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Seth Parker Woods: Difficult Grace, A Performative Rebirth

March 1 at 4:00 pm5:30 pm

The Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) presents internationally acclaimed cellist Seth Parker Woods, who will give us a behind the scenes view of Difficult Grace, a genre-bending and theatrical multimedia concert tour de force conceived by and featuring him in the triple role of cellist, narrator/guide, and movement artist.

In Difficult Grace, Woods performs music written for and with him by Freida Abtan, Monty Adkins, Fredrick Gifford, Michael Gordon, Nathalie Joachim, and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. Heightened by film, spoken texts, dance, and visual art by Jacob Lawrence, Barbara Earl Thomas, Zoë McLean, and Freida Abtan, Difficult Grace creates a vivid sonic and visual canvas that draws its inspiration from the Great Migration, archival research, immigration, and the poetry of Amiri Baraka and Dudley Randall.

Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” cellist Seth Parker Woods has established a reputation as a versatile artist straddling several genres. In addition to solo performances, he has appeared with the Ictus Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L’Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH), Basel Sinfonietta (CH), Ensemble LPR, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Atlanta and Seattle Symphony’s. A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, Woods has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Louis Andriessen, Elliott Carter, Heinz Holliger, G. F. Haas, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, and Peter Eötvos to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey, and Rachael Yamagata to such visual artists as Ron Athey, Vanessa Beecroft, Jack Early, Adam Pendleton, and Aldo Tambellini. He is recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award. In the 2021-22 season, Woods joins the faculty at the University at Buffalo as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor. He previously served on the music faculties of the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College and the Chicago Academy of the Arts. He holds degrees from Brooklyn College, Musik Academie der Stadt Basel, and a PhD from the University of Huddersfield.

This event will be streamed. Please visit CIRCA’s website for details. 

CIRCA is committed to making its events accessible to everyone. Please send an email to circa@umbc.edu to request specific accommodations.



March 1
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
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