Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Present Day Composer

Tuesday July 29 at 12:10 p.m., the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan welcomes the prolific composer and author David Amram. He will deliver a talk in Crowell Concert Hall with the title "Global Folkloric Roots: Source of Inspiration for Classical Composers." There is no admission charge.

In a country that tends to categorize its composers, Amram, born in 1930, has had a long career defying categorization. He's composed soundtracks ("Splendor in the Grass", "The Manchurian Candidate"), operas, Broadway scores, religious works, jazz oratorios, concertos, and symphonies. He's appeared onstage with Dizzy Gillespie playing jazz and with Willie Nelson at FarmAid playing country music. He has collaborated with artists such as the poet Langston Hughes and playwright Arthur Miller. His latest work, "Symphonic Variations on a Work by Woody Guthrie", was auditioned in February 2007 (prior to its World Premiere last September) when Amram came to Wesleyan to conduct the University Orchestra.

The composer is also an accomplished musician (French horn, piano, flutes), an author of 3 autobiographies (including one that details his working relationship with Jack Kerouac), a farmer, and performer. He's currently collaborating with author Frank McCourt ("Angela's Ashes") on a musical history of New York City.

As you can see, David Amram does not sit still. If you can, take time out from your busy day to meet this most fascinating person.

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