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Retrospective Weekend Signals Stephen Scott’s Retirement

Three Events March 29-30 Will Showcase Scott's Work, Influence

Retrospective Weekend Signals Stephen Scott’s Retirement

Colorado College Music Professor Stephen Scott founded the pioneering Bowed Piano Ensemble 37 years ago in the basement of Packard Hall. And on March 30, the last strains from the innards of the piano will fade away as the Bowed Piano Ensemble gives its final performance, heralding Scott’s retirement from Colorado College at the end of the academic year.

The 10-person ensemble, which uses fishing line, plastic tape, guitar picks, and mallets to evoke music from the innards of a grand piano, is, obviously, not your average ensemble. They have:

  • Appeared on the TV show “Believe It or Not”
  • Performed in Carnegie Hall the night John Lennon was shot a few blocks away
  • Been featured in Life magazine in 1983
  • Released six CDs, all of which are still available
  • Made nine tours of Western and Central Europe, three of Australia, and one of New Zealand, Bermuda, and the Canary Islands
  • Played at international music festivals all over the world

Three events during the weekend of March 29-30 will showcase Scott’s unique contributions to music, with the two concerts presenting familiar and obscure works—many of which may be heard live for the final time. Says Scott, “The Bowed Piano Ensemble has become my voice, the sound world I revel in, ‘the heaven in my ears,’ to quote composer Tom Ross.”

Stephen Scott Retrospective Schedule:

Stephen Scott Retrospective: Symposium Session
3 p.m., Saturday, March 29
The symposium features talks by alumni of the Bowed Piano Ensemble currently working as academic musicologists around the country, including Ryan Banagale ’00, Shawn Marie Keener ’93, and Tamara Roberts ’00.  They will provide insights into much of the music that will be performed in the two weekend concerts that follow, and commentary from music critics, composers, scholars and alumni unable to attend will be shared.
Packard Hall, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., free

Concert: The Music of Stephen Scott: A Retrospective
7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 29
Saturday’s concert features a work by Scott for solo piano as well as for voice, featuring soprano Victoria Hansen, as well as a full performance of “Vikings of the Sunrise,” considered by many to be Scott’s magnum opus.
Packard Hall, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., free

Concert: The Music of Stephen Scott: A Retrospective
2 p.m., Sunday, March 30
Sunday’s concert features a two bowed-piano ensemble work titled “Double Variations,” with one ensemble (10 musicians) comprised entirely of ensemble alumni. The work also features soprano Victoria Hansen. Additionally, works for bowed piano by former students of Scott also will be included. The festivities conclude with a performance of Terry Riley’s In C, a collaborative and interactive work currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. This final piece has long received annual performances at the college as a part of Scott’s music course offerings and its performance here brings together a large group of alumni performers that have been influenced and inspired by Scott’s tenure with the college.
Packard Hall, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., free