Celebrating the Music and Legacy
of Iannis Xenakis
May 24–25, 2013

The Fields Institute, together with the Perimeter Institute and the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo present a two-day festival of contemporary string quartet, percussion, and electroacoustic music, together with lectures and discussion on the impact of Xenakis's work. The festival features the JACK Quartet, which has electrified audiences worldwide with "viscerally exciting performances" (New York Times) and "explosive virtuosity" (Boston Globe).


On Friday, May 24 in Toronto, the Fields Institute will present two concerts of the music of Iannis Xenakis, as well as a symposium on the work of Xenakis in music and architecture. The event is part of the celebrations of the Institute's Twentieth Anniversary Year. Xenakis was a pioneer of electronic and computer music. His work in music composition and architectural design integrates techniques from probability and game theory. Learn more about the music of Iannis Xenakis

Noon and evening concerts at Walter Hall will feature the complete Xenakis string quartets performed by the JACK Quartet, recently hailed for their "exceptional" and "beautifully harsh" performance of these works. The concerts also feature Xenakis's seminal percussion works, Rebonds, Psappha, the trio Okho, and the sextet Pleiades, played by the McGill and University of Toronto Percussion Ensembles, Aiyun Huang, Noam Bierstone, Greg Samek, and Alessandro Valiante. Learn more about the musicians

Morning and afternoon lectures at the Fields Institute, by Sharon Kanach, Curtis Roads, James Harley, and Daniel Hambleton, will explore the work of Xenakis and his use of ideas from mathematics, science, and the natural world. Learn more about the speakers

On Saturday, May 25, Waterloo will be the location of three concerts of algorhythmic music and accompanying discussion at the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. A lunch-time concert at the Institute for Quantum Computing will feature electroacoustic and video works by Curtis Roads, Jim Harley, Jean Piché, as well as Arne Eigenfeldt's generatively-controlled Karmetik NotomotoN — an 18-armed robotic percussionist — and the North American premiere of octaphonic diffusions of Varese's Poeme Electronique. Learn more about the Waterloo program

Following the concert, a panel of artists and scientists will discuss the use of algorhythmic procedures at the Institute for Quantum Computing. Xenakis' outdoor percussion work Persephassa will be heard in a free afternoon concert at Waterloo Park, performed by TorQ percussion, Aiyun Huang, and Morris Palter. In the evening, the JACK Quartet will cap off the festival in a concert at the Perimeter Institute, in a program of compositions by Hans Abrahamsen, Rob Wannamaker, and John Cage.

Organizers: Edward Bierstone, Peter Hatch, Aiyun Huang, Sharon Kanach

Sponsor of TorQ Percussion Exhibits at the Fields Institute and Institute for Quantum Computing  Sponsor of McGill Percussion Ensemble