Charles Ives and the American Music Identity – Dr. Gil Harel, Naugatuck Valley Community College
In the 14th year of the collaboration between Wilton Library and the Wilton Historical Society, the scholarly lecture series will focus on the theme of “Creativity in Connecticut”. During this program, Dr. Gil Harel (PhD, Brandeis University) will discuss Danbury-born composer Charles Ives as a founder of a distinct American music idiom.
This program is sponsored by Nancy and Bill Brautigam. The moderator is Max Gabrielson. Online registration is required in order to receive the live-stream link [Zoom or YouTube].
This program is being hosted by Wilton Library. No charge but a $10 donation to the hosting institution is suggested. Click here
Charles Ives may very well be considered one of the most important American composers of the modern period. As an artist, he had two distinct advantages in his career: an unconventional education with something of a maverick pedagogue (his father, George Ives); and, a vocation that provided him with security and, later on, considerable wealth. This latter point is often emphasized by historians who cite it as a factor which allowed the composer to write abstract and complex works without having to worry about concert ticket sales. During the latter part of his life, Ives' genius began to bring him recognition. Now, he is regarded as a seminal American composer whose pioneering work with polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatory elements and more has cemented his place in the canon.
Gil Harel is a musicologist and music theorist whose interests include styles ranging from the western classical repertoire to jazz. Previously, he has served on the faculty at CUNY Baruch College (where he was awarded the prestigious “Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching”) as well as at the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. Currently he teaches at Naugatuck Valley Community College where he was presented with the “Merit Award for Exemplary Service to the College”. At NVCC, Dr. Harel conducts the college chorale, a cappella ensemble, teaches music history and theory, and serves as musical director of theater productions. Outside of teaching, he enjoys staying active as a pianist and vocalist. A regular jazz performer, he is a devoted interpreter of the style of McCoy Tyner.
The remaining lectures are as follows:
February 25 – The Story of Famous Artists School and its Connecticut Roots – Stephanie Haboush Plunkett and Magdalen Livesey
March 11 – The World of Maurice Sendak: a Virtual Tour of the Maurice Sendak House and Studio – Lynn Caponera and Jonathan Weinberg
March 25 – The Greatest Showman – Fiction vs Fact! The REAL Story Behind the REEL Story! – Kathleen Maher
April 8 – Gillette and Holmes: Theatrical Innovation from Connecticut to London and Back Again – Emily Gifford