See you at REDCAT, June 14-15, 2024!

PARTCH Ensemble—the Grammy Award-winning  ensemble specializing in the music and instruments of the iconoclastic American Maverick composer Harry Partch—returns to REDCAT with an evening of alluring and powerful music performed on the extraordinary orchestra of instruments Partch designed and built himself. This year’s program includes Partch’s Three DancesProgressions/Abstractions & Delusions, and Five Intrusions, as well as the world premiere of Jeffrey Holmes’ Reið (Raidō) II [Ride, Journey] and a concert version of new scenes from Anne LeBaron’s latest opera, LSD – Huxley’s Last Trip.

The program includes an instrument “petting zoo”: audiences are encouraged to touch the instruments on stage after the show.


Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

This performance is supported by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture as part of Creative Recovery LA, an initiative funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This performance is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Wayward @ REDCAT, June 16-17

Join us at REDCAT on June 16-17 for Harry Partch’s complete masterwork The Wayward, [Barstow, San Francisco, The Letter, U.S. Highball, Ulysses]: “A collection of musical compositions based on the spoken and written words of hobos and other characters—the result of my wanderings in the Western part of the United States from 1935 to 1941.”

We’ll open with the rousing Cloud Chamber Music, followed by the premiere of a new work by microtonal maven Kyle Gann.

PARTCH and Vox Dance Theatre at REDCAT, June 17-18

The Grammy Award winning PARTCH Ensemble returns to REDCAT with two world premieres.

Having given the virtual premiere choreography of Harry Partch’s “Castor & Pollux” at REDCAT in June 2021, the “wonderful rollicking” (New York Times) Sarah Swenson & Vox Dance Theatre return for a live performance of the entire triptych of Plectra & Percussion Dances, the composer’s 45-minute “Evening of Dance Theatre” that has never been choreographed in its entirety since being written 70 years ago.

Then the ensemble partners with the “luminous yet corporeal” (Los Angeles Times) Del Sol Quartet in Taylor Brook’s One Footed for string quartet and Partch instruments, paying homage to Harry Partch’s “One-Footed Bride” chart that explores the expressive qualities of “emotion,” “power,” and “suspense” inherent in his exquisitely tuned musical universe.

PARTCH Ensemble PREMIERES – Encore Access

A Special Thanks to everyone who attended last week’s PARTCH Ensemble PREMIERES virtual event at REDCAT. We have received an enormous response from people around the globe asking for another chance to see the material. 

We are very pleased to now offer the concert online through a special Encore Access portal: for a nominal fee of just $10, patrons can view the entire concert with unlimited access from the comfort of their own home, at any time of day or night. 

Click the button below and purchase access to this very special event, and enjoy unlimited views of the groundbreaking PARTCH Ensemble PREMIERES.

Patrons who purchased tickets for the original REDCAT event can redeem their ticket for free Encore Access! Simply email our site administrator at [email protected] and you will receive a free Encore Access code via email.

PARTCH Ensemble PREMIERES – Virtual Event at REDCAT, June 4 and 5, 2021

The Grammy Award winning PARTCH Ensemble returns to REDCAT with seven new works for Partch instruments from Los Angeles-based composers Daniel Corral, Anne LeBaron, Ulrich Krieger, Daniel Rothman, John Schneider, T.J. Troy, and Alex Wand. The second half features the premiere of Sarah Swenson’s choreography of Harry Partch’s Castor & Pollux “A Dance for the Twin Rhythms of Gemini.” The New York Times has celebrated her work as “…wonderful rollicking, hunkering wildness…”  This virtual event will culminate in an online virtual discussion with the composers, choreographer, and ensemble members.

It’s been too long…

The pandemic has been tough on everyone, and we feel very fortunate that, slowly, we’ve been planning our return to what we do best…play this music. 2020 was not the year we planned on, and like so many others, we had to bend and flex and stretch our plans in order to hold onto what matters most…the music

We took the time laid before us last year to commission six new compositions, created especially for our unique instrumentation, by six different individuals whose long-time commitment to our Ensemble’s future has inspired and illuminated…and now we are preparing to release these new compositions into the wilderness of contemporary music.

We have several great projects in the works focusing on the unique demands of the contemporary music marketplace; over the next several months, we will be releasing newly edited footage from our video archives, telling the story of where we’ve been as an Ensemble, and laying the groundwork for where our group is headed, culminating in our next live performance at REDCAT in early June 2021, itself a mixture of sensibilities as we combine live music and dance to share with audiences both live and virtual.

We are proud to share these new video works with you. Please visit our new YouTube channel, and subscribe to stay informed on our latest video releases, and be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive updates on upcoming performances, video releases, and microtonal wonder from composers and theorists near and far.

In Memoriam

David Johnson (October 1, 1948 – June 7, 2020)

We are saddened by the passing of David Johnson, one of the founding members of PARTCH Ensemble. David was the Head of Percussion Studies at the California Institute of the Arts, where he served on the faculty for 26 years. Several members of the Ensemble studied with David at CalArts, and it was thanks to his recommendations to John Schneider that most of us are in the band. Erin, Matt, Nick, and I all studied directly with David in the CalArts percussion program, and Derek and Alex knew him in the few years before David’s retirement in 2017. Vicki and Alison knew David as fellow faculty members at CalArts…needless to say, our musical lives were greatly entwined, as well as enhanced, through the years we were fortunate enough to spend playing, learning, and laughing alongside David.

David was also an integral part of our ensemble’s success and longevity: for many years, the instruments were kept in David’s garage in his Mt. Washington home overlooking Chavez Ravine and Dodger Stadium, just over the Los Angeles River. Every year in preparation for our performance season, John and I would set up the instruments in the open room in David’s home: the band spent weeks rehearsing every summer, learning new and challenging music, and strengthening the bonds of friendship and artistry that kept us together for so many years.

This page is a memorial to David, his life, his music, and his genuine love for the arts. We wanted to find as many photos, stories, and memories as we could, and combine them here to give us all a chance to celebrate David’s amazing life and contributions to the Los Angeles musician’s community. If you have a photo, a story, or a quote you’d like to share, please send it to me at [email protected], and I will continue adding to this page.

David will continue to have a lasting impact on our ensemble. We are in the process of creating an ongoing fund in David’s memory, dedicated to creating new music to be performed on the Partch instruments in our collection. Anyone wishing to support this fund can follow the link below.

We are very grateful for the time we were able to spend making music with David, and his contributions to our group, as well as the impact he had with each of us individually as a teacher, a colleague, and a member of the Los Angeles music scene, will never be forgotten.

– T.J. Troy

Written on behalf of all members of PARTCH Ensemble, past and present