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Pauline Oliveros

American electronic music pioneer, composer and accordionist Pauline Oliveros won the Gaudeamus Award in 1962 for her choral piece Sound Patterns.

Oliveros was studying at the University of Houston at the time, together with Loren Rush and Terry Riley, among others. For her, Gaudeamus symbolized a way of composing that she was still discovering. As she said at the time: “My visit to Gaudeamus is for me the first introduction to the Old World.” Eventually she left that Old World in favor of a whole new way of listening and making music, often using electronics and her accordion.

During the Muziekweek, Sound Patterns was performed by the NCRV-vokaalensemble and she followed the analysis course of jury member György Ligeti, who is to the right of Oliveros in the photo below.

L-r: Enrique Raxach, Raymond Baervoets, Antonio Ruiz-Pipó, Pauline Oliveros, György Ligeti, Elmar Seidel and Ton de Kruyf

She dubbed the artistic direction she ended up taking later in her career Deep Listening: a philosophy strongly based on meditation and mindfulness in which listening and attention are central. In this short lecture from 2015 she provides an introduction to this concept:

Gaudeamus was not only involved in the beginning of Oliveros’ career. Her very last performance was a performance curated by Gaudeamus at the festival Le Guess Who? in 2016, two weeks before she passed away on November 25, 2016. The photo at the top right of this page was taken during this performance by photographer Tim van Veen.

During the opening concert of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2020 by Asko|Schönberg, Oliveros also was featured. Pianist Pauline Post left her piano alone for a while and performed Oliveros’ fascinating piece Kitchen Symphony “Pea(ce)Soup” using vegetables, a cleaver and a mortar.