Inner Cities

A FIVE HOUR PIANO CYCLE for solo piano by Alvin Curran
Performed by Gabriella Smart – Piano

Photo by Mark Patterson

Described by Alex Ross of the New Yorker as “vast and all-consuming”.
Alvin Curran celebrates the great cities he has inhabited through a series of pieces comprising the piano cycle.

During the performance people are free to wander, absorbing the different architectural and acoustic perspectives of the space. Audiences have been known to meditate, bring their yoga mat, or simply sit or lie down.
The audience is invited to stay for as long as they wish, or to leave and return later; there is no expectation that people stay for the entire duration, allowing them to control their engagement with the artistic experience.

Expectation of the formalised tradition of concert going is suspended, with a 5-hour celebration of space, light, meditation and transcendence of time beyond our normal conception. The audience are invited to participate in a slow listening experience where the music unfolds over a protracted time-frame, moving away from the formality and limitations of the condensed, static listening conventions implicit in the classical traditional concert experience.

“Inner Cities are where you go to get debriefed.”
Alvin Curran, liner notes www.alvincurran.com/writings/ic%20liner%20notes.html

Photo by Mark Patterson

“Smart made the repetitions and Curran’s myriad sudden discontinuities and shifts of energy feel natural and spontaneous, almost effortless. Her performance ranged across the gamut of tranquility, fragility, humour, sentimentality, sparkling dexterity, and utter ferocity, when required pounding the piano into a huge resonating chamber.”
Stephen Adams, Producer, ABC Classic FM

Alvin Curran

Alvin Curran

Composer Alvin Curran studied with Elliot Carter (M.Mus, Yale, 1963). From 1975-80 he taught vocal improvisation at the Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica (Rome) and from 1991 to 2006 was the Milhaud Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California. He now gives master classes, residencies, and lectures at Oberlin, Peabody, Brown, Berkeley, The Hague, Haifa, Bolzano, Northwestern, Yale, and Beijing and Rome. Curran has created sound installations in collaboration with visual artists including Paul Klerr, Melissa Gould, Kristin Jones, Pietro Fortuna, Umberto Bignardi, and Uli Sigg.


Gabriella Smart

Gabriella Smart

Pianist Gabriella Smart is one of the leading advocates of new music in Australia – through performance, improvisation, collaborative composition, commissioning and curation. She is the recipient of three prestigious awards in 2019: The Paris Residency and an Artist Grant from The Australia Council for the Arts, and a South Australian Government Creative Fellowship. In 2018, she was awarded a Prelude Composer Residency and a UNESCO City of Music residency in Katowice, Poland. Gabriella received a Churchill Fellowship in 2010, and a Helpmann Award in 2009. As an improviser, she has collaborated and performed with such luminaries as Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance, Academy Award winner for film music: The Gladiator), Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes), Alvin Curran, Cat Hope, Derek Pascoe and Johannes Sistermanns as part of the UnPiano Trio, and Paul Grabowsky. With a background as a multi-award winning pianist specialising in classical and new music, Gabriella has performed extensively in Australia and internationally, premiering over forty new works for solo piano by Australian and international composers in Australia, Europe and China, and collaborating with musicians as diverse as Brett Dean, Elena Kats Chernin, Erkki Veltheim, Jon Rose, and Tamara Anna Cislowska.

Gabriella’s performance of Alvin Curran’s solo For Cornelius was described as ‘meltingly beautiful’ and ‘mesmerising’ (The Australian). She has performed widely as a soloist throughout Australia, and internationally, promoting the works of Australian composers. Gabriella has performed in the Melbourne and Adelaide International Festivals, MONA MOFO, TURA (Perth) and in Europe and China. In 2010, she represented Australia at the World Expo in Shanghai. Gabriella has given numerous live and recorded broadcasts for ABC Classic FM.


June 23, Sydney, 2019
People’s Republic Concert Series

July 22, Adelaide, South Australia 2018
Beaumont House, part of the National Trust of South Australia Prelude Residency program

January 18, Hobart Australia 2015
MONA MOFO Festival

October 21, Adelaide Australia 2013
Studio recording, ABC Classic FM radio

September 1, Sydney Australia 2013
People’s Republic Concert Series

August 28, Melbourne Australia 2013
Monash University

August 25, Adelaide
World Premiere Performance
Open Forum with Composer in residence Alvin Curran and Brian Ritchie, Curator, MOFO

Constantine Koukias
Foundation IHOS Amsterdam

Phone + 31 6 49894484
Email konstantinkoukias@gmail.com
Web ihosamsterdam.com