somewhere there music festival: main

February 22-24, 2013

292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto

advance tickets available online @ eventbrite dot ca

Casey Sokol
   Can Improvisation be Taught?

Casey Sokol

talk/ discussion: Sunday 24 February, 2pm

Casey Sokol is currently an Associate Professor of Music in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University where he has been teaching courses in piano, improvisation and musicianship since 1971. He received B.A. from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo and completed graduate studies at the California Institute of the Arts, where he complimented his pianistic training with intensive study of South Indian classical music.

He has been active as a workshop leader for music teachers, dancers, actors and musicians. He has directed and composed for dance and theatre and has produced a number of large-scale musical presentations. He collaborated with N.Y. director André Serban for the adaptation of the medieval mystery play, "The Clown of God." With the support of the contemporary ensemble, Sound Pressure, and the participation of 150 performers, he conceived and produced, "Cagewake," a music-circus marking the passing of John Cage, and, with Martin Arnold, he produced and co-directed the North American premier of Cardew's eight-hour epic on Confucius' text, The Great Learning. He also composed and produced, with the participation of Tokyo's UNO Man Butoh Company, a multimedia performance of the first multi-lingual Renga, a traditional Japanese collaborative poetic form.

As a performer of classical and contemporary chamber music and improvised music, he has been involved with a variety of musical styles and groups including The York Winds, the CCMC, New Music Concerts and Sound Pressure. He has toured extensively as a soloist and ensemble player in Europe and North America, performing at numerous venues of note, including the Pro Musica Nova Festival (Bremen), the Avignon Festival (France), the O-Kanada Festival (Berlin), the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival, le Centre Pompidou (Paris), Expo '86 (Vancouver), the St. John's Sound Symposium, Kanadishe Täge in Stuttgart, and many others in France, England, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Austria, Cyprus, the U.S.A. and Japan.

In addition to twelve LP discs and thirteen CDs on which his performances, improvisations and arrangements are available, Casey's work has been broadcast on European, American and Japanese and Canadian radio and television. He is one of the founding members of the Music Gallery in Toronto (1976). Professor Sokol was the recipient of the 2001 OCUFA Award for Excellence in Teaching and even after 40 years of university teaching still thinks it's an amazing way to spend the day.

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