Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dante according to Douglas Bruce Johnson

Lectura Dantis: Readings from Dante's Divine Comedy

From Stanford Continuing Studies - March 22, 2006

Lectura Dantis (EVT 122) Lectura Dantis is the ancient tradition of reading and explicating passages from Dante's Divine Comedy. (Guido da Pisa's commentary already dates from the 1330s.) In a new twist on a venerable tradition, The Ives Quartet, Dante scholar Jeffrey Schnapp, and composer Douglas Bruce Johnson will co-present two sessions, interrelating performance, reading, and dialogue about Inferno Canto XIII, the canto of the suicides. Both presentations will feature the West Coast premiere performances of Johnson's 1999 composition for string quartet, il terzodecimo canto, (Ralph Kenneth Johnson [1914-1963] in memoriam).

The two sessions present a rare opportunity for multi-layered dialogues, engaging composer, scholar, performers, and listeners. Together we will explore in detail many of the canto’s themes, and its expressive use of a variety of structural techniques. Through hearing and understanding the musical realization of this canto, these evenings offer a personal approach to the summo poeta and to his great poem.

The Ives Quartet
Established in 1998, the Ives Quartet has earned critical acclaim for the depth and diversity of its interpretations and programming. Responding to the Quartet's May 2005 American premiere of Hymn to Artemis Lochaie by Peter Maxwell Davies, The San Jose Mercury News wrote: "These four musicians are really in touch with the music, which sounded almost alarmingly alive: songful, surging, very special. One of the Bay Area's outstanding string quartets."

Tuesday, March 21 and Thursday, March 23
Location: TBD
Fee: $30.00

Tuesday March 21 and Thursday March 23 at 7:30 pm
Location: Braun Music Center, Campbell Recital Hall
$20 event fee is non-refundable. You may pay at the door.

Douglas Johnson, Composer and Professor of Music, Trinity College, New Hartford, Connecticut
Douglas Bruce Johnson was born in Oakland, California in 1949, and grew up on the North Coast. He studied in Vienna, Austria, with composer Friedrich Neumann at the Hochschule für Musik. Completing his B.A. in Music cum laude at Humboldt State University in 1974, he was active as a performer in chamber groups and orchestras. In 1980 he returned to the Bay Area, performing as a violinist in the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano, who commissioned his first large orchestral works, as well as in the Oakland Symphony under Calvin Simmons. He earned the Ph.D. in Music at the University of California, Berkeley in 1989, working with composers Andrew Imbrie and Olly Wilson, and with conductor Michael Senturia. He joined the music faculty at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut in 1988.

Jeffrey Schnapp, Rosina Pierotti Professor of Italian Literature
Director of the Stanford Humanities Lab since its foundation in 2000, Schnapp occupies the Pierotti Chair in Italian Literature and is professor of French & Italian, and Comparative Literature. His research interests extend from antiquity to the present, encompassing such domains as the material history of literature, the history of design and architecture, and the cultural history of engineering. He is the author or editor of fourteen books and over one hundred essays on authors such as Virgil, Dante, Hildegard of Bingen, Petrarch, and Machiavelli, and on topics such as late antique patchwork poetry, futurist and dadaist visual poetics, the cultural history of coffee consumption, glass architecture, and the iconography of the pipe in modern art.

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