Nu Music Marathon Featuring Anton Lukoszevieze | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Nu Music Marathon Featuring Anton Lukoszevieze




The first annual NU Music Marathon--that's "NU" for Northwestern University, but it's pronounced "new"--consists of six consecutive one-hour sets, each featuring solo or small-group pieces by conceptualists and provocateurs from the U.S. and abroad. Among the roughly two dozen composers represented are Germans Kunsu Shim and Helmut Oehring; young Americans Vanessa Lann, David Smooke, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra resident Augusta Read Thomas; and of course standbys like Cage, Berio, and Kurtag. Among the dozen or so performers--who include local pianist Jeff Kowalkowski, violinist Clemens Merkel, and former CSO hornist Gail Williams--British cellist Anton Lukoszevieze is the standout. He interprets dense, complex pieces with great insight, making the abstract and strange seem familiar and approachable. He can fire off a flurry of microtones without sacrificing clarity, and in his hands even a simple ostinato can feel tense, its repetitions like the ticking of a bomb. Lukoszevieze will open the marathon with two "duets" for cello and tape, Phill Niblock's Summing II and violinist-composer Malcolm Goldstein's Gentle Rain Preceding Mushrooms (In Memoriam JC); later, in the fifth hour, he'll play a total of six more works, including Cage's 591/2 Seconds for a String Player, which he'll do three times. Dangerous Bend, written for him last year by marathon coordinator and Northwestern computer-music professor Amnon Wolman, mingles his cello with taped snippets of conversation; two of the four remaining pieces were originally written for Goldstein, but will be performed here in solo cello arrangements by Lukoszevieze: jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman's Trinity and Philip Corner's Gamelan "The Gold Stone," which borrows techniques from gamelan orchestras to arrive at its sectional structure. Saturday, 4 PM, Regenstein Hall, Northwestern University, 1965 South Campus Dr., Evanston; 847-467-4000 or 847-491-5441. Lukoszevieze will also play two programs with Ensemble Noamnesia next week: Saturday, June 10, at the Renaissance Society, and Sunday, June 11, at HotHouse. TED SHEN

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