Rivers School Conservatory Commissions Berklee Composer Andrew List for Annual Seminar

List joins the ranks of composers including John Cage and Joan Tower who have collaborated with RSC for their Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young.

February 1, 2023

The Rivers School Conservatory (RSC) has announced that Andrew List, Berklee College of Music professor and award-winning composer, will be the commissioned composer for the school’s 44th annual Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young, which will take place March 31 to April 2, 2023, at RSC’s Bradley Hall in Weston, Massachusetts. Admission is free.

Since its founding in 1978, the seminar has addressed the need for young musicians to be engaged with the music of their time and expand their musical repertoire. The event is an opportunity for RSC to celebrate and feature works by composers representing many musical backgrounds, and this year it includes a roundtable discussion focusing on continuing equitable advances in contemporary and classical music.

List’s work on the commissioned piece is well underway. “My piece is for violin, cello, and piano and is a tribute to three human rights leaders: Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, and Harriet Tubman,” he says. “I’m going to use certain music that they used or liked, or that was part of their culture, weaving it into specific parts of the musical fabric.” The world premiere of List’s composition, "The Dignified Heart for Piano Trio: A Tribute to Three Human Rights Leaders," will be the culminating performance of the weekend.

For the first time, this year’s seminar includes 10 talented Berklee students who have been commissioned to work with 10 RSC students, giving RSC students the rare opportunity to collaborate with living composers. Their compositions will be based on the RSC students’ musical interests, and some will also be related to social justice.

The seminar, which has become the model for many such events throughout the United States and the world, has featured collaborations with renowned composers including John Cage, Joan Tower, and Chen Yi. More than 3,000 works have been performed, representing nearly 2,000 composers and 720 premieres. Year after year, the seminar brings together a multigenerational audience of musicians, composers, educators, and music lovers.

The roundtable panelists include: Ashleigh Gordon, violist and Castle of Our Skins cofounder and artistic/executive director; Francesca McNeeley, cellist and member of A Far Cry; Jeffrey Means, assistant professor of composition at Berklee; and Yoon-Ji Lee, assistant professor of composition at Berklee.

Berklee's student composers include Bahar Badieitabar, Chris Brewster, Nik Gambardella, Bella Rose Kelly, Autumn Ramey, Taijee Shavers, Caleb Walker, Stella G. Gitelman Willoughby, Alexander Wu, and Yongqi Wu.

Learn more about the Rivers School Conservatory

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