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Piano Spheres: The Zen Pianist
Vicki Ray
The Zen Pianist
June 01, 2012

Though the book has yet to come out, think “Zen and the Art of Piano Performance”.   Join master pianist Vicki Ray in an evening that reflects the spare beauty of Tibetan and Zen Buddhist philosophy through the sound universes of prepared piano, piano with live electronics, and purely acoustic music. The concert features new works by Sean Heim, Linda Bouchard and Bruce Reiprich which have been harmoniously  paired with compositions by Frederick Rzewski and John Cage.  Treat yourself to a serene evening of musical bliss. 

This performance begins at 8pm. 

Described as “phenomenal and fearless” Vicki Ray is one of the leading interpreters of contemporary piano music. A long-time champion of new music she has worked with some of the most prominent composers of our time, including figures as diverse as Gyorgy Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Elliot Carter, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Oliver Knussen, Louis Andriessen, Steven Stucky, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon and Chinary Ung. Ms. Ray has commissioned and premiered numerous works, running the gamut from established composers such as John Adams, Morton Subotnick, Stephen Hartke, David Rosenboom, Paul Dresher, Rand Steiger, Kamran Ince and Eric Chasalow among others - to emerging young artists such as Amy Kirsten, Daniel Wohl and Oscar Bettison. 

Known for thoughtful and innovative programming which seeks to redefine the piano recital in the 21st century, Vicki’s concerts often include electronics, video, recitation and improvisation. As noted by Alan Rich, “Vicki plans programs with a knack for marvelous freeform artistry…what she draws from her piano always relates in wondrous ways to the senses.” As a founding member of PianoSpheres, an acclaimed series dedicated to exploring the less familiar realms of the solo piano repertoire, her playing has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for “displaying that kind of musical thoroughness and technical panache that puts a composer’s thoughts directly before the listener.”Ms. Ray’s work as a collaborative artist has been extremely diverse and colorful. She has been the keyboardist for the pioneering California E.A.R. Unit since 1994 and is currently their Artistic Director. Vicki is also the pianist in the CalArts-based New Century Players and the Los Angeles- based ensemble Xtet.  Her chamber music contributions to the vibrant musical life in greater Los Angeles include frequent performances on the Dilijan, Jacaranda and the Green Umbrella Series. She performs regularly on the venerable Monday Evening Concert series and was featured  in Grisey’s Vortex Temporum on the 2006 celebration of the re-birth of the series. Vicki has been heard in major solo roles with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the German ensemble Compania, and the Blue Rider Ensemble of Toronto, with whom she made the first Canadian recording of Pierrot Lunaire. 

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