Recital to Feature Works by Plazak, Vayo

Joseph Plazak

Jan. 21, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Two Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music faculty members will present a recital of their own compositions and other works on Jan. 31.

David Vayo, Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor of Composition and Theory, will premiere his piece Chambers. Assistant Professor of Music Joseph Plazak will present two pieces for guitar, including the debut of Les Sacres, an acoustic guitar piece he began composing two years ago.

The two will also perform improv with Vayo playing piano and Plazak on guitar. Plazak will also perform Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint for electric guitar in a unique way. Instead of using the typical two speakers, Plazak has pre-recorded tracks for eight speakers, and will invite audience members to “experience the piece on stage” in the midst of the speakers.

David Vayo

The recital, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Westbrook Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Vayo, who also heads the composition department in the School of Music, is an award-winning composer whose work has been broadcasted and performed more than 400 times throughout the world. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University, Vayo received a doctorate in composition from the University of Michigan. He has received awards and commissions from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, ASCAP, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the American Music Center, and the Illinois Council for the Arts. At IWU he also directs the annual Symposium of Contemporary Music, the New Music Café concert series, and other events in the School of Music’s New Music Series. 

A guitarist and laptop musician, Plazak has been a long-time advocate for the incorporation of technology and multimedia into music. He received his bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst and earned a doctorate in music theory and cognition from The Ohio State University. At Illinois Wesleyan he teaches courses on music theory and music cognition.             

By Emily Phelps ’19