KSU New Music Series to begin

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The first two concerts of the 2012-13 Kent State University New Music Series will be presented on Tuesday and Dec. 1 in the Carl F.W. Ludwig Recital Hall in the Music and Speech Center on the KSU campus. Admission will be free. The Kent State University New Music Ensemble, directed by Anthony Donofrio and Frank Wiley, will be joined by guest artists, faculty guest artists, and other KSU ensembles.

The concert on Tuesday will begin at 8 p.m. and will feature music by Brandon Vaccaro, James Tenney, Stuart Saunders Smith, Christian Lauba, and Terry Riley. Guest artist Brandon Accaro, a member of the music faculty at KSU Stark, will open the concert with his composition "Distillations" (2005) for electric guitar-computer-amplifier.

Saxophonist Alex Sellers will perform "Balafon" (1996), for solo alto saxophone, by Christian Lauba.

The program will continue with James Tenney's "Maximusic" (1965) for solo percussion, from the composer's collection Postal Pieces, performed by Anthony Donofrio. Guest artist Bill Sallak, a member of the faculty of the KSU School of Theatre and Dance, will lead the KSU New Music Ensemble in a performance of "Notebook" (1997) by composer Stuart Saunders Smith. The second half of the concert will consist of a single work, Terry Riley's "In C" (1964), performed by the New Music Ensemble.

The Dec. 1 concert will be a special presentation of the New Music Series, "A John Cage Celebration: In Honor of the 100th Anniversary of His Birth." This concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., with special pre-concert activities beginning at 7 p.m.

Special guest artists for the event will be John Sampen and Marilyn Shrude, both members of the music faculty at Bowling Green State University. They will present a lecture, "In Celebration: John Cage and the Saxophone," which will incorporate a performance of one of Cage's later works, "Four 5" (1991), by the KSU Saxophone Ensemble, directed by Jeffrey Heisler.

For this event, the New Music Ensemble will also be joined by faculty pianist Raquel Teare, faculty countertenor Jay White, and an array of faculty members and students from the KSU School of Music.

Members of the KSU Percussion Ensemble, directed by Ted Rounds, will perform Cage's "Third Construction" (1941) for percussion quartet.

The program will continue with a performance of the piano work "Ophelia" (1946) by Raquel Teare. Jay White will perform "Aria" (1958) in a realization for countertenor and iPhone. Anthony Donofrio will present a performance of what might be Cage's most famous composition, 4'33."

The concert will close with the simultaneous presentation of three works by Cage. This final section of the concert will not be limited to the Recital Hall. Other areas near the Recital Hall will be part of the performance space. Each member of the audience will receive a "score" for Variations IV. This score consists of a diagram of the area in and around the Carl F. W. Ludwig Recital Hall in the KSU Music and Speech Building, with special markings produced by chance operations indicated by John Cage.

The audience will be invited to move through the performance space in response to their interpretations of the score, in response to the locations of the sounds of the performers, and in response to the opening of doors indicated by the composer.

The pre-concert activities will include the video 59 Waltzes for the Five Boroughs and readings from Indeterminacy.

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