Evening at Egan presents 'Mahler, Modernism, and Resurrection'

Posted: Thursday, October 14, 2010

UAS history professor Robin Walz and Juneau Symphony Orchestra music director Kyle Pickett will give a joint talk on modernism in turn-of-the-century Vienna and its influences on Mahler and his Resurrection Symphony at this week's Evening at Egan lecture. The talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Egan Lecture Hall at University of Alaska Southeast.

Robin Walz is an associate professor of history at UAS, specializing in European intellectual and cultural history. He is the author of "Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris" and "Modernism." He also plays cello in the Juneau Symphony.

Kyle Pickett, appointed music director by the Juneau Symphony in 2000, pursued his doctoral studies at the Peabody Conservatory with the renowned conducting teacher Frederik Prausnitz. Pickett considers Mahler's Second Symphony one of his favorites.

"Gustav Mahler, in addition to being one of the world's greatest composers, was also one of the world's greatest conductors," he said. "As a conductor, he understood the difficulties of realizing such enormous works as his Second Symphony. When speaking to a group of young conductors who were working on one of his symphonies, Mahler said, 'I salute conductors who, when the occasion arises, modify my score to suit the acoustics of the hall. If, after my death, something doesn't sound right, then change it. You have the right to change - not only the right - the duty to change it.' "

The Juneau Symphony will perform Mahler's Resurrection Symphony Oct. 23 and 24 with a full orchestra, chorus and guest soloists. For more information, see www.juneausymphony.org/2010

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