Scholars, performers to come together at SU for ‘Music, Justice, and Gender’ international conference, campus performances Sept. 14-16
Scholars, performers to come together at SU for ‘Music, Justice, and Gender’ international conference, campus performances Sept. 14-16 July 19, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Syracuse University, one of three member institutions of the Central New York Humanities Corridor, will host an international conference in September that will bring together scholars, performers and activists from the world of performance, composition, historical musicology, ethnomusicology and women’s studies. They will join faculty members and students from participating institutions in the Humanities Corridor — SU, the University of Rochester (which includes the Eastman School of Music) and Cornell University.
The conference, “Music, Justice, and Gender,” is supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will take place Sept. 14-16 at SU. It will feature three days of events for registrants and also special events for the public. The public events will include a performance of a newly commissioned work by Guggenheim-winning composer Judith Lang Zaimont, a keynote address by Suzanne Cusick of New York University’s Music Department and performances by the Harlem String Quartet.
Conference registrants will take part in cross-disciplinary, inter-institutional exchange through participation in paper sessions, lectures, workshops and discussion. The full schedule and registration information can be found at http://test.executiveart.com/mjg/index.html. The deadline for registration is Aug. 14.
“The conference will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines and backgrounds who are united by their interest in music as a social and political force,” says Amanda Eubanks Winkler, assistant professor of music history and cultures in the SU College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Fine Arts. “We’re excited that participants will also be treated to some really wonderful musical performances. It was important to organizers to unite musicology with musical practice — music in action, if you will.”
On Sept. 14, both registrants and members of the public can attend a concert by the Harlem String Quartet when they perform at 8 p.m. in the Rose and Jules R. Setnor Auditorium in Crouse College. The Harlem Quartet works to advance diversity in classical music while engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire, highlighting works by minority composers.
Dedicated to education and outreach, as well as to superb classical performance, this all-Black and Latino string quartet serves as principal faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at Walnut Hill School in Massachusetts and as visiting faculty at the Sphinx Preparatory Music Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit.
The Harlem Quartet made its acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut in fall 2006 at the Sphinx Organization’s 10th anniversary gala and a month later debuted at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, where it performed Wynton Marsalis’ “At the Octoroon Balls,” which is also included in the program of the Sept. 14 concert.
In addition to being avid chamber musicians, each member of the Harlem Quartet is a seasoned solo artist, having appeared with the New York Philharmonic; the Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Sinaloa de las Artes (Mexico) and Baltimore symphonies; and the Boston Pops, among others. As a quartet, the musicians have performed in many communities across the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Detroit and New York City.
On Sept. 15 at 2:45 p.m., Cusick will deliver the conference keynote, “Music and Torture,” in Room 107 of the Hall of Languages. Cusick teaches musicology in NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences and has published widely on issues of gender, sexuality and embodiment in relationship to the musics of early modern Italy and contemporary North America. Her monograph, “Francesca Caccini, Musica (1587-c.1646)” will appear in 2008 from the University of Chicago Press.
On the evening of Sept. 15, Zaimont will offer the world premiere of her newly commissioned work, performed by the Harlem Quartet and faculty from all three Humanities Corridor institutions. The public concert is at 8 p.m. in Setnor Auditorium. Zaimont’s music is internationally acclaimed for its expressive strength and dynamism. Many of her 100 works are prize-winning compositions, including three symphonies; several chamber opera pieces; music for wind ensemble, oratorios and cantatas; and other works for chorus, compositions for voice, solo instruments and a wide variety of chamber music. Her composition awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, commission grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and American Composers Forum, a 2003 Aaron Copland Award and a 2005 Bush Foundation Fellowship.
Zaimont’s music is frequently played in the United States and abroad, and has been programmed by ensembles such as the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Mississippi symphony orchestras; the Berlin Radio Orchestra (Germany); the Czech Radio Orchestra (Prague); the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra (Moscow, Russia); the Kharkov Philharmonic (Ukraine); and the Women’s Philharmonic (California). After a distinguished career as an educator (Peabody Conservatory, CUNY, Adelphi University and the University of Minnesota), she is now concentrating fully on composing.
Created in 2006, the Humanities Corridor is supported by a three-year, $1 million grant awarded to SU to collaborate with Cornell and UR, including the Eastman School of Music, for the creation of a large-scale initiative to connect teaching and research in the humanities among these three leading institutions. Inspired in part by the mission of the science/technology Research Triangle in North Carolina, the Humanities Corridor works to enhance the profile and connectivity of the humanities in Central New York by drawing on the strengths of three Association of American Universities (AAU) member institutions. For more information on the Humanities Corridor, visit: http://www-hl.syr.edu/…Humanities_Mellon2006.htm.