|With the Name of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth
|LESTER ALLYSON KNIBBS
|P.O. Box 4211
Pinehurst, NC 28374-4211
646 342 3765
Studied piano from the age of five (with Eileen Southern, Joseph Wolman, David Bacon). Won two International Awards from the Piano Guild of the American College of Musicians (1960 and 1962).
Taught at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Piano soloist with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (February 2, 1980), piano recitals at CAMI Hall (May 4, 1980) and the Harvard Club in New York City (November 30, 1998), as well as other performances and recitals, and weekly performances of Afro-Americana at Windows Over Harlem restaurant from April to December 2002.
Began composing at the age of nine. Studied composition with Morris Lawner at the High School of Music & Art. Composition for wind quintet performed on educational television (1960). Won high school Composition Award (1962).
Attended Harvard University. Admitted to graduate seminar in composition at the age of 16. Studied composition with Leon Kirchner, Earl Kim, Roger Sessions and David Del Tredici. B.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1973) in music composition, Harvard University.
Compositions include short piano pieces, chamber music, orchestral pieces, and one large, complex serial composition (simultaneous triple canon and set of variations, to be performed in sixteen possible symphonic sequences) for 64 performers (Libra Variations, 1973).
IMPROVISED MUSIC AND MIXED MEDIA:
Compositions and improvised music (with Idris Ackamoor, saxophonist/composer, and Founder and Executive Director of Cultural Odyssey, San Francisco-based cultural arts center): performances with improvised music ensemble (The Collective) at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio (1971-1972); at La MaMa Theater in New York City (An American Griot, a performance piece, February 1991); on a European tour (Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, June-July 1991); and at Theater Artaud, San Francisco (Raining Down Stars, an avant-garde play, with Rhodessa Jones, Don Moye and Evelyn Thomas, January-February 1992, produced by Cultural Odyssey).
Composer-Pianist, Cantata for Jimmy Baldwin (by Rasheedah), Ethos Dance Theater Company, New York City (October 1992).
Historical lecture with piano improvisations, Ode to Ota Benga, Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance (BAAD!) (June 2001).
Compact disk, Inner Voices, 19 spontaneous improvisations for piano solo, self-produced (April 1998).
WRITER AND LECTURER:
Articles on music and on social issues published in Muhammad Speaks/Bilalian News/Muslim Journal (one paper, different names), 1976-1985.
Small books (12 to 20 pages, self-published): Seven Muslim Slaves (1978), Ahmad Baba (1980), Twelve Differences Between the Bible and the Qur’an (1995), and Scrutinizing the Qur’an (2000).
Poems for Poetry workshop (March-May, 1981), and lectures on the African roots of European classical music (March 1984), at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, Corona, New York.
A play (self-published), The Reservoir; first public reading at Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance (BAAD!), February 2001.