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Terry Riley with Gyan Riley: Live at 85!

February 1, 2020 @ 7:30 pm
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Terry Riley

A Special Evening at the Shannon Center with Terry Riley (piano/synthesizer/melodica, voice) featuring Gyan Riley (electric guitar).

In 1964, California composer, Terry Riley, launched what came to be known as the Minimalist movement, with his revolutionary classic “In C”. This ground-breaking work provided a fresh concept in musical form based on interlocking repetitive patterns “In C” has changed the course of 20th Century music. The composition’s influence is heard in the work of prominent modern composers, including Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams, and in the Rock music of The Who, The Soft Machine, Tangerine Dream, and Curved Air. Terry Riley’s hypnotic, multilevel, poly-metric, brightly orchestrated, eastern-flavored improvisations and compositions, have set the stage for today’s prevailing interest in a new tonality!

Terry Riley speaks to his profound appreciation of performing with his son, guitarist Gyan Riley, saying, “Nothing I have done in this life has given me more satisfaction than improvising on these songs with Gyan. Nothing I have done can match the intuitive synchronicity we have shared, many times, on the stage. Gyan supplies a brilliant counterpoint to the strands and moods of these pieces, always surprising me with a virtuosity which serves and energizes his musical invention. I could not have dreamed up a better marriage of mind and spirit than this collaboration.”

Terry Riley (composer, pianist, vocalist) launched the minimalist movement with his classic IN C, composed in 1964, a seminal work, which was to have an enormous impact on the course of western music.  His music has been played in the great concert halls throughout the world and his discography includes 60 recordings on labels such as Columbia Masterworks, Wergo and Nonesuch.

He attended San Francisco State University and the University of California graduating with a masters degree in music.  He studied composition with Robert Erickson and piano with Adolf Baller.

He was professor of composition 1971-1981 at the prestigious Mills College in Oakland California.  Besides concertizing, he has given lectures and seminars in the USA, Europe and Australia.

He is a recipient of 2 NEA grants, a Guggenheim fellowship and a Fromm foundation grant for music composition.  He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Chapman University and Cal Arts.

In addition to his solo piano concerts,  Mr. Riley performs  extensively with his son, classical guitarist Gyan Riley and also appears in duo with saxophone virtuoso, George Brooks.  Over his career, he has worked with Zakir Hussein, Chet Baker, Krishna Bhatt, John Zorn, Leonard Slatkin and the Kronos Quartet.

Terry has been a student of Indian Classical Music since 1970 when he became a disciple of the great Kirana master, Pandit Pran Nath.  He accompanied Pran Nath-ji in his many concerts over a period of 26 years until his passing in 1996. He is a prolific composer having written in virtually every form including solo piano, a chamber opera, a triple concerto for 2 guitars and violin, a violin concerto, a piano concerto, works for choir and orchestra and 23 works for string quartet which include a string quartet concerto and a piano quintet.  His concerto for electric violin was premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 13, 2012 and a new concerto for organ and orchestra premiered at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles April 9-11, 2014.

Terry was named one of the 1000 makers of the 20th century by the Times of London. His music is published worldwide exclusively by G.

Gyan Riley won his first guitar in a raffle when he was 12 years old. Shortly after learning all of the songs in his cassette collection by ear, he became the first full-scholarship graduate guitar student at the San Francisco Conservatory.  Gyan’s diverse work now focuses on his own compositions, improvisation, and contemporary classical repertoire. Gyan has been commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, New Music USA, the Carnegie Hall Corporation, the American Composers Forum, and the New York Guitar Festival. He has performed with Zakir Hussain, Lou Reed, John Zorn, the Kronos Quartet, Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth), Iva Bittova, Julian Lage, the Bang-On-A-Can All-Stars, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Secret Chiefs 3, the San Francisco Symphony, the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, and his father, the composer/pianist/vocalist Terry Riley.  Various tours have taken him throughout Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and the US, both as a soloist and in various ensembles. Gyan resides in New York City and frequently performs with the duo Probosci, the trio Eviyan, the electric guitar quartet Dither, guitarist Julian Lage, and his father Terry Riley. Terry and Gyan recently scored a new film by writer/director François Girard (The Red Violin) entitled Hochelaga, Terre des Âmes, premiering at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival.  Gyan has four solo CD titles and many ensemble/collaborative recordings, most recently working with the Tzadik Records label in New York.


February 1, 2020
7:30 pm
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General $50
Student $30