Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An opening fanfare

David Felder and Lukas Foss (photo: Irene Haupt)

Welcome to the official blog of University at Buffalo's Center for 21st Century Music, home to the legendary June in Buffalo festival, the Slee Sinfonietta, and a host of other programs devoted to the music of our time.

The Center for 21st Century Music has roots that stretch back to 1963, when Lukas Foss (who passed away in February) founded UB's Center for Creative and Performing Arts. Foss, who also served as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic from '63 to '70, was determined to establish the city as an international center of musical experimentation. To that end, he brought in composers and performers like George Crumb, David Del Tredici, Mauricio Kagel, Frederick Rzewski, Jan Williams, and Julius Eastman to become Creative Associates and participate in the Center's concerts and educational activities.

Morton Feldman became director of the Center in 1973, and two years later instituted June in Buffalo as an American answer to Darmstadt -- a place where student composers could gather and learn from an awe-inspiring array of elders from across the stylistic spectrum, including John Cage, Elliott Carter, John Harbison, Mauricio Kagel, Alvin Lucier, Steve Reich, Christopher Rouse, Poul Ruders, and Charles Wuorinen, along with many others.

The Center for Creative and Performing Arts was succeeded by the Center for 21st Century Music, founded by David Felder in 2006. Felder, a distinguished member of the UB composition faculty since 1984, revived June in Buffalo in 1986 after a six-year hiatus. C21CM programs include the Slee Sinfonietta, the Center's flagship performing ensemble; the Hiller Music Studio for projects in advanced music technology; and a concert and lecture series that features noted composers, performers, and ensembles from around the globe.

The Center for 21st Century Music has a distinguished past and an exciting future. We hope you'll visit our blog regularly for news, treasures from the Center's rich archive of audio and visual treats, and many other items of interest.

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