For Immediate Release: September 15, 2006
Contact: Marsha Mullan
Annual Peter Gram Swing Lecture and Concert to Feature 'Music of Olivier Messiaen'
The annual Peter Gram Swing Lecture and Concert will feature "The Music of Olivier Messiaen" and will be presented at Swarthmore College on Friday, Sept 29, in the Lang Music Building. The lecture, "Messiaen amid Nature," will be presented by Nigel Simeone, chair of Historical Musicology at Sheffield University, U.K., at 7 p.m. in the Presser Room. The concert, featuring pianist Peter Hill, chair of music at Sheffield University, will be given in Lang Concert Hall at 8 p.m. Both the talk and the concert are free and open to the public.
The concert program will include Messiaen's "La Colombe" (Préludes), "Morceau de lecture à vue," "Pièce pour Le Tombeau de Paul Dukas," "Cantéyodjayâ," "Le Traquet ," "La Chouette hulotte," and "L'Alouette lulu."
Peter Hill studied music at Oxford University before further studies with Cyril Smith and Nadia Boulanger. He pursued his interests in contemporary music at Darmstadt (winning First Prize there in 1974) and has given performances of works by Pousseur, Xenakis, and Crumb as well as Messiaen and many younger British composers. He has made acclaimed recordings of music ranging from Beethoven to the present day.
In 1994 he completed his recorded cycle of Messiaen's piano works, endorsed by the composer himself. He is the author of a book on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (Cambridge University Press), editor of The Messiaen Companion (Faber), and co-author (with Nigel Simeone) of Messiaen (Yale University Press).
Nigel Simeone studied music at Manchester University. After graduating, he worked in music publishing and as a music antiquarian, before taking up full-time teaching and research. As well as writing about music, Nigel is also a conductor, and studied privately with Sir Adrian Boult. His books include Paris: A Musical Gazetteer (Yale University Press), Janacek's Works (Oxford University Press, with John Tyrrell and Alena Nemcova, awarded the Janacek Foundation Prize for 2000. He is co-author (with Peter Hill) of Messiaen (Yale University Press).
Peter Gram Swing was the founder of Swarthmore College's Music Department. He was a distinguished scholar of Renaissance music, conductor of the Swarthmore College Chorus for 34 years, and chair of the department for 18. The annual Peter Gram Swing Lecture sponsored by the Department of Music and Dance was established in his honor to bring to the campus eminent musicians and scholars.