Pianist Eliza Garth Brings John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes to Life, October 4, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

CONTACT: Sarah Snyder
(301) 405-8151

September 21, 2012 — College Park, MD — Pianist Eliza Garth celebrates the John Cage centennial with a performance of Cage’s masterpiece for prepared piano, Sonatas and Interludes, on October 4 at 8 p.m. at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Described by writer James Pritchett as “a big piece with a quiet voice,” Sonatas and Interludes is meditative in its esthetic. The “preparation” of the piano, which involves altering its sound by placing objects between or on the strings, transforms its sound into an ensemble of gongs, chimes and magical effects. The performance is presented by the UMD School of Music.

In addition to her performance, Garth will offer two free lectures on composing and performing music for prepared piano: The Enchanted Piano: Music by Cowell, Crumb, and Cage on Tuesday, October 2 at 12:30 p.m. and John Cage and the Development of the Prepared Piano on Thursday, October 4 at 12:30 p.m. Both lectures will be held in the Leah M. Smith Lecture Hall at the Clarice Smith Center.

John Cage Bicentennial Celebration

One of the most influential composers of the 20th century, John Cage was also a music theorist, writer and artist. Although Cage did not invent the instrument he named the “prepared piano,” he was a major force behind its development and is often associated with it. An explorer at heart, Cage studied with trailblazers Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg, and then in turn opened up musical pathways that would later be traveled and extended by minimalist composers. In his mature years, he was a disciple of Buddhism and overturned conventional Western conceptions of the nature of sound and music.

About Eliza Garth

Pianist Eliza Garth has achieved international distinction as a performer of the music of our time.  A graduate of the Juilliard School, Garth is a founding member of the Chamber Players of the League of Composers/ISCM in New York City. She is also a member of the music faculty at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and has been recognized twice by the Maryland State Arts Council with the Individual Artist Award, most recently in 2010 for her performance of Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes.

John Cage Exhibit at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

From July 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013, materials that highlight John Cage’s innovative artistry, inspirational career and enduring influence will be on display in the lobby of the Michelle Smith Library on the first floor of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Visitors to this exhibition can begin to explore Cage's life and some of the major areas to which he devoted his creative efforts.


More information can be found on our web site. The event is free, and tickets are not required.


The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Learn more about the Clarice Smith Center's donor support.