CDI Distinguished Scholar and Cellist Seth Woods to Present Concert

Dr. Seth Woods.

Cellist Seth Woods, a distguished visiting scholar at the UB Center for Diversity Innovation, will present a solo concert, "Difficult Grace" at Lippes Hall on Friday Nov. 12 at 7:30 PM

About Seth Woods

Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace,” Dr. Seth Parker Woods has established himself as an in-demand soloist, chamber musician, curator and educator both stateside in the USA, Europe and Asia. A fierce advocate for contemporary music and interdisciplinary arts, his collaborators have included the Atlanta and Seattle Symphony’s, Basel Ballet, Berlin Staatsballet, Ictus Ensemble, Tate Modern, Aldo Tambellini, and Adam Pendleton. His latest body of work and research revolves around intersections of interdisciplinary performance, acoustic ecologies, migration storytelling, as well as choreographic archiving, translation and performance. At present he is at work on his first monograph, ICED BODIES: A Performative Rebirth, which chronicles the evolution of his performance/sound installation with collaborator Spencer Topel. He is also developing new musical works for his solo show Difficult Grace, which serve as a commentary on The Great Migration, translation, acts of adornment and the human condition. 

About the Concert, "Difficult Grace"

Evocative, theatrical, and genre-bending, Difficult Grace is an evening-length, multimedia concert tour de force conceived by and featuring cellist Seth Parker Woods in the triple role of cellist, narrator/guide, and movement artist, performing music written for and with Seth by Freida Abtan, Monty Adkins, Fredrick Gifford, Michael Gordon, Nathalie Joachim, and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay.

Heightened by film, spoken texts, dance, and visual artwork by Jacob Lawrence, Barbara Earl Thomas, Zoë McLean, and Freida Abtan, Difficult Grace creates a vivid sonic and visual canvas that draws its inspiration from the Great Migration, archive research in the year 1915 of the historic newspaper The Chicago Defender, immigration, and the poetry of Amiri Baraka and Dudley Randall.

In fall 2022, Difficult Grace will premiere in its fully realized new iteration including an on-stage collaboration with choreographer and dancer Roderick George with new musical commissions from composers Ted Hearne and Devonté Hynes a.k.a Blood Orange.


COLERIDGE-TAYLOR PERKINSON — Calvary Ostinato from Lamentations: “Black Folk Song Suite”
FREDRICK GIFFORD – Difficult Grace (with artwork by Barbara Earl Thomas)
MONTY ADKINS – Winter Tendrils (with film by Zoë McLean)
(with projected images of Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series)
FREIDA ABTAN – My Heart Is A River
PIERRE ALEXANDRE TREMBLAY – asinglewordisnotenough 3 [invariant]

Learn more about this and other Department of Music events on our events page