All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn Talks with Stephen Drury
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Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.
Laura Kuhn talks this week with the accomplished pianist and conductor, Stephen Drury. Well-known as a champion of 20th century music, Drury’s repertoire extends from Bach, Schubert, and Liszt to the complete piano sonatas of Charles Ives and music by John Cage, Elliot Carter, Frederic Rzewski, John Zorn, Morton Feldman, György Ligeti, and Luciano Berio. He has performed throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia, taking the sound of dissonances into remote corners of Pakistan, Greenland, and Montana. Recipient of an N.E.A. Solo Recitalist Grant, Drury has also been awarded grants from Meet the Composer to commission new works by John Zorn and John Cage, as well as by Terry Riley and Chinary Ung. He is a long-time teacher at the New England Conservatory of Music where he directs the amazing Callithumpian Consort.
"All Things Cage" is a weekly program featuring conversations between Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, and Cage experts and enthusiasts from around the world. If you’d like to propose a guest or a topic for a future program, write directly to Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to hear from you.
The late Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kenneth Silverman once described his Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage (Knopf, 2012) as the hardest book he’d ever written. This was because, as he put it, pick up any rock and there’s John Cage! Indeed, Cage was not only a world-renowned composer, numbering among his compositions the still notoriously tacet 4’33”, but a ground-breaking poet, a philosopher, a chess master who studied with Marcel Duchamp, a macrobiotic chef, a devotee of Zen Buddhism, a prolific visual artist, and an avid and pioneering mycologist. He was also life partner to the celebrated American choreographer, Merce Cunningham, for nearly half a century, and thus well known in the world of modern dance.
No wonder, then, that nearly everyone who encounters the man or his life’s work has something interesting to say about John Cage!
Photo: © Lisa Kohler.