Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sergio A. Mims: Los Angeles Times: Review: The resurrection of Julius Eastman: gay, black and brilliant

Bass-baritone Davone Tines performs Julius Eastman's "Prelude to the Holy Presence of Joan d' Arc" at the Monday Evening Concerts in Zipper Concert Hall. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Sergio A. Mims forwards this article:

Music Critic

January 24, 2017

Julius Eastman was a lost Minimalist and a lost soul. He was a composer, baritone and pianist of blinding, brilliant talent who died in 1990 at age 49, homeless and forgotten, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Two decades earlier he had helped to usher in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s first contemporary music festival at the Music Center, Contempo ’71. Performing with Music Director Zubin Mehta, Eastman was called by critic Martin Bernheimer in these pages “a young man who can do anything with his voice.”

He could do much more. He was a composer ahead of his time, which is what mainly led to his self-destructiveness and subsequent neglect. But attention is now being paid, as the Monday Evening Concerts series proved by opening its season at the Colburn School’s Zipper Concert Hall with an all-Eastman program. The hall was packed with new music old-timers and many younger newcomers.

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