National Sawdust Names Senior Curator of Programming

National Sawdust
– National Sawdust

Ronen Givony, a New York-based music curator and founder of the Wordless Music series and orchestra, has been named senior curator of programming for Brooklyn venue National Sawdust.

The two-year old performance space with a capacity of 300 standing and 150 seated is self-described as an “artist-led, non-profit venue” and a “place for exploration and discovery.” It is led by composer Creative & Executive Director Paola Prestini. 

Some of the artists who have played National Sawdust to date include: Meredith Monk, Philip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Terry Riley, Vijay Iyer, Chris Thile, Julia Holter and James Murphy.

Upcoming performances include Nels Cline, Larry Ochs and Gerald Cleaver (Dec. 13); Jacques Schwarz-Bart (Jan. 25); Emily Wells (Jan. 27); and Four Tet (March 19-23).

Beyond its performances, National Sawdust also hosts non-traditional venue initiatives such as an incubation lab, a non-profit record label, classes, artists-in-residence programs and a series pairing speakers and thinkers from different disciplines. The latter has brought together Julie Taymor and Michael Mayer; RadioLab’s Jad Abumrad and visual artist Elizabeth Peyton; Marina Abramovic and Laurie Anderson; Waltraud Meier and Patti Smith; and Terry Riley and François Girard.

Givony is the founder of the Wordless Music series and orchestra. Founded in 2006, the series has presented concerts around the world, bringing together artists from classical and contemporary music. To date, the orchestra has performed at the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Barbican Centre, Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park, and Library of Congress, and collaborated with artists such as Jonny Greenwood, Paul Thomas Anderson, Terrence Malick, Jónsi Birgisson, Mica Levi, Jeff Mangum, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, John Cale, Stars of the Lid, and William Basinski among many others.

In addition to his concerts with Wordless Music, Givony is a curator for the Big Ears festival in Knoxville, Tenn.; a former employee and contributor of liner notes for Nonesuch Records; and the founding music director for the music venue Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. His first book, “24 Hour Revenge Therapy (or, The Strange Death of Selling Out)” is forthcoming.