01/18/2011 04:26 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ecstatic Music Festival: 5 "Under-the-Radar" Concerts You Shouldn't Miss (VIDEOS)

With a staggering number of composers, singer-songwriters, and performers contributing their talents to the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York City--more than 150--it's possible for the avid concertgoer's ears to be bigger than his or her head, so to speak. And while all 14 concerts offer collaborative performances unique to that one-off event, certain concerts are perhaps more "under-the-radar" than others.

Here are just five of many intriguing Ecstatic Music Festival concerts, which I may not have adequately addressed in the other articles about the festival. Whether you're seeking to "sample" the Ecstatic, or you're a festival concert completist, these are must-hear performances.

The Ecstatic Music Festival runs from January 17 through March 28 at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City (129 West 67 Street). The festival is comprised of 14 concerts, during which participating artists who are "re-defining contemporary music come together for collaborations exploring the fertile terrain between classical and popular music," according to the festival's web site.

Featured musicians include: Nico Muhly with the Chiara Quartet; So Percussion with Dan Deacon; the Bang On a Can All-Stars, performing world premieres by Bryce Dessner, Karsh Kale,and Nick Brooke; Timo Andres and Gabriel Kahane; Nadia Sirota and Thomas Bartlett with Owen Pallett; Sarah Kirkland Snider with yMusic--and many others.

For more about the Ecstatic Music Festival, including ticket information, visit

Ecstatic Music Festival: 5 "Under-the-Radar" Concerts You Shouldn't Miss