The Mizzou New Music Initiative and the University of Missouri School of Music will welcome back to Columbia the acclaimed new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound for a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 13 at the Missouri Theatre, 203 S 9th St.
The concert will feature works by Hungarian avant-garde composer György Sándor Ligeti, who’s considered one of the most influential figures in the history of 20th century music. Born in Hungary in 1923, Ligeti escaped to the West in the late 1950s and, once freed from the artistic restrictions imposed by the Hungarian government, began to write innovative electronic and orchestral works noted particularly for their dense use of polyphony.
In addition to influencing several subsequent generations of composers, Ligeti’s work also earned the admiration of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, who included excerpts of the composer’s pieces in 2001: A Space Odyssey and other films.
Alarm Will Sound’s production will tell Ligeti’s story through a blend of music, text and imagery. Centered on his Chamber Concerto and Piano Concerto, the performance will make the connection between biography and music, explore the relationship of politics and art, and shed light on a unique artistic imagination. AWS member John Orfe will be featured as soloist in the Piano Concerto.
Formed in 2001, Alarm Will Sound (pictured) is a 20-member ensemble that approaches contemporary music in the spirit of curiosity and fearlessness, with a repertoire ranging from the archmodernist to the pop-influenced.
Alarm Will Sound performs regularly in New York City, St. Louis, and on tour throughout the US and Europe. AWS also has served as resident ensemble for the Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) since its inception in 2010, and will return to Columbia in July for the seventh year of the MICF.