Pizza + Pianist – FREE Pre-Concert Event
Join pianist Cory Smythe at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for a free, fun and informative event. Smythe will be discussing the connections between composers Schumann and Sciarrino, how he approaches improvisation and composition, and more. Complimentary pizza provided afterwards! RSVP HERE, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 414.271.0711 so we know how many to plan for.
Tuesday, October 20th
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
1584 N Prospect Ave
Costumes. Disguises. What will you bring to the table? Dress as your alter ego and play with colorful characters as we collaborate with Quasimondo Physical Theatre for an evening of masqueraded revelry.
Allow your senses to be ravished by the sumptuous performance of PM ensemble member and 2015 Grammy award winning pianist Cory Smythe performing the music of Robert Schumann and Sciarrino, along with his own original pieces and improvisations. Then join us afterwards for our festive afterparty, complete with fabulous food, drinks and entertainment.
(Program subject to change. This concert is not intended for children under 10.)
Pianist Cory Smythe is an improviser, chamber musician, and performer of contemporary classical music. As a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, he has contributed to numerous premieres, worked with composers Philippe Hurel, Dai Fujikura, Steve Lehman, Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Mathias Pintscher, and Alvin Lucier among many others, and performed in venues across the U.S. and abroad. The Wire magazine described his recent performance of solo piano music by Anthony Braxton as “startling… gorgeously dense”, and a forthcoming recording by ICE (Mode Records) will feature Smythe as the piano soloist in Iannis Xenakis’s ‘Palimpsest’. Smythe has played with or among a wide array of artists, including Braxton, the Greg Osby Four, Tyshawn Sorey, the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and in recital with violinist Hilary Hahn. In the spring of 2011 he released his debut album, ’pluripotent’ — a collection of original compositions and improvisations for solo piano which has garnered praise from New York Times critic Steve Smith among others. Smythe is a graduate of the music schools at Indiana University and the University of Southern California, where his principal teachers were Luba Edlina-Dubinsky and Stewart Gordon.
In 2014, Hahn and Smythe’s CD album, In 27 Pieces, was released to critical acclaim on Deutsche Grammophon and won the 2015 Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance.
His compositions seem to emerge from below the auditory threshold to captivate with suggestions of lush sensuality. The Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino, an aesthete born of a world of evanescent sounds, silences, and evocations, is one of the leaders of the European avant-garde. Sciarrino (Italy, 1947) likes to boast that he was born free and not in a school of music. Self-taught, he began to compose when he was twelve. His first public concert was given in 1962. But Sciarrino considers what he wrote before 1966 as immature works of apprenticeship, for it is then that his personal style came to the fore. There is something truly special about this music: it induces a different way of listening, projecting a thrilling awareness of reality and of the self. And after forty years his huge catalogue of compositions is still in a phase of astonishing creative development. After completing his schooling and a few years of university in his home town, he moved first to Rome in 1969 and then to Milan in 1977. Since 1983 he was been living in Umbria. He published for Ricordi from 1969 to 2004. From the very next year exclusive rights passed to Rai Trade.
His discography is particularly large: around 80 CDs, issued by the major international labels, have been acclaimed and often awarded prizes. As well as the librettos of his own works of music theatre, Sciarrino has written many articles, essays and texts of various kinds; some have been chosen and collected in Carte da suono (Cidim – Novecento, 2001). Also important is his interdisciplinary book on musical form: Le figure della musica, da Beethoven a oggi (Ricordi, 1998).
He has taught at the conservatories of Milan (1974-1983), Perugia (1983-1987) and Florence (1987-1996). He has also held courses of specialization and master classes: particularly worth mentioning are those of Città di Castello from 1979 to 2000. Between 1978 and 1980 he was artistic director of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna. An Academician of Santa Cecilia (Rome), Academician of the Fine Arts of Bavaria and Academician of the Arts (Berlin), he has won numerous prizes, the most recent ones being the Prince Pierre de Monaco (2003) and the prestigious Premio Internazionale Feltrinelli (2003). He is also the first winner of the new Musikpreis Salzburg (2006).
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