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Tony Conrad to be honored with screening, celebration

The art and music worlds are still reeling from the news of Tony Conrad’s death on April 10. Dozens of writers and artists who were influenced by Conrad’s wide-ranging work as pioneering thinker, composer, artist and musician have penned tributes to him. The Museum of Modern Art, where he was slated to perform April 18, changed the event to a tribute. And now, the University at Buffalo – where he taught from 1976 until his death – is set to do the same.

An event long planned for May 2 to celebrate Conrad’s retirement from UB and co-organized by Squeaky Wheel has been converted into a memorial celebrating his influence on generations of arts and musicians as well as on local institutions such as Squeaky Wheel, which he helped to found, and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. May 2 with a sound performance by the The Open! String Ensemble led by Jonathan Golove and featuring a recording of Conrad playing violin. The evening will also feature screenings of some of Conrad’s most important films.

A release from the UB media study department described him as “a larger-than-life media pioneer: key in the establishment of Media Study at Buffalo, internationally recognized as an experimental artist, and enthusiastically dedicated to the arts in Western New York for four decades.”

Conrad’s life and work also will factor heavily into Squeaky Wheel’s planned 30th birthday celebrations from May 13 to 15 in the organization’s headquarters in the Market Arcade Building on Main Street. For more information, visit

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