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Concert to feature work by Princeton composer, March 8

A Tuesday, March 8, concert of contemporary vocal music by the world-renowned Gregg Smith Singers will feature a piece by Princeton composer Dmitri Tymoczko.

The performance, which begins at 8 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, will include "The Agony of Modern Music," Tymoczko's work for chorus, soloists, two pianos, synthesizer and two percussion.

"The texts are largely taken from contemporary composers talking about contemporary music; these range from the polemical (Henry Pleasants, Arnold Schoenberg) to the utopian (Milton Babbitt, Karlheinz Stockhausen), to the despairing (Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Honegger)," said Tymoczko, an assistant professor of music who joined the faculty in 2002. "There's also a poem by Shelley, and an excerpt from Kundera's 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being.'

"It's an unusual and colorful piece that uses music to reflect on the controversy surrounding 20th-century music," he said. "[The] work, which is itself tonal and accessible, investigates the emotions and attitudes that led musicians to compose so much inaccessible music over the last hundred years."

The concert also will include works by Franz Schubert, Charles Ives, Elliott Carter, Charles Kulis, Nils Vigeland and Gregg Smith. The free event is sponsored by Princeton Composers' Ensemble and the music department. For more information, contact the Richardson box office at (609) 258-5000.

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