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Volume 24, Number 5 — May 2017

Professor to Present Research at College Music Society Conference

E&H Professor of Music Lisa Withers will present research at a conference in April.
E&H Professor of Music Lisa Withers will present research at a conference in April.

February 04, 2008

EMORY, Va. — An Emory & Henry music professor has been invited to present research during the combined Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regional Conference of the College Music Society at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Penn.

Professor of Music Dr. Lisa Withers will discuss her studies on the piano music of American composer George Crumb at the conference in early April.

Her presentation will focus on the ways in which Crumb uses the inspiration of 13th century frescoes by the artist Giotto in his work "A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979." Withers became interested in the composer when playing one of the West Virginia native's compositions for him in a master class at West Virginia University.

"He is considered an innovative composer for the piano and requires a lot of extended technique on the part of the pianist," Withers said. "Crumb often calls for plucking and striking strings within the piano, in addition to the traditional keyboard playing."

The element of sound that is used in the researched work relates to the mysticism depicted in the frescoes in the Arena Chapel in Padua, Italy. Crumb also uses symmetrical forms to depict the symmetrical structures of the artwork. Each movement of the music bears the title of one of the frescoes.

"Crumb uses medieval modes and scales as the basis for several movements and strongly connects this work strongly to the artwork that he uses as inspiration," said Withers.

A! ExtraTopics: Music