Black Composer Showcase: Julius Eastman's Stay On It

July 18, 2022

Composer, conductor, singer, and pianist Julius Eastman and his work Stay On It are highlighted in this Black Composer Showcase video. Ryan Dohoney, associate professor of musicology, discusses Eastman’s life and role in New York’s avant-garde music scene from the 1970s through Eastman’s death in 1990. Alan Pierson, co-director of the Contemporary Music Ensemble, details the work of Bienen students in reconstructing Stay On It for their May 2022 Northwestern performance. Additionally, Eastman’s controversial 1980 visit to Northwestern University is recalled, which included student protests leading up to the performance in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

About the Black Composer Showcase Series

The Black Composer Showcase series features performances by Bienen School voice and instrumental students and collaborative pianists, as well as scholarly background information on the works and composers provided by Bienen musicologists and conducting faculty. The goals of this series are to broaden the repertoires performed and studied at the Bienen School, inspire collaboration among music studies and performance students, and educate the Bienen School and broader communities about composers of color and their important contributions to classical music.

Learn more about the 2022 series

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