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Avant-garde composer Wolff to perform with jazz musicians in Brooklyn

February 25, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Composer Christian Wolff, who turned 80 last year, sits down at the piano. Photo courtesy of S.E.M. Ensemble
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Avant-garde classical composer Christian Wolff will team up with some of the best New York-based jazz musicians for an evening of his own compositions on Thursday, March 5, at Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave., at 8 p.m.

The concert will include the world premiere of “Brooklyn (for 6 Players)” and the complete version of “Song (for 6),” which was partially performed at the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s farewell performances at the Armory in 2011.

Wolff was born in 1934 in Nice, France, but has mainly lived in the U.S. since 1941. While he has basically been self-taught as a composer, he has collaborated with John Cage, Morton Feldman, David Tudor and others. Some of his pieces were used by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, starting in 1953.

“This music is quite variable,” Wolff wrote. “Tempo, dynamics, instrumental combinations are open – they are partly planned ad hoc for a given performance and are partly improvised in the actual time of performance. Players with jazz and improvisation connections are particularly good at this.”

Performing at Roulette will be Joey Baron (drums), Vincent Chancey (French horn), Thomas Morgan (bass), Robyn Schulkowsky (percussion), Nate Wooley (trumpet) and Wolff himself on piano.

To order tickets, visit or call (917) 267-0363. Roulette is located at the corner of 3rd Avenue.


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