Institute for Advanced Study Announces Performers for 2017–18 Edward T. Cone Concert Series

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The 2017–18 Edward T. Cone Concert Series will highlight a range of exciting and explosive musical performances curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. In his second season as Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, Lang will guide the audience through an array of vivid and contemporary works performed by Stephen Drury, The Crossing, Vicky Chow, and Ensemble Signal.

“This season marks the second in my three year series titled “The Pattern Makers,” said Lang. “Each concert focuses on a particular piece, or set of pieces, that illustrates how pattern making participates in the creation of large-scale musical forms. Last season explored different aspects of patterns in a variety of musical genres including medieval, Balinese Gamelan, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and celebration of percussion music by Steve Reich. This year, we dive deeper into the world of patterns with examples from revolutionary songs, national anthems, low fi electronics, and traditional folk tunes.”

The season will open on October 20 and October 21 featuring the pianist Stephen Drury. Drury will highlight Frederic Rzewski’s masterpiece, The People United Will Never Be Defeated. This piece, 36 variations on a Chilean revolutionary song, cycles kaleidoscopically through every style of piano playing in music history, from Bach-style counterpoint to pointillism and from stride piano to free improvisation. Wildly virtuosic, it is regarded as one of the greatest piano works of the last 50 years.

On November 10 and 11, Philadelphia’s world class professional choir, The Crossing, returns to the Institute in a program of politically thoughtful music for choir and instruments. The Crossing will perform Ted Hearne’s Consent, a piece on how language influences thinking about women’s rights, and To the Hands, which focuses on immigration, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw. The concert also features a piece by Lang, the national anthems, whose text is created from poetic lines from the national anthems of every country in the world, creating a meta-anthem of fear, blood, and hope.

Pianist Vicky Chow will perform Surface Image, a tumultuous, evening-length work, at on January 12 and 13. Commissioned from musical pioneer and composer Tristan Perich, this performance will feature a wall of 40 tiny electronic speakers surrounding Chow, whose elemental electronic sounds complement the oceanic sound of the piano.

The season will conclude on March 9 and 10 with a string orchestra performance by Ensemble Signal, led by conductor Brad Lubman. The program will highlight Bang on a Can cofounder Michael Gordon’s Weather, a wild, explosive work that began with his curiosity about how musical instruments might be useful in mapping chaotic weather patterns. Ensemble Signal will also perform MacArthur Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe’s Cruel Sister, a tour de force of story telling in which the music dramatizes the story behind a harrowing and heartbreaking traditional folk song. This concert is supported by a grant from the PNC Foundation.

All concerts in the series will take place at 8:00 p.m. in Wolfensohn Hall at the Institute. Concert talks, providing discussions of the music in the program and related topics, will be held each Friday following the performance.

The concerts are free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved online. Seating is limited. For further information about tickets and the Institute’s Artist-in-Residence program, visit

About Edward T. Cone
Noted composer, teacher, pianist and author Edward T. Cone, for whom the Institute’s concert series is named, earned his undergraduate and MFA degrees at Princeton University and was affiliated with its music department for more than 50 years. A Founding Friend of the Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study, he was a tireless supporter of the arts and humanities at the Institute and elsewhere.

About the Artist-in-Residence Program
The Artist-in-Residence program was established at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1994 to create a musical presence within the Institute community and to have in residence a person whose work could be experienced and appreciated by scholars from all disciplines. Pianist Robert Taub was the first Artist-in-Residence from 1994 to 2001, followed by composer Jon Magnussen, who served as Artist-in-Residence from 2000 to 2007. Paul Moravec served as Artist-in-Residence from 2007 to 2008 and Artistic Consultant from 2008 to 2009. Derek Bermel, a composer, clarinetist, conductor and jazz and rock musician, served as Artist-in-Residence from 2009 to June 2013. Following Bermel, composer Sebastian Currier served as the Artist-in-Residence from 2013 to June 2016.

David Lang, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, became Artist-in-Residence in July 2016. His works have been performed worldwide by distinguished artists and ensembles, including the BBC Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, eighth blackbird, Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Boston Symphony, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet. A recipient of the prestigious Grammy Award, Lang has received numerous honors, including Musical America’s Composer of the Year, Carnegie Hall’s 2013­–14 Debs Composer’s Chair, the Rome Prize, the BMW Music-Theater Prize (Munich), and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Lang's simple song #3, written as part of his score for Paolo Sorrentino's acclaimed film YOUTH, received many awards nominations in 2016, including the Academy Award and Golden Globe. Lang is a Professor of Music Composition at the Yale School of Music and is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music festival Bang on a Can.