UC San Diego's Department of Music

May 21, 2009

  It's not often that fans of new and experimental music get a chance to hear UCSD's renowned violinist János Négyesy on electric violin. So it was not unexpected when a capacity crowd turned up for Mr. Négyesy's Vlolin+ performance in the department of music's new Conrad Prebys Music Center.

The occasion was the GALA OPENING weekend, where Mr. Négyesy's concert was among special performances during a May 9 Open House.

Clad in a long black kimono, Mr. Négyesy strode into a pool of light and stood next to an earth-like globe of metal triangles like something out of a Buckminster Fuller sketchbook. Then the violinist embarked on a virtuosic program of pieces by Sariaaho, Hajdu, and Parmegiani, as well as his own collaborative composition with Lee Ray, who graduated from UCSD with a Ph.D. in composition a few years ago.

The audience of nearly 200 ranged from experimental music aficianados to neophytes. All were captivated by the music, as Négyesy bowed his specially built electric violin to create rich layers of light and sound, joined by Trevor Henthorn (live electronics), Rebecca Bruno (movement), Fred Thieme (sculpture), and Tom Dugdale (director and designer).

Mr. Négyesy performed inside the department of music's new high-tech experimental theater, within the new $53 million music center. Prior to the new center's opening, the department did not have a venue for such an elaborate, multimedia performance.

Following the concert, Mr. Négyesy awarded high marks to the new theatre. He said he looks forward to staging many more experimental works there in the future.

In addition to the experimental theatre, the Conrad Prebys Music Center includes a 400-seat concert hall, a 150-seat lecture/recital hall, an orchestral rehearsal room, computer labs, recording studios, and many other state-of-the-art facilities.

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