Zeitgeist: George Crumb At 90 Comes to the Annenberg Center

Bowerbird, the University of Pennsylvania Department of Music, and the Annenberg Center present Zeitgeist: George Crumb at 90, a three-concert festival celebrating more than seventy years of music by Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb, October 10-12. All concerts will take place at the Annenberg Center on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Visit AnnenbergCenter.org for tickets.

George Crumb is one of the most frequently performed composers today. His music often juxtaposes contrasting musical styles, ranging from the western art-music tradition, to hymns and folk, to non-Western music. Many of his works include programmatic, symbolic, mystical and theatrical elements, which are often reflected in his beautiful and meticulously notated scores. Crumb received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, Koussevitzky Foundation, National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Guggenheim Foundation. He retired from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997 as the Walter H. Annenberg Professor Emeritus in the Humanities after more than 30 years of teaching. He was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree from Penn in May 2009.

Out of Darkness (Thursday, October 10, 8 PM) will feature the Arcana New Music Ensemble performing a collection of Crumb's most evocative music. The program features the haunting setting Apparition, with texts drawn from Walt Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." and all four books of Madrigals with text by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca.

Kosmos (Friday, October 11, 8 PM) will feature pianists Margaret Leng Tan and Adam Tendler performing two major works for solo amplified piano, the zodiac-inspired Makrokosmos I and the more recent Metamorphoses. These works celebrate George Crumb's unfettered imagination as he requires the pianist to be a virtuoso at the keyboard while playing inside the piano and vocalizing as well. This performance includes a conversation between George Crumb and James Primosch, composer and Penn Music Department faculty member.

Black Angels (Saturday, October 12, 8 PM) features the Daedalus Quartet and friends performing Crumb's Vietnam War-haunted Black Angels for amplified string quartet, "a work of frightening intensity, where Jimi Hendrix and Pierrot Lunaire shake hands with the devil." A selection of Crumb's early music rounds out the picture of this essential American artist's lengthy career.

Support for Zeitgeist: George Crumb at 90 has been provided by the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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