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Cornish Presents Rahayu Supanggah and Gamelan Pacifica

April 23, 2010

Cornish College of the Arts welcomes the acclaimed Indonesian composer and former director of the Indonesian national arts college Rahayu Supanggah for a two-week residency and culminating concert with Gamelan Pacifica celebrating 30 years of Javanese gamelan at Cornish.

Rahayu Supanggah and Gamelan Pacifica
Saturday, April 24, 8 pm
PONCHO Concert Hall
710 East Roy St., Seattle
Tickets: $18 advance, $20 general at the door, $10 students, seniors & alumni

One of Indonesia’s preeminent composers, Rahayu Supanggah has collaborated with such noted artists as Robert Wilson, Peter Brook, and the Kronos Quartet. Supanggah will curate a program of contemporary gamelan compositions by Indonesian composers, all works to be performed by Gamelan Pacifica, the professional gamelan ensemble in residence at Cornish College of the Arts.

Rahayu Supanggah’s residency and performance with Gamelan Pacifica is made possible in part with the support of the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Southeast Asia Center at the University of Washington.

more about THE ARTISTS

Born in Central Java in 1949 into a family of musicians and shadow puppeteers, Rahayu Supanggah began his studies in Javanese gamelan music while still very young. After completing his studies at the national arts academy in Surakarta, Java, he went on to complete a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the Université de Paris VII. After returning to Java in 1985 he taught for many years at the national arts academy Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (STSI) in Surakarta. He was subsequently appointed rector of that institution in 1997, a position he held until stepping down in 2002. Currently he directs the post-graduate department at STSI where he teaches composition and aesthetics. He has guest lectured at universities throughout the United States, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France and Great Britain, and has published numerous articles on ethnomusicology, music, and aesthetics in journals in Europe, the United States, and in Indonesia. From the very beginning of his artistic career Supanggah was significantly influenced by his experiences abroad and by various collaborations with foreign artists. Yet he has never left behind his Central Javanese roots; rather he argues for an open, responsible, and on-going development and extension of his own musical culture. His numerous compositions may be seen as a mirror of these efforts. Notable collaborations and international co-productions presented through Europe, Asia, and the U.S. include his work with theater directors Peter Brook on the Mahabharata (1994), Ong Ken Sen on Lear (1995) and Robert Wilson on I La Galigo (2004).

Originally formed in 1980, Gamelan Pacifica is among the finest ensembles in the United States devoted to the performance of gamelan music. It is an active and adventurous ensemble, with a reputation for creating diverse productions merging traditional and contemporary musical forms with dance, theater, puppetry, and visual media. The ensemble has performed at the Smithsonian Institute’s Festival of Indonesia, New Music Across America Festival, Vancouver New Music Society, On the Boards, Walker Art Center, Performing Arts Chicago, and elsewhere. In the Pacific Northwest, Gamelan Pacifica has performed at the University of Washington, Seattle University, Town Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, the Seattle Art Museum, Evergreen State College, Centrum, the Bumbershoot Festival, the University of Oregon, CenterStage, and many other venues. Visiting artists who have worked with Gamelan Pacifica include some of the most notable artists of Indonesia including Sutrisno Hartana, Wayan Sinti, Didik Nini Thowok, Sri Djoko Rahardja, I Made Sidia, Endo Suanda, Dedek Wahyudi, Goenawan Mohamad, and Tony Prabowo. Gamelan Pacifica’s CD, Trance Gong (O.O. Discs) has received international acclaim. Gamelan Pacifica has been the recipient of numerous grants, including support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and Arts International. The ensemble is currently supported in part by sustaining funds from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and 4Culture. Composer and Cornish College Professor Jarrad Powell directs the ensemble.


Cornish College of the Arts is nationally recognized as a premier college of the visual and performing arts offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in dance, theater, art, design and performance production, and a Bachelor of Music degree. A pioneer in arts education, Cornish College of the Arts sprang from the remarkable vision of Nellie Cornish, a woman determined to cultivate the arts in Seattle when it was scarcely more than a frontier town. Her philosophy of educating the artist through exposure to all the arts was progressive at the time, and continues to be innovative today.

Established in 2004, in an effort to open the lines of communication, The Frank Agency is an innovative
arts management organization dedicated to bridging the spaces between artists, presenters, and audience members. By assisting in areas including promotion/publicity, concert production, grant writing, booking, strategic planning, and the like, it is our hope that a higher volume of art can be created and received.