This durational concert presents Erik Satie’s Vexations (1893), featuring a roster of established and emerging pianists from both classical and avant-garde spheres, including Timo Andres, Philip Corner, Sylvie Courvoisier, Karl Larson, Anne Queffélec, Joshua Rifkin, and Margaret Leng Tan. Satie composed this iconic piece on the heels of ending his involvement with the Salon de la Rose+Croix. It is unknown whether Satie intended for the work to be played or if it was simply a sort of jest directed at the esoteric excesses of Joséphin Péladan, the founder of the Salon. But the unlikely piece attracted the attention of John Cage, who first staged it. Cage organized a concert in New York in 1963 featuring contemporary musicians such as John Cale, James Tenney, David Tudor, and Christian Wolff, among others. In observance of one of Satie’s instructions, the score was repeated 840 times, lasting for almost 19 hours in an unprecedented serial undertaking that echoed the Minimalist and Conceptual concerns of the 1960s. More than 50 years later, the Guggenheim will once again present Vexations to a New York audience. A full list of performers and schedule will be announced in September.
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