Bruce Brubaker on Breaking Down Boundaries
Pianist Bruce Brubaker will give a varied recital at CMU’s Kresge Recital Hall on Tuesday Thursday, October 27 at 8 p.m. The free concert will include music by Philip Glass, Alvin Curran, and Alvin Lucier as well as works by Haydn and Chopin. I had the opportunity to interview Bruce (via Skype) and I asked him about his upcoming concert at CMU, his approaches to programming, teaching, working with composers, and many other topics. Not surprisingly, Bruce has thought long and hard about all these issues and he’s not at all shy about giving answers, even when they might be a little controversial. I recommend listening to the full interview (at the bottom of the post), but I’ve excerpted some highlights below.
First, here’s Burce’s take on the program.
Bruce shared some insights on how internet services like Last FM or Pandora effect what music we’re exposed to and this turned the discussion toward how that dynamic could effect programming in general.
In the course of our conversation, it became clear to me that Bruce Brubaker’s approach to programming is infused with a teacher’s passion for communicating ideas with clarity and freshness. When I brought up this idea of a pedagogical approach to programming, his response about the sometimes amorphous boundary between when you are learning and when you are teaching was particularly insightful.
When we discussed the topic of collaboration between composers and performers, Bruce once again surprised me with a perspective I couldn’t recall having heard before from a performer, bur which also made a lot of sense.
Bruce Brubaker’s recital will include time for Q and A at the end, and I have a feeling you will really want to stick around for that.