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Pianists Williams, Greenberg to perform at NIU

March 27, 2012
Amy Williams

Amy Williams

The NIU School of Music will host guest pianists Amy Williams and Jacob Greenberg in concert at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall located of the Music Building.

All are welcome to attend the free performance. The auditorium is accessible to all.

The program will feature music from the “Dancing Cage” project initiated by the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo.

John Cage (1912–1992), one of the most radical and influential American composers of the 20th century, developed the idea of turning the piano into a “percussion orchestra” by introducing diverse objects between the strings of the instrument. This invention derived initially from his work with dancers, most saliently Merce Cunningham, but also served the creation of purely instrumental works.

Remarkable among these compositions is the rarely performed Three Dances for Two Prepared Pianos, from 1945. The project “Dancing Cage” is based on the idea to commission composers to write for the two prepared pianos as used in the Three Dances; a chance to revisit the Cage aesthetic and to produce new works with these legendary sounds.

In addition to Cage’s Three Dances for Two Prepared Pianos, new works by composers Chris Arnell, Carola Bauckholt and Inouk Demers will be performed.

Jacob Greenberg

Jacob Greenberg

Greenberg’s work as a soloist and chamber musician has earned worldwide acclaim. As a longtime member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), he has appeared throughout the United States and abroad to perform the most innovative music of our time.

He has worked with composers as diverse as George Crumb, György Kurtág, Harrison Birtwistle, and Tan Dun, and frequently plays his own compositions in recital. His solo series, Music at Close Range, shows his equal commitment to classics of the repertoire.

Through his position as ICE’s Director of Education, Greenberg introduces young people to new music in the city schools of New York and Chicago. He has also taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

His critically acclaimed solo disc, Solitary, was released in 2010 on New Focus Recordings.

Williams has appeared as a pianist and composer at renowned contemporary music venues in the United States, Australia and Europe, including Ars Musica (Belgium), Musikhøst (Denmark), Gaudeamus Musik Week (Netherlands), Festival Aspekte (Austria), Dresden New Music Days, Festival Musica Nova (Brazil), Tanglewood Festival and LA County Museum.

As a member of the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, she has performed throughout Europe and the Americas, including featured recitals at the Ojai Music Festival, Miller Theatre (New York), Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico), Ciclo de conciertos de música contemporánea (Argentina), Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ (Netherlands), Warsaw Autumn Festival, MusikTriennale Köln and CAL Performances (Berkeley).

Williams holds a Ph.D. in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she also received her master’s degree in piano performance. She has taught at Bennington College and Northwestern University and is currently assistant professor of composition at the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information, contact Lynn Slater at (815) 753-1546 or [email protected].