The 4th Biennial Contemporary Music Symposium at The University
of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be presented February 13-15. Featured
will be guest artist Robert Black, contrabassist. Black is known
internationally as a soloist and ensemble player, specializing in
contemporary music for contrabass, electronic bass, and improvisation.
He has commissioned over fifty new works, and has a considerable
list of recordings. Black teaches at Hartt School of Music, University
of Hartford, and is a member of the "Bang On a Can All Stars"
performing at a yearly festival in New York City.
On Friday Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. in Roland Hayes Concert Hall at UTCs
Fine Arts Center, Black will perform a stimulating solo concert.
The concert will include music for acoustic bass, bass with theatrical
elements ("Valentine," by Jacob Druckman), music for electronic
bass with computer-generated sound, and for electric bass with video
("The Thundering Scream of the Seraphim's Delight," by
Reviewers have said of Robert Black's performances:
"...cheerful virtuosity..." The New York Times
"...an amazing tour de force." The Huddersfield
"If you think that a double bassist can't possibly give a riveting
concert, think again. Black is not just an astonishing virtuoso
who can make the bass sing like a cello or handle bursts of notes
as cleanly as a violin. He's also quite an inspiration to composers..."
The Miami Sun-Sentinel
"Black played with effortless skill--he has great singing presence
and excellent intonation--and great sensitivity." The
"...a performance enriched by Black's eloquent sonority."
The Philadelphia Enquirer
"A personable man with a delightful sense of humor and a showman
par excellence, Black engendered an amazing number of different
sounds from his instrument..." The Oshkosh Northwestern
Black will also be featured in a seminar and master-class at 1:40
p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13 in Roland Hayes Concert Hall, UTC Fine
Arts Center at the corner of Vine and Palmetto. This event is free
and open to the public.
On Saturday Feb. 15 there will be two concerts of "Music from
the New South." At 3:00 p.m. Saturday there will be music by
student composers and performers from UTC, Brevard College, Birmingham-Southern
College, and Middle Tennessee State University. At 8 p.m. there
will be a concert of music by regional professional composers. This
promises to be an engaging evening of original music by active composers
from Tennessee (UTC and MTSU), North Carolina (Brevard), and Birmingham,
Alabama. Both events are also free and open to the public.
The Contemporary Music Symposium is supported by The Cadek Department
of Music, UTC Speakers and Special Events Fund, the Ruth Holmberg
Chair in American Music, and several generous patrons of the arts.
For more information, e-mail Jonathan
McNair or call (423) 425-4679.
Robert Black, guest artist for this year's Contemporary Music Symposium
at UTC, is excited about making music. He says:
"This is a great time to be a musician. There are so many
ways to make music, so many styles going on. It is invigorating.
It's fantastic. I try to be involved in as much of this variety
as possible. For instance, there is all of the activity that is
"Bang on a Can" (a yearly festival in New York City).
We play bold music for people who are ready for it. AND I work with
my computer-assisted duo, Basso Bongo, composing, as well as commissioning
composers, AND I collaborate with Yoshiko Chuma and her post-modern
dance company, The School of Hard Knocks, AND I tour the globe playing
solo bass recitals at festivals and in residencies from Japan, to
Brazil, to Europe, to North America, AND I teach at the Hartt School
in Hartford (my alma mater), and the FUNDEC de Eleazar de Carvalho
(Brazil), AND I make solo recordings, AND I occasionally play in
an orchestra (it's a blast). In each of these situations I find
that there are a lot of people who want to hear this music. It's
really a great time to be a musician."