Avant-Garde: Quarter Master

Students who showed up last week for the previously announced band concert at Syracuse University's Grouse Hall were in for a jolt. The band had been canceled, and in its place was a performance with two pianos that were out of tune with each other, a soprano who bent her notes off pitch, and a chamber ensemble that blatted, swooped and squeaked like an ordinary orchestra warming up. At first it all sounded merely crabbed and comic, but soon it also took on the astringent freshness of a brave new musical vocabulary. It was a group of the Syracuse...

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