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Morton Feldman – Composer

July 23, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

“If you don’t have a friend who’s a painter, you’re in trouble.”
Morton Feldman to John Cage in 1952

This lecture by Prof Mike Worboys, examines the work of composer Morton Feldman. It is one of two lectures on Art and Music in post-war New York, the other, by Prof Maria Chester, will explore the art of the Abstract Expressionists .

You can book each lecture for £4 or book a joint ticket here for £6. No prior knowledge is assumed.

Morton Feldman (1926-87) was one of the most important composers of the second half of the twentieth century. He, along with John Cage, Christian Wolff and others, set the musical agenda for generations of musicians, right up to the present day. He is associated with the New York School, a band of musicians, artists, authors and poets, that included poets John Ashbery and Frank O’Hara, artist Philip Guston, and dancer Merce Cunningham. He also knew Rauschenberg, Rothko and Pollock.

This talk will focus on Feldman’s music, in particular ‘Rothko Chapel’ (1971) for voices and instruments, ‘For John Cage’ (1982) for violin and piano, and ‘Palais de Maris’ (1986) for piano. Morton Feldman took ideas from many sources, but in the last decade of his life was interested in Middle Eastern Rugs. Steven Brun writes: “In his important 1981 essay Crippled Symmetry, he describes his fascination with the inexact symmetries in the patterning of these rugs, qualities he also perceived in the music of Webern, Stravinsky and Reich. He also writes of the ‘subliminal mathematics’ of Mark Rothko’s paintings.”

The lecture will be delivered via Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom before, please go to www.zoom.us and look at the tutorials. An invitation to each lecture will be emailed to you.

If you book this course online, we will hold your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy. If you do not wish us to hold your personal data, please book by post (see www.berwickea.co.uk) and do not supply an email address.


July 23, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm