Celebrating Pianist, Composer and Contemporary Music Champion David Burge

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This week, host Lisa Moore celebrates the legend of the American new-music pianist and composer David Burge (1930-2013). From the Bartók Sonata to the Boulez Premiere and Deuxieme Sonatas, Variation sets by Berio and Webern, Crumb’s Makrokosmos I and II, Stockhausen’s Klavierstucke VIII and Burge’s own song cycle Life Begins At Forty, you will hear the diverse powerful range (some on LP) of a true indefatigable champion of 20th-century music.

A longtime faculty member of the Eastman School of Music David Burge performed from the 1950s onward on some of the world’s most renowned concert stages. From his earliest appearances, his recital programs – novel, ambitious and technically rigorous – consisted almost entirely of contemporary works.

Burge was most closely associated with the work of George Crumb, a longtime friend who wrote several compositions for him – among them Makrokosmos Vol. I – a set of 12 fantasy pieces for amplified piano, composed in 1972 and dedicated to Burge, who gave the work its New York premiere the next year.

In addition to Crumb’s music, Burge frequently performed the music of George Rochberg, Arnold Schoenberg, Pierre Boulez, William Albright, Luciano Berio, Vincent Persichetti and Kamran Ince. After retiring from Eastman in 1993 he focused more on composing. He was composer-in-residence with the San Diego Ballet for nearly a decade from the mid-90’s. David Burge was also a writer on music. His best-known book, “Twentieth-Century Piano Music” (1990), was a historical and critical survey of the art. He won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards in 1978 and 1979 for his writings in Contemporary Keyboard magazine.

Grab your long black and a toasted crumpet and join guest-host Lisa Moore for her final summer '14 program, dedicated to one of her cherished teachers.