Problems Of Contemporary Music With Henry Threadgill (A Lecture)


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Tomorrow. Saturday, March 18 | Noon
Problems Of Contemporary Music With Henry Threadgill (A Lecture)

University of Pennsylvania, Fisher-Bennett Hall Room 401
3340 Walnut Street (corner of 34th and Walnut street)
Please take elevator to forth floor
Map: http://www.facilities.upenn.edu/mapsBldgs/view_map.php3?id=57

FREE Admission | Limited seating/Students encouraged
Please RSVP at [email protected]
For more information contact 215-805-3376

With bizarre instrumentation and voicings, Threadgill's compositions are visceral and compelling, and incorporate his experiences with gospel, blues, world and marching band music. Residing at the forefront of creative music for the past quarter of a century, Threadgill received the Best Composer honors in Downbeat Magazine's International Jazz Critic's Poll in 1991, 1990, 1989 and 1988, when he placed in 11 categories and had two albums nominated as Record of the Year. His late-70s ensemble “Air" (with Fred Hopkins and Steve McCall) is one of the AACMs most legendary collectives.

His writing has shown a tendency towards a kind of compositional rigor ever more indistinguishable from classical contemporary music, writing that has always included both composition and improvisation. His piece “May the Angels Take You into Heaven on Earth", for Quintet for Strings and Woodwinds, was premiered at the Carnegie Hall in 1983. Two years later, also at the Carnegie Hall he performed “Premier Piece, Second Quintet". In 1984, his Wind-String Ensemble premiered “The Android That Terminated Hugh-Pinkston Sells and Committed Suicide" at the New York Art Institute. In 1987, The Brooklyn Academy of Music/Next Wave Festival premiered Threadgill's “Run Silent, Run Deep, Run Loud, Run High" for a 29-piece ensemble, conducted by Hale Smith. A few years later, Threadgill went back to the BAM, this time with another large work, “Mix for Orchestra", commissioned for the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, with the legendary drummer Max Roach as a soloist, and conducted by Dennis Russell Davis.

In the recent years, Henry Threadgill has composed work commissioned by Thomas Buckner and performed by the S.E.M. Ensemble, conducted by Petr Kotik. His piece “Peroxide" for the Aggregation Orb ensemble, was commissioned by the Miller Theatre in 2003, and was dedicated to the Columbia University's 250th Anniversary.

Additionally, Threadgill has also presented music for dance and theatrical settings. His interest in experimental theater as well as modern dance goes back to the beginning of the '70s. Large interdisciplinary works, such as “Thomas Cole, A Walking Dream" (The New York Shakespeare Festival, 1985); “On Walcott" (European tour, 1997; Aaron Davis Hall, NYC, 2001), as well as the provocative collaborative music/theater piece “Erotec (The Human Life of Machines)", choreographed by Alice Farley, commissioned by the Jim Henson Foundation, and premiered (for six nights) in September 1996 during the Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater in New York City.

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