As a nation of immigrants, the United States lacked a real national style. However, in the 20th century what had looked like a disadvantage turned out to be a factor that stimulated original ideas, daring experiments and highly individual expression all around. If there is one prototype of ‘the’ American composer, it’s the outsider, the ‘maverick’. Quite a few of them are on the bill this year, in this concise introduction to the ‘stars’ (and ‘stripes’) of American new music, from Charles Ives to John Cage, from Harry Partch to Terry Riley, from Henry Cowell to George Crumb.
"A newspaper music column prints an incident (so how can we assume that it is not true?) of an American violinist who called on Max Reger to tell him how much he (the American) appreciated his music. Reger gives him a hopeless look and cries: “What! A musician and not speak German?”" – Charles Ives (Essays Before A Sonata, 1920)
> 18:30 Lezing in het Nederlands
> 20:30 Lecture in English
Maarten Beirens is Professor of Musicology at the University of Amsterdam. He is also general manager of Festival 20·21 in Leuven as well as artistic leader in charge of the programme of Transit.