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Feldman Festival in Philly

Morton Feldman. Photo credit: Barbara Monk Feldman.

Anyone who thinks that straightened circumstances of a still sluggish economy have dampened the ambitions of concert presenters need look no further than Philadelphia to see a sublime idea at work.

Bowerbird, a Philly-based non-profit, is mounting “American Sublime,” a seven concert festival devoted to the works of New York School composer Morton Feldman (1926-’87). The concerts run from June 4-12, with ticket prices ranging from free to $20.

Marilyn’s hands. Photo by Peter Schütte

Excerpt from Triadic Memories, performed by Marilyn Nonken on Mode 136
Courtesy Mode Records

A M E R I C A N   S U B L I M E   A T – A – G L A N C E

Saturday, June 4 (8 pm)

Triadic Memories (1981)
Marilyn Nonken, solo piano

Rodeph Shalom, 615 North Broad Street, Phila. | Tickets: $10 – $20
Presented with Congregation Rodeph Shalom. Reception by Café Olam to follow.

Sunday, June 5 (7 pm)

It Started on Eighth Street

JACK Quartet: John Pickford Richards, viola; Ari Streisfeld, violin
Christopher Otto, violin; Kevin McFarland, cello

John Cage, String Quartet in Four Parts
Anton Webern, Six Bagatelles, Op. 9
Earle Brown, String Quartet
Morton Feldman, Structures

ICEBox at CraneArts,1400 N American Street, Phila. | Tickets: $15 general admission
Presented with New Music at Crane Arts. Reception to follow.

Wednesday, June 8 (8 pm)

Palais de Mari (1987)
Gordon Beeferman, solo piano

plus readings of Samuel Beckett and Frank O’Hara texts

Biello Martin Studio,148 North 3rd Street, Phila.
Tickets: $20 general admission (includes food and drink)
Admission limited to only 30 people.

Friday, June 10 (5 pm – 8:45 pm)

(5:45 pm)  A tribute to Morton Feldman by Zs

(7:15 pm) Three Voices (1982)
Joan LaBarbara, voice

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Phila.

An “Art After 5” Event
Tickets: Free with Museum Admission  |  Adults: $16; Seniors (ages 65 & over): $14;
Students (with valid ID): $12; Children ages 13–18: $12; ages 12 & under: Free

Saturday, June 11

(3 pm)  Patterns in a Chromatic Field (1981)
Amy Williams, piano; Jonathan Golove, cello

(8pm)  Crippled Symmetry (1983)
Either/Or:  Richard Carrick, piano and celeste;
David Shively, percussion; Jane Rigler, flutes

Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine Street, Phila. | Tickets: $10 – $20

Sunday, June 12 (2pm)

String Quartet No. 2 (1983)
FLUX Quartet: Tom Chiu, violin; Conrad Harris, violin;
Max Mandel, viola; Felix Fan, cello

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 3723 Chestnut Street, Phila.
Free Admission; Audience may come and go

FLUX Quartet. Photo credit: Pauline Harris


Comment from david toub
Time: May 28, 2011, 3:44 pm

I found this out a few weeks ago by accident, by just happening to look at Chris Villar’s great Feldman site that lists upcoming concerts. I have my tickets to FSQ2 and am planning to be there for the entire thing. I’m bringing my daughter-she tells me she’ll bring a book to read. Or two. Glad late Feldman is finally being performed in Philly. Wish I could get to the other concerts, but I may not be in Philly for most of that week.

Comment from zeno
Time: May 31, 2011, 10:05 am

I agree with David Toub that this looks exceptionally well-programmed, and it deserves full-houses, wide-discussion, and expert documentation. I wish I could attend at least one of the events, but will be on the West Coast during the full Festival period.

As to the June 8 event including readings by Samuel Beckett and Frank O’Hara, I also think that some readings from Feldman’s writings themselves might be enriching in this context (or as part of the earlier June 4 event). I often think about certain passages of Feldman from his collected writings that shed such revealing light on his art work, aspirations, and times.

I recommend these writings to those attending this Festival live or in spirit (hopefully live).