The Eastman School of Music is proud to announce a festival devoted to one of the leaders in electronic music and composition in the later half of the 20th Century. Luciano Berio’s music will be performed, discussed, analyzed and honored starting on April 28 and lasting all week.

A contemporary composer from Italy, Berio has been one of the major innovators in electronic music. His music consists of combining taped and live music, aleatory music, graphic notation and also musical collages that uses borrowed and pre-written music.

His many achievements in the field of electronic music include founding an electronic music studio in Milan and directing another one in Paris. He has taught at Tanglewood, Mills College, Harvard University and Juilliard, and is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was also awarded the Siemens Prize for Innovation.

On Thursday, May 1 the student-run new music ensemble Ossia will be performing four of Berio’s works in Kilbourn Hall at 8 p.m. The program will include “A-Ronne,” an a cappella piece originally written for tape written in the ’70s and transcribed for 8 voices, “Sequenza IXa” for solo clarinet and “Visage,” one of Berio’s most famouse works for electronic tape.

The concert will also feature the New York Premiere of “Korot,” written in 1998 for eight cellos, performed by Eastman students and alumni.

“A-Ronne” is a theatrical piece using pre-written poems and speeches combined with the idea of the stereotypical dramatic scenarios. “Visage” implements Berio’s idea of natural sound by using all timbres of the human voice including whimpers, moaning, cries and laughter.

Brad Lubman will be conducting this concert.

The last large-scale concert, which will feature both Musica Nova and the Eastman Philharmonia, will be on May 2 at 8 p.m. in Eastman Theatre.

Musica Nova will perform the first half, playing “Points on A Curve To Find,” for piano and ensemble, featuring Eastman alumni Margaret Kampmeier as the soloist. Based in New York City, she is an active soloist, chamber musician and orchestral pianist who founded the Naumburg New Millennium Ensemble. “Chemins IV” was written for oboe, performed by alumni Jackie LeClair and ensemble. Graduate student Courtney Orlando will end the first half with “Corale,” Berio’s tribute to the violin.

The second half of the concert will feature the Eastman Philharmonia performing “Sinfonia” – written to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein.

The work includes references to Martin Luther King, Jr., bits of anti-war protests and quotes from author Samuel Beckett, and a tribute to Mahler, using music from his “Resurrection Symphony.”

There will also be a pre-concert panel discussion at 7 p.m. Special guests include Pulitzer Prize winner Bernard Rands, composer and New York Times critic Paul Griffiths, critic from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle John Pitcher as well as the newest member of the Eastman composition faculty, Ricardo Zohn Muldoon. The discussion will be moderated by the chair of the composition department, Robert Morris.

Eastman students will also have the chance to participate in a number of symposiums and master classes during the week. On April 28, Italian composer Carlo Landini will discuss all aspects of new Italian music. Berio, aged 77, had planned to attend but health problems that will keep him from traveling, so Landini will be visiting in his place.

A display of scholarly papers – by Seth Brodsky, Mikel Kuehn, Emily Snyder Laugesen and Richard Hermann – on Berio’s music will be displayed on April 29.

On May 1, Rands, a close friend of Berio, will give a master class. He will also present his own works later during the same day.

This upcoming week will be a very special week for Eastman students, faculty, alumni and for the whole UR community. This rare opportunity to hear and learn about one of the major innovators in music of the 20th century promises to have something of interest for everyone.

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