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Frederic Rzewski

From Academic Kids

Frederic Rzewski (born April 13, 1938) is an American composer. He attended Harvard and Princeton, where his teachers included Virgil Thompson, Roger Sessions, Walter Piston and Milton Babbitt. In 1960, he went to Italy, a trip which was formative in his future musical development: in addition to studying with Luigi Dallapiccola, he commenced a career as a performer of new piano music, often with an improvisatory element. A few years later he became a co-founder of Musica Elettronica Viva with Alvin Curran and Richard Teitelbaum. Musica Elettronica Viva conceived music as a collective, collaborative process, with improvisation and live electronic instruments prominently featured. In 1971 he returned to New York. (Sadie 1980)

In 1977 Rzewski became Professor of Composition at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Lige, Belgium. Occasionally he teaches for short periods at schools and universities throughout the U.S. and Europe, including Yale University, the University of Cincinnati, The California Institute of the Arts, the University of California, San Diego, and the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. (ibid)

Most of Rzewski's works are overtly political (see: music and politics) and feature improvisational elements. He is an unapologetic Marxist. Some of his better-known music includes The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (36 variations on "El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido"), a set of bravura piano variations likened in difficulty to the Diabelli set by Beethoven; Coming Together, which is a setting of letters from an inmate at Attica State Prison, at the time of the famous riots there (1971); North American Ballads; Night Crossing with Fisherman; The Price of Oil, and Le Silence des Espaces Infinis, both of which use graphical notation; Les Moutons de Panurge; and the Antigone-Legend, which features a principled opposition to the policies of the State, and which was premiered, to the composer's amusement, on the night that the United States bombed Libya in April 1986. (ibid)

Nicolas Slonimsky (1993) says of him in Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians: "He is furthermore a granitically overpowering piano technician, capable of depositing huge boulders of sonoristic material across the keyboard without actually wrecking the instrument."

Contents

Discography

Composed By Rzewski

  • Frederic Rzewski - The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (1979)
  • Frederic Rzewski - De Profundis (1994)
  • Frederic Rzewski - Song and Dance/The Flower-Fed Buffaloes (1980)
  • Frederic Rzewski - Night Crossing (1997)
  • Frederic Rzewski - 'No Place to Go but Around (1977)
  • Rzewski Plays Rzewski: Piano Works 1975-1999 (2002)
  • Frederic Rzewski - Coming Together/Attica/Les Moutons de Panurge (1972) (1990)
  • Frederic Rzewski & Peter Weiss - Instruction Oratorio (1988)
  • Frederic Rzewski - North American Ballads/Squares (1989)
  • Frederic Rzewski - "Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues" (1980) in Double Edge Us Choice (1992)
  • Frederic Rzewski - Piano Music (1996)
  • Frederic Rzewski - Four Pieces/Ballad No. 3: Which Side Are You On? (1982)
  • Frederic Rzewski - Antigone-Legend (1997)
  • Frederic Rzewski - Bumps (1997)

Played By Rzewski

Sources

  • "Frederic Rzewski," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1561591742.
  • The Concise Edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8th ed. Revised by Nicolas Slonimsky. New York, Schirmer Books, 1993. ISBN 002872416X.

External links

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