The 2006 Festival of Microtonal Music

The Claremont Colleges Present
A Symposium and Concert to Honor the 80th Birthday of Composer

Ben Johnston

April 15, 2006

The Claremont Colleges, California

Please come participate in an afternoon symposium on the compositions of this musical innovator and microtonal pioneer, followed by an evening concert of his music.

Symposium begins at 12:00 noon at Boone Hall, Music Department, Scripps College, Dartmouth and Tenth, Claremont

The concert begins at 8:00 pm at Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building, Pomona College, College and Fourth, Claremont
featuring performances by Gayle Blankenberg, Jennifer Goltz, Mark Menzies, Tom Peters, Melinda Rice, John Schneider, Nick Terry, Sam Torrisi, and T. J. Troy.

Both events are free and open to the public

For more information, contact Bill Alves 909/607-4170

Ben Johnston picked up the history of tonality where it had gotten stalled in the 16th century, and carried it into the 21st. Rhythmically, harmonically, notationally, he leaped out ahead created the means for a future music we haven't seen yet.
    – Kyle Gann, Village Voice

One of the best nonfamous composers this country has to offer...
    – John Rockwell, New York Times

Ben Johnston studied with Darius Milhaud and John Cage, but his best known mentor was Harry Partch, who introduced him to Just Intonation. Johnston combined extended Just tunings with advanced serial and rhythmic techniques in the 1960s, and his experiments with theatrical and conceptual forms and electronics also reflect Cage's influence. However, beginning in his well known String Quartet #4 (1973), "Variations on Amazing Grace," his music often takes the listener on a journey around an intricate web of tonal relationships through Just Intonation. His later works create a new perspective on the vernacular as well as the spiritual. Johnston taught at the University of Illinois from 1953 until his retirement in 1987. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and received commissions from Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the American Music Center, the Concord String Quartet, the Fromm Foundation, the Smithsonian Institute, ICSM and others, His works have been recorded by the Kronos Quartet, the St. Louis Symphony, the Swingle Singers, and pianist Roger Shields.

New! To hear excerpts of Ben Johnston's works, click here.

The Ben Johnston Symposium is jointly sponsored by Harvey Mudd College Garrett Fund, Scripps College Office of the Dean, and Pomona College Music Department as a part of MicroFest 2006.

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