Anderson, Beth (actually, Barbara Elizabeth)

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Anderson, Beth (actually, Barbara Elizabeth)

Anderson, Beth (actually, Barbara Elizabeth), inventive American composer and performance artist; b. Lexington, Ky, Jan. 3, 1950. After piano studies at the Univ. of Ky. (1966–68), she continued piano training at the Univ. of Calif, at Davis, where she also had courses in composition with Larry Austin, Cage, and Richard Swift (B.A., 1971). Following further training in piano (M.F.A., 1973) and in composition (M.A., 1974) with Robert Ashley and Terry Riley at Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif., she attended N.Y.U. (1977–78). She was co-ed, and publisher of Ear Magazine (1973–79); also taught at the Coll. of New Rochelle in N.Y. (1978–86). As a composer, she has pursued a diagonal tangent upon her own highly original path. Her resources are manifold, passing through a wide spectrum of sound, sight, and motion in specially designed multimedia productions. She espouses text-sound composition, and also applies collage techniques.


DRAMATIC: Queen Christina, opera (Oakland, Calif., Dec. 1, 1973); Soap Tuning, theater piece (1976); Zen Piece, theater piece (1976); Nirvana Manor, musical (1981); Elizabeth Rex, musical (1983); The Fat Opera, musical comedy (N.Y., April 22, 1991). MULTIMEDIA: Morning View and Maiden Spring for Tape, Speaker, Slides, and Light (1978). ORCH.: Revelation (1981); Revel (1985); Minnesota Swale (1994); Piano Concerto (1997). CHAMBER: Music for Charlemagne Palestine for String Quartet (1973); The Praying Mantis and the Bluebird for Flute and Piano (1979); Dream or Trio: Dream for Piano, Flute, and Cello (1980); Little Trio for Flute, Viola, and Guitar (1984); Pennyroyal Swale for String Quartet (1985); Rosemary Swale for String Quartet (1986); Brass Swale for Brass Quintet (1993); Ghent Swale for Violin and Piano (1999); Tales Nos. 1, 2, and 3 for Violin and Piano (1999); piano pieces. VOCAL: Joan, oratorio (Aptos, Calif., Aug. 22, 1974); Precious Memories for Chorus (1997); Magnificat for Chorus (1999); song cycles; solo songs; chants. OTHER: Tape pieces; text-sound compositions, including the opera Riot Rot (1984).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Anderson, Beth (actually, Barbara Elizabeth)

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