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Harry Partch "Hobo Composer" Instrument Collection & Events at UMKC

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UMKC Conservatory Presents Harry Partch “Hobo Composer” Instrument Collection at UMKC Conservatory, under the direction of Charles Corey

Harry Partch (1901­–74) is one of the most inventive and influential American composers of the 20th century. Musically self-educated and influenced by a wide variety of world cultures, Partch developed his own philosophy of music that worked toward an integration of all the arts. 

He also created more than 40 new musical instruments that are widely recognized for their structural as well as musical beauty. A collection of these unusual instruments will be at UMKC for this exciting residency.

Apart from eight years living as a hobo, Partch lived most of his life in his native California and in the Midwest. He never taught, relying for support on grants and contributions, revenue from concerts and recordings of his Gate 5 Ensemble, and odd jobs. That he managed to fashion a cohesive creative world completely independent from the musical and institutional systems that supported most composers remains one of the 20th century’s great accomplishments.

The Conservatory is bringing a collection of Partch’s instruments along with 10 performers to Kansas City, February 13–22, 2019. Over the past five years, Partch’s music has received increasing attention, including performances at New York’s Lincoln Center, in Germany, a Grammy Award, and a monograph on Harry Partch by UMKC Conservatory faculty Andrew Granade, a leading expert on Harry Partch. Alumnus Luke Fitzpatrick will perform on Partch’s string instruments, and he is one of only a handful of people who can perform on these instruments. UMKC Conservatory dance students will perform on the February 22 concert.

Residency Schedule. All events are free and open to the public.

Wed. Feb. 13.  Film Showings of The Dreamer that Remains and Music Studio: Harry Partch at 1900 Building, Rose Hall, 6:00 p.m. Opening Reception; 7:00 film showing and discussion, 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, KS

Thurs. Feb. 14.  “Partch’s Bitter Music…A Valentine’s Concert,” Epperson Auditorium, Kansas City Art Institute, 7:30 p.m., 4415 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Friday Feb. 15. Composers Forum with Charles Corey and Luke Fitzpatrick, room 521, James C.   Olson Performing Arts Center, 1–3 p.m., 4949 Cherry St., UMKC Volker campus

Friday Feb. 15. Mictrotonal Sound Meditation, 1900 Building, Rose Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 18. 10–11am: Auditioning student drop-in; 11–11:50am: Undergrad Music History class visit, Pierson Auditorium

Tuesday, Feb. 19. 10–10:50am: Musicianship IV class visit; 11–2pm: Open Rehearsal; 2:30–4pm: Castor and Pollux Rehearsal with UMKC dancers; 4pm: Artist in Society class visit, Pierson Auditorium

Wed. Feb. 20. The Advisory Committee?to the Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair in Continuing       Education, presents Harry Partch and His 43-Tone Musical World, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. lecture,7:15 p.m. concert, Pierson Auditorium, Atterbury Student Success Center, 5000 Holmes St., UMKC Volker campus

Thurs. Feb. 21. 9–11:00am: KCAI student visit (Jean Ormaza’s Sonorous Boxes workshop and Diana Heise’s Performative Gesture class); 11–2pm: Open Rehearsal; 2:30–4pm: Castor and Pollux Rehearsal with UMKC dancers. “Experiences Collected”, concert, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak, Kansas City, MO, Gallery 220, 6:30–7:15 p.m. and 8–8:45 p.m.

Friday Feb. 22. “Harry Partch: Barstow Bum to Ancient Greece” With UMKC Conservatory dancers, UMKC Pierson Auditorium, 7:30 p.m., UMKC Volker campus

During its residency, the Partch Ensemble Instruments will be housed at Pierson Auditorium in the UMKC Atterbury Student Success Center. Partch Ensemble performers will give demonstrations and host classes from UMKC and the Kansas City Art Institute. If you would like additional information on any of these events, please contact Andrew Granade (granadea@umkc.edu) or Paul Rudy (rudyp@umkc.edu)

This residency is supported in part through funding from The Patricia and Howard Barr Institute for American Composition Studies at UMKC, The Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair in Continuing Education, The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, and The 1900 Building: A Karbank Project. 
Additional Support provided by The Kansas City Art Institute, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949
Email: selfdr@umkc.edu