For its annual FOCUS! new-music festival, the Juilliard School in New York will offer six free concerts this year celebrating the 100th birthday of John Cage (1912-1992), from January 27 through February 3. The festival-opening concert at Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater will include Cage’s 59 ½” For a String Player; Nocturne for Violin and Piano; Living Room Music; In a Landscape; Theater Piece; and Postcards from Heaven. Among other highlights are the score for the ballet The Seasons; Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra (1950-51); and Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957-58), in which members of the ensemble play their own parts without any interaction or coordination. A preconcert symposium on January 31 will feature longtime Juilliard faculty member Pia Gilbert; composer/performer/sound artist Joan La Barbara; Laura Kuhn, John Cage Professor of Performance Arts at Bard College; and pianist Margaret Leng Tan, moderated by festival director Joel Sachs. Each evening of the FOCUS! Festival will include recorded excerpts of John Cage speaking. Performing groups at the festival are the New Juilliard Ensemble, led by Joel Sachs, and the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, directed by Daniel Druckman. For more information, visit

Posted January 20, 2012