Robert Rauschenberg first met John Cage in New York in the early 1950s. Their close creative relationship saw them collaborate on performances at Black Mountain College, and later Rauschenberg designed stage sets for Cage and Merce Cunningham’s dance events. Most famously Rauschenberg’s all-white paintings preceded and influenced Cage’s notorious work, the silent piece 4’33”.
In the spirit of their unique collaboration, this evening sees violinists Peter Sheppard Skærved and Mihailo Trandafilovski play the violin folio Cage dedicated to Rauschenberg from Atlas Eclipticalis. Its sounds derived from star charts, the score was written for Merce Cunningham’s dance Aeon (1961), for which Rauschenberg designed the costumes and sets. At the same time Cage’s seminal text Lecture on Nothing will be performed by poet Dorothea Smartt. The event is introduced by Gramophone Award-winning conductor Richard Bernas.
Dorothea Smartt is an internationally respected poet and live artist. London-born with Barbadian heritage, her most recent publication Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On, has been described as ‘subversive, radical, and surprisingly panoramic’. In recognition of her contribution to British cultural life, she was nominated for a Barbados Golden Jubilee Award.
Peter Sheppard Skærved has had an international career which includes projects in Europe, Asia and the USA. He is the dedicatee of over 400 works for violin by a wide variety of composers and has recorded over 70 CDs. He has curated projects for the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum, the V&A, Tate St Ives and Kunsthallen Bergen, among others. Peter is the founder and violinist of the Kreutzer Quartet and the musical director of Longbow. He is the Viotti Lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music.
Mihailo Trandafilovski is a Macedonian-born composer, violinist and educator. He studied at Michigan State University and the Royal College of Music. His music has been released and performed throughout Europe, America and Japan by leading contemporary music specialists. He is a violinist in the Kreutzer Quartet and has an avid interest in the application of new music to pedagogy, for which he was awarded his doctorate, promoting artistic creativity to a wider audience.