Remembering Mario Davidovsky

The Argentine-American composer Mario Davidovsky passed away on August 23. He was 85.

Davidovsky will be remembered as a pioneer of electroacoustic music (the blending of traditional instruments with new, electronic sounds). In addition to his work at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, he served on the composition faculty of, among other schools, the Mannes School of Music. Born in Buenos Aires, he emigrated to the United States in 1960 and studied with Aaron Copland and Milton Babbitt. From the 1970s on, he moved away from electronic music to produce primarily chamber, orchestral, and vocal works. In one of his final pieces, Fragments, String Quartet No. 6the string quartet comes alive with bold, percussive new sounds.

New sonic frontiers open up in Davidovsky’s twelve “Synchronisms.” This series of pieces, written between 1963 and 2006, combines an array of live instruments with pre-recorded electronic sounds. At times, elements of chance influence the conversation which unfolds between the acoustic and electronic voices.

Synchronisms No. 6 for Piano and Tape was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1971. Listen to this brief piece a few times. At first, it may sound like a jumble of random notes. But listen more closely, and new elements of this dynamic, contrapuntal drama may be revealed. The voices come alive, moving freely between playful exuberance, metallic edginess, and quiet mystery:

Recordings

  • Davidovsky: Synchronisms No. 6 for Piano and Tape, (The Music of Mario Davidovsky, Vol. 3), Aleck Karis Amazon

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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