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Decolonizing Classical Music with George Lewis

August 9 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

A crowd on the lawn listens to a Prelude Concert outside the Linde Center at Tanglewood. Press photo courtesy of the BSO
Photo by Hilary Scott

TLI Presents: Decolonizing Classical Music in Eight Difficult Steps with internationally acclaimed composer, musicologist and trombonist George Lewis.

The event takes place in the Linde Center.

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George Lewis is an American composer, musicologist, and trombonist. He is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music and Area Chair in Composition at Columbia University.

In 2020-21 he was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study), and he currently serves as Artistic Director of the International Contemporary Ensemble. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin, and an Honorary Member of the American Musicological Society.

Lewis’s other honors include the Doris Duke Artist Award (2019), a MacArthur Fellowship (2002), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015). A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis’s work is presented by ensembles worldwide, published by Edition Peters. A Yamaha Artist, Lewis is widely regarded as a pioneer in the creation of computer programs that improvise in concert with human musicians.

Lewis’s central areas of scholarship include the history and criticism of experimental music, computer music, interactive media, and improvisation, particularly as these areas become entangled with the dynamics of race, gender, and decolonization.

His most frequently cited articles on these topics include “New Music Decolonization in Eight Difficult Steps” (VAN Outernational, 2020) and “Improvised Music after 1950: Afrological and Eurological Perspectives” (Black Music Research Journal, 1996). His widely acclaimed book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award.

Lewis is the co-editor (with Harald Kisiedu) of the bilingual edited volume Composing While Black: Afrodiasporic New Music Today/Afrodiasporische Neue Musik Heute (2023), as well as (with Benjamin Piekut) the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016). Lewis’s many publications on technology include “Too Many Notes: Computers, Complexity and Culture in Voyager” (Leonardo Music Journal, 2000) and “Why Do We Want Our Computers To Improvise?” (Oxford Handbook of Algorithmic Music, 2018).

Lewis holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Oberlin College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, New England Conservatory, New College of Florida, and Birmingham City University, among others.

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Event Details

Details

Date:
August 9
Time:
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Categories:
,

Event Location

Tanglewood
297 West St.
Lenox, MA
413-637-1666

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