Seth Parker Woods
Performance
Seth Parker Woods

Difficult Grace

June 25, 2022

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

Poetry, history and the Great Migration. Stories from the past inspire a sonic and visual tapestry, woven by Woods as cellist, narrator, movement artist and guide. A Hop co-commission.

22/23 Hop Presents

True to his approach of expanding his creative expression beyond the confines of a single art form, the stellar cellist takes on multiple roles in this evocative, genre-bending performance.
 
Heightened by film, spoken texts, dance and visual art by Jacob Lawrence, Barbara Earl Thomas, Zoë McLean and Freida Abtan, Difficult Grace draws its inspiration from the Great Migration, archival research, immigration and the poetry of Amiri Baraka and Dudley Randall. The performance features music written for and with Seth by Freida Abtan, Monty Adkins, Fredrick Gifford, Nathalie Joachim and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. 
 
Following the world premiere of the multimedia performance in February 2020, Woods adds another episode with dancer Roderick George, with new musical commissions from composers Ted Hearne and Devonté Hynes a.k.a Blood Orange. The new iteration of Difficult Grace premieres in fall 2022.

Join us for a Q&A with the artist following the performance.

This performance contains explicit language.

Seth Parker Woods
Recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award and hailed by The Guardian as "a cellist of power and grace" who possesses "mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink," cellist Seth Parker Woods has established a reputation as a versatile artist straddling several genres. In addition to solo performances, he has appeared with the Ictus Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L'Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH), Basel Sinfonietta (CH), Ensemble LPR, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the Atlanta and Seattle Symphonies. 
 
A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, Woods has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Louis Andriessen, Elliott Carter, Heinz Holliger, G. F. Haas, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, and Peter Eötvos to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey and Rachael Yamagata to such visual artists as Ron Athey, Vanessa Beecroft, Jack Early, Adam Pendleton and Aldo Tambellini. 
 
In the 2021-22 season, Woods joins the faculty at the University at Buffalo as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor. He previously served on the music faculties of the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College and the Chicago Academy of the Arts. He holds degrees from Brooklyn College, Musik Academie der Stadt Basel, and a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. In the 2020-21 season he was an Artist in Residence with the Kaufman Music Center, and from 2018-2020 he served as Artist in Residence with Seattle Symphony and Creative Consultant for the interactive concert hall, Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center. 
 
Seth Parker Woods is a Pirastro Artist and endorses Pirastro Perpetual Strings worldwide.
 
 

Roderick George, born in Houston, Texas, studied dance at Ben Stevenson's Houston Ballet Academy. Roderick continued to develop his skill by exploring other techniques at The Alvin Ailey School, Miami City Ballet, LINES Professional Program, and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. Before starting his professional career, he was a bronze winner of the Youth American Grand Prix in New York City in 2005 and was elected as a Presidential Scholar under the YoungArts Foundation in 2003, where he performed for the US President. Roderick joined Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in 2005. Roderick decided to move abroad to work with Basel Ballet/ Theater Basel in 2007 and later to guest with the Goteborg Opera DansKompani. Roderick joined The Forsythe Company in Frankfurt, Germany. Where he learned and shared his greatest moments with William Forsythe and the artists of TFC. His career has embraced the collaborations of his work and other great choreographers such as Peeping Tom, Jorma Elo, Jerome Bel, Jacopo Godani, William Forsythe, Johan Inger, Jiří Kylian, Sharon Eyal, Ohan Naharin, Benoit Swan-Pouffer, Richard Wherlock, Tino Seghal and many others.

“a cellist of power and grace”

The Guardian

“audiovisually mouthwatering performance”

Chicago Tribune
Summer at the Hop
Summer 2022

With electrifying Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens at the helm, Silkroad Ensemble reminds us of our cultural commonalities through new music. Seth Parker Woods weaves poetry and history into a...

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