Other festival highlights include the American premieres of Morton Feldman's monumental Violin and Orchestra and his Flute and Orchestra – two works almost never heard due to the staggering complexity of the scores. The 100-piece Janacek Philharmonic Ostrava will perform these works with Czech/Swiss violinist Hana Kotková and Canadian flutist Erin Lesser (Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Nov. 5). The most recent performance of Flute and Orchestra was in 2009 by the Janacek Philharmonic Ostrava (Petr Kotik, flute; Peter Rundel, conductor). The Alice Tully Hall concert will mark the first time an entire program of Feldman's major orchestra works is presented in the U.S.
BEYOND CAGE will also offer the opportunity to hear compositions that are rarely performed. At Roulette (Nov. 4), the program will feature Cage's epic solo pieces Music of Changes (Joseph Kubera, piano) and Freeman Etudes (Conrad Harris, violin), in addition to his Concert for Piano and Orchestra (Ostravská banda, Joseph Kubera). The evening will also feature Kotik's flute solos from There is Singularly Nothing, and the premiere of a new solo by Roscoe Mitchell, Red Flower On A Bamboo Pole, performed on the saxophone by the composer. At ISSUE Project Room (Oct. 30), Ostravská banda (Petr Kotik, conductor) will perform the US premiere of Salvatore Sciarrino's stage version of his "One-act Ecstasy" chamber opera, Infinito nero (1998), with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Katalin Károlyi. BEYOND CAGE will also include two major pieces by Petr Kotik, both at Paula Cooper Gallery: the "classic" 6-hour work Many Many Women (1975-78) on the text by Gertrude Stein (Nov. 2) and Torso (2011/12) for string quartet (Oct. 27). In addition, the festival will showcase new works by emerging composers, including 2012 Guggenheim Fellows Alex Mincek and Kate Soper, among others (Willow Place Auditorium, Oct. 28).
Petr Kotik's association with John Cage began in 1964 when he was asked to perform (with Cage and Tudor) Atlas Eclipticalis, as part of Merce Cunningham Dance Company's "Event No. 1" in Vienna. Kotik became then an active proponent of Cage's music as a performer, conductor, and presenter, and is one of the composer's oldest living collaborators. Kotik was first personally introduced to Morton Feldman by Cornelius Cardew in 1966. Kotik conducted his first concert of Feldman's work in 1970 in Buffalo, New York, and in 1973, Feldman composed Instruments I for Kotik's newly formed S.E.M. Ensemble (both composers lived at that time in Buffalo). Other longtime collaborators of Cage and Feldman participating in BEYOND CAGE include Christian Wolff; Joseph Kubera, who performed with both composers since the early 70s; and Richard Kostelanetz, the author of numerous books written with and about Cage.
In addition to the public concerts, BEYOND CAGE will host "John Cage's Musical Legacy", a panel discussion on performance practices in Cage's music with Christian Wolff, Petr Kotik, Joseph Kubera, Richard Kostelanetz, and Joel Chadabe (Oct. 26, The Graduate Center, CUNY). The festival will also feature a presentation by Czech composer Peter Graham, "September 1964: Cage, Cunningham & Rauschenberg in Prague & Ostrava", which will include an audio sample of a talk Cage gave in Prague in 1964.
For more information, visit: www.semensemble.org.