Essential Rzewski & Friends

21 Nov 2023, 7:00 PM

Let’s get straight to it, before we divert you

How much is the ticket? CZK 400 basic | CZK 200 students, seniors, ZTP | members of the DOX Club 30% discount

Multifunctional Hall DOX+
Poupětova 3, Prague 7
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The unique three-concert event Essential Rzewski & Friends is the newest in the "Essential Concerts" series. Since 2018, this series has been representative of the programmes for the City of Ostrava and the Ostrava Centre for New Music in Prague. This year's edition will focus on Frederic Rzewski (1938–2021), a composer and pianist who was one of the most influential figures of the American musical avant-garde - the "Chopin of the 20th century". His compositions are characterized by a blend of spontaneous improvisation and pre-written scores with instructions. Rzewski's "classical-improvisational hybrids" are among the most acclaimed compositions of their kind, largely because of the simmering energy that lies within these works. Through his work, he co-defined the face of new music in postwar America. For a long time, he combined the boyish energy and playfulness found in works by composers like Aaron Copland, with a strictly experimental framework that is, in contrast, characteristic of figures like John Cage. Rzewski, however, did not hesitate to write tonal and entertaining compositions, a tendency that places many of his works in direct contrast with the frequent hermeticism of avant-garde works. The compositions chosen for the evening at DOX+ – whether by Rzewski or his similarly artistically-oriented friends Christian Wolff, Alvin Curran, and Petr Kotík - illustrate this unique mix that Rzewski embodies.

In DOX+ we have prepared a four-hour event evening event, which will culminate with Rzewski's composition De Profundis, notes from prison. This work is based on a letter by the writer and playwright Oscar Wilde. It is both Wilde's confession and his defence against the injustice and inhumanity of English law and the penal system that sentenced him to two years in prison for homosexuality. The pianist and narrator in this artistically powerful testimony will be Rzewski's close friend Daan Vandewalle (Belgium). The concert’s programming was designed by the artistic director of OCNH, the conductor of the evening, and long-time friend of Frederic Rzewski, Petr Kotík.

ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra (International)
Daan Vandewalle, piano 
Alvin Curran, piano
Petr Kotík, conductor


Frederic Rzewski: Les Moutons de Panurge (1969)
Christian Wolff: For 38 Players (2023)
Alvin Curran: Why is this night different from all other nights (1992)
intermission 20 min
Petr Kotík: Spontano (for Frederic Rzewski) (1964)
Frederic Rzewski: A long Time Man (1979-80)
intermission 20 min
Frederic Rzewski: De Profundis, text Oscar Wilde (1994)