October 10, 2016
John Cage Grammy honor on PBS
PBS Great Performances presents “GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends™,” a special all-star concert in collaboration with The Recording Academy, offering a prime time spotlight for The Academy’s 2016 Special Merit Awards recipients. The celebration and tribute concert features performances by honorees and by those they’ve inspired. Recorded in Los Angeles on April 23, 2016, the show airs this Friday, October 14 at 9:00 PM on PBS, locally on WPBT-2 and WXEL-42.
Among this year’s Trustees Award honorees is composer John Cage. Additionally, Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt and Run-DMC. These are performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording, while the Trustees Award recognizes such contributions in areas other than performance.
The performances honoring Cage are Water Walk featuring NWS viola alumnus Anthony Parce of the Houston Symphony, and The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs with singer J’Nai Bridges. NWS Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas introduces the tribute. Water Walk reprises Tony’s performance of Cage's famous work which he originally performed in NWS's “Making the Right Choices” John Cage Festival.
Cage was an avant-garde composer whose inventive works and unorthodox ideas profoundly influenced the entire music industry. His innovative ideas on composition and performance influenced a broad spectrum of artists including fellow musicians, dancers, choreographers and more. Cage remained on the leading edge of both playful and profound experimentalism for much of his career.
In February 2013 the New World Symphony held a four-day festival entitled “Making the Right Choices: A John Cage Centennial Celebration” commemorating the centenary of his birth. The varied programs included his orchestral, ensemble and solo works, video, dance and songs. Some 20 works were performed. Other events were documentary films, lectures, a photo exhibit and panel discussion. Guest artists were singers Jessye Norman, Meredith Monk, Joan La Barbara and pianist Marc-André Hamelin.
On April 27, 2015 the New World Symphony continued its tribute to the life and work of John Cage by launching its new John Cage website, “Making the Right Choices: A John Cage Celebration.” The website augments the festival performances with interviews, rehearsal videos and essays that provide insight into Cage’s work.
The website, which was funded in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, was unveiled at an event at Lincoln Center in New York, with NWS staff and selected Fellows attending, along with VIPs, press and media. The site continues as a source of online scholarship and performance videos on Cage and his life and work.
Click here to go to New World Symphony’s John Cage website