Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The New Season!

The Center has announced its programming for the 2009-10 season, and it's an exciting one indeed, with concerts by the Slee Sinfonietta (with Elmar Oliveira and Eric Huebner as soloists), Signal, JACK Quartet, Music from Copland House, and others. There will be visits by composers Ben Thigpen (Paris), Roberto Fabricciani (Italy), Olivier Pasquet (Paris), Robert Beaser, David Dzubay, Joshua Feinberg, and Chinary Ung (USA).

June in Buffalo (May 31 - June 6, 2010) is marking the 35th anniversary of its founding and the 25th anniversary of David Felder's stewardship. To celebrate, there will be performances by the Arditti Quartet, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Slee Sinfonietta, Signal, and an array of distinguished soloists. Festival faculty will include David Felder, Olivier Pasquet, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Augusta Read Thomas, and others to be announced.

All in all, as the late author Donald Barthelme once wrote in a different context, "there's more than enough aesthetic excitement here to satisfy anyone but a damn fool." See for yourself at the Center's website.

Over the next few weeks we'll be previewing some of these events in a bit more detail. But to whet your appetite, here's a clip of Signal - recently described by The New York Times as “one of the most vital groups of its kind,” - performing Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, caught last September at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Remembering Lukas

"Why do we pigeonhole and label an artist? It is a sure way of missing the important, the contradictory, the things that make him or her unique" -- Lukas Foss.

As the Center prepares to announce its 2009-10 season, we'd like to take a moment to remember Lukas Foss, who passed away on February 1 at the age of 86. Foss was undoubtedly important, sometimes contradictory, and certainly unique. The New York Times ran an extensive obituary by Allan Kozinn, who commented, "Mr. Foss preferred to explore the byways of the avant-garde, focusing at different times on techniques from serialism and electronic music to Minimalism and improvisation. But as he moved from style to style, his voice remained distinctive, partly because he distrusted rules and never fully adhered to those of the approaches he adopted, and partly because a current of mercurial wit ran through his work.”

The spirit of Lukas Foss still animates the Center for 21st Century Music. His integrity, intellectual curiosity, and his openness to a wide variety of musical languages resonate to this day. (Photo: Irene Haupt)