The Amati Quartet Presents Music at Amherst Oct. 26

October 10, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amati Quartet opens the 2001-02 Music at Amherst Series on Friday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The Swiss string quartet will perform Schubert’s “Quartettsatz,” Janacek’s “Intimate Letters” quartet and Dvorak’s “American” Quartet Op. 96.

The Amati Quartet, which includes Willy Zimmermann, Katarzyna Nawrotek, Nicolas Corti and Claudius Hermann, was formed in 1981 in Switzerland. Shortly thereafter the quartet received numerous prestigious awards, among them the Premier Grand Prix of the International Competition of Evian in 1982, the Arts Prize of the City of Zurich in 1983 and the First Prize of the Karl Klinger Competition in Munich in 1986. Besides performing the classical and romantic repertoire, the quartet gives special attention to the music of the 20th century. They have been heard in major concert halls throughout Europe, as well as in the United States, mostly recently in a highly-claimed performance at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York.

The Amati Quartet has performed with the Alban Berg Quartet and the Amadeus Quartet. Krysztian Zimerman, Kurt Widmer, Bruno Giuranna, Karl Engel, Bruno Canino and Walter Levin, first violinist of the LaSalle Quartet, have been among its collaborators.

The New York Times wrote that a 1999 concert at the Frick Museum was “a memorably passionate, daring yet precisely achieved performance.” Die Berliner Morgenpost calls the Amati "without question a first-rate quartet. It makes music with emotional decisiveness and passionate energy, and above all it strives to remain true to the works, instead of bending the works to fit it."” Admission to the concert is $20, senior citizens $16, and students $5. Tickets may be reserved by calling 413/542-2195 on weekday mornings. The Amherst College Concert Office has a Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~concerts/.

Freeman Dyson Will Speak on “Technology and Social Justice” Oct. 25

October 10, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Physicist and writer Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, will talk about “Technology and Social Justice” in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 4:30 p.m. The talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on “Science and Value,” will be free and open to the public. A reception in Converse Hall will follow.

Freeman Dyson was born in England and educated at Cambridge University, and has been a fellow at Cambridge, Cornell, and the University of Birmingham. He served with the Royal Air Force in the Second World War, an unusual role for a Gandhian pacifist. He continues to work for nuclear disarmament. He also worked at the General Atomic Division of general Dynamics Corporation designing a nuclear reactor, and in 1958 he was involved in the “Orion Project,” an effort to build nuclear-powered spaceships. He remains interested in the possibilities of space travel and extraterrestrial intelligence.

Dyson’s many books include Disturbing the Universe (1979), Weapons and Hope (1984), Origins of Life (1985) and Infinite in All Directions (1988). In his most recent book, The Sun, the Genome & the Internet : Tools of Scientific Revolutions (1999) Dyson argues for an ethical conscience to use technology to foster social justice.

Disturbing the Universe, a “scientific autobiography,” was nominated for the American Book Award. The New Yorker wrote of this book: “Everywhere enriched by the work of poets, it stands as the deepest and most readable account of the personal choices, influences, and interior guides of a productive scientist yet to see print.” The New York Times, in a review of Infinite in All Directions, wrote, “He is concerned about the future of mankind, both in the short term and in the very remote future. He puzzles over the meaning of life, the purpose of the universe and the nature of God. In short, he is a philosopher in the broadest sense.”

Among many honors, in 1996 Dyson received the Rockefeller University’s Lewis Thomas Prize, which honors scientists for their artistic achievements. He also received the 2000 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Amherst College Choral Society Homecoming Concert Oct. 20

October 10, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Choral Society will present its annual Homecoming Weekend concert at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, at 8:30 pm in Buckley Recital Hall of the Arms Music Center on the Amherst College campus.

Mallorie Chernin, director, and Mollie Stone ”01, assistant director, will conduct the Concert Choir, Men’s Glee Club and Women’s Chorus.

Whitney Cox ’03 and Alison Kaufmann ’03 will lead the Madrigal Singers.

The choirs will perform music by Brahms, Ligetti, Whitacre, Martinu and others. The concert will conclude with traditional Amherst College songs.

Tickets are $6 for general admission; $3 for children under 12 and senior citizens. Tickets may be reserved by phoning Mallorie Chernin in the Choral Office at 413/542-2484. Tickets may also be purchased at the Alumni House during registration for Family Weekend. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

Poet Susan Wheeler to Read Oct. 18

October 10, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

Poet Susan Wheeler will read from her work at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, in Porter Lounge on the third floor of Converse Hall. The event, sponsored by the Creative Writing Center, is free and open to the public.

Wheeler is the author of several books of poetry, including the recent Source Codes as well as Smokes and Bag 'o' Diamonds. Her awards include fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and her work has appeared in the Scribner anthology Best American Poetry, as well as in The Paris Review, New American Writing, Talisman, The New Yorker and other journals. On the graduate faculty in creative writing at the New School, she also teaches at Princeton University.

The Yale Review writes, “Her personae are slippery as soap in the shower, her narratives are discontinuous, her juxtapositions are sometimes inexplicable even in retrospect, and her range of reference is catholic, so that hymns, cartoons, fairy tales, slogans, and literary classics collide as in a pileup on a foggy freeway.”

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. Future events in the Fall of 2001 include readings by Judith Frank, Constance Congdon and Andrea Barrett. See the Center's Web site,www.amherst.edu/~cwc, for more information.

2001 Nobel Economics Laureate To Speak Oct. 17

October 10, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Joseph E. Stiglitz, the John J. McCloy ’16 Professor of American Institutions and International Relations at Amherst College and professor of economics at the graduate schools of both business and international relations at Columbia University, will deliver a lecture on “A Tale of Two Countries: Russia and China’s Transition to a Market Economy” on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst. Stiglitz, a 1964 graduate of Amherst, is the 2001 recipient of the Nobel prize in economic science. His talk will be free and open to the public.

Stiglitz served as chief economist and senior vice president, development economics, at the World Bank from 1997 until 2000. The New York Times in 1999 called him “the most outspoken critic of the practices that the big industrial nations favor in their relations with the developing world,” and quoted his observation that there is an “intellectual gap between what we know and what is still practiced” in the bank’s thinking on sustaining growth in developing nations. The chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton administration, Stiglitz has taught at Stanford, Princeton and Yale and All Souls College, Oxford.

Stiglitz is a leading scholar of the economics of the public sector. He helped revive interest in the economics of technical change and other factors that contribute to long-run increases in productivity and living standards. As an academic economist in the ’70s, Stiglitz helped create “the economics of information,” an approach that observes that markets fail to work perfectly because participants have less-than-perfect information. Without good information, for instance, foreign investors will not invest in a developing nation, no matter how high it sets its interest rates.

In 1979, the American Economic Association awarded Stiglitz its biennial John Bates Clark Award, given to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contributions to economics. He has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society.

The John J. McCloy ’16 Professorship was established at Amherst College in 1983 to honor John J. McCloy and his outstanding career of service and accomplishment in American politics and international diplomacy. Stiglitz’s visit is hosted by the Amherst College Department of Economics.

Journalist Robert D. Kaplan to Speak on "The World in 2010" Oct. 15

October 4, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Robert D. Kaplan, described by The New York Times as “a scholarly and adventurous journalist who roams the less-traveled regions of the globe and writes about them knowledgeably and with sophistication,” will talk about “The World in 2010: Security Challenges for a New Age” on Monday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Merrill Lecture Hall 1 at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst Political Science Department, Kaplan’s talk will be free and open to the public.

Kaplan, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, has written extensively on international affairs. Now a correspondent for The Atlantic, Kaplan has reported on assignment for the magazine from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the United States. His books include Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus (2000), The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War (2000), An Empire Wilderness: Travels Into America’s Future (1998), The Ends of the Earth (1995), The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite (1993), Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History (1993) and Soldiers of God: with the Mujahidin in Afghanistan (1990). His work has been translated into more than 15 languages.

His forthcoming book, Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos, about ancient philosophy’s potential to improve critical thinking in business, the military and foreign policy, will be published early next year.

Kaplan is also a provocative essayist. His Atlantic articles “The Coming Anarchy” and “Was Democracy Just A Moment?” were hotly debated in foreign-language translations worldwide. Kaplan’s essays have also appeared in Forbes and the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He has been a Fellow of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and a consultant to the U.S. Army’s Special Forces Regiment and the U. S. Marines. Kaplan lectures at military war colleges, the CIA, the FBI, universities and business forums, and delivered the Secretary of State’s Open Forum Lecture at the U. S. State Department in 1995.

Ronald Tiersky Is the Editor of “Euro-Skepticism: A Reader"

October 4, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Ronald Tiersky, the Joseph B. Eastman ’04 Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, has edited Euro-Skepticism: A Reader ($75, $24.95 paper, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2001), an anthology of contrary attitudes toward European integration.

Tiersky, who characterizes himself as a euro-realist, gathers arguments about the goals and methods of European integration from speeches, essays and other documents. Some appear here for the first time in English translation. The euro-skeptics, Tiersky writes, believe that “European Union is a mistake, indeed, that it is impossible.” Euro-pessimistic voices such as Stanley Hoffmann argue that after the 1960s, “Europe ‘beyond the nation-state’ had missed its moment.” The euro-phobic and euro-cynic, according to Tiersky, are “exotic extensions” of the euro-skeptic who believe a united Europe “cannot help but be anti-national, anti-democratic,” and a “conspiracy-without-a-center.”

Some of the viewpoints represented include the “Europe of the Nations” views of Charles de Gaulle and Margaret Thatcher, as well as the current French “sovereignists” such as Charles Pasqua and Jean-Pierre Chevènement, and more recent British arguments by Michael Portillo and Noel Malcolm. There are interviews with and analyses of far-right or “national-right” movements and their leaders—Jörg Haider and the Austrian Freedom party and Jean-Marie Le Pen and the French National Front. A Norwegian scholar, Kate Hansen Bundt, examines the case of Norway, the only country that has twice rejected EU membership. Historians argue that European integration overall is in some sense a great illusion or a misguided “division of the West.”

Tiersky’s most recent book was François Mitterrand: The Last French President (2000), a multi-faceted study of the controversial French president (1981-1995). Tiersky is the editor of the “Europe Today” series (Rowan & Littlefield), in which Euro-skepticism is published.

Mead Art Museum Presents Lecture by Textile Artist Sonya Clark ’89 Oct. 11

October 1, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. – In conjunction with the exhibition “18 Alumni Artists,” the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will present a lecture by Sonya Clark ’89, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment, Textiles and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her talk, “From Hair to There: Cultural Roots as Artistic Inspiration,” will take place on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 4:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. A reception to mark the opening of the exhibition will follow.

Ms. Clark uses her work to “strengthen the tether to my African heritage, not to return to the past, but to better understand my place in the present. The Yoruba of Nigeria have a saying, ‘The head wrap is only good when it fits.’ I am in pursuit of making a head wrap that truly fits the collective head of the members of the African Diaspora. I make symbolic headdresses that are acknowledgements of the sanctity, power and history of my African heritage. The sculptural headdresses I create are metaphorical funnels for the fluidity of cultural heritage and cultural melding.”

Clark continues, “As a medium, fiber permits me to claim my place in the African textile continuum that was brought to the Western Hemisphere during Transatlantic slavery and continually re-embodies itself today in the African American quilt-making tradition, African Caribbean carnivals and the work of many contemporary artists.”

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Amherst in 1989, Clark went on to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (B.F.A., 1993) and was awarded an M.F.A. in fiber from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. This exhibition and related programming are made possible by the Associates of Fine Arts and are co-sponsored in part by the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Fine Arts at Amherst College.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday evenings until 9 p.m., and is closed Mondays and holidays. More information can be obtained on the Museum’s Website at www.amherst.edu/~mead or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335.

“Not the Beatles” Will Play at Amherst Nov. 8

October 26, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—“Not the Beatles,” “a Beatles cover band that’s actually very good,” according to the The Boston Globe, will play in the Front Room of the Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. The show will be free and open to the public.

The band, founded in Harvard Square in 1997, is Luke Hunsberger, guitar and vocals, Frank Whalen, vocals, Ethan Mackler, bass and Jason “Ringo” Williams, drums. They are best known for their street performances in Cambridge—“The band draws huge crowds in [Harvard] Square every weekend, and their popularity seems to be growing,” according to The Harvard Independent. But Not the Beatles has also developed a cult following. The band has a Website at http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~luke/notbeats.html.

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Contact

Peter Rooney
Director of Public Affairs
(413) 542-2321
prooney@amherst.edu