Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts Box Office - University of Houston
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Guest Recital: Stephen Nachmanovitch, Improvisation and Creativity, violin

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Improvisational violinist Stephen Nachmanovitch featuring guest collaborator, Blake Wilkins Professor of Percussion at the Moores School of Music. Recital will be followed by an open Q&A session.

For Stephen’s masterclass/workshop on Monday, March 27th at 4:30,  PLEASE CLICK HERE

About the Artist:


Stephen Nachmanovitch performs and teaches internationally as an improvisational violinist, and at the intersections of music, dance, theater, and multimedia arts. A pioneer in free improvisation on violin, viola, and electric violin in the 1970s, Stephen has taught and lectured widely in the United States and abroad on creativity and the spiritual underpinnings of art. Stephen graduated in 1971 from Harvard and in 1975 from the University of California, where he earned a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness for an exploration of William Blake. His mentor was the anthropologist and philosopher Gregory Bateson. Stephen is the author of Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art (Penguin, 1990) and The Art of IS: Improvising as a Way of Life (New World Library, 2019). He has created computer software including The World Music Menu and Visual Music Tone Painter. His most recent albums include Hermitage of Thrushes (see review in the Strad magazine July 2022) and From this World, Another in collaboration with clarinetist David Rothenberg.


“Without play, learning and evolution are impossible. Play is the taproot from which original art springs;…Technique itself springs from play, because we can acquire technique only by the practice of practice, by persistently experimenting and playing with our tools and testing their limits and resistances.”

“To play is to free ourselves from arbitrary restrictions and expand our field of action. Our play fosters richness of response and adaptive flexibility. This is the evolutionary value of play - play makes us flexible. By reinterpreting reality and begetting novelty, we keep from becoming rigid.”


(Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play - Improvisation in Life and Art (1990: pp. 42 - 43)

Click here for Parking and Directions

Dudley Recital Hall University of Houston