New Media and Classical Music to Mix at Concert

Robert Xavier Rodríguez, an internationally known composer and professor of music at UT Dallas, will direct his Musica Nova ensemble in a concert featuring classical music, choreography, projected images and film.

The event, titled Old and New: A Multi-Media Concert, is Friday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall.

The concert includes music from J.S. Bach and his son C.P.E. Bach, plus music from composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.  

“We will also present music from P.D.Q. Bach, a fictional character created by contemporary American composer Peter Schickele. The piece, which is meant to be a parody of the real Bach, is scored for piano and features ‘banned instruments,’ such as balloons, kazoo and slide whistles,” said Rodríguez.

Music Nova at UT Dallas

Musica Nova will perform the concert under the direction of UT Dallas professor and composer Robert X. Rodríguez.

Additionally, the playbill will feature Table Music by Thierry de May, which calls for intricately choreographed percussion drummed on a table.  

The piece is visually striking, Rodríguez said.

“Comedy will be an important feature of the concert. Cathy Berberian's Stripsody, based on comic strip noises, will include a visual projection of the score, complete with cartoons. UT Dallas theater professor Fred Curchack will enact the ‘outrageous text,’ and I’m sure his performance will be up to his usual stellar standard,” Rodríguez added.

Performers include UT Dallas students and faculty members Michael McVay and Winston Stone. Chloé Trevor will appear as guest violinist.  

The concert will conclude with a showing of René Clair's classic surrealist film Entr’acte, which features the music of Erik Satie, an early 20th-century avant-garde composer.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information contact the Arts and Performance office at [email protected].

Robert X. Rodríguez lived and worked in the house that composer Aaron Copland called home for 30 years. 

Composer Spends Summer Workingat Home of American Music Legend

Rodríguez spent last summer composing new music during a residency at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark house in New York’s lower Hudson Valley.

Copland was one of the most influential musical figures in American history.

The residents worked and lived at Copland’s hilltop home an hour north of midtown Manhattan, creating music in the same environment that the composer enjoyed in the last 30 years of his life.

“Copland's house is just outside of New York City on a beautiful hill overlooking the Hudson River.  It is a great thrill to be there and to write music on the very desk where he wrote so many important pieces,” said Rodríguez.

During his residency, Rodríguez wrote piano pieces for a recital to be performed next year at UT Dallas and at Carnegie Hall. Rodríguez also began working on an orchestral piece to debut at the opening of the new Arts and Technology (ATEC) building in the fall of 2013.

Rodríguez’s stay this summer marked his second Copland House residency.

“I was there in the summer of 2001. During that residency, I wrote Incidental Music for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for a production at the University that fall,” he said. 

Rodríguez also held a residency this summer as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].