March 17, 2009

SIUC to host Pulitzer Prize-winning composer

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Bernard Rands, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, will discuss “A Composer’s Attitude toward Texts” as part of the Charles D. Tenney Distinguished Lecturer Series hosted by the University Honors Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on March 25 in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building Auditorium. A public reception and CD signing follows. This event is free and open to the public.

In his address at SIUC, Rand will examine how music and words on a page can combine to make a new and intricate creation. This requires an understanding of the words, the music, the expressive capacities of both and a philosophic examination of the act of creating art.

Rands has more than 100 published works and recordings to his credit. His musical work, “Canti del Sole,” won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and his orchestral suites, “Le Tambourin” won the 1986 Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. His work, “Canti D’Amor,” as recorded by “the orchestra of voices,” Chanticleer, won a Grammy in 2000.

Rands, a native of Sheffield, England, studied both music and English literature at the University of Wales, then went on to study musical composition and conducting in Germany and Italy. At present, he is the Walter Biegelow Rosen Professor of Music at Harvard University.

Rands is a sought-after composer with commissions including the New York Philharmonic; Carnegie Hall; Boston Symphony Orchestra; BBC Symphony, London; Eastman Wind Ensemble; and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, to name only a few.

Upcoming projects include an opera based on the life and work of Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh and several new commissions.

In addition to his Tenney address, Rands is part of the annual Music Outside the Box celebration, where he is a visiting composer.