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Composer Stephen Mackey Headlines Imagine Festival
For release: March 13, 2006
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The Imagine Festival – the University of Memphis's annual celebration of new music at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music – welcomes hailed contemporary composer Stephen Mackey for its 2006 installment March 24-25. Best known for his collaborations with the Kronos Quartet, Mackey has written a number of vibrant, challenging works for the electric guitar that fuse the energy and sound of rock with art music, notably "Physical Property," recorded by Kronos with the composer.

Mackey will perform that piece as part of his Imagine program in a March 25 concert with U of M's Ceruti String Quartet. Also on the bill is a performance the night prior of Mackey's "Micro-Concerto" for chamber ensemble and solo percussion by School of Music ensemble the Contemporary Chamber Players with guest percussionist Jason Trueting; U of M faculty composer Kamran Ince will conduct. Both concerts will be held at Harris Concert Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m. and are free to the public

Mackey, who studied lute and guitar before getting his Ph.D. in composition from Brandeis University, is professor of music at Princeton and is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship. Among his many recordings are Tuck and Roll, a BMG/RCA disc devoted to his orchestral works conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; and Lost and Found, a disc of solo electric guitar music performed by the composer for David Starobin's Bridge label.

Other fresh works to be heard on the Imagine Festival programs:

  • On March 24, a chamber ensemble piece by Mackey student Oscar Bettison will be featured as will composer Frederic Rzewski's massive set of variations for solo piano, "¡El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido!" ("The People United Will Never Be Defeated!"), performed by Turkish pianist Toros Can.
  • On March 25, the evening will be filled out by new works from U of M composition students Victor Agudelo of Columbia, and Attilla Sendil and Tolga Ozdemir, both from Turkey.

Mackey will offer master classes on March 24 at 12:30 p.m. in Harris Concert Hall and on March 25 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in School of Music Room 107.

For more information, call 678-5400.

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Last updated: 03/18/2008 16:21:52
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