Miller Theatre at Columbia University Presents STEVEN SCHICK: SOLO, 1/30
On Thursday, January 30 and Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8:00pm, Miller Theatre at Columbia University presents STEVEN SCHICK: SOLO, a two-night percussion extravaganza that will encompass the world of solo percussion composition from its beginnings in the 1950's avant-garde, to the current day.
Steven Schick is one of the world's foremost solo percussion virtuosos. A riveting performer and brilliant interpreter, he is also the author of an acclaimed book on solo percussion music and a major commissioner of new work that has become part of the staple repertory. Remarkably, as Schick turns 60, he is nearly the same age as the genre itself.
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 changed his life and "has the gravitas of a Beethoven sonata." (The oldest solo altogether, which does not indicate specific instruments-John Cage's 27' 10.554", written in 1956-will be performed by Schick at Carnegie Hall in April 2014).
ORIGINS also features early solo percussion works by modernist giantsMorton 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.
The second 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.