#STRAYHORN2.0: An Interdisciplinary Symposium Celebrating the Centennial of Billy Strayhorn
Cleveland State University, November 20–21, 2015
William “Billy” Strayhorn (1915–67) achieved international recognition as one of the greatest American-born composers and pianists of the 20th century. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Strayhorn spent most of his formative years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended the public schools, studied privately, and distinguished himself as a gifted keyboard artist. Many remember Strayhorn as Duke Ellington’s trusted colleague, a member of the Ellington Orchestra, and the composer of many of the group’s signature works, including “Take the A Train” and “Satin Doll.” However, less is known about his work prior to the Ellington collaborations and his recordings with other artists during his tenure with the Ellington Orchestra.
The list of possible presentation topics for the #STRAYHORN2.0 SYMPOSIUM includes, but is not limited, to Strayhorn’s education; personal life (i.e. his childhood and challenges associated with being an openly gay man); environmental influences (i.e. Strayhorn and the Harlem Renaissance, Strayhorn and modernism); compositions and arrangements; discography; performance study; musical influence and legacy; Ellington-Strayhorn collaborations (i.e. issues of authorship); Strayhorn and other musicians; filmography; multi-media, and new media projects.
Scholars, performing artists, and other professionals are invited to submit 350-word proposals and a short biography by May 10, 2015 to the conference organizers Michael Baumgartner and Regennia N. Williams (both Cleveland State University):
Decisions regarding submissions will be announced by June 10, 2015. Participants will be invited to revise their papers for possible publication in an edited volume. Keynote speaker, concerts, exhibition, and other events around the symposium TBD.