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Miller Theatre Welcomes Percussion Legend Steven Schick in Solo Program, Now thru 2/1

Miller Theatre Welcomes Percussion Legend Steven Schick in Solo Program, Now thru 2/1

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts presents a three-part special event STEVEN SCHICK: SOLO, a portrait of an artist and an art form that have grown up together. Percussion legend Steven Schick celebrates with two epic solo concerts and a "Town Hall" of percussion talk.

Tonight, January 30, 2014, at 8 p.m. will be ORIGINS (1959-1989) - the birth of the solo percussion genre, featuring Stockhausen, Feldman, Xenakis, Globokar, Lachenmann and Lucier.

On Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8 p.m. will be RESPONSES (1991-2014), featuring works Schick has commissioned and premiered over 30 years, including those by Lang, Gordon, Saariaho, John Luther Adams, Ferneyhough, Aguilar and Applebaum, plus world premieres by Lei Liang and Nathan Davis.

And just added, on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 3 p.m. will be CONVERSATION: Percussion in the 21st Century. Steven Schick moderates a discussion with Kaija Saariaho, Stefon Harris, Aiyun Huang, Adam Sliwinski.

All events at Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street). All-Access Pass: $50 • Single Tickets: $25-$35; Students with valid ID: $15-$21. All-Access Pass includes prime seating for both concerts plus an invitation to the special conversation event with Schick on January 31.

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "Steven Schick has been a constant source of musical vitality on Miller's stage for many seasons, both as a performer and conductor. Schick is an absolute authority on solo percussion and his passion for the genre brings an infectious energy to his performance. In dedicating ourselves to celebrating this unique art form through two concerts and a special event, I Hope Miller Theatre can become a hub of discussion for percussion lovers throughout the city and the Northeast."Watch this new Miller Theatre video with Steven Schick

STEVEN SCHICK: SOLO: Right around the time of Steven Schick's sixth birthday, Karlheinz Stockhausen put into print a new piece that would change Schick's life, and that of percussionists around the world. With Zyklus, Stockhausen established the genre of solo percussion music. In this three-part percussion extravaganza, Schick takes listeners on a virtuoso tour of the form's birth and explosive growth over the past six decades-a musical development that has paralleled his own growth as an artist.


The first night at Miller Theatre, entitled ORIGINS, presents some of the earliest composed percussion solos. It features Karlheinz Stockhausen's 1959 classic Zyklus-the first solo for specified percussion instruments, which Schick says "has the gravitas of a Beethoven sonata." ORIGINS also features early solo percussion works by modernist giants Morton Feldman, Iannis Xenakis, Helmut Lachenmann, and Alvin Lucier. These composers staked out new territory, creating sound, structures, and methods of notation that profoundly changed perceptions about how classical music could be written. In essence, the percussion solo was at the very front of the avant-garde.

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Nr. 9 Zyklus (1959)
Morton Feldman: The King of Denmark (1964)
Helmut Lachenmann: Interieur I (1966)
Vinko Globokar: Toucher (1972)
Iannis Xenakis: Psappha (1975)
Alvin Lucier: Silvers Streetcar for the Orchestra (1982)
Vinko Globokar: Corporel (1982)
Iannis Xenakis: Rebonds (1989)

View capsule descriptions and video illustrations


The second solo night, RESPONSES, surveys the explosive growth of the idiom over the last 30 years, for which Schick himself is in many ways responsible. Schick has made it his mission to expand the solo percussion repertoire, commissioning and premiering more than 100 new pieces. This program features important newer works that create a continuing dialogue with those who came before, including pieces by David Lang, Brian Ferneyhough, Kaija Saariaho, Michael Gordon, Gustavo Aguilar, Mark Applebaum, and John Luther Adams, plus the world premieres of two brand new pieces by young American composers Lei Liang and Nathan Davis.

Gustavo Aguilar: Wendell's History Pt. 1 (2008)
David Lang: The Anvil Chorus (1991)
Brian Ferneyhough: Bone Alphabet (1992)
Kaija Saariaho: Six Japanese Gardens (1997)
Michael Gordon: XY (1998)
John Luther Adams: Roar (2002)
Lei Lang: New Work (2014) - world premiere
Mark Applebaum: Aphasia (2010)
Nathan Davis: New Work (2014) - world premiere
Gustavo Aguilar: Wendell's History Pt. 2 (2008)

View capsule descriptions and video illustrations


Steven Schick will moderate a conversation with an incredible group of musical luminaries, including composer Kaija Saariaho, jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris, percussionists Aiyun Huang and Haruka Fujii, and So Percussion founder Adam Sliwinski. Recognizing the unique opportunity to showcase this genre, Miller Theatre is reaching out to percussion students and educators throughout the Northeast, hoping to bring together a community of curious musicians to start a discussion about the future of percussion music in this century. The conversation is free and open to all; All-Access Pass-holders receive guaranteed admission.

Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For thirty-five years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, "red fish blue fish."

Currently he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He also maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of "Roots and Rhizomes," a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Among his acclaimed publications are a book, "The Percussionist's Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams," and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.

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