In the world of 20th-century composition, George Crumb stands alone. Known for reimagining the roles of instruments in the modern orchestra and freeing the musical score itself from its rectangular bonds, hes a Pulitzer Prize winner whos whimsically written for marbles pinging among piano strings, amplified violins and musicians who come and go in the course of a work, among other things. Now 80, the one-time CU-Boulder music professor will return to the campus for a full-blown tribute, the four-day George Crumb at 80 Music Festival, which kicks off today at the Imig Music Building with a panel discussion, lecture and faculty concert.
The evening concerts are, of course, the festivals true highlights, including a Pendulum Series recital tomorrow in Grusin Music Hall; Thursday nights staging of Sun and Shadow, Celestial Mechanics and The Ghosts of Alhambra, also in Grusin Hall; and Crumb as Inspiration on Friday at the ATLAS building, where a video of Crumbs beautiful handwritten spiral scores and other images will constantly flash on a video wall throughout the fest. And, as an aside, Crumb will once again be in the spotlight when CU artists-in-residence the Kronos Quartet perform his Black Angels in October.
The festival takes place today through September 11; get the complete schedule or download a program at www.cu-pendulum.com.
Sept. 8-11, 2009