On Friday, March 27, at 8 pm, pianist Eliza Garth offers a rare opportunity to hear John Cage’s gentle masterpiece for prepared piano, Sonatas and Interludes. The concert will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (UUCA), 333 Dubois Road. The program is part of the “Fourth Friday” concert series featuring Brian Ganz and Friends, offered monthly to benefit the UUCA church’s work. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, visit www.uuannapolis.org/slider/fourth-friday or call 410-266-8044, M-Th.
Described by the writer James Pritchett as “a big piece with a quiet voice,” Sonatas and Interludes is meditative in its esthetic; the “preparation” of the piano transforms its sound into an ensemble of gongs, chimes, and magical effects. Although Cage did not invent the instrument he named the “prepared piano,” he was a major force behind its development and is often associated with it. Sonatas and Interludes is not intended for a large concert hall; its delicate sounds are best enjoyed in a more intimate setting such as the sanctuary at UUCA.
An explorer at heart, John Cage studied with trailblazers (including Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg), and then in turn paved the way for trailblazers, opening up musical pathways that would later be traveled and extended by minimalist composers. In his mature years a disciple of Buddhism, he overturned conventional Western conceptions of the nature of sound and music. He is regarded to be one of the most influential composers of the 20th century.
Pianist Eliza Garth has achieved international distinction as a performer of the music of our time. An artist with a passionate voice and an adventurous spirit, she has championed some of the most demanding works in the repertoire; these include the complete solo piano works of Donald Martino, which she has recorded for the Centaur label. As stated in the New York Times, “Ms. Garth … has an exquisite ear for piano sound. One can think of no one better qualified to play this intricate, shining music.” Her performance of John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes was recognized with an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2010. Ms. Garth is a graduate of The Juilliard School. For more information about Eliza Garth, please visit www.elizagarth.com
This month’s program, March 27, is one of a year-long concert series offered monthly on the 4th Friday at 8PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (UUCA). Individual tickets are $15, and a “Friday five-pack” can be obtained at the door for $60, allowing the purchaser to attend multiple concerts at a discount or bring guests to a single concert. The April 24 concert features Don Stapleson and the Clazzical Project joined by classical pianist Brian Ganz, a fusion of jazz and classical styles. See www.uuannapolis.org/slider/fourth-friday for more information and future programming.