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Musical circus comes to Richmond to honor influential composer

Published: March 21, 2013, 9:24 am ET
Collegian Reporter

On the evening of Thursday, March 21, various musicians, artists, dancers and poets will come together in Booker Hall to create a carnivalesque, musical experience called the Musicircus.

Joanne Kong, director of accompaniment and coordinator of chamber ensembles at University of Richmond, said the Musicircus was part of the John Cage centennial concert.

Cage was an influential American composer, artist, poet and theorist who lived from 1912 to 1992. During this past performance season, people all over the world have been hosting musical festivals to honor his centennial, Kong said.

The University of Richmond’s centennial event will begin with an all-Cage concert, in which groups will perform some of Cage’s well-known works in Camp Concert Hall. After that concert, the Musicircus will begin in the basement and first and second floors of Booker Hall, Kong said.

The Musicircus, which was created by Cage and first performed in 1967, involves placing various musicians and artists in the same space and allowing them to perform their individual pieces at the same. The audience is invited to walk through the building and enjoy these independent, yet simultaneous, performances, Kong said.

Brian Jones, director of Richmond’s Musicircus, said the event would include performances from students, faculty and members of the Richmond community, and would incorporate everything from classical music to punk rock to modern dance.

This display of such a wide array of artistic talent is rooted in the philosophical idea that music is an omnipresent force. Cage developed the Musicircus to make people more aware of the music that exists all around them, Kong said.

This event is free for students and will begin Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall.

Contact reporter Katie Conklin at

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