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Chronology: 1973 - 1977

1973

March - April: Xenakis teaches at the University of Montreal as an invited Eminent Professor.

April 13: première of Eridanos at the La Rochelle Festival by the European Contemporary Music Ensemble, conducted by Michel Tabachnik.

1974

May 21: première in Paris of Erikthon by Claude Helffer and the ORTF (French Radio) Orchestra, conducted by Michel Tabachnik.

June 20: première in Lisbon of Cendrées by the Chorus and Orchestra of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, conducted by Michel Tabachnik. These same musicians will perform nine other works by Xenakis in two other concerts.

July: première of Gmeeoorh (61 stops) at Hartford University (Connecticut) by Claude Holloway.

September 19-22: a Xenakis retrospective at the Beethoven Festspiele in Bonn: around thirty works are performed, including the premières of Antikhthon and Gmeeoorh (56 stops), by the Orchestra of the Cologne Radio, conducted by Michel Tabachnik and Xavier Darasse, respectively. An exhibit about the composer is also presented. This exhibit will travel to the English Bach Festival the following year.

"Just a few minutes away from Cologne, where another music of the future has reigned for some time now, this homage has a weighted meaning." (Maurice Fleuret, Nouvel Observateur, September 30, 1974.)

October 16: première in Paris of Noomena by the Orchestre de Paris, conducted by Sir Georg Solti.

October 23: Evryali is premièred at Lincoln Center, New York by Marie-Françoise Bucquet.

November: Xenakis returns to Greece after the fall of the colonels’ regime and the November 17th elections.

"There were passers by who crossed the street to effusively shake their hero’s hand, fumbling out a few welcoming words, but mainly speechless by all that was impossible to express. Then there’s the little old lady who traced her path through the crowds, only to ever so gently touch Xenakis’s tragic scar, as though she were caressing an icon. Then there were the street sweepers and road workers in Leonidion, deep in the Peloponnesian Isalnds, who recognized him from afar, stopped us, and improvised a celebration in his honor. […] I know for certain that Xenakis was not at all expecting to be welcomed, accepted, and understood to such a point." (Maurice Fleuret, "Le métèque du monde entier", Nouvel Observateur, n° 524, November 25, 1974.)

Xenakis is awarded the Maurice Ravel Gold Medal from the SACEM.

1975

June: "Xenakis Days" at the La Rochelle Festival, during which Empreintes is premièred by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Netherlands Radio, conducted by Michel Tabachnik.

Summer: a "Xenakis Week" closes the Athens Festival, with a exhibit in the Picture Gallery, conferences by Xenakis and the musicologist Iannis Papaionnou, plus three concerts at the Herod Atticus Theatre. The Athens public finally gets to discover Xenakis’s music, never before officially presented in Greece before this date (among others, Metastasis, Pithoprakta, Achorripsis, Nuits, Polla ta Dhina, Herma, Evryali, Synaphaï, Charisma, Anaktoria, Empreintes).

Xenakis is named Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

1976

February 20: Retours-Windungen is premièred in Bonn by the twelve cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic.

 

February 28: The London Sinfonietta, conducted by Michel Tabachnik , premières Phlegra in London.

February: N’Shima is premièred in Jerusalem, conducted by Juan Pablo Izquierdo at "Testimonium", Israel’s contemporary music festival.

March: Xenakis decides to not participate in the Shiraz (Iran) Festival of the Arts, and writes to the festival’s director.

March 11: Mikka S is premièred by Régis Pasquier at the 8th annual Music Week in Orléans (France).

March 26: Fernando Grillo premières Theraps at the Royan Festival.

May 2: At the English Bach Festival, Sylvio Gualda premières Psappha. This work was commissioned by the Gulbenkian Festival and Foundation.

May 5: Khoaï is premièred by Elizabeth Chojnacka in Cologne.

May 18: Xenakis defends his doctorate at the Université de Paris I. The jury is presided by Bernard Teyssèdre; and jury members were Olivier Messiaen, Michel Ragon, Olivier Revault D’Allonnes, Michel Serres. His thesis defense was published by Casterman in 1979 under the title:Arts/Sciences. Alliages

"Art has something in the nature of an inferential mechanism which constitutes the platforms on which all theories of the mathematical, physical and human sciences move about. Indeed, games of proportion - reducible to number games and metrics in architecture, literature, music, painting, theatre, dance, etc., games of continuity, of proximity, in or outside of time, topological essence - all occur on the terrain of inference, in the strict, logical sense of the word. Situated next to this terrain and operating in reciprocal activity is the experimental mode which challenges or confirms theories created by the sciences, including mathematics. […] It is experimentation that makes or breaks theories, pitilessly and without any particular consideration for the theories themselves. Yet the arts are governed in a manner even richer and more complex by this experimental mode. Certainly there is not nor will there ever be an objective criterion for determining absolute truth or eternal validity even within one work of art, just as no scientific "truth" is ever definitive. But in addition to these two modes - inferential and experimental - art exists in a third mode, one of immediate revelation, which is neither inferential nor experimental. The revelation of beauty occurs immediately, directly, to someone ignorant of art as well as to the connoisseur. This is the strength of art and, so it seems, its superiority over the sciences. Art, while living the two dimensions of inference and experimentation, possesses this third and most mysterious dimension which permits art objects to escape any aesthetic science while still enjoying the caresses of inference and experimentation.

But on the other hand, art cannot live by the revelation mode alone. […] art has an imperious need of organization (including that of chance); therefore a need for inference and its confirmation; hence, a need for its experimental truth.

To shed some light on this trinity of modes in art, let’s imagine that in a distant future, the power of artistic action will increase as it never before has in history […] Actually, there is no reason why art cannot, following the example of science, rise from the immensity of the cosmos, nor why art cannot, as a cosmic landscaper, modify the demeanor of the galaxies." (Arts/Sciences.Alloys, Perndragon, 1985, p. 4-5.)

May: première of Dmaathen (original version for oboe and percussion) at Carnegie Hall, New York, by Nora Post and Jan Williams.

Xenakis is awarded the National Grand Prize for Music from the French Ministry of Culture.

December 16: Epeï, commissioned by the Quebec Society for Contemporary Music, is premièred in Montreal.

1979

Xenakis receives the Beethoven Prize from the city of Bonn; and in Paris, is awarded the Grand Prize from the Charles-Cros Recording Academy.

The CEMAMu builds the first generation UPIC (Unité polygogique informatique du CEMAMu).

April: French première of N’Shima by the Ensemble Intercontemporain , conducted by Michel Tabachnik, at the Theatre de la Ville (Paris), as part of IRCAM’s inaugural concert series "Passage du XX° siècle".

June 17: the Studio 11 Ensemble premières Akanthos in Strasbourg.

June 21: A Colonne is premièred at the Rencontres internationales de musique contemporaine in Metz (France).

June 28: Kottos is premièred at the La Rochelle Festival. This work was written for the Mstislav Rostropovitch International Competition. Xenakis was a member of that competition’s jury.

July: A Hélène is premièred by the Greek National Theatre’s Chorus at the Epidaurus Theatre.

December 21: The Orchestre national de France, conducted by Michel Tabachnik, premières Jonchaies in Paris.

 
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