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A Blog Post

A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80

2015 is the eightieth birthday year of composer-pianist Terry Riley, who has had a profound influence on generations of composers and musicians. As a master pianist himself, he writes virtuoso pieces which encompass his wide-ranging musical pursuits, from classical music to blues to ragtime, from Indian raga to jazz. This 80th birthday milestone deserves a huge celebration, and since Riley’s primary instrument is piano, A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80 will honor his enduring impact with the creation of nine new solo piano pieces by a group of composers, ranging in age from 23 to 82, who have been inspired by him.

Samuel Carl Adams, Danny Clay, Keeril Makan, Dylan Mattingly, Pauline Oliveros, Gyan Riley, Elena Ruehr, Christine Southworth, and Evan Ziporyn are the composers for this project (Ruehr, Makan, and Southworth are being commissioned by MIT to write new works for this Piano Party). Sarah will also premiere a new piece by Michael Harrison, dedicated to Terry Riley. In concerts across the country during 2015 and 2016, Sarah will perform these new compositions along with Terry Riley’s own piano music, ranging from his 1963 Keyboard Studies to his most recent work, culminating in a recording of the entire project in December of 2016.