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An all-star lineup played a multifaceted program showcasing Oliveros’ stylistic evolution. Benton C Bainbridge was the Projection, Staging and Lighting Designer for the entire concert. Bainbridge performed visuals live with most of the acts, with the notable exception of DroniPhonia, which was performed by Tony Martin, the legendary pioneer of the “light show”.

“Pauline Oliveros is an eternal innovator whose work has deeply influenced the evolution of many strains of contemporary classical music, from electronic to improvisation. I am particularly thrilled to be able to acknowledge her contributions to the field with the Schuman Award and to note that she is its first female recipient.”
-Carol Becker, dean of the Columbia University School of the Arts

2009 William Schuman Award Concert Honoring PAULINE OLIVEROS
Saturday, March 27, 8:00PM Carol Becker, dean of the Columbia University School of the Arts,
presents Pauline Oliveros with the William Schuman Award. The Schuman Award honors the lifetime achievement and lasting significance of a contemporary American composer, and carries a prize of $50,000. Its previous winners include John Zorn, Steve Reich, and Milton Babbitt; Oliveros is the first woman to receive the Schuman Award.

This marathon concert, produced in close partnership with Oliveros, pays tribute to her pioneering work in electronic experimental music and celebrates her varied influences. An exciting line-up of performers plays a program exploring the evolution of Oliveros’ music-from early notated pieces for chamber ensemble to collaborative works created with dancers and visual artists. The musical performances will be interspersed with spoken tributes from friends and colleagues of the composer.

Deep Listening: Lear (1988) (CD recording)
Fed Back II (1966) (audio playback)
Sounds from Childhood: Sonic Meditation (1992) (for audience participation)
The Gender of Now: There but not There (2005)
Variations for Sextet (1960)
Who’s Playing What (2010)
Bye Bye Butterfly (1965) (audio playback)
The Inner / Outer Matrix (2007)
IO and Her and the Trouble with Him: A dance opera in primeval time
(2001) (video excerpt)
Oracle Bones: Mirror Dreams (2009)
Lunar Opera: Deep Listening For_Tunes (2000) (video excerpt)
Ghostdance (1995) (video excerpt)
Njinga the Queen King: Return of a Warrior (1993) (video excerpts)
DroniPhonia (2009)

International Contemporary Ensemble
Deep Listening Band
Timeless Pulse
Benton C Bainbridge, visual composer and performer; Tom Buckner, baritone; Monique Buzzarté, trombone; Jonas Braasch, soprano saxophone; Sarah Cahill, piano; Stuart Dempster, trombone and
didjeridu; Margot Farrington, visual performer; David Gamper, piano and electronics; Heloise Gold, dancer; Ione, spoken word/sonic vocals; George Marsh, percussion; Tony Martin, visual composer and performer; Miya Masaoka, koto/electronics; Doug Van Nort, laptop; Jennifer Wilsey, percussion; and David Wessel, electronics

Carol Becker, Dean, Columbia School of the Arts
David Bernstein
Michael Century
David Felton
Linda Mary Montano
Renée Levine Packer
Frances Richard
Jenneth Webster

PAULINE OLIVEROS is an important pioneer in American music. Acclaimed
internationally, she has explored sound for four decades-forging new
ground for herself and others. Through improvisation, electronic
music, ritual, teaching, and meditation she has created a body of work
with such breadth of vision that it profoundly affects those who
experience it and eludes many who try to write about it. As John
Rockwell put it, “On some level, music, sound consciousness, and
religion are all one, and she would seem to be very close to that
level.” Oliveros has been honored with awards, grants, and concerts
internationally. Whether performing at the John F. Kennedy Center in
Washington D.C., in an underground cavern, or in the studios of West
German Radio, Oliveros’ commitment to interaction with the moment is

Through Deep Listening Pieces and earlier Sonic Meditations Oliveros
introduced the concept of incorporating all environmental sounds into
musical performance. To make a pleasurable experience of this requires
focused concentration, skilled musicianship, and strong
improvisational skills, which are the hallmarks of Oliveros’ form. In
performance Oliveros uses an accordion which has been re-tuned in two
different systems of her just intonation in addition to electronics to
alter the sound of the accordion and to explore the individual
characteristics of each room.

Pauline Oliveros has built a loyal following through her concerts,
recordings, publications, and musical compositions. She has also
provided leadership within the music community from her early years as
the first director of the Center for Contemporary Music (formerly the
Tape Music Center at Mills), as director of the Center for Music
Experiment (during her 14-year tenure as professor of music at the
University of California at San Diego), and as an advocate for
organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, The New
York State Council for the Arts, and many private foundations. She now
serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute and Darius Milhaud Composer in Residence at
Mills College. Oliveros has been vocal about representing the needs of
individual artists, about the need for diversity and experimentation
in the arts, and in promoting cooperation and good will among people.

Columbia University’s Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.


  • http://news.columbia.edu/oncampus/1972
  • http://arts.columbia.edu/pauline-oliveros-honored-schuman-award-miller-theatre
  • https://web.archive.org/web/20100801015630/http://www.arts-electric.org/stories/090412_oliveros.html
  • http://www.arts.rpi.edu/pl/news/marathon-concert-honor-pauline-oliveros
  • New Music Connoisseur review of event “Together with the visuals and the text there was something in the piece for everyone…”

Other Benton C Bainbridge performances with Pauline Oliveros:

  • Big Deep/Deep Listening Band at The Kitchen
  • Oliveros/Eng/Bainbridge at Deep Listening Institute, Kingston, NY

Works influenced by Oliveros:

  • “Encarnada Gostosa” 2000 (include screenings)