Composer and pianist Ryan Vigil presents a selection of original compositions for solo piano tracing a path from the distantly evocative to the highly abstract. The program opens with an early work written in memorian Toru Takemitsu, includes several shorter items, and culminates with a performance of a 25-minute untitled work from 2014.
In two events over two days, Ryan Vigil (composer, pianist, musicologist and visiting lecturer in the Amherst College Music Department) presents an emphatic defense of musical abstraction. First, in the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) Salon-- on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of Frost Library --he argues for the inherent power and poignancy of an unexpectedly rare musical aesthetic. The following day, Vigil gives listeners an opportunity to explore the new listening paradigm outlined in his talk, presenting a solo piano recital of original compositions.
Active as a composer, conductor, pianist, musicologist and teacher, Ryan Vigil has been a visible presence in new music communities throughout the northeastern United States for well over a decade. Ryan has been credited with creating a “sound world all his own,” one which invites listeners to engage with the music as pure, abstract sound. Noted for its sensitivity to color and a relaxed, open approach to form, his music has acquired a faithful following among classically trained performers, progressive improvisers and lay audiences all over the country. His music, ranging from solo compositions to orchestral works, has been performed on four continents.
Ryan’s music has recently been heard at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, the Longy School of Music’s Pickman Concert Hall, and Merkin Hall at Lincoln Center. Concerts devoted exclusively to Ryan’s work have been presented on numerous campuses across the country, including the University of Hartford, the University of New Hampshire, Tufts University, Yale University, Colby College and Connecticut College. Performances of Ryan’s music have been given at numerous museums and galleries, including MassMoCA, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, The Colby Museum of Art, and the Zeitgeist Gallery. Finally, Ryan’s music has been featured at numerous festivals, including the Oregon Bach Festival, Music05 (Cincinnati), June in Buffalo, New England Conservatory's Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance, the Rivers Music School’s Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young, and the Cazenovia Festival of New Music and Art.
Ryan’s work as a scholar centers on American experimental music, with a special emphasis on the music of John Cage and Morton Feldman. His work has been published in Perspectives of New Music and American Music. Teaching remains a major priority for Ryan. After a two-year engagement as the faculty fellow in music at Colby College, and a year lecturing at Connecticut College, Ryan is currently a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire, where he teaches courses in ear training, theory, composition and music history. This semester he is a visiting lecturer in the music department at Amherst College, where he is teaching composition and advising senior composition theses.