Boston-based Callithumpian Consort
A concert of contemporary chamber music performed by the Boston-based Callithumpian Consort will occur on Thursday, April 2 at the Indiana Historical Society. Noted American composer Christian Wolff, who has composed a new work for the group’s spring 2015 tour, will be present to give a pre-concert lecture. Admission is free and open to the general public. The Consort, configured for this tour in a quartet of two pianos and two percussionists, will also perform works by Bela Bartok, Earl Brown, and Lee Weisert. The Callithumpian tour and Wolff lecture is made possible with funding from the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, the Donald Tavel Arts and Technology Research Center at IUPUI, the New England Conservatory, and Georgia State University.
Founded by pianist and conductor Stephen Drury in the 1980s, the Callithumpian Consort is a professional ensemble producing concerts of contemporary music at the highest standard. Flexible in size and makeup, its repertoire includes the classics of the last 100 years and new works in the avant-garde and experimental traditions. It is grounded in the musical discoveries of John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Zorn, Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman, and Iannis Xenakis. With grants from the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and the French American Cultural Exchange, the Callithumpian Consort has commissioned new works from Christian Wolff, Tristan Murail, Chaya Czernowin Lee Hyla, Alvin Lucier and Lei Liang as well as a substantial number of younger composers. The Consort has also worked closely with John Cage, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, Helmut Lachenmann, Michael Finnissy, Jonathan Harvey, John Zorn, John Luther Adams, Brian Ferneyhough, Jo Kondo, and many others. The Boston-based group’s 2015 spring tour will see them premiering a new Christian Wolff work in Boston with throughout the Eastern US, with a final concert in Indianapolis. Indianapolis-based percussionist Scott Deal, who is a professor of music at IUPUI, will be performing with the Consort throughout the tour.
American composer Christian Wolff (b. 1934) was a primary force in a musical movement historically known as the New York School, consisting of composers who revolutionized music in the 20th century. Along with John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown, Wolff helped to change the way musicians across a broad spectrum of genres think about composition and performance. Most profoundly, Wolff has impacted how classical musicians interpret their own craft. A particular feature of his music is the various freedoms it allows performers at the time of performance as well as the variable results possible for any one particular piece, for which various new notations have been invented. He has received awards and grants from the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Ford Foundation, DAAD Berlin, the Asian Cultural Council, the Fromm Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts (the John Cage Award for music) and the Mellon Foundation. He is a member of the Akademie der Kuenste in Berlin and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004 he received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts. Academically trained as a classicist, Wolff was professor of classics and music at Dartmouth College from 1971 to 1999.
Pianist and conductor Stephen Drury has performed throughout the world with a repertoire that stretches from Bach to Liszt to the music of today. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Barbican Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and from Arkansas to Seoul. A champion of contemporary music, he has taken the sound of dissonance into remote corners of Pakistan, Greenland and Montana. Drury has performed or recorded with the American Composers Orchestra, the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. His performances of music written in the last hundred years, ranging from the piano sonatas of Charles Ives to works by György Ligeti, Frederic Rzewski and John Cage have received the highest critical acclaim. Drury has worked closely with many of the leading composers of our time, including Cage, Ligeti, Rzewski, Steve Reich, Olivier Messiaen, John Zorn, Luciano Berio, Helmut Lachenmann, and Christian Wolff.
Yukiko Takagi received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the New England Conservatory where she studied with Veronica Jochum and Stephen Drury. While a student at the Conservatory she was selected to perform in several Honors programs and appeared regularly with the NEC Contemporary Ensemble. Ms. Takagi has performed with the orchestra of the Bologna Teatro Musicale, the John Zorn Ensemble, the Auros Group for New Music, Santa Cruz New Music Works, the Harvard Group for New Music and the Chameleon Arts Ensemble. She performs regularly with the Eliza Miller Dance Company and the Ruth Birnberg Dance Company and gives frequent duo-piano concerts with Stephen Drury. Ms. Takagi is a featured performer with the Callithumpian Consort. Her recording of Colin McPhee’s Balinese Ceremonial Dances was released by MusicMasters. At New England Conservatory, Ms. Takagi is a teacher and guest artist for NEC’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance.
Lauded as having “consummate virtuosity” by The New York Times, Stuart Gerber has performed extensively throughout the US, Europe, Australia, and Mexico as a soloist an chamber musician. He is Associate Professor of Percussion at Georgia State University in Atlanta. As an active performer of new works, Stuart has been involved in a number of world-premiere performances. He gave the world premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s last solo percussion work Himmels-Tür in Italy, and his percussion trio Mittwoch-Formel at the annual Stockhausen-Courses in Kürten, Germany. He has also given the US and Australian premieres of Stockhausen’s duo version of Nasenflügeltanz for percussion and synthesizer, and the US premiere of his solo percussion work Komet. Dr. Gerber has been the faculty percussionist for the Stockhausen-Courses since 2005 and has recorded a number of pieces for the Stockhausen Complete Edition released by the Stockhausen-Verlag. In addition to his work with Stockhausen, Stuart has worked with many other notable composers, such as Kaija Saariaho, Steve Reich, Tristan Murail, Frederic Rzewski, George Crumb, Tania Lèon, Michael Colgrass, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and John Luther Adams.
Performer, composer and media artist Scott Deal engages new works of chamber music, computer interactivity, networked systems, electronics and percussion. His percussion performances have been described as “riveting” (Sequenza21), and executed with “phenomenal virtuosity” (Artsfuse). His recordings have been described as “soaring, shimmering explorations of resplendent mood and incredible scale”….”sublimely performed”, and his recent recording of Pulitzer Prize/Grammy Award-winning composer John Luther Adams’ Four Thousand Holes, was listed in New Yorker Magazine’s 2011 Top Ten Classical Picks. He has performed at venues worldwide, including Musicacoustica Beijing, Almeida Opera London, Arena Stage Washington, Supercomputing Global, Zerospace, SIGGRAPH, Chicago Calling, IEEE CloudCom, Ingenuity Festival, ICMC, NIME, SEAMUS, PASIC, SICK PUPPY, and with groups that include ART GRID, Another Language, Digital Worlds Institute, Callithumpian Consort, Percussion Group Cincinnati, and the Helsinki Computer Orchestra. He is the percussionist for the computer-acoustic trio Big Robot, who have performed to audiences worldwide. In 2011, Deal and composer Matthew Burtner won the coveted Internet2 IDEA Award for their co-creation of Auksalaq, a telematic opera called “an important realization of meaningful opera for today’s world”. Deal’s work has received funding from organizations that include Meet the Composer, Lilly Foundation New Frontiers, Indiana Arts Council, Clowes Foundation, IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, and the University of Alaska. He resides in Indianapolis, Indiana where he is a Professor of Music and Director of the Donald Louis Tavel Arts and Technology Research Center at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).