16.05.2020 | Festival

Julius Eastman - Right thought, right music. Postponed to spring 2021!

Julius Eastman was a man of many talents, a composer, pianist, singer and dancer, but above all, a non-conformist who liked to walk the fine line and provoke: as a black man in New York’s predominantly white New Music scene, as an openly gay man in a profoundly homophobic society, and as an artist who ventured between a wide variety of musical genres from electronic, minimal and jazz to pop, impro and disco.


The TRA I TEMPI ensemble will play three consecutive concerts presenting a representative sample of Eastman’s compositions. Works such as Crazy Nigger, Gay Guerilla or Colors exemplify his critical socio-political stance.


Concerts at 6:00 pm, 7:30 pm and 10:00 pm

So how does the black American composer Julius Eastman fir into the Beethoven Anniversary Year? There are some striking similarities between the two composers; both never held back with their non-conformist ideas, be it in life or art, and both were musical visionaries. Eastman embraced and extended the concept of Minimal Music long before it was en vogue and used many different genres of music, from electronic to disco music, years before "cross over".


1st Concert, 6:00 pm

Crazy Nigger (1978) for ensemble

2nd Concert, 7:30 pm

Colors (1973) for 14 female voices
Macle (1971) for voices
Buddha (1984) for voices


3rd concert, 10:00 pm

Femenine (1974) for ensemble


The titles of the "Nigger Series," which includes the composition "Crazy Nigger", were so controversial that they were suppressed at a 1980 performance at Northwestern University.

The premiere was staged with four grand pianos, but Eastman always stressed that he could imagine it with entirely different instruments. TRA I TEMPI’s will be a performance of many timbres with flute, clarinet, viola, cello, percussion, piano and voice.

Eastman's music was long lost and he died homeless because of his uncompromising life. Rediscovered sketches and radio recordings, such as Colors, Buddha and Macle, first need to be prepared so that they can be performed.

In "Colors", the voices are grouped according to the colours of the rainbow, from orange to purple; the black voice remains a singular one. The sketched score of "Colors" was transcribed for TRA I TEMPI by Michael Veltman so that it could be performed.

"Buddha" dates from 1984 and was one of Julius Eastman’s last compositions. It consists of a single sheet of music; in an oval circle; single tones and melody fragments from the highest to the lowest singable pitches; and with an eye looking down from the top left.

"Femenine" is a piece with patterns that Eastman called "organic music". TRA I TEMPI will sink into Femenine's bassline for 69 minutes that the listener will never forget.


Theater im Ballsaal
Frongasse 9
53121 Bonn

Admission prices

€15.00 / Concessions: €9.00
Festival ticket €30.00 / Concessions: €18.00
Group discounts on request

Ticket information

Order tickets:
Theater im Ballsaal
Tel.: +49 228 79 79 01
Fax: +49 228 79 79 02
E-mail: karten@theater-im-ballsaal.de


Click on the button below to reload the content. Please note that the activation will transmit data to the respective third party provider. Further information can be found in our privacy policy.

Click on the button below, to load the content

Show content

# # #