Performers for the Institute for Advanced Study’s Edward T. Cone Concert Series this academic year include Stephen Drury, The Crossing, Vicky Chow, and Ensemble Signal.
The series is curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, who is now in his second season as artist is residence at the Institute.
All concerts in the series will take place at 8 p.m. in Wolfensohn Hall at the Institute. Concert talks, providing discussions of the music in the program and related topics, will be held each Friday following the performance. The concerts are free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved online. Seating is limited. For further information about tickets and the Institute’s artist in residence program, visit the Institute’s website.
This season marks the second in my three year series titled “The Pattern Makers.”
“Each concert focuses on a particular piece, or set of pieces, that illustrates how pattern making participates in the creation of large-scale musical forms,” said Lang. “Last season explored different aspects of patterns in a variety of musical genres including medieval, Balinese Gamelan, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and celebration of percussion music by Steve Reich. This year, we dive deeper into the world of patterns with examples from revolutionary songs, national anthems, low fi electronics, and traditional folk tunes.”
The season will open on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 and feature pianist Stephen Drury. He will highlight Frederic Rzewski’s masterpiece “The People United Will Never Be Defeated.” The piece, 36 variations on a Chilean revolutionary song, cycles through every style of piano playing in music history, from Bach-style counterpoint to pointillism and from stride piano to free improvisation.
On Nov. 10 and Nov. 11, Philadelphia’s world class professional choir, The Crossing, returns to the Institute for a program of politically thoughtful music for choir and instruments. The Crossing will perform Ted Hearne’s “Consent,” a piece on how language influences thinking about women’s rights, and “To the Hands,” which focuses on immigration, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw. The concert also features a piece by Lang, the national anthems, whose text is created from poetic lines from the national anthems of every country in the world, creating a meta-anthem of fear, blood, and hope.
Pianist Vicky Chow will perform “Surface Image,” a tumultuous, evening-length work, at on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13. Commissioned from musical pioneer and composer Tristan Perich, the performance will feature a wall of 40 tiny electronic speakers surrounding Chow, whose elemental electronic sounds complement the oceanic sound of the piano.
The season will conclude on March 9 and March 10 with a string orchestra performance by Ensemble Signal, led by conductor Brad Lubman. The program will highlight Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon’s “Weather,” a work that began with his curiosity about how musical instruments might be useful in mapping chaotic weather patterns. Ensemble Signal will also perform MacArthur Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe’s “Cruel Sister.” The music dramatizes the story behind a heartbreaking traditional folk song.