Daron Hagen sitting in front of studio microphone
(Photo Credit: Joyce Skowyra/NEPR ) Daron Hagen speaks with NEPR’s John Nowacki about the memoir

Acclaimed composer, conductor, stage director and educator Daron Hagen will read from his memoir, Duet with the Past: A Composer’s Memoir on Dec. 4 at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

An artist faculty member who teaches at the University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA), Hagen is one of America’s best-known composers who has written many symphonies, concertos, operas, chamber music and art songs.

In a rare public appearance in Chicago, the artist will read from his intimate, unsparing memoir, which chronicles his life and includes anecdotes about many music luminaries beginning at 2 p.m. in Room 730, 430 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago.

“I never thought life as an artist was about external validation…fame or power; but it took a long time, and decades of careful observation of my sister and brother artists (as well as myself) to understand…that ‘Art will take care of itself,’” Hagen told the blog In Tune in May during a wide-ranging interview about the memoir.

Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic Tim Page has acclaimed the book for its “rich intellectual history” and “narrative candor” and JoAnn Falletta, conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic, has credited Hagen with opening the door to his life “in a memoir of searing honesty and unguarded intimacy.”

Duet with the Past: A Composer’s Memoir also features many vivid anecdotes from the artist about his many collaborators, friends and mentors – including Leonard Bernstein, Lukas Foss, Ned Rorem and Gore Vidal, to name just a few.

“I am dedicated to the work being done with music students at Roosevelt University, and I am excited to be able to share with aspiring music composition students the sacrifices it will take if they are to succeed in the business of classical music today,” said Hagen.

A Guggenheim Fellow and recent American Academy of Arts and Letters award recipient, Hagen will read for approximately 20 minutes and then take questions from the audience. A book signing will follow the 2 p.m.-3 p.m. reading presentation, which is free and open to the public.

View more information about the memoir or visit www.daronhagen.com

Hagen also is interviewed about his new memoir on New England Public Radio’s classical music podcast called Presto with John Nowacki. Listen to the Presto podcast about his new memoir.

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