Louth Contemporary Music Society has the great honor to present the work of legendary composer and pianist Christian Wolff in Ireland. Christian Wolff is the last surviving member of the New York School of composers (John Cage, Morton Feldman and Earle Brown) who revolutionized music in the 20th century. For 60 years, Christian Wolff has been at the center of composing’s avant-garde. On 30 May 2015 Christian will make his Irish performing debut* alongside his friends and longtime collaborators: the outstanding percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky and incredible cellist Rohan de Saram. The trio will offer a ground breaking evening of Wolff’s music.
In a pre-performance interview at 7pm on 30 May 2015 with writer and librettist, Paul Griffiths, composer Christian Wolff will discusses his work and his close connection to the avant-garde, both in America and the UK, and his association with major artists such as John Cage and Morton Feldman.
Christian Wolff : A Celebration featuring Christian Wolff, Robyn Schulkowsky and Rohan De Saram
Saturday 30 May 2015 | 8 PM
St.Nicholas Church ( The Green Church) Dundalk
Christian Wolff, Composer + Pianist
Born in 1934 in France, the child of German parents, Wolff and his family moved to the United States in 1941. He became an American citizen in 1946. He studied classics at Harvard University (he is a specialist in the work of Euripides) and upon graduating took up a teaching post there which he kept until 1970. Subsequently, he began to teach classics, comparative literature, and music at Dartmouth College, following in the tradition of Charles Ives and Wallace Stevens who sustained two careers during their lifetimes. Since retiring from Dartmouth in 1999, Wolff has been more active than ever as a composer, fulfilling commissions, recording, and performing with his own ensembles and with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He has, to date, completed over 175 works for soloists, small and large chamber ensembles, orchestras, vocalists, and other music created for unspecified instrumentation.
* The Dundalk performance will be Christian Wolff’s performing debut. Christian Wolff delivered a contemporary music lecture at IMMA in 2005. More details here http://www.imma.ie/en/page_73752.htm
Rohan de Saram, Cello
“There are few of his generation that have such gifts” Pablo Casals.”
“de Saram is a Cello Phenomenon, one of the greatest cellists of our time” Kolnische Rundshau.
Rohan de Saram studied cello from the age of 11 with Gaspar Cassadó in Italy. At the age of 17 he was awarded the coveted Suggia award to study in the UK with John Barbirolli and in Puerto Rico with Pablo Casals. At the invitation of Dmitri Mitropoulos, who described him in 1957 as “a rare genius….a born musician…an mazing…cellist.”
Rohan de Saram was invited to give his Carnegie Hall debut in 1960 with the New York Philharmonic, playing Khatchaturian’s Cello Concerto under the baton of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. Rohan de Saram has worked with Kodály, Shostakovich, Poulenc and Walton, as well as more recently with many leading contemporary composers such as Pousseur, Xenakis and Berio who have, amongst others, written works for him.
In November 2005 Rohan de Saram bid farewell to the Arditti Quartet of which he was a part. He works now with a variety of artists, friends and composers, bringing together music from a range of musical periods and parts of the world. Since leaving the Arditti Quartet, Rohan de Saram has taught and given solo and ensemble recitals at Darmstadt Summer School, Avant-garde Tirol and Ruemlingen Festival, Switzerland. Website: http://www.rohandesaram.co.uk/
Robyn Schulkowsky, Percussion
Born and raised in South Dakota, percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky has been an innovator and collaborator throughout her life. Already during her studies in Iowa and Germany and later on her international solo tours, Robyn Schulkowsky has dedicated herself to revealing the wonders of percussion to people all over the world. Her continuous exploration of new sound dimensions has led to the development of many new and unusual instruments.
An active musician on five continents, Robyn Schulkowsky moved to Germany during a heyday of experimental and adventurous classical composition. She has premiered and recorded some of the most important percussion works of the 20th and 21st centuries, working with composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Kevin Volans, John Cage, Morton Feldman and Iannis Xenakis, presenting their works during tours that included the former Soviet Union, India, Africa, South America, Korea, Japan as well as at major European music festivals.
Robyn Schulkowsky’s adventurous nature connects her with exceptional project partners and alternative performance spaces. She has collaborated on multi-media projects with legendary African drummer Kofi Ghanaba, avant-garde visual artist Guenther Uecker, the actress Edith Clever and groundbreaking choreographer Sasha Waltz, and has founded – together with Stephan Andreae – the annual festival Drums Summit Bonn.
Robyn Schulkowsky is particularly passionate about education. Since 1998, as founder of Rhythm Lab, she has taken drumming workshops to countless cities, incorporating indigenous drumming styles and patterns from around the globe, and involving students, professionals and aficionados alike in workshops and concerts. Primarily directed at children and teenagers, the project focuses on the idea of “music as the experience and not the product”, aiming to make rhythm tangible by experimenting with music, sound and movement. To this end, Robyn Schulkowsky works closely with the sound artist Lukas Kuehne, with whom she developed new percussion instruments. In spring 2009 she worked with 100 young budding musicians on her new music-theater project based on the story of Antigone which was presented in July in a former cattle-market hall in Ingolstadt (Germany) with resounding success.
Schulkowsky’s virtuosity has been captured on over 20 recordings, including CDs with violist Kim Kashkashian and trumpet players Reinhold Friedrich and Nils Petter Molvaer, and seminal recordings of compositions by Christian Wolff and Morton Feldman. She is a composer herself, and in 2005, she performed improvisations and her own compositions twice daily for two weeks on a “sound sculpture” in New York’s Grand Central Station. In 2008 her opera The Child of the Sea Otter was premiered in Oldenburg (Germany) and repeated in Mannheim and Berlin.
In Sweden, together with the Gothenburg Symphony and fellow renowned solo percussionists Anders Loguin, Mika Takehara, Eirik Raude and Anders Haag, Robyn Schulkowsky performed the critically-acclaimed premiere of “Glorious Percussion” by Sofia Gubaidulina under the baton of celebrated young conductor Gustavo Dudamel. This new ensemble has since named itself after the piece and has been appearing with several important orchestras, most recently with the Berlin Philharmonic.