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February 11, 2004

UMBC Presents Composer Christian Wolff in Concert

Christian WolffOn March 4, the Department of Music’s Contemporary Concerts Series presents composer Christian Wolff, who will perform some of his own work for solo piano in celebration of his 70th birthday, including For Prepared Piano (1951) and selections from two new works, Keyboard Miscellany and Incidental Music. The concert will be held at 8 pm in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. Admission is free.

Born in 1934 in Nice, France, Christian Wolff has lived mostly in U.S. since 1941. He studied piano with Grete Sultan and composition with John Cage. Although mostly an autodidact, his early contact with Cage, Morton Feldman, David Tudor and Earle Brown, and later Cornelius Cardew and Frederic Rzewski helped form the direction of his work. He received academic training in classics and comparative literature at Harvard University, taught classics at Harvard and, from 1971 until 2000, classics, comparative literature and music at Dartmouth College. Wolff’s compositions include works for piano(s), miscellaneous keyboards, instrumental solos, chamber groups, unspecified groups of players and sound sources, tape, chorus and orchestra.

A particular interest in Wolff’s work has been to allow performers flexibility and ranges of freedom at the actual time of a piece’s performance, to devise notations to make this practicable, to foster among both professional and lay players a spirit of liberating interdependence, and to draw material from traditions of popular political music. Wolff’s music has been performed throughout the world, especially in Europe and the United States. A number of pieces have been used by Merce Cunningham and his dance company, and also the dancer Lucinda Childs.

His music is published by C.F. Peters in New York, and has been recorded on Columbia-Odyssey, Vox, Time-Mainstream, Wergo, Centaur, Elektrola, EMI, CRI, Opus One, Philo, EMI-TOCI, Collecta, Hat Hut, Mode, Koch International, Time-Scraper and Content. His writings on music have been collected in Cues: Writings & Conversations, published by MusikTexte, Cologne. Christian Wolff has performed as an improviser with Takehisa Kosugi, Steve Lacy, Christian Marclay, Kui Dong and Larry Polansky. He received awards from the American Academy and National Institute for Arts and Letters (1975); DAAD, Berlin (1974); and the Asian Cultural Council Grant (1987); received the John Cage Award for Music (1996); and was made a member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin in 1999.

Admission is free.

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  • From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.
  • From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.
  • From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Fine Arts Building.
  • Daytime metered visitor parking is available in Lot 10, near the Administration Building. Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days. Hilltop Circle and all campus roadways require a parking permit unless otherwise marked.
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Posted by dwinds1 at February 11, 2004 12:00 AM