Music at the Kemper: Darmstadt School

March 5, 2020
6 pm
Kemper Art Museum

In conjunction with this season's exhibition Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art, 1959–1965, the Darmstadt Ensemble—musicians Tracy Andreotti (cello), Henry Claude (percussion), Greg Mills (piano), and Henry Skolnick (bassoon)—perform a selection of works by mid-20th-century experimental composers associated with the Darmstadt School.

Beginning in 1946 Darmstadt, Germany, became a meeting place for aspiring avant-garde musicians and artists who came to the city to participate in “The Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music.” Such composers as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bruno Bartolozzi, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown engaged with alternate forms of composition and notation, including serialism and graphic scores, that called for active interpretation by performers. 

Cosponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences

About the Performers

Cellist/composer Tracy Andreotti is equally at home in both Classical and Creative Improvised music. She is the principal cellist with Union Avenue Opera, among other groups. She can be heard on recent recordings by the Vernacular String Trio (Personal Archives records) and various Perihelion ensembles (Freedonia Music). Tracy collaborates extensively with poets, clowns, and dancers. She accompanies dance classes at Washington University and Saint Louis University. She is on the board of the New Music Circle.

Henry Claude is a percussionist, composer, and instrument inventor/builder. He works at Washington University as the music director of the Dance program in the Performing Arts Department and for the Department of Music, teaching private lessons. Henry has performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra since 1979. He has also played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony, and is principal timpani/percussion with Union Avenue Opera. He was the founder and director of the Nuclear Percussion Ensemble for 25 years. In addition to his orchestral and chamber percussion techniques, he has studied and performed with master drummers from India, Brazil, Cuba, and Africa.

Greg Mills studied piano performance at the St. Louis Institute of Music, was mentored by St. Louis Black Artists’ Group bassist Carl Arzinia Richardson (with whom he played as the duo Epoxy), and was a member of James Marshall’s Human Arts Ensemble. He created, with Jay Zelenka, the multi-instrumental duo the Exiles, creating a unique body of work in performance and recording. Free Improvisation on solo piano has been his mainstay. He is continuously discovering new approaches to improvised music and new techniques for improvising on the piano.

Henry Skolnick (bassoon) was a member of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for 18 years and taught at Florida International University for 15 years. He has been on the summer faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp since 2004. He has performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Palm Beach Opera, Kansas City Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Florida Grand Opera, and the Symphony Orchestra of Berlin. Presently, he is principal bassoon in the Sinfonia da Camera in Champaign–Urbana. On the baroque bassoon, Henry performs with the Collegiate Vocale, the Kingsbury Ensemble, and L’Esprit de Musique.