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Avant-garde spirit lives in 'A Musical Feast'

In the 1960s and '70s, the musical avant-garde flourished in Buffalo, exemplified by the Creative Associates at the University at Buffalo. Its shock waves reached Kleinhans Music Hall, where the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's music director, Lukas Foss, embraced the experimentation.

That old spirit lives on in the concert series called "A Musical Feast." Organizers describe the season-opening program as "a multimedia event, very much in the now hallowed tradition of performances by the Creative Associates."

One multimedia work on tap is "A Cantata For Coleridge," by Ann Colley, retired professor of English at SUNY Buffalo State College. Colley's piece was inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s travels and descriptions of landscape. A screen will show the Coleridge's line drawings, and narrator Anthony Chase and soprano Tiffany DuMouchelle will give voice to passages from the poet's notebooks.

Other unusual pieces on the program include an early work by Edgar Varese, "Un grand sommeil noir" and selections from "Signs, Games and Messages," by György Kurtág.

"A Musical Feast" also celebrates more traditional classical music. Cellist Natasha Farny and pianist Anne Kissel will be playing Farny's arrangements of songs from Schumann's "Frauenliebe und -Leben" and  Schubert's famous song "Hark, hark, the lark."

"A Musical Feast": 8 p.m. Oct. 20, at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Tickets are $20, $10 for gallery members, $5 for students. Call 878-6011 or visit

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