Joseph Kubera, Pianist
Hailed by Village Voice critic Kyle Gann as one of “new music’s most valued performers,” JOSEPH KUBERA has been recognized as a leading interpreter of contemporary music for the past 30 years. He has been soloist at such festivals as the Berlin Inventionen, the Warsaw Autumn and Prague Spring, Miami’s Subtropics Festival and Berkeley’s Edgefest. He has been pianist in residence at the Ostrava Days New Music Festival since its inception in 2001. Mr. Kubera has been awarded grants through the NEA Solo Recitalist Program and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and was a Creative Associate with the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at SUNY Buffalo in its heyday.
Mr. Kubera has had a long and committed relationship to John Cage and his music since the early 1970s. One of the few pianists performing the difficult chance-based, post-1950 works, he has recorded the complete Music of Changes and the Concert for Piano and Orchestra, and has toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Cage’s invitation.
In recent years, he has championed the music of his late Buffalo compatriot, Julius Eastman, reviving little-known piano works and directing performances of his multiple-piano pieces. Most recently, he has toured the remarkable new hour-long piano work Dreamers of Pearl by Michael Byron. Other composers who have written for Mr. Kubera include Larry Austin, Anthony Coleman, David First, Alvin Lucier, Roscoe Mitchell, Howard Riley, and “Blue” Gene Tyranny, among others.
Mr. Kubera is a core member of S.E.M. Ensemble and Orchestra, and the Downtown Ensemble, and he has performed with a broad range of New York groups from the Brooklyn Philharmonic to the New York New Music Ensemble to Steve Reich and Musicians. He tours frequently with baritone Thomas Buckner, and luminaries such as Terry Riley and Ingram Marshall have written for his duo-piano team with Sarah Cahill. He has worked closely with such composers as Alvin Lucier, Robert Ashley, Morton Feldman and La Monte Young. In addition to the Cage above, solo recordings include Beth Anderson’s Piano Concerto on New World, Lucier’s Still Lives on Lovely Music, Cowell’s Nine Ings on New Albion, and Michael Sahl’s Serenades on Albany. He has also recorded for the Wergo, O.O. Discs, 1750 Arch, Mutable Music, Cold Blue, and Opus One labels.