Symposium of Contemporary Music 2015-16

February 12-13, 2016

Kyle Gann, guest composer/musicologist

Friday, Feb. 12, 7:30 PM
School of Music room 258
"Charles Ives: Translating Literature into Sound"
Lecture by Kyle Gann

Saturday, Feb. 13, 7:30
Westbrook Auditorium
Concert of Music by Kyle Gann featuring the world premieres of Transcendentalist Songs for voices and piano and Implausible Sketches for two pianos

Kyle Gann 

Kyle GannJust as Harry Partch called himself a “philosophic music man seduced into carpentry,” I’m a composer who’s been seduced into musicology – because you can’t be a visible composer in an invisible scene, and no one else was writing well about the scene I came from.

I’ve been teaching music theory, history, and composition at Bard College since 1997, and I was the new-music critic for the Village Voice from 1986 to 2005. I’ve published five booksThe Music of Conlon Nancarrow (Cambridge University Press, 1995), American Music in the Twentieth Century (Schirmer Books, 1997), Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice (U. of CA Press, 2006), No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage’s 4’33” (University of California Press, 2010), and Robert Ashley (U. of Illinois Press, 2012). I also wrote the introduction to the 50th-anniversary edition of Cage’s Silence. I’m now working onEssays After a Sonata: Charles Ives’s Concord, for Yale U. Press (2015). With composer David McIntire, I directed the Second International Conference on Minimalist Music. I am a founding member of the Society for Minimalist Music and Vice-President of the Charles Ives Society.

Much of my music can be heard and seen at About a third of my music is microtonal, in just intonation, using the notation of my teacher Ben Johnston. I’ve performed my one-man opera Custer and Sitting Bull more than 35 times, from Brisbane to Moscow; Cinderella’s Bad Magic, my opera with librettist Jeff Sichel, premiered in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Orkest de Volharding in Amsterdam commissioned my piano concerto Sunken City (a New Orleans memorial), and the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir commissioned my Transcendental SonnetsMy CDs are on the New World, New Albion, Mode, Cold Blue, Lovely Music, Meyer Media, Brilliant Classical, and Monroe Street labels. I’ve lived my entire life immersed in and involved with classical music, and started making the transition to postclassical many years ago.

About the Symposium

The Annual Symposium of Contemporary Music, established in 1952, brings prominent guest composers or performers to campus each year for a two-to-three-day residency. IWU faculty and students participate in the performance of works by guest composers and in discussions on aesthetic or analytical issues.  Guests also give master classes and presentations to composition and performance students.

Recent guests of the Symposium include renowned composers Louis Andriessen, Shulamit Ran and Chinary Ung, and the acclaimed New York New Music Ensemble, Orchid Ensemble of Vancouver and Ensemble ONIX of Mexico City. The Symposium forms part of IWU's New Music Series, which also includes concerts of contemporary music by guest composers and performers, faculty performances, the New Music Cafe concert series, ensemble concerts featuring new music, and programs of student compositions.

Previous Guest Composers, Performers, Scholars

2015—Fifth House Ensemble, Jonathan Green, Mario Pelusi, David Vayo

2014—John Daversa

2013 Chinary Ung, Adam Greene, Susan Ung, Stacey Fraser, Jocelyn Chang

2012 Shulamit Ran

2011 Song Ming-zhu, Yang Xiaozhong, Zhou Tianli

2009 Onix Ensemble

2008 fallJohn Sharpley, Orchid Ensemble

2008 springRoderik and Annelie de Man

2007 Stephen Paulus

2006 New York New Music Ensemble

2005 Vince Mendoza

2004 Louis Andriessen, Monica Germino, Cristina Zavalloni, James Quandt

2003 Mario Lavista

2002 Present Music Ensemble

2001 William Bolcom, Joan Morris

2000 Libby Larsen

1999 John Corigliano

1998 Arvo Part

1997 Joseph Schwantner

1996 Morton Gould Memorial Concert

1995 David Diamond

1993 fallLeslie Bassett, John Crawford (Society of Composers, Inc. Region 5 Conference)

1993 springAlexander Aslamazov

1991 Alice Parker

1990 Karel Husa

1989 Hale Smith

1988 John Beall

1987 Jan Bach

1986 Jean Eichelberger Ivey

1985 Michael Schelle

1984 Robert Bankert, Abram M. Plum, R. Bedford Watkins

1983 George Crumb Concert

1982 David Ward-Steinman

1981 Walter S. Hartley

1979 Leonard B. Meyer

1978 M. William Karlins

1977 Lou Harrison, Ezra Sims

1976 Donald Erb

1975 David Ward-Steinman

1974 Scott Huston

1973 Courtney Cox, Phil Wilson

1972 Stravinsky Memorial Concert

1971 Edward J. Miller

1970 Halim El-Dabh, Olly Wilson

1969 The Loop Group, Depaul University

1968 Iain Hamilton

1967 Frederick Tillis, George Crumb

1966 Louis Coyner, Edwin Harkins, Philip Winsor, Edwin London

1964 Robert Wykes, E.J. Ulrich, Salvatore Martirano, Herbert Brun, Ben Johnston

1963 Robert Wykes, Alabama String Quartet

1962 Robert Erickson, George Rochberg, Glenn Glasow

1960 Roy Harris

1959 Paul Pisk, George Rochberg

1958 Aaron Copland

1957 Ernst Krenek, William Bergsma

1956 Hunter Johnson, Ulysses Kay

1955 Wallingford Riegger, Peter Mennin

1954 Normand Lockwood, Robert Palmer

1953 Anthony Donato, Homer Keller

1952 Earl George, Grant Fletcher, Burrill Phillips