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Gary Burton and Konstantin Lifschitz

Contemporary Musicians in Conversation Series

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Gary Burton and Konstantin Lifschitz


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Gary Burton - Jazz Composer - Vibraphonist

 

Gary Burton born in 1943 and raised in Indiana, taught himself to play the vibraphone and, at the age of 17, made his recording debut in Nashville, Tennessee, with guitarists Hank Garland and Chet Atkins. Two years later, Burton left his studies at Berklee College of Music to join George Shearing and subsequently Stan Getz, with whom he worked from 1964-1966. Borrowing rhythms and sonorities from rock music, while maintaining jazz's emphasis on improvisation and harmonic complexity, Burton's first quartet attracted large audiences from both sides of the jazz-rock spectrum.

During his subsequent association with the label (1973-1988) the Burton Quartet expanded to include the young Pat Metheny on guitar, and the band began to explore a repertoire of modern compositions. In the '70s, Burton also began to focus on more intimate contexts for his music. His 1971 album Alone at Last, a solo vibraphone concert recorded at the 1971 Montreux Jazz Festival, was honored with a Grammy Award.

 

Konstantin Lifschitz - Classical pianist

Konstantin Lifschitz In 1994, a recording of Bach´s "Goldberg" Variations made the Russian pianist Konstantin Lifschitz an international figure. That was long enough ago that it´s amazing to realise that he´s only 23 now-and he was 17 then. When he made his American debut at the Newport Festival in 1996, this listener felt like an intruder reading someone´s innermost thoughts in a private diary-and Lifschitz was playing Chopin´s Op. 10 Etudes.

That feeling of eavesdropping was even more profoundly pronounced Wednesday night when Lifschitz played a long and demanding Schubert program at the International Piano Festival at Williams College-both sets of Impromptus, the Moments Musicaux, and the Drei Klavierstuecke. The program reminded us, among other things, of how young Schubert was when he wrote some of his greatest music.

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