CUBE -- Articles for Jan/Feb 1998


Mostly Music will present CUBE in performance as part of a weekend-long symposium in the humanities, "The Rise of the American Music Identity -- the Roots and the Flowering," John Eaton, music director, on January 17 and 18 at The University of Chicago's Goodspeed Hall, Ellis and 58th Street. These events, funded by the NEA and the Illinois Humanities Council, will be the first in a series which explores connections and trends in twentieth century music as we approach the Millennium.

The series was envisioned by Joyce Turner Hilkevitch, Executive Director of Mostly Music, who elaborates, "Our name, Mostly Music, reflects our wish to work with all the allied arts. We have a history of presenting concerts that combine music with literature, poetry, dance, and architecture and are thrilled to host this important discussion." The weekend's program has been created through the artistic direction of composer John Eaton, Professor of Music at the University of Chicago.

As the centerpiece of Mostly Music's 25th anniversary season, the first Millennium presentations are designed to provide new audiences with a greater understanding, awareness and appreciation for American arts.


"The Rise of the American Music Identity" weekend begins with a symposium, "All Arts Considered," on Saturday, January 17 at 1:30 p.m. with distinguished panelists from the disciplines of literature, drama, dance, the visual arts and music: Richard Stern, Nicholas Rudall, Anna Pashevska, Joel Snyder, Berthold Hoeckner and John Eaton. The panel will discuss the creative, innovative, and diverse responses of American artists to foreign influences. Following the symposium, at 3:45 PM, there will be an open rehearsal and discussion featuring John Eaton's Lettere, a musical setting of the poetry of Michele Ranchett for mezzo-soprano, flute, harp and string quartet. In a related pre-concert conversation on Sunday, January 18 beginning at 3:00 PM, composer John Eaton and musicologist Berthold Hoeckner will continue their exploration of some of the symposium's topics and discuss the afternoon's program.

The concert, beginning at 4:00 p.m., will feature guests and members of CUBE in a program of music by transplanted 20th-century Europeans, and Americans who were influenced by them. Works of the Europeans are: Density 21.5, for solo flute by Varèse; "Jocaste's Aria" for mezzo and piano from Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex; Six Little Piano Pieces, Opus 19, for solo piano by Schoenberg; and cabaret songs by Kurt Weill. Pieces by the Americans include: selections of From My Diary for solo piano by Roger Sessions; selected songs by George Gershwin; Lettere, by John Eaton; and Triptych for soprano and string quartet by Patricia Morehead.

Guest performers include Diane Ragains, soprano; Nelda Nelson, mezzo; Alison Farrell, harp; John Eaton, piano; Russell Falstad and Christopher Nemeth, violins; Vannia Phillips, viola; Craig Trompeter, cello; and Barbara Schubert, conductor. Members of CUBE performing in this concert include Janice Misurell-Mitchell and Caroline Pittman, flute, and Philip Morehead, conductor and piano.


The symposium on Saturday, January 17 will be chaired by composer John Eaton and will focus on the major American art forms with a panel composed of the following eminent scholars and artists:
John Eaton has received international recognition as a composer and performer of electronic and microtonal music. Among Eaton's best known works are his operas Myshkin, The Cry of Clytaemnestra, The Lion and Androcles, written for children and shown on national television, and his most recent opera, The Reverend Jim Jones. In 1993, in collaboration with the New York New Music Ensemble, he formed the Eaton Opera Company, which has presented his operatic pieces Peer Gynt and Letıs Get This Show on the Road, among others.

Berthold Hoeckner is a musicologist and Professor of Music at The University of Chicago, with a special interest in inter-disciplinary studies. His recent course offerings have been a seminar on "Music and the Other Arts" and a course on 20th-century music.

Dancer Anna Pashevska was born in Russia and lived in Paris for many years. She has appeared with many famous ballet companies including the Bolshoi Ballet and currently is Director of Dance at Columbia College. In addition, she is the author of a well-known book on the teaching of classical dance.

Nicholas Rudall, Professor of Classics at the University of Chicago, is the Founding Director of the Court Theater, which he directed for more than twenty years. Most recently his translation of the Iphigenia Cycle is playing to great acclaim at the Court Theater.

Joel Snyder is Professor and Chair of Art History and a member of the Committee on Art and Design at The University of Chicago. He is a world-renowned photographer and expert on the history of photography, theory of photography and film, history and theory of perspective and aesthetics.

Richard Stern is the author of more than 20 books including Golk, Stitch, A Fatherıs Words, Other Menıs Daughters and Natural Shocks. He is the Helen Regenstein Professor of English and General Studies in Humanities at The University of Chicago.

The panel will examine America's unique and wide-ranging contributions to the arts, exploring issues including:

The second in the Millennium series, "Electro/Acoustic Muses," on March 12 and 13 at Northeastern Illinois University, will feature a workshop demonstration of computer-assisted electronic music and selections from Howard Sandroffıs Chant de femmes for flutes and electronics on Thursday, March 12. The following evening there will be a performance of works for acoustic instruments and electronic media by Pierre Boulez, Henry Cowell, Ruth Lomon, Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Steve Reich, Howard Sandroff and Harvey Sollberger, featuring Chicago Symphony Orchestra clarinetist John Bruce Yeh and members of CUBE.