Music Prof Plans ‘Unique’ Piano Recital

music professor and pianist Lynne Mackey
music professor and pianist Lynne Mackey

An eclectic and entertaining program awaits listeners when music professor and pianist Lynne Mackey presents a unique recital 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 21, in Lehman Auditorium at EMU.

In her program, titled "NEW?? A Century of Piano Experiments," Dr. Mackey will perform pieces that require a variety of techniques, inside and outside the piano, to present some inventive uses of the instrument.

A recital highlight will be excerpts from John Cage’s "Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano." This piece requires the piano be "prepared" with more than 60 bits of hardware – screws, bolts, pieces of jar rubber, etc. – fit between the strings at strategic points. This preparation "completely transforms the piano," according to Mackey, "producing a phenomenon of percussion and unconventional sounds."

Other selections will include the "Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues" of Frederic Rzewski and Ann Silsbee’s "Doors," both requiring unusual techniques. The Rzewski piece utilizes large and small clusters of tones to imitate the driving sound of the mill machinery, Mackey noted. The "whimsical piece" of Ann Silsbee is "a musical dialogue involving non-traditional gestures and knocking on the piano frame, resulting in a visual choreography of arms and elbows at the keyboard," she noted.

She will also play pieces by composers Henry Cowell, Charles Griffes, Emma Lou Diemer and Robert Evett.

Mackey joined the EMU faculty as an associate professor of music the fall of 2008. A graduate of the University of Michigan, The Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, she has long been involved in performing contemporary music. She has coached repertoire with composers such as Joan Tower, George Crumb and Samuel Adler, and her performances include three New York premiers.

In addition to her work as a soloist, Mackey performed this past season in the US and overseas with cellist David Gee in the Gee-Mackey Duo, and also traveled to Brazil to perform concerts and masterclasses with the chamber ensemble, Musica Harmonia.

Admission to this recital is free of charge. Donations are welcomed for the EMU music scholarship fund.