Noted American composer Ulysses Kay will visit Harvard next week under the auspices of the Office for the Arts' "Share a Composer" program.
Kay, 71, is a winner of the Prix de Rome, Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, and six honorary doctorate degrees.
Harvard, Tufts, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts (Harbor) have jointly declared next week "Ulysses Kay Week" and will sponsor his visit together.
Susan Zielinski, Program Coordinator of the Office for the Arts, said Kay's music would be especially interesting to students because it incorporates folk and jazz melodies into classical compositions.
In the past the "Share a Composer Program" has sponsored composers Henry Brand, Vincent Persichetti and Karel Husa, said Zielinski.
The composer will attend rehearsals of the Harvard Wind Ensemble on Thursday and Saturday. Ensemble Manager Emily J. Davidson '89 said the group would perform two of Kay's compositions: "Forever Free," his major work for wind ensemble, and "Heralds I," a fanfare, in a concert on Saturday. On "Heralds I," visiting musicians from Canada's McGill University will join the Harvard group.
On Thursday Kay will speak in the Quincy House Junior Common Room on "The Making of a Composer," as part of the Learning From Performers Program. The Afro-American Studies Department will co-sponsor the discussion.
Thomas G. Everett, the director of the Harvard Wind Ensemble, described Kay as a major American composer who has written extensively for wind instruments.
Kay's music, Everett said, is"serialized...highly formalized and structured,with almost a mathematical relationship betweennotes." But the composer also "colleges afolk-like melody with formalized abstractaccompaniment," he said.
Saturday's concert will last about two hours.In addition to Kay's works, the ensemble willperform "On the Nature of Things" by Henry Brantand "Introduction and Samba" by Maurice Whitney.
The McGill University Wind Ensemble will alsoplay several pieces by Canadian composers