John Cage Uncaged in the UK

Broadcast Information

Cage in his American Context

January 16, 2004—7:30 p.m.
Barbican Hall
LIVE on BBC Radio 3
Shown on BBC4 at 8.30pm

Complete program

Lawrence Foster, conductor
Philip Mead, piano
BBC Symphony Orchestra

SCHUMAN: New England Triptych
CAGE: The Seasons
COWELL: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
IVES: Central Park in the Dark
ANTHEIL: A Jazz Symphony
COPLAND: El salón México
CAGE: 4’33″ tacet for large orchestra

BBC News has reported that BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a performance of John Cage’s iconic 4’33″ live as performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. To accomplish this on radio, the station will have to turn off an emergency system which cuts in if there is dead air. TV viewers will also be able to watch the event when BBC4 broadcasts the concert.

The performance takes place on Friday at London’s Barbican Centre, as part of the first concert in a weekend of planned performances of Cage’s work (January 16-18, 2004). “John Cage Uncaged” celebrates “one of the most extraordinary figures in 20th century artistic life,” according to the BBC Symphony Orchestra Web site.

The event also includes films, discussions, and many other concert performances of his works and others, plus a lecture by an expert about mushrooms, Cage’s favorite topic. For a complete listing, see the festival Web site.

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Variations: A John Cage Film, Video, and Music Festival

On this side of the pond, New York City’s Anthology Film Archives has dedicated an entire festival to John Cage, their first devoted to a composer. The five-day event (January 21-25, 2004) “focuses on movies that invoke Cage in words, in sound, in action and in thought. From Cage-scored experimental shorts, to feature-length documentaries about his works and collaborators, these 14 programs bring to light the brilliantly diverse legacy and influence of John Cage,” according to the Anthology Film Archives’ Web site, which also offers a complete schedule of events.