Stanford University
Department of Music Presents:
April 17-18, 2015

Reactions to the Record Symposium 2015:
The Player Piano Project

The 2015 Reactions to the Record symposium will take place April 17-18 in Braun Music Center on the Stanford University campus and will focus on an exciting new initiative at Stanford, The Player Piano Project. It will feature a concert with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra in Bing Concert Hall on Saturday, April 18th that will showcase this remarkable historical medium.

The Player Piano Project is an outgrowth of the Reactions to the Record events and a collaborative effort of the Stanford Department of Music and the Archive of Recorded Sound with support from individuals and institutions around the globe. Participants from past symposia explored the world of the reproducing player piano, the 'hand-played' pianola, and the under-appreciated contributions of this legacy. The Player Piano Project was conceived by researchers and enthusiasts as a way to address the issues of preservation, access, and study of these valuable musical documents.

The project got off to a grand start in 2014 with the acquisition and subsequent arrival from Sydney, Australia of the Denis Condon Collection of Reproducing Players and Rolls. This remarkable collection brings to Stanford over 7500 rolls and 10 players representing an impressive variety of important player systems and rare rolls. Research on this collection is getting underway this year, with digitization and access at the forefront.

The 2015 Reactions to the Record symposium will offer an opportunity to experience rare player pianos and rolls in person and to learn how they are revising our understanding of performance history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will also feature artists who are reviving interest in rolls including world-renowned pianola player Rex Lawson and a U.S. premiere of a new work composed for pianola, orchestra, and iPhone!

Register on this site to attend the symposia lectures, demonstrations, and panels. The symposium is free to all with registration, with the exception of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra concert in Bing Concert Hall on Saturday, April 18th. (Tickets available at Stanford Ticket Office.)

About the Symposium

The Stanford Department of Music in conjunction with Stanford Arts Institute (formerly Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts) and the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound convened the first Reactions to the Record symposium in 2007 as an interdisciplinary meeting of the world's finest scholars and performers interested in the legacy of historical recordings. Past symposia details can be found here. Presenters have included Charles Rosen, Nicholas Cook, Robert Philip, Joseph Horowitz, Jose Bowen, Malcolm Bilson, and Donald Manildi, among others.

The symposium highlights work in performance practice that engages historical recordings as vital source material. Central to this interest are performances inspired by historical models. Presentations in related areas include cultural studies in performance, methodologies of performance analysis, and performance in historical narrative.

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Sponsored by Stanford University Department of Music with the support of the A. Jess Shenson Funds, Stanford Arts Institute (formerly the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts), and the Smith Piano Fund.