Important Contemporary American Composer Honored

November 10, 2005

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

Rochester, NY – The recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and an array of other major awards and honors, George Perle is a powerful influence among American composers of our time.

“He’s an American original,” says David Headlam, Professor of Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music. “Perle developed a completely new musical language, and I consider him my mentor.”

In honor of his mentor’s upcoming 90 th birthday, Headlam has planned a Celebration of the Music of George Perle on Monday, November 28, 2005 at the School. “For our students, this is an opportunity to learn about the life and work of this important composer from Perle’s own students and collegues,” explains Headlam.

The event will consist of an afternoon of talks and demonstrations by Perle scholars from around the country in Eastman’s Howard Hanson Hall from 1:00-5:00. The 8 p.m. concert in Kilbourn Hall will be devoted exclusively to Perle’s music, including his 1986 Pulitzer Prize-winning Wind Quintet no. 4. In addition to Eastman student groups, guest artists will include pianist Michael Boriskin from New York City, who has recorded many of Perle’s solo piano pieces on New World Records, and soprano Eileen Strempel from Syracuse University. There will be an additional lecture on Tuesday, November 29 at 2 p.m. in ESM room 305 by Elliot Antokoletz from the University of Texas. All events are free and open to the public.

Headlam and Perle met at a 1984 conference honoring Austrian composer Alban Berg, in whose music both share great interest. Perle is also an award-winning publisher of numerous articles and seven books about modern music, the first of which has just been translated into Chinese. Unfortunately, Perle’s failing health prohibits him from attending his own celebration.

“He regrets that he can’t come,” says Headlam. “But he’s very excited and very grateful that we’re doing this.”


Note : A high-resolution photo of George Perle is available electronically. For complete celebration information, please visit: http://theory.esm.rochester.edu/perle_celebration/