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John Cage Centennial Festival Washington, DC

September 4-10, 2012

The John Cage Centennial Festival Washington, DC – a retrospective: music, watercolors, dance, theater –  will be held on and around his birthday, September 5, 2012. It includes art shows, concerts, workshops, recitals, educational events, lectures, and panels – all in Washington, DC, September 4 – 10, 2012. Participating institutions include the National Gallery of Art, La Maison Française/Embassy of France, the Phillips Collection, American University, the Kreeger Museum, the Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Merce Cunningham Trust, the University of California, Washington Center, and the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Cage specialists who will participate include Ray Kass, Mountain Lake Workshop, Cage’s collaborator on his watercolor work, and author of THE SIGHT OF SILENCE: The Complete Watercolors of John Cage, Joan Retallack, Bard College, author of MUSICAGE:Cage Muses on Words, Art, Music, on Cage’s paradoxical “anarchic harmony,” Thomas DeLio, author of The Amores of John Cage, Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust, Don Gillespie, Cage’s editor at C.F. Peters Corporation, Gordon Mumma, composer and longtime musician with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Patricia Lent, representing the Merce Cunningham Trust, and Brian Brandt, whose Mode Records has embarked on a project to record the complete works of Cage. Initial funding and other support has been provided by the Randy Hostetler Livingroom Music Project and Fund, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts..

Performers include the National Gallery of Art new music ensemble with Lina Bahn, Lisa Cella, Alexis Descharmes, William Kalinkos, Ross Karre, and Jaime Oliver, and guest pianist Jenny Lin. Individual concerts will include performances by cellist Descharmes, violinist Irvine Arditti, Allen Otte and Percussion Group Cincinnati, as well as Steven Schick with the red fish blue fish ensemble, and pianists Stephen Drury and Margaret Leng Tan.

As a part of the John Cage Centennial Festival Washington, DC, Ray Kass, and members of the Mountain Lake Workshop, presents an extraordinary day of activity in the University of California’s Washington Center. Two watercolor workshops will be held (morning and afternoon) on September 10, 2012. One will be directed at interested adults, the other at Washington area high school students. The evening features two live performances of the very late Cage work, STEPS, and visual documentation of a Merce Cunningham performance (“danced” from a wheelchair). A question period will conclude the day. We are confident that this unique set of events will bring the larger Festival to an engaging and provocative completion.
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