Frederic Rzewski, the brilliant and insatiably provocative composer and pianist passed away on June 28, 2021 at 83, in his cherished summer home in Italy. He was set to play a Piano Spheres concert this coming February. He was happy and excited about it. He hadn’t played in the US for a long time.
Frederic’s music was performed at Piano Spheres thirteen times, which averages out to once every two years in our 26 seasons. Most recently, in 2019 Thomas Kotcheff performed his 70-minute work from 2016, Songs of Insurrection, and then recorded it – a recording praised by Rzewski. Susan Svrček played The People United Will Never Be Defeated, perhaps his best-known work. Mark Robson and Vicki Ray each played his De Profundis (Vicki programmed it twice!), Piano Spheres artists played Down by the Riverside, Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, Sideshow, Pocket Symphony (piano solo), The Turtle and the Crane. Guest artist Ursula Oppens, a great friend of his and ours, who premiered so many of his works, brought us Mayn Yingele. Guest artists Thomas Schultz and Richard Valitutto played Piano Piece IV and Rubenstein in Berlin, respectively.
His Piano Spheres concert date, February 8 at Zipper Hall, is locked in. It will be devoted to his music and many Piano Spheres artists and special guests will participate in it. Please stay tuned for more information as it evolves.