Institute of Musical Research Fellow Richard Bernas presents BBC Radio 3 programme on John Cage

Thursday 13 September 2012

Photo of Richard BernasIn a special Sunday Feature programme for BBC Radio 3 – John Cage: Beyond Silence – Richard Bernas, a Fellow of the Institute of Musical Research, looks at the influence of composer John Cage beyond music.

Richard Bernas, a conductor, pianist and Cage-collaborator, talks to contemporary artists working in a variety of media, including sound, painting, sculpture, film, theatre and performance art, about John Cage and the impact his ideas have had on their own work.

Contributors include Antony Gormley, Tacita Dean, Christian Marclay, Michael Craig-Martin, Lewis Hyde, DJ Spooky and others.

John Cage is widely considered to be the most influential artist of the late 20th century. Although he is primarily known as a composer of music, his work stretches across - and blurs - the boundaries of different disciplines: writing, performance lectures, visual art and theatre. The programme, which will be broadcast on 16 September 2012, marks the twenty years anniversary of his death, and the one hundred years anniversary of his birth.

Richard Bernas, who is Music Consultant at Tate Modern, said:

“When I first heard his music and later when I worked with him as a pianist and conductor Cage was a divisive figure in the world of music.

Now he’s regarded as a sage whose concepts of sound and performance are accepted references. Musicians and artists will label an event Cagean almost as readily as some might describe another happening as Surreal. Though we may not always feel comfortable with the sound of his music – John Cage is now acknowledged as a philosopher of what art can be.”

John Cage: Beyond Silence will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 16 September 2012, at 19.45. For further information, visit the programme page on the BBC Radio 3 website.

  1. Notes for editors:

    For further information please contact Dee Burn (Head of Communications and External Relations) at the School of Advanced Study, University of London at or +44 (0)20 7862 8670.

  2. Gramophone Award-winning conductor Richard Bernas was born in New York City. Based in London for many years, he has conducted most of the UK’s finest orchestras and performed extensively in Europe. An important part of his activity is working with many of today’s leading composers. The scope of Richard’s collaborations with composers has ranged from the world premieres of Nicholas Maw’s Odyssey at the Royal Festival Hall and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Sternklang in the Berliner Tiergarten to James Dillon’s Oceanos for the BBC Proms. As Music Consultant at Tate Modern, Richard has developed events that are without equivalent in European museums, being gallery rather than concert based. They have introduced contemporary music to new audiences in the context of major exhibitions and further broadened the range of performances at the museum. He is an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Musical Research.

  3. The Institute of Musical Research exists to facilitate research in music of all traditions and eras, and to support freelance and affiliated scholars alike. It runs a busy events schedule, hosts visiting fellows at its London base, supports research projects and groups, and administers a national research training centre and information gateway. The Institute of Musical Research is a member institute of the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

  4. The School of Advanced Study at the University of London is the UK’s national centre for the facilitation and promotion of research in the humanities and social sciences. The School brings together the specialised scholarship and resources of 10 prestigious research institutes to offer academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. The member institutes of the School are the Institutes of Advanced Legal Studies, Classical Studies, Commonwealth Studies, English Studies, Germanic & Romance Studies, Historical Research, Musical Research, Philosophy, Study of the Americas, and The Warburg Institute.