Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts Welcomes ROGER REYNOLDS Tonight
Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues the 2013-14 Composer Portraits series with ROGER REYNOLDS featuring Irvine Arditti on violin, Ensemble Signal and Brad Lubman, conductor tonight, February 22, 2014, 8:00 p.m at the Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street) Tickets: $20-$30 • Students with valid ID: $12-$18
A Pulitzer Prize winner and professor at UC San Diego, Reynolds has devoted his life to sonic experimentation. Following studies in music and science, he spent time in Europe and Japan, layering diverse international influences upon his abiding fascination with American pioneers such as Ives and Cage. This program spotlights two commissions for Irvine Arditti-a solo work and a concerto-as well as a newer piece for chamber ensemble that engages live performers and computer-generated sounds in an improvisatory dialogue.
Miller Theatre's "ever-intriguing" (The New Yorker) signature series continues to celebrate the best contemporary composers from around the globe-emerging and established-with evening-length musical profiles. This season, all seven composers will participate in onstage discussions during their Portraits.
Roger Reynolds, Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, was born July 18, 1934 in Detroit, Michigan. He is known for his capacity to integrate diverse ideas and resources, for the seamless blending of traditional musical sounds and those newly enabled by technology. His work responds to text of poetic (Beckett, Borges, Stevens, Ashbery) or mythological (Aeschylus, Euripides) origins. His reputation rests, in part, upon his "wizardry in sending music flying through space: whether vocal, instrumental, or computerized." This signature feature first appeared in the notationally innovative theater piece, The Emperor of Ice Cream (1961-62).
During his early career, Reynolds worked in Europe and Asia, returning to the US in 1969 to accept an appointment in the music department at the University of California, San Diego. Reynolds won early recognition with Fulbright, Guggenheim, NEA, and National Institute of Arts and Letters awards. In 1989, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for a string orchestra composition, Whispers Out of Time, an extended work responding to John Ashbery's ambitious Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Reynolds is author of three books and numerous journal articles. In 2009 he was appointed University Professor, the first artist so honored by University of California. His work has been featured at festivals including Warsaw Autumn, the Proms and Edinburgh festivals (UK), the Suntory International Series (Tokyo), the Helsinki and Venice biennales. The Library of Congress established a Special Collection of his work in 1998.
His nearly 100 compositions to date are published exclusively by the C.F. Peters Corporation, and several dozen CDs and DVDs of his work have been commercially released. Performances by the Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego Symphonies, among others, preceded the most recent large-scale work written in honor of our nation's first president: george WASHINGTON. This work knits together the Reynolds's career-long interest in orchestra, text, extended musical forms, intermedia, and computer spatialization of sound.
Reynolds's work embodies an American artistic idealism reflecting the influence of Varèse and Cage, and has also been compared with that of Boulez and Scelsi. Reynolds lives with his partner of 50 years, Karen, in Del Mar, California, overlooking the Pacific.
Ensemble Signal, described by The New York Times as "one of the most vital groups of its kind," is a NY-based ensemble dedicated to offering the broadest possible audience access to a diverse range of contemporary works through performance, commissioning, recording, and education. Since its debut in 2008, the Ensemble has performed over 90 concerts, has given the NY, world, or U.S. premieres of over 20 works, and co-produced five recordings. At home in concert halls, clubs, and international festivals alike, Signal has performed at Lincoln Center Festival, Ojai Music Festival, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, the Guggenheim Museum (NY), Miller Theatre at Columbia University, (le) Poisson Rouge, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Bang on a Can Marathon. They have worked directly with nearly all the composers they perform in order to offer the most authentic interpretations, a list that has included Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Oliver Knussen, Hilda Paredes, and Charles Wuorinen. Other notable collaborations include those with violinist Irvine Arditti and with longtime Philip Glass Ensemble Music Director and producer Michael Riesman, who has joined Signal as piano soloist and produced three of their recordings. Recent highlights include the 2013 Lincoln Center Festival's production of Monkey: Journey to The West, with music by Damon Albarn, directed by Chen Shi-Zheng. Upcoming highlights include the co-commission of a new work for large ensemble by Steve Reich, to be premiered in 2016-17.