/ julius eastman : redux /

Co-Presented by Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival and Pride Winnipeg

Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival and Pride Winnipeg are pleased to present / julius eastman : redux /
Tuesday, Sept 7, 8pm

Julius Eastman (1940-1990) was an artist who, as a gay, black man, aspired to live those roles to the fullest. He was not only a prominent member of New York's downtown scene as a composer, conductor, singer, pianist, and choreographer, but also performed at Lincoln Center with Pierre Boulez and the New York Philharmonic, and recorded experimental disco with producer Arthur Russell. 'Eastman is something of a cult figure among composers and singers', reads a 1980 press release.
The work of Julius Eastman is distinctly queer in its fluidity in instrumentation and interpretation, giving agency to the musicians to react, play and revel.

Despite his prominence in the artistic and musical community in New York, Eastman died homeless and alone in Buffalo, NY. He left behind few scores and recordings, and his music lay dormant for decades until a three-CD set of his compositions was issued in 2005 by New World Records. In the years since, there has been a steady increase in attention paid to his music and life, punctuated by newly found recordings and manuscripts, the publication of Gay Guerrilla, a comprehensive volume of biographical essays and analysis, worldwide performances and new arrangements of his surviving works, and newfound interest from choreographers, scholars, educators, and journalists. 

'The brazen and brilliant music of Julius Eastman…commands attention: wild, grand, delirious, demonic, an uncontainable personality surging into sound', writes Alex Ross for The New Yorker.

This concert features all-star Manitoban pianists, Everett Hopfner, Madeline Hildebrand, Lisa Rumpel and Naomi Woo performing two of Eastman’s pieces, ‘Joy Boy’ and ‘Gay Guerrilla’.

To tune into the broadcast and to watch on-demand after the premiere, head to the Pride Winnipeg YouTube Channel.

Naomi Woo is a prominent young Canadian conductor, recognized by CBC (30 Under 30) and Flare Magazine (How I Made It) as a rising star on the Canadian classical music scene, and notable for her work as a socially-engaged artist and educator. As Assistant Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Naomi programmes and conducts educational concerts and is a leader in community engagement. Naomi is also the first Music Director of Sistema Winnipeg, a music programme for social change in the city’s North End. A commitment to using music to imaginatively transform the world runs through all of her work, including her recently-completed PhD thesis, The Practicality of the Impossible.

A self-described new music explorer, Canadian pianist Everett Hopfner is celebrated for his passionate and inventive performances. With his dynamic approach to multi-disciplinary pieces incorporating electronic media, improvisation, movement and speech, Everett has been praised as “a surreal performer who gives flesh and life to music.” (Il Cittadino di Lodi). Everett has toured across Canada as winner of the 36th Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, where he was commended by the jury as “an actor, a poet, a true artist” and “a figure of the future.” Graduate studies in Germany led to European tours with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and broadcasts on Hessischer Rundfunk and CBC Radio.

Praised for her "fierce artistry” and “poetic” pianism, Winnipeg-based pianist Lisa Rumpel is passionate about communicating classical music to a variety of audiences. As an alumnus of the Franz Schubert Institute, Vancouver International Song Institute, Opera NUOVA, the University of Manitoba and Brandon University, Lisa’s work has been inspired by mentorship experiences with Laura Loewen, Judy Kehler-Siebert, Robert Richardson, Tracy Dahl, Michael McMahon, Julius Drake, Helmut Deutsch, Elly Ameling, Graham Johnson, and others. With experience in art song, chamber music, opera, and choral accompanying, Lisa brings her sparkling personality and zest for collaboration to every project she undertakes.

Madeline Hildebrand is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at Stony Brook University, New York, where she studies with Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl. Earlier piano studies with Judith Kehler Siebert at the University of Manitoba were followed by a Masters in Piano Performance from the University of British Columbia under the tutelage of distinguished pianist, Jane Coop. Madeline’s piano career has taken her coast to coast in Canada and the U.S.A, to Italy, and to Romania upon invitation of the European Cultural Arts Festival. Recent concert highlights include a solo performance of Philip Glass’s music along with Glass himself in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s celebrated New Music Festival 2018, a concerto performance with the Thunder Bay Orchestra, a cross-Canada tour with soprano Sarah Kirsch, and a premier of Pat Carrabré’s piano quintet 100,000 Lakes for the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival. She has appeared numerous times in the WSO Soundbytes Series.

This concert is made possible by the gracious support of the Canada Council for the Arts, FACTOR, Manitoba Arts Council, the SOCAN Foundation, Manitoba Music and Pride Winnipeg