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NMSU brings avant-garde performance to Las Cruces

Michelle Schumann will bring her evocative musical talent to New Mexico State University's Atkinson Recital Hall on Friday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Schumann, a pianist and fixture in the Austin music scene, is an enthusiastic proponent of the music of John Cage, 20th-century avant-garde composer, whose "Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano" will be the focus of Schumann's performance titled "Happy Birthday, Mr. Cage."


Woman in purple dress
NMSU hosts pianist Michelle Schumann in a concert titled "Happy Birthday Mr. Cage" featuring moving pieces by John Cage, a 20th century avant-garde composer. (Courtesy photo)

NMSU's music department in the College of Arts and Sciences is bringing in Schumann as a guest artist and part of her visit will include a master class on Friday at 2 p.m. in the recital hall. The master class is open to anyone who is interested in seeing how the piano will be "prepared" for the performance. Schumann will explain all of the preparations and will answer any questions about the process or the pieces she will play that evening.

Schumann has developed a cult-like following for her annual "Happy Birthday, Mr. Cage" concert, which she has been producing, performing and directing since 2000. The set includes 13 sonatas and four interludes. The sonatas aim to express the eight permanent emotions of the rasa Indian tradition. There are four white emotions: humor, wonder, erotic and heroic and four black emotions: anger, fear, disgust and sorrow.

Michelle serves as associate professor of music and artist in residence at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where she is the founder and artistic director of the Hillman Visiting Artists Series. She is also the artistic director for the Austin Chamber Music Center and holds a doctorate from UT-Austin.

For more information, contact Lon Chaffin at 575-646-2421. Both presentation and performance are free and open to the public. A parking permit for off-campus visitors may be obtained at
http://ict-iisweb.nmsu.edu/auxadmin/ParkingForms/ePermit.aspx .