5th Open Day

3 February 2017

Our 5th Open Day is dedicated to the style and spirit of the kaleidoscopic New York arts scene, which flourished from the mid-20th century. A point of reference for this year’s event will be the legendary meeting of two pioneering composers, John Cage and Morton Feldman, as they were leaving Carnegie Hall after a performance of Anton Webern’s Symphony conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos. It’s a story that has been told many times, though never with the same details twice. Their friendship would soon extend to embrace a close circle of musicians including Christian Wolff, Earle Brown and the pianist David Tudor who would come to be known as the New York School.

The group stood out for its unquenchable thirst for innovation and its close links to contemporary artists, poets, dancers and performers. Artistic communities and various formal and informal groups formed around the New York School and engaged with its musicians: the Tone Roads, the groups of musicians who collaborated with the Merce Cunningham Dance Theatre and Judson Dance Theatre, and the artists who moved downtown and created the famous Village lofts. Indeterminancy, Events, Happenings, Kinetik Art, Fluxus, Pop Art, Minimalism, Rock, Totalism, Νo Wave, Art Punk—these were just some of the movements that came into being in New York around this time. The feverish explosion of creativity they unleashed would impact on contemporary music and art around the globe.

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