Brendan Kinsella, Pianist
Dr. Tom O'Brien and Hosam Aboul-Ela, Dialogue
Presented in partnership with APERIO, Music of the Americas and FotoFest
Thursday, April 3, 7pm
Aperio artist Brendan Kinsella performs American composer Frederic Rzewski’s towering masterpiece for solo piano, 36 Variations on “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” Rzewski composed this hour-long, virtuosic work in 1975 on the eve of the United States’ bicentennial as a meditation on the 1973 overthrow of the Allende government in Chile. In addition to being one of the greatest contemporary contributions to the classical music canon, it is a powerful statement on political struggles, cultural hegemony, resistance, and revolution. In light of social upheaval across the Middle East, the meaning of this work resonates with particular urgency for listeners today. Kinsella is a pianist of incredible range and technical gifts, noted internationally for his interpretations of contemporary scores. A facilitated discussion focused on the parallels between the Chilean Revolution and current events in the Middle East follows the performance led by Dr. Tom O'Brien and Hosam Aboul-Ela. Dr. O’Brien is a John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History at the University of Houston specializing in Latin American history, culture, politics, and labor. Hosam Aboul-Ela is an Egyptian writer, translator, and literary critic, and now teaches English at the University of Houston. His writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Words without Borders, npr.com, and the Houston Chronicle.