Midway through his Pulitzer Prize-winning career, the classical composer David Del Tredici gave himself a new mandate. He would “create a body of musical compositions that unambiguously celebrate the gay experience — happy, sad, horrible, or bizarre.”
His new piano sextet, Bullycide, certainly fits that description. The score’s inscription says it all: “Written in memory of five gay teens who committed suicide: Tyler Clementi, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Zack Harrington and Seth Walsh.”
Bullycide had its world premiere in La Jolla, California last summer. A reviewer for the Los Angeles Times wrote “Del Tredici refuses to take off his glitter while mourning, as if the way to wound the bullies were to dazzle and daze them with bright light.” You can watch the performance here:
The work will have its Northwest premiere this Monday, July 21, at Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium as part of the Chamber Music Northwest festival. It will also be performed on Tuesday, July 22, at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall. We’ll talk to Del Tredici in anticipation of those performances — and hear excerpts of the work.
- David Del Tredici: Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and professor of music at The City College of New York
- Stan Foote: Artistic Director of Oregon Children’s Theater
- Nora Beck: Professor of Music at Lewis and Clark College
NOTE: This conversation was recorded on Sunday, July 20 at 7pm at Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium.