Michael Century will perform a solo concert at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) showcasing his musical versatility with a repertoire combining classical and experimental pieces, and piano and accordion performances.
The concert, “Bach and Beyond,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in Studio 2 at EMPAC. The concert is free and open to the public.
Century will perform pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach on piano and then perform seminal 20th-century music on both piano and accordion.
The concert will present a broad vista of the keyboard music of Bach—the French Overture and three selections from Bach’s 48 preludes and fugues in the Well Tempered Keyboard—in counterpoint to an unusual selection of compositions by four of the leading voices in creative music from the mid-20th century—Terry Riley, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, and Morton Feldman.
“I see Bach not as a remote, if revered, figure from our classical past, but as very much ‘alive’ and our contemporary,” Century said. “The emphasis on classical pieces by Bach alongside more recent experimental music is a personal homecoming, of sorts. I’ve been performing Bach keyboard music for 40 years, and arranging this program to include a spectrum of music from my own time has happily allowed me to rediscover the earlier masterworks in a fresh way.”
Century is a professor of new media and music in the Rensselaer Department of the Arts. He teaches a variety of courses in media, art history and theory, and music history.