Multi-instrumentalist Michael Linville to join Arts Academy Percussion Ensemble for John Cage Retrospective

  • Keith Aleo (left) and Arts Academy student Jakob Schoenfeld (right) rehearse for "Credo in Us."

Noted percussionist, pianist, harpist, and conductor Michael Linville will join Keith Aleo and the Interlochen Arts Academy Percussion Ensemble for a retrospective on the works of composer John Cage on Nov. 29.

Linville is the Assistant Dean and Director of Chamber Music Activities for the New World Symphony, and artistic coordinator for the New World Percussion Consort. A gifted pianist, percussionist, harpist, and conductor, Linville has appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Breckenridge Chamber Orchestra, and the National Repertory Orchestra.

The performance will feature Cage’s works for both traditional and non-standard instruments, including tin cans, an acoustic buzzer, a prepared piano, and more. Arts Academy percussion students will perform alongside Linville and Instructor of Percussion Keith Aleo in three of the evening’s seven selections. Aleo and Linville will also perform solo and duo numbers, including “Child of Tree,” a piece that is played on amplified plant material.

John Milton Cage (1912-1992) was a composer of the American avant garde. Cage’s groundbreaking works incorporated found sounds, noise, and alternative instruments, such as the prepared piano. His major influences included French artist Marcel Duchamp, Zen Buddhism, and the Chinese I Ching.

“Cage’s works challenge every convention of classical music,” Aleo said. “Performing his works gives our students an opportunity not only to honor one of the great musicians of modern times, but also to open their minds to new ways of hearing and playing music. For audiences, it’s a wonderful chance to redefine what music is and can be.”