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World Premiere • on Being • The Juilliard School

  • The Juilliard School 60 Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY, 10023 United States (map)

World Premiere • Thapelo Masita • Rodríguez’ on Being

on the edge is a collaborative musical performance which explores the intersection of personal experience and new composition. Ten Juilliard composers were tasked with finding an experience from their lives or cultural heritage and using that as the inspiration for a new piece of music featuring cello. Through collaborative process, both musician and composer will bring these diverse stories from the edges of experience into the center of conversation with the audience. 

Invited to be part of the ten composers, Iván Enrique Rodríguez’ composed on Being for solo cello and it will be premiere by the exceptional cellist Thapelo Masita. The concert will take place at The Juilliard School’s Morse Recital Hall.

For non-Juilliard community members, kindly RSVP at the link below in order to be on the whitelist for security that evening!

on Being - Cello (dragged).jpg

In Rodríguez’s own words…

on Being is a musical essay that attempts to address my particular experience as a Puerto Rican Latino composer in the classical music environment as well as a member of society. As musicians, many have told us that being oneself is the true path to be an artist, as famous painter Françoise Gilot said: “Art doesn’tcome from what is around you, but from what is inside you.” Being an artists is to share oneself with others, share the personal experience, the unique thing that can only be said by an individual exactly because of his/her singularity. But what happens when that individuality, that inherent definition of existence is the sole obstacle to Being, to sharing, to equality… 

As a member of the non-represented and (perhaps unconsciously) dismissed minority in classical music, in this piece I take my Puerto Rican National Anthem as inspiration for the narrative and symbol of my Being. Exposed to breaking points, interruptions, sorrowful moments and outbursts of indignation, on Being tries to express how that absence of privilege and, unchecked and ignored biases in our society, particularly our musical society, repress those who are different, neglecting or devaluing their artistic expression, due to their diversity. It is a musical narration of feelings of helplessness as well as pain, feelings that haunt you when, after sharing something in vulnerability, its devalued because of who you are, where you come from and how you look in the eyes of those who lavishly indulge in privilege.

Thapelo Masita