Alvin Curran
Composition, Installation

Alvin Curran has realized a long and fruitful career as a composer/performer/ installation artist, writer, and teacher in the American experimental music tradition. Born in Providence in 1938, he studied with Ron Nelson, Elliott Carter and Mel Powell, and co-founded the group Musica Elettronica Viva in 1966 in Rome where he currently resides. His music, whether chamber works, radio-art, large-scale environmental theater, or solo performance, embraces all sounds, all spaces, and all people.
He has taught at Rome’s National Academy of Theater Arts, Mills College, and the Mainz Hochschule für Musik, published numerous articles, clocked thousands of live performances, and published more than thirty solo and sixty collaborative recordings. A book about his work, Alvin Curran: Live in Roma (2011), was edited by Daniela Tortora, and in 2015 he published the alvin curran fakebook, an illustrated compendium of more than 200 (mostly) notated pieces.
Recent highlights: Concerto for Bathtub and Orchestra (2017); the disintegrating installation Pian de Pian Piano (2017); Maritime Rites Rome for musicians on rowboats (2017); A Banda Larga, a street symphony (2018); performances at the Teatro Colon (2017), Big Ears (2017), The New York Armory (2018), with Clark Coolidge (Other Minds 2018), and with Ciro Longobardi (2018); Passi, with visual artist Alfredo Pirri (2017 and 2018); recordings of Irrawaddy Blues (Documenta 2017), Dead Beats (solo piano 2018), and Endangered Species (fractured standards, 2018); Omnia Flumina Romam Ducunt (Baths of Caracalla, 2018-19); Der Goldene Topf, with Achim Freyer (2019).
Best-known works: For Cornelius, Hope Street Tunnel Blues, and the Inner Cities cycle for piano; Schtyx for piano-violin-percussion trio; VSTO for string quartet; Theme Park for percussion quartet; Electric Rags for saxophone quartet; Oh Brass on the Grass Alas for 300 amateur brass-band musicians; the Maritime Rites concert series; Crystal Psalms and Maritime Rites for radio; the Gardening with John sound installation; solo performance pieces from Songs and Views from the Magnetic Garden and Canti Illuminati to Endangered Species.

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