Christopher Shultis, composer, scholar and regent's professor of music, has been selected to deliver UNM's 55th Annual Research Lecture on Tuesday, May 4, at 7 p.m., in the George Pearl Hall auditorium. A reception begins at 6 p.m. The Annual Research Lecture is one of the highest honors UNM bestows on its faculty.
Shultis will discuss "The Dialectics of Experimentalism," a decade-long research project that delves into the separation between experimental composers in the United States and continental Europe. He will also discuss his place as a composer within, or between, this divide.
"The Dialectics of Experimentalism" in its entirety is a book-length study, representing Shultis' most recent work as a researcher.
Shultis joined UNM in 1980. He has received numerous honors, including two Fulbright awards. As director of percussion studies 1980-96, Shultis worked closely with renowned composers including Ernst Krenek, Lou Harrison, Michael Colgrass and John Cage. His performance of Konrad Boehmer's "Schreeuw Van Deze Aarde" for solo percussion earned him an Edison award for best new music recording.
In 1993, KNME television produced a half-hour program, "Model and Reality," devoted to Shultis' work. His activities as a scholar and creative artist continually draw on his previous activities as a solo percussionist and conductor of the acclaimed UNM Percussion Ensemble.
Shultis has served as artistic director of UNM's John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium since 2001. His book, "Silencing the Sounded Self: John Cage and the American Experimental Tradition," is one of two books on John Cage recommended in the Grout History of Western Music.
"Professor Shultis has opened up new areas of intellectual inquiry within a very interdisciplinary context. In this regard, he has at least two substantial careers – one as a superb musician and performer and another as a scholar with great curiosity, cutting across a range of intellectual domains," said Nancy Uscher, provost, California Institute of the Arts.