Beyond Brahms at the Piano: Listening to Modern Music
Please note that this course meets in Holsclaw Hall in the Fred Fox School of Music.
Why is it that much classical music written after 1910 remains difficult for audiences? The answer lies partially in the splintering of compositional languages throughout the 20th century, languages that can leave listeners unnecessarily flummoxed and dissatisfied. In this class, Dr. Milbauer will lead—from the piano bench—a sweeping tour of compositional movements from the turn of the 20th century to the present, finding windows into understanding by linking newer composers with their better-known antecedents and by referencing visual arts, physics, literature, philosophy, dance, and history. After four weeks, students will be better equipped to derive meaning and beauty from this extraordinary repertoire, and will have a greater understanding of the principal “isms” of the last century: Impressionism, Expressionism, Symbolism, Serialism, Neo-Classicism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Minimalism, Aleatoricism, and Post-Modernism. This course assumes no prior study of music.
John Milbauer, Steinway Artist and Professor of Piano at the University of Arizona, has performed worldwide, most recently in solo tours of China and Spain as well as with the Boston Pops. He is Co-Chair of the Chautauqua Institution Piano Program, having helped transform it into one of the premier summer programs in the Americas. Milbauer studied liberal arts at Harvard College prior to earning music degrees from Eastman, Juilliard, and the Liszt Academy in Budapest.