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  • Wednesday, January 28, 2009
    Steve Reich Featured Composer at Vassar's Modfest 2009
    Wonge Bergmann

    Steve Reich is a featured composer at this year's Modfest, an annual festival at Vassar College celebrating the music, art, poetry, and film of the 20th and 21st centuries. Modfest 2009 began late last week and runs through February 13, with a total of 17 free events open to the public plus an additional closed event—a rehearsal of Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre, which Reich will attend.

    Tonight, the Vassar film department will screen the HBO documentary Journalist and the Jihadi, narrated by Christiane Amanpour, which tracks the parallel lives of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, whom Steve Reich quotes in his 2006 work Daniel Variations, and British born jihadi Omar Sheikh. Mia Mask, a film critic and associate professor of film at Vassar College, will introduce the film and lead a discussion about it.

    Tonight's screening precedes a concert this Saturday, January 31, in which new-music group Signal, led by conductor Brad Lubman, performs an all-Reich program: both Daniel Variations and the composer's classic 1976 piece Music for 18 Musicians. The concert begins at 8 PM in Skinner Hall of Music's Martel Recital Hall. Earlier in the day, the Department of Music will hold two sessions of a workshop on electronic music, open to all, that will explore the basic techniques of tape music, including sound editing, transformations, and free software tools.

    Tomorrow night, composer Harold Meltzer, a member of Vassar's music department, will present a lecture on Reich and his music, in Thekla Hall. On Sunday afternoon, following the aforementioned dance rehearsal, Steve Reich will join Richard Wilson, a composer and professor of music at Vassar, for a conversation at Martel Recital Hall. Immediately afterward, percussionists James Preiss, Garry Kvistad, Dominic Donato, Thad Wheeler, and Vassar College faculty member Frank Cassara will perform a concert of percussion music by Reich: Typing Music, Music for Pieces of Wood, Nagoya Marimbas, Violin Phase (for marimbas), and Drumming, Part 1.

    Next week, on Friday, February 6, the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre will perform works set to Reich works at Kenyon Hall's Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater. On the program is Features the Clearing, by Katherine Wildberger, a member of Vassar's departments of dance and drama, set to Reich's earliest work, It’s Gonna Rain, and Takehiro Ueyama’s Shabon, set to music from 2004's You Are (Variations).

    Also on Modfest's schedule are two events featuring the music of Elliott Carter. On Thursday, February 5, the New York New Music Ensemble will lead a workshop on chamber music focusing on the challenges and techniques of preparing a performance of Elliott Carter’s Triple Duo, and on February 8, Vassar music faculty and special guests will perform a concert of works by Carter and other contemporary composers.

    For the festival's complete schedule, visit music.vassar.edu/concerts.

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Steve Reich Featured Composer at Vassar's Modfest 2009

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on January 28, 2009 - 2:53pm
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 18:00
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Steve Reich is a featured composer at this year's Modfest, an annual festival at Vassar College celebrating the music, art, poetry, and film of the 20th and 21st centuries. Modfest 2009 began late last week and runs through February 13, with a total of 18 events, including two all-Reich concerts, a conversation with the composer, a dance performance of works set to his music, a film screening and discussion, and a lecture about Reich's music.

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Steve Reich is a featured composer at this year's Modfest, an annual festival at Vassar College celebrating the music, art, poetry, and film of the 20th and 21st centuries. Modfest 2009 began late last week and runs through February 13, with a total of 17 free events open to the public plus an additional closed event—a rehearsal of Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre, which Reich will attend.

Tonight, the Vassar film department will screen the HBO documentary Journalist and the Jihadi, narrated by Christiane Amanpour, which tracks the parallel lives of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, whom Steve Reich quotes in his 2006 work Daniel Variations, and British born jihadi Omar Sheikh. Mia Mask, a film critic and associate professor of film at Vassar College, will introduce the film and lead a discussion about it.

Tonight's screening precedes a concert this Saturday, January 31, in which new-music group Signal, led by conductor Brad Lubman, performs an all-Reich program: both Daniel Variations and the composer's classic 1976 piece Music for 18 Musicians. The concert begins at 8 PM in Skinner Hall of Music's Martel Recital Hall. Earlier in the day, the Department of Music will hold two sessions of a workshop on electronic music, open to all, that will explore the basic techniques of tape music, including sound editing, transformations, and free software tools.

Tomorrow night, composer Harold Meltzer, a member of Vassar's music department, will present a lecture on Reich and his music, in Thekla Hall. On Sunday afternoon, following the aforementioned dance rehearsal, Steve Reich will join Richard Wilson, a composer and professor of music at Vassar, for a conversation at Martel Recital Hall. Immediately afterward, percussionists James Preiss, Garry Kvistad, Dominic Donato, Thad Wheeler, and Vassar College faculty member Frank Cassara will perform a concert of percussion music by Reich: Typing Music, Music for Pieces of Wood, Nagoya Marimbas, Violin Phase (for marimbas), and Drumming, Part 1.

Next week, on Friday, February 6, the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre will perform works set to Reich works at Kenyon Hall's Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater. On the program is Features the Clearing, by Katherine Wildberger, a member of Vassar's departments of dance and drama, set to Reich's earliest work, It’s Gonna Rain, and Takehiro Ueyama’s Shabon, set to music from 2004's You Are (Variations).

Also on Modfest's schedule are two events featuring the music of Elliott Carter. On Thursday, February 5, the New York New Music Ensemble will lead a workshop on chamber music focusing on the challenges and techniques of preparing a performance of Elliott Carter’s Triple Duo, and on February 8, Vassar music faculty and special guests will perform a concert of works by Carter and other contemporary composers.

For the festival's complete schedule, visit music.vassar.edu/concerts.

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