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Presented By: University Musical Society*


Faculty from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Creative Arts Orchestra, Digital Music Ensemble, Ann Arbor Improvisation Collective

In 1960 a group of avant-garde composers came together in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to present the ONCE Festival, a modestly-scaled, artist-run event that would occur annually for several years and came to have an enormous impact on the American contemporary music scene. The festival's founders were the superbly gifted composers Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, Roger Reynolds, Donald Scavarda, and the late George Cacioppo, all of whom interacted with Ross Lee Finney, the U-M School of Music's then composer-in-residence, as well as visiting composer Roberto Gerhard. The ONCE Festival was hugely successful, as composers and performers embraced the opportunity to have their work heard by their peers as well as the general public. The Festival, which was hosted six times beginning in the early 1960s, had a significant impact on the American arts and contemporary music scene; one of the enduring outcomes was the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

On this 50th anniversary of the ONCE Festival, composers Ashley, Mumma, Reynolds, and Scavarda will reunite in Ann Arbor for the first time. This celebration of the ONCE Festival's pioneering contributions to the American arts and contemporary music scene will include a concert of historic works selected by the composers themselves, and a second concert featuring their more recent creations. In addition to the concerts, the Institute for the Humanities will host an exhibition of historical artifacts from the ONCE Festival and a day-long symposium, providing a unique opportunity to explore Ann Arbor's progressive role in the development of the American avant-garde. In a nod to the past, both concerts will feature 1961 ticket prices.

Program · Robert Ashley : VAN CAO'S MEDITATION (1991) piano · Gordon Mumma : THAN PARTICLE (1985) live percussion with synthesized percussion · Donald Scavarda: CINEMATRIX, a FilmSCORE performed silently (2002) · Scavarda : CINEMATRIX, a FilmSCORE performed with multiple instrumentalists (2002) · Mumma : GAMBRELED TAPESTRY (2007) solo piano with internal electro-acoustics · Scavarda : SOUNDS For seven (2010) small ensemble · Roger Reynolds : ARIDANE'S THREAD (1994) string quartet, computer-synthesized and spatialized sound


  • $2

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