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Acclaimed Pianist Performs at Ussachevsky Memorial Festival at Pomona College

Kathleen Supové, acclaimed contemporary pianist, will perform and lecture at Pomona College, as part of the annual Ussachevsky Memorial Festival – a program entirely based on piano and electronics. The festival takes place on Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3 and is presented by the Pomona College Music Department in memory of composer and Pomona College alumnus Vladimir Ussachevsky.

Concerts will be held on both Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3 at 8 p.m. Supové will perform music by Carolyn Yarnell, Neil Rolnick, Randall Woolf, Ussachevsky and others.  At 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 3, Supové will give a lecture and demonstration.

All events are open to the public and free of charge. They will be held in Pomona’s Thatcher Music Building, Lyman Hall (340 N. College Ave., Claremont). This performance is sponsored by the Pomona College Music Department. For more information, call (909) 621-8155.

Supové has won prizes in the Gaudeamus International Competition for Interpretation of Contemporary Music and she began her career as a guest artist at the prestigious Darmstadt Festival in Germany. New York Newsday named her first solo CD, Figure 88, one of the Ten Best Classical Releases of 1993. Her solo concerts, entitled The Exploding Piano, pay homage to the music of countless contemporary composers—minimalists, postminimalists, and experimentalists. The Exploding Piano is a multimedia experience using electronics, theatrical elements, vocal rants, performance art, staging, and collaboration with artists from other disciplines. Supové is currently an artist-in-residence at The Flea Theater in New York City and a 1973 graduate of Pomona College.

Vladimir Ussachevsky, a 1935 graduate of Pomona College, was one of the most significant pioneers in electronic music, and one of its most ardent supporters. A generous bequest from Ussachevsky provides the college’s Electronic Music Studio with state-of-the-art equipment for the production and recording of electronic music.

Ussachevsky was the first to combine traditional music sounds – musical instruments and voice – with taped sounds from a variety of sources – wind, footsteps, splashing water, a telephone, animal sounds or people crying or laughing, to name but a few. Ussachevsky electronically modulated these sounds through such devices and techniques as the electronic switch, echo chamber, feedback, ring modulation, tape loops, speed variation, volume control, complex mixing and detailed tape editing. By using the medium of tape music for its unique capabilities, Ussachevsky developed an instrument with previously unknown musical possibilities.

The Ussachevsky Memorial Festival is coordinated by Thomas E. Flaherty, composer, John P. and Magdalena R. Dexter Professor of Music and director of the Electronic Music Studio at Pomona College since 1989.

Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.

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Thomas E. Flaherty
Professor of Music

(909) 607-2451, (909) 621-8155