Book Reception: “Lou Harrison: American Musical Maverick,” by Bill Alves & Brett Campbell

April 20, 2018 Add to Calendar

3:30–4:30 p.m.


Shanahan Center, B450
320 E. Foothill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711


Lou Harrison: American Musical Maverick, by Bill Alves, professor of music (Harvey Mudd College), and Brett Campbell, English faculty (Portland State University)

Come celebrate the publication of this new book and hear the HMC American Gamelan's preview of Harrison's works on Sunday night's concert, directed by Bill Alves.

“An illuminating and engrossing new biography” — Los Angeles Times

“A superb new biography” — Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“Comprehensive and engrossing” — The New York Times

“I studied with Lou Harrison, and he provided my first up-close exposure to world music, to different tuning systems, and to a real live member of the pantheon of American experimental music. I highly recommend this exhaustively researched book, which clearly captures his personality and life: his states of mind, his sexuality, his self-awareness and self-questioning, his journey from young, under-employed composer to lauded master.” — David Lang, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer

“Lou Harrison’s avuncular personality and tuneful music coaxed affectionate regard from all who knew him, and that affection is evident on every page of Alves and Campbell’s new biography. Eminently readable, it puts Harrison at the center of American music: he knew everyone important and was in touch with everybody, from mentors like Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg and Charles Ives and Harry Partch and Virgil Thomson to peers like John Cage to students like Janice Giteck and Paul Dresher. He was larger than life in person, and now he is larger than life in history as well.” — Kyle Gann, author of Charles Ives’s Concord: Essays After a Sonata

Presented by the HMC Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts