In addition to the public events, Beaser will provide individual instruction for composition students in the School of Music.
On Monday, October 20, Beaser will lecture about his music at 8:15 p.m. in the Robert A. Iger Lecture Hall in the Whalen Center.
On Tuesday, October 21, performers from the School of Music will play some of Beaser's works beginning at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall. The concert will offer the symphony orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Grogan, playing Manhattan Roll; the Ithaca Wind Quintet playing Shadow and Light; and flutist Wendy Herbener Mehne and guitarist Pablo Cohen performing Mountain Songs, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1986.
Robert Beaser has emerged as one of the most accomplished creative musicians of his generation. Since 1982, when the New York Times wrote that he possessed a "lyrical gift comparable to that of the late Samuel Barber," his music has won international acclaim for its balance between dramatic sweep and architectural clarity. His recent opera The Food of Love, with a libretto by Terrence McNally, is part of the Central Park trilogy, which opened to worldwide critical accolades at Glimmerglass and New York City Opera. The Food of Love was televised nationally on the PBS Great Performances series in January 2000 and received an Emmy nomination in the category of "outstanding classical music-dance program."
Born in Boston in 1954, Beaser studied literature, political philosophy, and music at Yale University. He went on to earn both a master's degree and a doctorate from the Yale School of Music. He has served as co-music director and conductor of the contemporary chamber ensemble Musical Elements, which has premiered over 200 works. He was also the "Meet the Composer / Composer-in-Residence" with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and is currently that organization's artistic director.
Beaser's compositions have earned him numerous awards and honors. In 1977 he became the youngest composer to win the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Fulbright Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Charles Ives Scholarship, and an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Award.
Created in 1987 to honor former longtime faculty member and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Karel Husa, the visiting professorship brings an eminent composer to campus each year. Past Husa visiting professors have included Samuel Adler, George Crumb, Libby Larson, John Harbison, and Chen Yi.
Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck