Mario Davidovsky is the School’s first Howard Hanson Visiting Professor of Composition

March 22, 2007

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

The Eastman School of Music announces its first Howard Hanson Visiting Professor of Composition, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Mario Davidovsky, who will be in residence at the School from March 25 until April 21. The Eastman School’s Hanson Institute for American Music funds the position of Howard Hanson Visiting Professor. (For more about the Hanson Institute, visit www.esm.rochester.edu/iam.)

During his residency, Davidovsky will meet with eight students each week in composition tutorials and present his music in composition symposia; selected Eastman students and special guest performers will also perform his music in concert on April 10 at 8 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall (see below for program details). Among the works to be presented is Davidovsky’s song cycle Romancero, featuring soprano Tony Arnold, who was first prize winner in the 2001 Gaudeamus Competition and is a faculty member of the University of Buffalo. The program includes Davidovsky’s Synchronisms No. 6, which won the composer the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1971.

Born in Argentina in 1934, Mario Davidovsky began his musical studies by learning to play the violin, and at thirteen began composing. He studied composition and theory at the University of Buenos Aires, and in 1958 with Aaron Copland and Milton Babbitt at the Berkshire Music Center  (now the Tanglewood Music Center). In 1960, Davidovsky settled in New York City, where he was appointed associate director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.

During the early 1960s, he established himself internationally as a pioneer in electro-acoustic music, with his three Electronic Studies and the first of his ten compositions under the name Synchronisms, for which he is best known. Each Synchronism is performed by one or more musicians playing traditional instruments, playing their parts in intricate counterpoint with prepared electroacoustic music. The presence of live performers helps warm the audience to the recorded aspect of the composition. Another distinguished composer and Pulitzer Prize winner, George Crumb, has praised Davidovsky as “the most elegant of all the electronic composers whose music I know.”

From 1981 to 1993, Mario Davidovsky was director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center as well as professor of music at Columbia. In 1994, he became professor of music at Harvard. During his career, Davidovsky has also taught at many other institutions: University of Michigan (1964), the Di Tella Institute of Buenos Aires (1965), the Manhattan School of Music (1968-69), Yale University (1969-70), City College of New York (1968-80).

In 1982, Davidovsky was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received numerous awards, fellowships, and commissions, including the Pulitzer Prize (1971), Brandeis University Creative Arts Award, Aaron Copland-Tanglewood Award, and the Naumburg Award.

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Music of Mario Davidovsky
April 10, 2007
Kilbourn Hall – 8 pm

Free and Open to the Public
Call 274-1110 for more information

String Quartet No. 4  (1980)
Ruby Chen and Filip Lazovski, violins
Zac VanHorn, viola
Jeff Hood, cello

Synchronisms No. 10  (1992)
Dieter Hennings, guitar

Synchronisms No. 8  (1974)
A441 Wind Quintet
Helen Kong, flute
Shane Helfner, oboe
Oliver Hagen, clarinet
Richard Chen, bassoon
Dan Nebel, horn

Synchronisms No. 9  (1988)
Pia Liptak, violin

Synchronisms No. 6  (1970)
Bobby Mitchell, piano

Romancero  (1983)
(Four Songs Based on Popular Spanish Romance Poetry)

  1. Morenica A Mi Me Llaman
  2. ¡Arriba Canes Arriba!
  3. Seguidillas
  4. Triste estaba el Rey David

Tony Arnold, soprano
Diedre Huckabay, flute, piccolo, alto flute
Adrienne Berry, clarinet, bass clarinet
Pia Liptak, violin
Dave Sedlins, cello

Mario Davidovsky

Mario Davidovsky