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Memorial Concert for Violinist Paul Zukofsky to Feature MONKEYS AT PLAY Premiere and More

Memorial Concert for Violinist Paul Zukofsky to Feature MONKEYS AT PLAY Premiere and More

The Graduate Center of the City University of New York will host a memorial concert for the late violinist Paul Zukofsky on Thursday evening, October 12th, 2017 at 7:30 pm at The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue (between 34th and 35th Streets), New York, NY 10016.

In the final stages of a terminal illness, Mr. Zukofsky programmed the repertoire for this recital with the help of his lifelong friend, the pianist Ursula Oppens, with a planned world premiere of Craig Pepples' Monkeys at Play (2013).

The concert will feature two formidable pianists, Aaron Likness and Andrew Zhou performing two-piano selections, including works by Charles Ives, Josef Matthias Hauer, Igor Stravinsky, and Erik Satie.

The complete program follows:

IVES, Charles Impressions of 'St Gaudens' in Boston Common (1915)

HAUER, Josef Matthias Zwölftonspiel (April 1956)

STRAVINSKY, Igor Sonate pour deux pianos (1944)


Thème avec variations


PEPPLES, Craig Monkeys at Play (2013) (*world premiere)

SATIE, Erik "Cinéma" from Relâche (1924) **in 2-piano reduction by Darius Milhaud

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Pianist Aaron Likness has been hailed for the "superb clarity" and "effortless elegance" of his performances of classical, avant-garde, and contemporary music across the United States and Europe. An active soloist and collaborator in the New York and Boston metropolitan areas, he has also appeared in recent seasons in cities from Washington, D.C. to Amsterdam, with performers including ALEA III, American Modern Ensemble, Beth Morrison Projects, Boston Musica Viva, Firebird Ensemble, Hub New Music, violinist Diamanda Dramm, dancer/choreographer Silas Riener, international opera star Anna Caterina Antonacci, and Metropolitan Opera soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra.

An enthusiastic advocate of new music, Mr. Likness has worked with renowned composers Hans Abrahamsen, Hanspeter Kyburz, Tristan Murail, Tobias Picker, Roger Reynolds, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Christian Wolff, and has performed US and world premieres of works by Beat Furrer, Zaid Jabri, Mikael Karlsson, Jonathan Howard Katz, Shirish Korde, Katarina Miljkovic, Stratis Minakakis, Wolfgang Rihm, and several composers of the new generation. His adventurous performances and collaborations have included Rzewski's Coming Together with poet Saul Williams, Cage's raucous masterpiece Concert for Piano and Orchestra with conductor Stephen Drury, video and multimedia works, music for amplified toy pianos, and performances of traditional Javanese music with Gamelan Nyai Saraswati and Boston Village Gamelan. Mr. Likness is a member of Boston's acclaimed new music sinfonietta, Sound Icon.

A native of Durham, NC, Mr. Likness attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning the school's most prestigious awards in performance and composition. He went on to pursue graduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he was named the recipient of the John Cage Award for outstanding performances of contemporary music. Currently based in New York, Mr. Likness is a DMA candidate at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where his research has focused on the music of Charles Ives. His principal teachers have been Thomas Otten, Stephen Drury, and Ursula Oppens.

A pianist who is known for his adventurous, thoughtful, and challenging programming, Andrew Zhou has concertized in major venues in Los Angeles, Boston, and Paris, giving performances described as "disciplined and sensitive" (San Francisco Classical Voice), as well as possessing "remarkable suppleness" and "great sensitivity" (Anaclase). He has worked closely with composers such as Unsuk Chin, Tod Machover, Tristan Murail, Roberto Sierra, Christopher Stark, Christian Wolff, and Walter Zimmermann, as well as countless composers from a younger generation.

A recent second-prize winner and major laureate at the 2012 Concours International de Piano d'Orléans, a distinguished and demanding piano competition devoted to contemporary music, Mr. Zhou was awarded four prizes: best interpretation of a work by Isang Yun and Olivier Greif, the Chevillion-Bonnaud performer prize (for the best première given at competition); and an award from the Samson François Foundation.

Mr. Zhou has premiered multiple new music compositions during his budding career, including the Austrian premiere of Unsuk Chin's Double Concerto and the world premiere of Tod Machover's on the premiere of Re-Structures for two pianos and electronics. He has taken part in the Lucerne Festival Academy, where he collaborated with Pierre Boulez. In addition, he has toured the Centre région of France in a series of recitals, concert talks, and masterclasses to young children and talented pre-university students. Mr. Zhou has appeared as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Centre d'arts Orford, and the Holland Music Sessions.

Mr. Zhou's first recording, Vienne et après on the Tessitures label, contains works by Schoenberg, Lachenmann, Stockhausen, and Zimmermann, and the first studio recordings of Matthias Pintscher and Olga Neuwirth. Additional performances and recitals have been broadcast on WQXR, France Musique, and SRF2 (Switzerland).

A West Coast native, Mr. Zhou has studied with Bruce Brubaker (New England Conservatory), and Thomas Schultz (Stanford University), and Xak Bjerken (Cornell University), with whom Mr. Zhou is concluding his doctorate. He has also participated in coachings and lessons with, among others, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Emanuel Ax, Stephen Drury, Ursula Oppens, Jacques Rouvier, Peter Serkin, and members of the St. Lawrence and Borromeo String Quartets, as well as members of Ensemble Modern and Ensemble InterContemporain.

Craig Pepples is an American composer who has lived for over 30 years in Asia working in business. As a Yale undergraduate, he studied composition with several teachers, particularly David Hicks, whose algorithmic music software has been an essential tool in Mr. Pepples' compositions. During his time at Yale, Mr. Pepples was an active member of Martin Bresnick's new music group Sheep's Clothing, a precursor to the Bang On A Can ensemble in New York. Between 2011 and 2015, Mr. Pepples served on the board of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble and is currently a board member of Musical Observations Inc. His music is included on Open Space CD 35 and in the forthcoming release of Paul Zukofsky's final recording for the CP2 label.

Violin virtuoso and conductor Paul Zukofsky was widely acclaimed for his "dazzling technique, pitch-perfect intonation and probing musical understanding" with a refreshingly unique timbre (New York Times, June 30, 2017). Throughout his adult life, Mr. Zukofsky contributed to the advancement and performance of contemporary music, ardently championing composers like Phillip Glass, John Cage Milton Babbitt, and Charles Wuorinen, among others.

A child prodigy from the age of three, Mr. Zukofsky began performing publicly at the age of six, making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1956 at age 13. He subsequently returned to Carnegie Hall at ages 15 and 17, receiving praise for his exacting technique. By his early 20s, Mr. Zukofsky earned a reputation for intellectual penetration and well-informed musicianship, with The Globe's Michael Steinberg asserting that "he has no superior among living string players" (1965). In 1965, Mr. Zukofsky was named a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, which helped to solidify his standing in the international concert circuit.

Mr. Zukovsky's discography includes over 60 recordings for labels such as Sony, Camerata, CRI, CP2, and Musical Observations, Inc, earning him three Grammy nominations. His most highly esteemed albums include: recordings of William Schuman's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1971); Spring of Chosroes/Sonata for Violin and Piano, featuring music by Morton Feldman and Artur Schnabel performed with pianist Ursula Oppens (1981); Music for a 20th Century Violin, in collaboration with pianist Gilbert Kalish (1974); and recordings of concertos by Roger Sessions with the Julliard Orchestra (1988).

Over his lifetime, Mr. Zukofsky worked with institutions such as Juilliard, SUNY Stony Brook, the Colonial Symphony of Madison, N.J. (conductor), the Youth Orchestra of Iceland (founder), the Museum of Modern Art (Summergarden concert series), and the Arnold Schoenberg Institute at the University of Southern California (director).

Mr. Zukofsky retired from public performance for the last two decades of his life, settling in Hong Kong in 2009. He devoted himself to conducting, recording, and teaching. Mr. Zukofsky died on June 6, 2017, of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. His late conducting work of music by Japanese composer Jo Kondo is scheduled to be released posthumously on the CP2 label.

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