February 15, 2005

Press Contact: Stephen Drury 617-497-0823


On March 05, 2005 at 8:00 p.m., the Callithumpian Consort, presents a fundraising concert at the Theodore Parker Church in West Roxbury.

Suggested donations are $10 for students with ID, $20 general admission, and $35 includes an invitation to a 6:00pm pre-concert cocktail party. All donations are tax-deductible.

Theodore Parker Church is located at 1859 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132. The church is MBTA accessible on the commuter rail at Highland on the Needham line, one block from the church, or by buses from Forest Hills Station (Rtes. 35, 36, 37) which stop in front of the church.

The program includes works by Scelsi, Hyla, Schnittke and Rzewski and features flutes and gongs from ancient Egypt, a micro-tonal waltz, and the end of the world as we know it.

Scelsi, whose music was barely known in his lifetime, has emerged recently as one of the most important European composers of the 2nd half of the 20th century. An Italian Count, he hospitalized himself early in his career after a nervous breakdown. During this time he devised his own therapy which consisted of playing a note on the piano over and over and over again, listening deep into the interior of the tone. “Hyxos”, an ancient Egyptian sub-culture. Hyxos, music of incantation drawn from a single flute, two gongs and a bell.

Schnittke wrote some of the only avant-garde music allowed performance in Soviet Russia. The Quintet looks forward to post-modernism, with microtonal strings finding tone clusters between the cracks of the piano keys, a drunken Russian waltz, and a devastating climax, followed by a benediction which fades to nothingness as the piano silently continues playing the final phrases.

The Callithumpian Consort is an ensemble of soloists producing concerts of contemporary music at the highest standard. Founded by Stephen Drury sometime in the 1990’s, the Callithumpian Consort is dedicated to the proposition that music is an experience. It was created in response to an ever-widening gap between the concert-going public and the music of its time to demonstrate an uncompromising commitment to excellence and innovation and an ongoing challenge to audience perception.

Comprised of a core group of approximately 20 soloists, the Consort is flexible in size, in some cases a full chamber orchestra. It shares its musicians with such groups as the Boston Symphony and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. The ensemble’s members are free to pursue parallel solo and orchestral careers as well. Each musician is considered individually as a soloist, enabling them to tackle unusual repertoires in non-standard ensembles, or take part in experimental projects.

Their repertoire encompasses a huge stylistic spectrum, from the classics of the century, to the avant-garde to experimental jazz and rock. Active commissioning and recording of new works is crucial. The Consort has worked with composers John Cage, Lee Hyla, John Zorn, Michael Finnissy, Franco Donatoni, Elliott Carter and many others. Recordings are available on Tzadik and Mode records

For more information, please call (617) 497-0823 or visit

Program – March 05, 2005

Alfred Schnittke Quintet for Piano and Strings
Giacinto Scelsi Hyxos for flute and gongs
Giacinto Scelsi Trio for Strings
Lee Hyla Ciao Manhattan
Frederic Rzewski Whangdoodles

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