Art as Activism: wild Up and Edge in Concert

Art as Activism: wild Up and Edge in Concert

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
7:30 p.m.
Alfred Newman Recital Hall
University Park Campus

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Tuesday, February 9, at 9 a.m.

USC Students, Staff, Faculty – RSVP
USC Alumni – RSVP
General Public – RSVP

The celebrated Los Angeles–based new-music ensemble wild Up will join forces with Thornton Edge in a concert dedicated to the premise that great ideas amplified by the megaphone of art and music are capable of creating great change. The directors of these ensembles, Christopher Rountree and Donald Crockett, joined by USC Thornton School of Music faculty composer Ted Hearne, will narrate from the stage and conduct the combined ensembles in music engaged with social change: John Lennon’s “John Sinclair,” arranged by Christopher Rountree and Isaac Schankler; Frederic Rzewski’s “Attica”; Julius Eastman’s “Stay on It”; Ted Hearne’s “Brownie You’re a Heck of a Guy” from Katrina Ballads; Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit,” arranged by Andrew McIntosh; and Louis Andriessen’s “Workers Union.” The concert will be followed by a discussion with the audience, moderated by Christopher Rountree and including Donald Crockett, Ted Hearne, and members of the two ensembles.

About the Artists:

wild Up is the Los Angeles contemporary-music ensemble lauded as “Searing. Penetrating. And thrilling” by Performance Today and “Best in Classical Music 2012” by the Los Angeles Times. Led by artistic director Christopher Rountree, the ensemble believes that music is a catalyst for shared experience, and that a concert venue is a place for challenging, exciting, and igniting the surrounding community. wild Up has been orchestra in residence at the Hammer Museum, ensemble in residence with American Composers Orchestra, and education ensemble in residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In the 2013–14 season, they made their debuts at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Brooklyn Festival and Minimalist Jukebox at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and engaged in their first in a series of collaborative projects with the Colburn Conservatory of Music. In August 2014, wild Up traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland, to collaborate with Graduale Nobili, the choir that tours with Björk, and Valgeir Sigurðsson, founder of the label Bedroom Community. (Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo)

Thornton Edge (formerly the Contemporary Music Ensemble), founded in 1976 by Robert Wojciak, has been under the direction of Donald Crockett since 1984. Composed of some of the finest student musicians in the USC Thornton School of Music, the ensemble presents a series of four concerts annually on the USC campus. Edge has also been part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series and New Music LA, and is a recipient of the Outstanding Ensemble Award given by LA Weekly in 2006. Edge has presented concerts at the Paris and Lyon conservatories, the Berlin 750 Jahre Festival, and the 2014 Carlsbad Music Festival, and has appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in Stephen Scott’s Concerto for Bowed Piano and Orchestra. USC Thornton Edge has worked directly with many leading composers over the years, in addition to USC’s own stellar composition faculty, including John Harbison, Steve Mackey, Witold Lutoslawski, Henryk Górecki, Steven Stucky, Augusta Read Thomas, Joan Tower, Bernard Rands, Judith Weir, Chinary Ung, Michael Daugherty, and Michael Gordon.

Thirty-one-year-old conductor Christopher Rountree founded wild Up in 2010. He first fell in love with music playing bass in a garage band and trombone in a brass band, and watching the Berlin Philharmonic play Brahms and Bartók. He has served as assistant conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, guest conductor with Beth Morrison Projects, artistic advisor for New Music at American Youth Symphony, and adjunct lecturer in conducting at UC Santa Barbara. In 2013 he debuted at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Brooklyn Festival, celebrating the centenary of The Rite of Spring with the San Diego Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra. (Twitter)

Los Angeles–based composer and conductor Donald Crockett has received commissions from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (composer in residence, 1991–97), Kronos Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hilliard Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Volti, and the California EAR Unit, among many others. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters award for outstanding artistic achievement, as well as a Guggenheim fellowship. His music is published by Keiser Classical and Doberman-Yppan and recorded on the Albany, CRI, Doberman-Yppan, ECM, Innova, Laurel, Orion, and Pro Arte/Fanfare labels. Deeply committed to education, Crockett is a professor in and chair of the composition program, director of Thornton Edge, and assistant dean for faculty affairs at the USC Thornton School of Music, as well as senior composer in residence with the Bennington Chamber Music Conference.

Organized by Donald Crockett (Music).

Photo: Muriel Jordan