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Published: Wednesday, 10/20/2004

Music should grab you and hold you

Ran Ran
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Music, says 1991 Pulitzer Prize winning composer Shulamit Ran, "starts where words end. I always hope that after a lot of struggle, when I finally put down the pen, that something about my own humanity touches something in another's humanity."

Ran, who has served as composer-in-residence at both the Chicago Symphony and Chicago Lyric Opera, has works performed on each of the three days of Bowling Green State University's 25th annual New Music & Art Festival.

She has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago since 1973.

"I am very lucky to be able to work with so many people of talent and vision and idealism. We hear about the demise of classical music and have reasons to be concerned. But when I talk to my students about why they are doing this, their burning desire and optimism give me hope," she said.

Any advice for festival attendees trying to make sense of a piece of new music? For Ran, the formula varies as much as the sounds themselves. She looks for "multidimensionality and imagination, music that captures my immediate attention while conveying a sense of depth that invites repeated listenings."

Ran said the New Music & Art Festival presents "a wonderful chance to go and find out what the best and most interesting minds are thinking about music."

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