, then ‘Groove Possessed’ by Gene Pritsker is your ultimate destination as Gene is your musical wizard with plenty of tricks under his sleeve.“
"he continues to push musical boundaries by creating compositions that are like no other and can’t be categorized. The beauty of Gene’s music and the magic behind it is that you’re getting a healthy ‘n’ hearty mix of elements & styles that can’t be contained within a box of the same old, same old.”
"Groove Possessed’ centers around recorded electronic music that will simply blow your mind and excite your eardrums. You’ll hear pockets of rock, pop, classical, symphony, World music, jazz/jazz fusion, hip-hop, funk, dance and everything else in between from here to the sun.”
"Gene Pritsker’s inventive and eclectic vision has come to light on ‘Groove Possessed’ offering the listener a one-of-a-kind experience. This album says the hell with mainstream music and pigeon-holed genres and hello to a fresh, innovative approach that is freeing. Every song on ‘Groove Possessed’ has its own identity and feel that will have your senses running wild.”
"Gene Pritsker gives to you recorded electronic music that can’t be duplicated."
"If you’re looking for something completely different and want to give your ears an enjoyable workout well then ‘Groove Possessed’ is your ticket."
Review of three albums on Newmusicbuff
Gene Pritsker and Some of His Collaborators, a Heady Mix - June 2016
"We have here three very different CDs all of which feature composer/performer Gene Pritsker along with a variety of his colleagues and collaborators. Each of these CDs is a unique production and reflects a marvelously creative group of composers and performers.
I first came to know of Pritsker’s work when he sent me a copy of his wonderful chamber opera, Manhattan in Charcoal and when I began to learn of the scope of his work through his numerous You Tube videos and his website I found myself rather overwhelmed and wholly intrigued. In fact I can’t shake a comment which Leonard Bernstein once made about Igor Stravinsky to the effect that he was able to switch between different styles at different times with seeming ease and certainly skill (It was a comment made on a vinyl disc in which Bernstein spoke of Stravinsky in general on one cut and described the imagery of Petroushka on another.). Pritsker’s Russian origins certainly play a part in reminding me of this association but it is the sheer extent and variety of his compositional visions and techniques that drive me to be reminded of this. His virtuosity on the guitar also puts me in the mind of Frank Zappa at times too. And he seems to be doing it pretty much all at once too, utilizing a wide palette of styles selectively with care and subtlety. Pritsker switches between some very classical sounds to rock, jazz, rap, etc. as though the distinctions don’t exist or matter. In the end they don’t matter really. All is music I suppose and he seems be able to use them all pretty well and these discs are a nice sampling of some of this interesting musician’s various guises and interests."
Gene Pritsker: Varieties Of Musical Experience
Review and interview on Jazzdagama.com
"Gene Pritsker is a modernist at heart. If there is something new to be said to describe an old form or even a formless old thing – as old as yesterday, that is – this extraordinary musician will be among the first to say it. This would be either because Gene Pritsker sleeps and dreams music or more likely because he does not sleep at all. That might explain how he is able to write so prolifically. It would also explain the need to have your own label for it would be hard to imagine anyone else being able to keep up with Pritsker’s outpouring of music. The Muse is certainly being kind to him. All of his music is of the highest quality, audacious and witty, joyous and elevated, and incomparable to anything written and recorded. In all of this Gene Pritsker has created a singular vocabulary, spoken not only by someone deeply schooled in music, but also in history, theology and philosophy."
Review of IMPULS-Festival's Dessau concert @ Bauhaus where my orchestral fanfare was performed by the Anhaltische Philharmonie. Here is the Google translate of the paragraph that talks about me:
"Gene Pritsker has come to Dessau, the American trades. He has worked with Tom Tykwer on "Cloud Atlas", mastered the instruments of rap, jazz, contemporary music - and knows exactly how to weave a blanket of sound. Like it with a refreshing dose of pathos. Why not - Beethoven, Mahler, Tchaikovsky or Wagner nobody has finally something wrong with it."
About the new chamber opera 'Manhattan in Charcoal'
“Pritsker may very well be the next generation of musical magicians to successfully grace that hotbed of musical eclecticism... I must say that his eclecticism and embrace of a wide variety of musical devices puts me in the mind of some of Stravinsky's work at times. But Pritsker is not derivative, rather he wields a large palette."- Allan J. Cronin, Newmusicbuff - READ FULL
"Pritsker has a natural ability to write music that is unselfconsciously original and absorbing in a way that resembles nobody else." "a new work of real importance, a chamber opera that stands out as exemplary for our times...It's in its own way a triumph, an example of why Gene Pritsker is an outstandingly innovative voice on the current scene. Highly recommended!" ""Pritsker's score pulls it all together with some excellent music in the Pritskerian style, modern and convincingly fashioned, adding jazz and rock elements subtly but effectively, filled with inventive music very well conceived and orchestrated"
- Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review April 2015 - READ FULL
”Manhattan in Charcoal is a powerfully dark work whose strength is equally derived from the poetry and the music...a timeless story of artists and lovers, beautifully told here in poetry and music." "In the final scene the libretto and music are masterfully matched in a beautiful collage of woodwinds, voices and percussion that is very moving."
- Paul Muller, Sequenza21 April 2015 - READ FULL
"Gene Pritsker is a composer of dazzling invention”…”No words are good enough to praise the darkly beautiful baritone of Charles Charles Coleman and the moody soprano of Lynn Lynn Norris.”…"this opera will grab you, often put a twist in your gut and every once in a while leave you breathless."
- JazzdaGama July 2015 - READ FULL
“..inventive, charming, witty, evoking Scènes de la vie de Bohème without pandering toward the tragedies of the poor.
It’s emblematic of a kind of new opera—modest in scope, deep in drama, and full of fine music”
- George Grella, Brooklyn Rail Aug. 2015 - READ FULL
“The result is quite impressive. Both musically and story wise. Check it out!”- United-Mutations, May 2015
"Gene Pritsker’s Clubbin’ is a brief, freewheeling, hip-hop-influenced gem"
- J. Distler, Nov. 4, 2014
Gene Pritsker gave with "Beyond the Vastnes“ his interpretation on the IMPULS Festivaltheme 2014 „Jenseits der Weite" in form of an raging „Battle" between two Pianos, spontaneous cross-bordering the improvised and written down new-music.
- Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, Nov. 4, 2014
Composers Concordance has been revitalized in recent years by a new generation of composers, including New York electric guitarist Gene Pritsker, who easily embrace improvisation, electronics, pop music and world music traditions. It speaks to the more inclusive esthetic of this younger generation.
- from Music Notes: Classical music evolves By Carlton Wilkinson (read full)
On Sound Liberation's new abum 'DAYS'
"Pushing boundaries by creating a style of sound & music that is like no other…incredibly unique & original to the point where it will make your head spin!" - Skope Mag. - Full Review
"Literally one of the best Hybrid Hip Hop/R&B/Electric music albums we have ever heard"- Underground Hip Hop Blog
"A brilliant collision of instrumentation and vocals, that sonically take your ears on a journey of pure bliss!” - Bound 2 Hip Hop
"Days, loaded with mind-blowing compositions rich with stylistic variation and raw musical talent - Niji Magazine
"It's not just that things are combined that don't ordinarily come together, it is that they do so with a musical result that grabs you and does not let go" - Gapplegate
"Gene Pritsker, a composer without musical boundaries…My favorite track is 'What Shall I Do', a beautiful song" - United-Mutations
On Reinvention piano concerto
"Reinventions is the title of the Piano Concerto by Gene Pritsker (b1971). Each of its five movements, lasting between four and six minutes, is a fusion of rock, Baroque, Indian and African rhythms, hip hop, electronic effects, jazz improvisation and witty spot-the-quote references to JSB. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue sought the same stylistic fusion back in the 1920s. This piece has similar aspirations but with broader musical aims and chic, contemporary cool."- Gramophone - full review
"Pritsker has the most far-ranging series of juxtapositions, from modern classical through to metal, world elements and a bit of house/hip-hop, jazz and world music. All fit together in a swirling miasma of virtuoso musical thinking. It is music of some definite brilliance."- Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review - full review
"The score takes off from Bach's keyboard Invention No. 1 and flirts, often entertainingly, with every style known to crossover, including smooth jazz fiddling, driving rock or vague allusions to Middle Eastern music."
- By Mark Swed, Los Angeles - October 9, 2013
"Perhaps the most intriguing work, however, is Gene Pritsker's Reinventions (Piano Concerto), and this one is harder to classify. It includes elements of hip-hop (probably a first for the Bach fusion field, but with many new avenues suggested by the composer in his role as digital DJ), tango, and various Middle Eastern and Asian traditions, all with excerpts from Bach's Clavierbüchlein dropping in and out. This ebullient work is absolutely packed with new ideas, perhaps too much so, but it is most emphatically not boring, and just when you think all the rabbits have been pulled out of the hat, a spectral Bach voice appears in the final movement.."
- James Manheim, allmusiccom. July, 2013
Reviews of 'Samplestra' album:
"'Samplestra' combines electronic samples with classical instruments... The result is fascinating. This is contemporary classical music at its best. I love it." - United-Mutations. May, 2013
"As music, which ultimately we of course evaluate anything new on the basis of, it hangs together remarkably well. Don't try to pin it down stylistically but let it take you where it may. If you do that you will find an enormously stimulating program. This is the sort of thing Gene has been working on for some time, and he has gotten extraordinarily adept at juggling the elements and making it all very cohesive and very musical. Brilliant!"
- Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review May 2013
"His expressive reach is so wide as to encompass everything from ethno/techno, rock/jazz fusion, classical opera and more, and it all seems to be effortlessly integrated within his anima and comes out through different facets of his persona. You could almost see him as a modern day renaissance man. Most of the music on this new CD is fast-paced, frenetic, driven by nervous energy and always fleshing out details like an overclocked cpu. Traces of Fripp, Bruford, Weather Report, Bryars, Zappa, are vaguely present within the mesh of his music, but never copied, just simply evoked. And when Gene Pritsker comes up for air, slows down, and lets his expressive side take over, as in the slow movement of Electrically Tragic, truly evocative and moving music comes to the surface."
- Classical Music Sentinel, Jean-Yves Duperron - May 2013