October 25, 2006

Festival opens with celebrated artist’s lecture, music

FredericA keynote address and opening gala performance for Sacramento State’s Festival of New American Music will showcase the talents of distinguished pianist and composer Frederic Rzewski.

Rzewski will provide the keynote address for the festival on Thursday, Nov. 2 at noon in the Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall. His lecture, titled “Nonsequiturs,” will explore the idea of discontinuity as a structural principle in music and will include examples from the repertoire and from his own music.

Rzewski’s music will be central to the festival gala performance, also on Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. He, along with Eliane Lust on piano and Michael Lipsey and Benjamin Paysen on percussion, will perform from one of his most famous pieces, “Bring Them Home!” This anti-war piece consists of 17 parts based on the late 17th century Irish song “Siuil, a Run,” a song that has been adapted to situations of war over the last three centuries. The theme of the song, in all its versions, has remained the same—a young woman sings to her absent lover, who has gone to war and may never return.

One of the towering figures of the American avant-garde, Rzewski co-founded the ensemble Musica Elettronica Viva, known for its pioneering work in live electronics and improvisation, in Rome, Italy in 1966. Since 1977, he has been a professor of composition at the Conservatoire Royal de Musqiue in Liege, Belgium, where he has written a multitude of compositions experimenting with style and language as structural elements of his work, as well as pieces illustrating a spontaneous approach to composition.

Also performing that evening will be Melody of China, playing selections from contemporary Chinese and Chinese American composers written for traditional Chinese instruments, and percussionist Michael Lipsey playing several pieces for hand drums.

All events for the Festival of New American Music are free. For more information, contact the Music Department at (916) 278-5155. A schedule of events is listed at www.calendar.csus.edu. For media assistance, contact the Sacramento State Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.


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