Amherst College Faultlines Festival to Host Concert, Workshop, Composition Seminar by Pianist/Composer Anthony Davis Dec. 3 to 5
November 11, 2008
Contact: Sara R. Leonard
Concert and Production Manager
AMHERST, Mass.—The yearlong Amherst College Music festival Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century concludes its Fall 2008 program with a mini-residency by acclaimed pianist and composer Anthony Davis, Dec. 3 to 5. Davis will give a solo concert in Buckley Recital Hall at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3; a performance workshop from 2 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. in Room 7 on Thursday, Dec. 4; and a composition seminar from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. in Room 102 on Friday Dec. 5, all in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. All of the events are free of charge and open to the public.
Davis is a world-renowned pianist and composer whose work embodies a multiplicity of influences, interests and directions. Dubbed a “national treasure” by Opera News for his pioneering work bringing together jazz and opera, his composed music includes five operas and several works for chamber, choral and orchestral groups. His first opera, X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, was premiered by the New York City Opera in 1986 and received a Grammy nomination for its 1992 release. Other notable works for orchestra and chamber ensemble include commissions by the San Francisco Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as music for the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and an oratorio for mixed chorus and chamber ensemble with live electronics and poetry by Quincy Troupe and Allan Havis, among others. He has also performed and recorded with many leading figures in jazz and creative music, including Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins and Marion Brown.
A 1975 graduate of Yale University, Davis is currently a professor of music at the University of California, San Diego. He has received the “Lift Every Voice” Legacy Award from the National Opera Association, acknowledging his pioneering work in opera and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. In addition, he has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Foundation of the Arts, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Massachusetts Arts Council and Opera America and has been an artist fellow at the MacDowell Colony and at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy.
The Faultlines festival celebrates jazz pluralism and experimentalism and features some of the most creative and provocative artists in American music. It includes concerts, performance workshops, talks and roundtable discussions, all free and open to the public and all guaranteed to generate passionate debate about the nature of jazz and its relationship to American cultural identity. The festival is made possible through the generous support of the Amherst College Arts Series Fund, Amherst College Department of Music, Amherst College Mead Art Museum and UMass-Amherst Fine Arts Center’s Solos and Duos Concert Series and Magic Triangle Concert Series.
For more information about the Davis’s concert, performance workshop and composition seminar, or any other events associated with Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century, visit the festival Web site at www.amherst.edu/faultlines or call 413/542-2195.