Faculty in the Ithaca College School of Music will come together on Monday, Nov. 13, for a concert in memory of Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Karel Husa, a longtime friend and colleague who passed away nearly one year ago. Free and open to the public, the concert will be held at 7 p.m. in Hockett Family Recital Hall of the James J. Whalen Center for Music.
An internationally renowned composer, Husa left an indelible legacy at Ithaca College and Cornell University, in the local community and in the music world at large. He was the Kappa Alpha Professor of Music at Cornell from 1954 to 1992, and a lecturer in composition in the Ithaca College School of Music from 1967 to 1986.
Husa’s affiliation with IC led to the commission of a work that would become one of his hallmarks: Music for Prague 1968, inspired by the Soviet invasion of his native Czechoslovakia. In 1969 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for String Quartet No. 3.
The program for the memorial concert will include solo works for clarinet and piano, Twelve Moravian Songs for soprano and piano, Élégie et Rondeau for two pianos and saxophone, Five Poems for Wind Quintet, String Quartet No. 3 and Cayuga Lake (Memories) for chamber ensemble.
Since 1987, the School of Music has annually hosted a major composer as the Karel Husa Visiting Professor of Composition, and the Whalen Center houses the Karel Husa Gallery, an archive of compositions and other materials from throughout his career.
Husa passed away December 14, 2016, at his home in Apex, North Carolina, at the age of 95.