A guest recital by Hammer/Klavier quartet with Thomas Rosenkranz ’99 and Paul Lansky, composer.
The program will begin with a lecture by the composer at 8 pm followed by a performance of the peice.
Gwen Burgett, percussion
Svet Stoyanov, percussion
Michael Sheppard, piano
Thomas Rosenkranz, piano
Admission is free.
Textures for two percussionists and two pianists (2013) by Paul Lansky (b. 1944) who will also be touring with the ensemble.
Dedicated and Commissioned by Hammer/Klavier
II. Loose Ends
III. Soft Substrates
VI. Points of Light
VII. A flutter, On Edge
Hammer-Klavier is comprised of pianists, Michael Sheppard and Thomas Rosenkranz, and percussionists Svet Stoyanov and Gwen Burgett. Building on seminal works for piano and percussion by Béla Bartók, Luciano Berio, and George Crumb, Hammer-Klavier is dedicated to exploring unique sonic possibilities, developing broader repertoire, and sharing it with audiences around the globe. The members of Hammer-Klavier are all distinguished performers with international careers. This brings an additional spark to the ensemble, as their concert programing features not only chamber music, but also sought after virtuosic solo piano and percussion works.
Born in New York City in 1944, Paul Lansky’s early musical studies were at the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. He subsequently attended Queens College, where he studied composition with George Perle and Hugo Weisgall and Princeton University, where he worked with Milton Babbitt, Earl Kim, and others. Originally intending to pursue a career as a French horn player he played with the Dorian Wind Quintet in 1966-67 before going on to Princeton University for graduate studies. He has been on the faculty at Princeton since 1969, where he is now William Shubael Conant Professor of Music. Until the mid-1990s, the bulk of Lansky’s work was in computer music and he has long been recognized as one of the pioneers in the field. In 2002 he was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from SEAMUS (the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States) and in 2000 he was the subject of a documentary made for European Television’s ARTE network, My Cinema for the Ears, directed by Uli Aumueller (now available on DVD). His music is well represented on recording (see listing on Lansky’s website: paullansky.org/disc.html) as well as played and broadcast widely. Numerous dance companies have used his music including the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Eliot Feld Ballet, and the New York City Ballet. His piece Notjustmoreidlechatter is included in the Norton Anthology accompanying the widely used music appreciation text, The Enjoyment of Music. He has received awards and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim, Koussevitsky and Fromm Foundations, Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest, ASCAP, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among others.
During the mid-1990s Lansky began to turn more intensively toward the writing of instrumental music, composing works for performers such as Nancy Zeltsman and David Starobin. His Three Moves for Marimba, written for and recorded by Zeltsman, has been gaining wide recognition as one of the most challenging and rewarding pieces for this instrument. In fact, Zeltsman devotes an entire chapter of her recent book on four-mallet marimba playing to discussing this work. A recent percussion quartet, Threads, written for the So Percussion ensemble has been widely performed by that group as well as by college and university ensembles. His trio for horn, violin and piano, Etudes and Parodies, written for William Purvis, was the winner of the 2005 International Horn Society Competition.
Lansky’s recent instrumental music eschews attempts to “break new ground,” relying instead on a fresh approach toward tonality and harmony that references musical traditions of various kinds, from Machaut to Stravinsky. His string quartet, Ricercare Plus, is based on concepts of counterpoint and part-writing from early Baroque and Renaissance music; the horn trio, Etudes and Parodies, refers to various music well-known to horn players; his choral pieces, Folk-Tropes, draw heavily on Appalachian folk-music traditions and many works, such as Three Moves for Marimba, draw on jazz and popular music (coincidentally, the English rock band Radiohead used a sample from Lansky’s first computer piece, mild und leise, as a basis for their 2000 song Idioteque). Having scratched the itch to be innovative for thirty years with his computer music, Lansky is now primarily focused on giving live performers rewarding experiences with his instrumental music.
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