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World Premiere of Unpublished Ravel Work to be Performed April 15

March 24, 2010 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The world premiere of an early unpublished work by French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) and a related lecture about the composition, by scholar and Northwestern University alumnus Keith E. Clifton, highlight a special spring music program.

The event is presented by the Northwestern University Library Board of Governors and the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music.

Free and open to the public, the "Revealing Ravel" lecture and performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, in Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place on Northwestern's Evanston campus.

Ravel's manuscript of the Fugue in F Minor was acquired by the Northwestern University Music Library. Composed around 1897, about a year before Ravel began studying composition with Gabriel Faure at the Conservatoire de Paris, the piece offers a glimpse into the composer's artistic training. At the time, Ravel was working privately on counterpoint and orchestration with French composer and teacher Andre Gedalge.
Clifton's talk will focus on Ravel's early years at the Conservatoire as well as the fugue's transcription and editing process. The performing edition was edited by Clifton and his collaborator, music theorist Scott J. Schouest. The program also will include a performance of the first movement of Ravel's String Quartet by graduate students of the Bienen School's chamber music program.

Clifton is associate professor of musicology at Central Michigan University. He specializes in 20th-century music in France and the United States. He is interested in the music and vocal works of Ravel and Francis Poulenc, American art songs of the 20th century and American popular music. He has lectured and presented academic papers for the American Musicological Society, two International Musicological Society congresses and the Chicago Civic Orchestra among other organizations.

He is the author of more than 30 publications, including a book titled "Recent American Art Song: A Guide" (Scarecrow Press, 2008). Clifton earned a master's degree in music and a PhD in musicology from Northwestern. He also is an active performer of opera, art song and choral music.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit the Pick-Staiger Web site at www.pickstaiger.org.
Topics: Campus Life