Stravinsky: A Life in Progress
Tuesday, February 7 | 6pm
Part of the Opera Night at the Boston Public Library series
Boston Public Library Central Branch | Rabb Hall
Free and open to the public
Igor Stravinsky’s epic life and innovative works took him from Russia to France, Hollywood, and even Boston as he helped define – and redefine – music in the 20th century. Two renowned guest speakers — Tod Machover, Boston-based composer and co-founding member of the MIT Media Lab, and Joseph Auner, Stravinsky and music history scholar at Tufts University — survey Stravinsky life from his youthful innovations to the neoclassical period that culminated in his witty, classic opera The Rake’s Progress, to the musical experimentation that defined his later years, illuminated with live selections by BLO artists.
About the Presenters:
Joseph Auner, Professor of Music, Dean of Academic Affairs, Tufts University, received his Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Music from The University of Chicago in 1991. His teaching and scholarship focuses on music and technology, sound studies, Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School, turn-of-the-century Vienna, and Weimar Berlin. He has written or edited five books, including Music in the 20th- and 21st Centuries, and Anthology of Music in the 20th- and 21st Centuries (Norton, 2013); he was general editor for the eight-volume Routledge series on Contemporary Music and Culture. Recent articles include “Wanted Dead and Alive: Historical Performance Practice and Electro-Acoustic Music from Abbey Road to IRCAM,” “Losing your Voice: Sampled Speech and Song from the Uncanny to the Unremarkable,” and “Weighing, Measuring, Embalming Tonality.” He has served editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society and Vice-President of the AMS. He was co-organizer of the conference at Tufts March 23-26, Utopian Listening: A Workshop on Luigi Nono’s Late Electroacoustic Works — Technologies, Aesthetics, Histories, Futures, produced together with Harvard University. Honors and awards include fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, the J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities; in 2014 he received the Tufts Distinguished Scholar Award, and an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, The Colorado College.
Tod Machover has been called a “musical visionary” by The New York Times and “America’s most wired composer” by The Los Angeles Times. He is a co-founding member of the MIT Media Lab where he is the Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media and also directs the Opera of the Future Group. Before coming to MIT, Mr. Machover studied with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School and was the first Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez’s IRCAM in Paris. Mr. Machover’s compositions have been commissioned and performed by many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles and soloists, and his work has been awarded numerous prizes and honors worldwide, including the “Chevalier of Arts and Letters” from the French government and the 2016 Composer of the Year Award from Musical America. Mr. Machover is also recognized for designing new technologies for music, such as Hyperinstruments, “smart” performance systems that extend expression for virtuosi, from Yo-Yo Ma to Prince, and also for the general public, such as Guitar Hero which grew out of his Lab. Machover is also known for his visionary operas — the most recent being the “robotic” Death and the Powers, which was Finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize — and for musical projects that build community and promote collaboration, such as his City Symphonies which have been created around the world since 2013 (from Perth to Lucerne to Detroit and beyond). He is currently working on his next opera, Schoenberg in Hollywood, for Boston Lyric Opera, as well as on commissions for the Kronos Quartet, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra.