On Saturday, Feb. 23, CalArts alum and composer Danny Wood (Music BFA 13) performs in concert, opening for Grammy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng. The evening performance takes place in a private residence in Los Angeles and features a beautifully restored Louis XV Steinway B piano.
The concert is a reprisal of Cheng’s 2018 sold-out Piano Spheres concert that featured iconic pieces by modern American composer Terry Riley. On Saturday (Feb. 23), Cheng performs Riley’s The Heaven Ladder, Book 7 (1994), The Walrus in Memoriam (1991) and one of Riley’s earliest works, Two Pieces for Piano (1958-59). A pioneer of minimalism, “Riley’s endlessly inventive music reflects his wide-ranging interests in ragtime, jazz, classical, modernism, Indian raga, and virtuosic romanticism,” according to the program notes.
Wood is a composer of new opera and new chamber music and an experimental filmmaker, who lives and works in Los Angeles. While studying composition at CalArts, he studied under composers and faculty Karen Tanaka, Wolfgang von Schweinitz and Anne LeBaron. Wood currently teaches at the Rhodes School in Los Angeles and performs regularly at experimental arts venues.
An additional opening performance at Saturday’s concert features recent UCLA Doctor of Musical Arts graduate Xiao Chen.
Check out a video of Cheng and Riley performing Riley’s “Cheng Tiger Growl Roar” live in 2018, here.