MicroFest Presents Ivan Wyschnegradsky's Music for Four Quarter-Tone Pianos
Ivan Wyschnegradsky was a visionary Russian composer who spent his adult life in Paris, having graduated from law school in 1917, a day before the Russian Revolution. The year before, he had a vision: “I saw the great light in full-day,” and hence dedicated his life to “awakening in every man the slumbering forces of cosmic consciousness” with his music. Another such experience was his “ultrachromatic revelation” that the notes of music were on a continuum and that the received 12 half steps of equal temperament were only isolated locations on an infinite spectrum. He soon moved to Paris in 1920 and began composing in thirds, sixths, eighths, twelfths of a tone, and famously composing Music for Four Quarter-Tone Pianos, which will be performed at the Wende Museum.
Grammy-nominated pianist Vicki Ray, Steven Vanhauwaert, and the piano duo Hocket (composer-performers Sarah Gibson & Thomas Kotcheff) recap their 2019 stellar performances of these works at San Francisco’s Other Minds Festival, led by nationally recognized new music conductor Donald Crockett.
Now in its third decade of celebrating the beauty that lies “between the keys” of the piano, MicroFest is the world’s leading concert series devoted to the glorious universe of non-standard tunings. Founded by microtonal guitarist and radio personality John Schneider in 1997, MicroFest has grown to a festival of multiple performances at Southern California venues ranging from the Claremont Colleges to Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA. MicroFest has included ground-breaking concerts and premieres of works by Ben Johnston, Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, and Harry Partch with new and historical instruments. MicroFest is co-directed by Schneider and composer Bill Alves.
Music at the Wende is a free concert series in which esteemed musical organizations present programs inspired by the Wende’s collection and mission.
All concerts are free. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a museum tour and reception at 6 p.m.
The concert series is generously supported by the Music at the Wende Donor Group.