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Chamber Music | John Cage Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano


November 3, 2012
3:00 PM

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90024
A phenomenal exploration of otherworldly sounds obtained through strange yet surprisingly ordinary means, the Sonatas and Interludes are widely regarded as John Cage’s magnum opus for the instrument which he pioneered, the prepared piano.  The prepared piano is an ordinary piano with a number of objects (screws, bolts, felt, rubber, wood, etc.) inserted between or placed on the strings, so as to act as a series of mutes, changing the sound in both subtle and completely unrecognizable ways; the Sonatas and Interludes feature Cage’s most elaborate preparations for the instrument.  Not only do the pieces mark an apex of achievement in his work for prepared piano begun 10 years earlier, but they signaled a radical shift in John Cage’s compositional process and philosophy, heavily influenced by Indian and Hindu music and thought.  Richard Valitutto will perform the complete 70-minute work in this centennial year of the beloved American composer, performer, and thinker.  Richard will also open the program with a rare piece by British composer Nicola LeFanu specifically composed in 2002 for the Sonatas and Interludes preparation.
 Described by the LA Times as “vigorously virtuosic” and “building vast cathedrals of sound,” Richard Valitutto is active in Los Angeles as a piano soloist, chamber musician, accompanist, teacher, composer/arranger, and writer. A strong proponent of new music, he has worked with composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Steve Reich, Chinary Ung, Clarence Barlow, Marc Sabat, and Timo Andres. Richard is a founding member of two chamber ensembles, gnarwhallaby and The Joshua Trio, in addition to his continuous work with the critically acclaimed wild Up Modern Music Collective. He holds degrees from CalArts (MFA) and the University of Cincinnati (BM).  More information at www.richardvalitutto.net.