• John Cage

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an event this weekend called A John Cage Festival, a four-concert program curated by Chicago composer Nomi Epstein. Cage might be the most famous experimental composer of the 20th century, but his philosophy and personality are far better known than his actual music. As Epstein said in my piece, “In America his works are often presented briefly on the day in class that graphic scores and 4’33” are discussed.” For the festival’s preview concert on March 30, pianist Eliza Garth performed what’s probably Cage’s most frequently heard piece, Sonatas and Interludes (1946-’48), an early masterpiece for prepared piano. For the concerts happening around town this weekend, though, Epstein dug much deeper into his vast repertoire, not only programming pieces from all phases of his career but also emphasizing those that embrace indeterminacy.