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October 23, 2006

Music professor Leta Miller to give talk on Lou Harrison

Professor of music Leta Miller will give a talk titled “Lou Harrison: Musical Trailblazer” on Thursday, October 26, from 4 to 6 p.m. at McHenry Library's Special Collections. Miller will share her research and writings on Harrison--one of Santa Cruz County's most famous musical personalities--and his groundbreaking contributions to 20th-century music.

Photo of Lou Harrison

Lou Harrison
Photo: David Harsany

Beyond studying with leading composers of the avant garde, Harrison achieved fame for his distinctive blending of cultures--from Chinese opera, Indonesian gamelan, and the music of Native Americans, to modernist dissonant counterpoint. He is now lauded as an imaginative pioneer for his integration of Asian and Western musics, as well as for his work in the development of the percussion ensemble, his use of found and invented instruments, and his explorations of alternative tuning systems.

Miller is a musicologist and flutist whose most recent scholarship has focused on 20th-century American music. She has coauthored two books on Harrison--the first was published in 1998 by Oxford University Press and the second--a retrospective study of his life and works--was just issued by the University of Illinois Press in 2006.


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