Friday, February 25, 2011

So Begins The Post-Classical Ensemble's Tribute Week To The Music, Spirituality, And Anti-Nuclear World Vision Of Lou Harrison

[Click on the two images for enlargements.]

First, a film screening at the National Gallery of Art tomorrow, Saturday:

Lou Harrison: A World of Music
February 26 at 4:00PM

East Building Concourse, Auditorium
World premiere
Director Eva Soltes in person

Music pioneer, writer, and activist Lou Harrison (1917–2003), an early experimenter with alternate tunings and intricate mergings of Western and Eastern styles, has been a legend of the American music scene since the 1950s. The culmination of two decades of research and documentation, Lou Harrison: A World of Music features rare footage, personal recordings, and informal conversations with Harrison, as well as extended passages of his hauntingly beautiful scores. The director leads a post-screening dialogue. Presented in association with Post-Classical Ensemble, The George Washington University, and the forum “Sublime Confluence: The Music of Lou Harrison.” (Eva Soltes, 2011, HD-Cam, 90 minutes)


Then, next Friday, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM, a Post-Classical Ensemble evening of Indonesian Chamber Music and Keynote Presentations by Lou Harrison scholar Bill Alves and documentary filmmaker Eva Soltes at the Embassy of Indonesia, on Mass. Avenue, near Dupont Circle and the Phillips Collection.


And then, a rare and full chamber, choral, and orchestral tribute Concert Celebrating Lou Harrison by the Post-Classical Ensemble at Lisner Auditorium of the George Washington University next Saturday evening, March 5, at 8 PM:

Javanese gamelan music

Harrison: Concerto for Piano and Javanese Gamelan

Harrison: Bubaran Robert for Trumpet and Javanese Gamelan

Harrison: Strict Songs for chorus and orchestra

Harrison: Piano Concerto

This festival is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Embassy of Indonesia, and by major national and local foundations.

Get 2-for-1 Tickets w/ discount code LOUH

Lou Harrison biography by Leta E. Miller.

Image credits: (c) Copyright controlled 2011.


I remember seeing Mr. Harrison during rehearsals by the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra of his "Pacifika Rondo" with an anti-Nuclear Warhead testing central movement, which was recorded; as well as at an early Cabrillo Music Festival in which he and Elliott Carter were the composers in residence. (The previous season I met Hans Werner Henze, who was that season's composer in residence.)

I also attended the 1975 world premiere, by the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, of Mr. Harrison's beautiful "Elegaic Symphony" -- which along with the Piano Concerto, to be performed next Saturday, and "Lo Koro Sutro" for chorus and gamelan is one of Mr. Harrison's crowning achievements and a monument to 20th century classical music.


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