118. Frederic Rzewski & Jed Distler, pianos

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024 @2pm | A Virtual Concert

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Salon Concerts at Klavierhaus
Jed Distler, artistic director


A Virtual Concert

Frederic Rzewski (1938 - 2021) & Jed Distler, pianos

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024 @2pm

Recorded May 19th, 2009 at Yamaha Artist Services
689 5th Ave # 3
New York, NY 10022

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Jed Distler
Another Beautiful Fresh Flower (2008)
Assault on Pepper (1997)

Frederic Rzewski
Book III (15–21)
Book V (29–35)

Book VI (36–42)
1. To A Young Man (for Noam, 13.09.90)
2. To A Young Woman (for Noemi, 23.09.81)
3. To A Great Guy (for Jan, 20.11.70)
4. To A Runner (for Alexis, 06.01.63)
5. To A Dead Infant (for Nicolas, 06.01.63)
6. To A Sweet Guy (for Ico, 12.02.64)
7. To A Girl (for Esther, 26.07.96)



Frederic Rzewski was an American composer, residing in Belgium and Italy, of mostly chamber, vocal and piano works that have been performed throughout the world; he was also active as a pianist.

Prof. Rzewski studied music privately with Charles Mackey in Springfield, Massachusetts as a child and studied composition with Walter Piston, counterpoint with Randall Thompson and orchestration with Claudio Spies at Harvard University from 1954–58. He studied composition with Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions and the music of Richard Wagner with Oliver Strunk at Princeton University from 1958–60, where he also studied literature and philosophy from Greece. In addition, he studied composition privately with Luigi Dallapiccola in Rome in 1960.

As a pianist, he frequently performed with the flautist Severino Gazzelloni in the 1960s. He then co-founded with Alvin Curran and Richard Teitelbaum the improvisational and live electronic ensemble Musica Elettronica Viva in Rome in 1966 and performed with it from 1966–71. He was thereafter active as a pianist, primarily in performances of his own pieces and music by other contemporary composers.

He taught at the Conservatoire royal de musique in Liège from 1977–2003, where he was Professeur de Composition from 1983–2003. He gave lectures in Germany, the Netherlands and the USA.


ASCAP award winner Jed Distler’s compositions are characterized by audacity, subtle craftsmanship, fresh harmonic ideas, agile counterpoint and a rare sense of humor. His forays into piano theater combine acting and instrumental virtuosity in novel, original ways that have raised the bar for this genre, particularly in his evening length collaboration with playright Ed Schmidt and director Arnold Barkus “The Gold Standard.”

Called “an altogether extraordinary pianist” by Michael Redmond in the Newark Star Ledger, “the Downtown Keyboard Magus” in the New Yorker, and “a witty, genial and adventurous pianist and composer” in the New York Times, Jed Distler has premiered works by Frederic Rzewski, Lois V Vierk, Wendy Mae Chambers, Simeon ten Holt, Richard Rodney Bennett, Alvin Curran, William Schimmel, Virgil Thomson, Andrew Thomas and Virko Baley, among many others.

Jed Distler is one of the most widely read and highly regarded reviewers of classical piano recordings, who regularly contributes to Gramophone and Classicstoday.com. He also has penned numerous booklet notes for major label reissues and new releases, including complete collections of recordings by Martha Argerich, Van Cliburn, Leon Fleisher, Leopold Stokowski, Claudio Arrau and Leonard Bernstein.