Miranda Cuckson

Honoring George Crumb at 85

With Guest Artists Miranda Cuckson, Nunc, and Due East

Crumb’s 85th birthday provides an opportunity to celebrate this composer through concerts, workshops, and master classes featuring guest artists as well as our own faculty and students.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Friday, March 20 through Monday, March 23, 2015

Friday, March 20
Concert with Lakeshore Rush, a Chicago-based new music ensemble co-founded by music alumni Erin K. Murphy and Laura McLaughlin. Featuring Vox Balaenae by contemporary composer George Crumb as well as works by Mason Bates and Joshua Hintze. 8 p.m., Music Hall. Free.

Saturday, March 21
Concert with UW’s Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, featuring cellist Parry Karp. Also featuring members of the percussion ensemble Clocks in Motion. 7:30 p.m., Music Hall.
Featuring the Sonata for Solo Cello by contemporary composer George Crumb. Free.

Sunday, March 22
Concert with Miranda Cuckson and her ensemble, Nunc. 7:30 p.m., Mills Hall.
Performing works of George Crumb, UW-Madison composer Laura Schwendinger, Sebastian Currier and Augusta Read Thomas, and others. Reception to follow in Mills Hall lobby. Tickets $20.00 adults, free to students.

Monday, March 23
Concert with Due East: Featuring works by a selection of contemporary composers inspired by George Crumb, as well as all four books of George Crumb’s Madrigals in an exciting multi-media presentation. 8 p.m., Morphy Hall. Tickets $10.00 adults, free to students.

Buy tickets here, or at the door day of show. You can also buy at the Memorial Union Box Office.


George Crumb has been a major force in American composition since the 1960s when his Ancient Voices of Children set to texts by Garcia Lorca provided an evocative and deeply personal response to late modernist serialism.  He is the winner of Grammy and Pulitzer Prizes, and continues to compose new scores, most recently his American Songbooks, that celebrate the magic and mystery of life. Crumb’s music often juxtaposes contrasting musical styles, ranging from music of the western art-music tradition, to hymns and folk music, to non-Western musics. Many of Crumb’s works include programmatic, symbolic, mystical and theatrical elements, which are often reflected in his beautiful and meticulously notated scores.

Featuring violinist Miranda Cuckson and her ensemble Nunc, as well as Chicago musicians Due East. The program will include a performance of the “Crumb Madrigals” as well as a performance of “The Violinists in My Life,” written by faculty composer Laura Schwendinger.

Violinist and violist Miranda Cuckson, described by the New York Times as “a prodigiously talented player who [can] make even the thorniest contemporary scores sing,” is highly acclaimed for her performances of a wide range of repertoire, from early eras to the most current creations. In demand as a soloist and chamber musician, she appears in major concert halls, as well as at universities, galleries and informal spaces. She has performed at such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Miller Theatre, the 92nd Street Y, Guggenheim Museum, and many more. Read a New York times review of Cuckson.

Nunc (Latin for “now”) was founded in 2007 as “Transit Circle ” by artistic director and violinist/violist Miranda Cuckson, and was renamed and incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2012. Nunc is devoted to presenting high-caliber performances of music of current, recent and older eras, through distinctive programming that highlights their innovations and contributions.

Due East (Erin Lesser, flutes; Greg Beyer, percussion) actively promotes new music and seeks to expand the flute and percussion duo genre through frequent commissions and premieres. Their first recording, Simultaneous Worlds, is available on Albany Records. Their second recording, Drawn Only Once, is a multi-media CD/DVD now available on New Amsterdam Records. Noted critic Steve Smith gave it a rare 5.0-star rating in Time Out New York, calling it “spellbindingly beautiful.”

Ticket information