March 9, 98

Vol. 13 , No. 09   

The Nature of Adventure

While many CMC students pursue a life of leadership through high finance or a thriving legal practice and perceive outdoor activities as a wonderful escape from the pressures of the corporate world, Michael Graber '74 has turned the tables. His life after graduation broke the CMC mold, and he has pursued recreation and adventure full time.

As one of America's leading alpinists, Graber has pioneered first ascents on four continents, including two in Antarctica. A two-time veteran of Mount Everest, he climbed in 1987 to 28,000 feet (1,000 feet short of the summit) before being turned back by 100-m.p.h. winds and frostbite. Graber is also an accomplished skier, mountain-biker, runner, and wind-surfer.

Graber has shared his adventurous spirit through an accomplished film career. He was the cameraman on the awardwinning specials "Ski to Forbidden Plateau" and "Antarctic Odyssey" (1988), and the prime-time blockbuster miniseries "TransAntarctic Expedition." He filmed the war in Afghanistan for CBS Evening News, and in 1988 he received an Emmy for "The Battle for Afghanistan," an hour-long CBS News Special.

Graber graduated from CMC with a degree in philosophy. As a running back for Stags Football, he received the MVP award as a senior. He is rumored to have scaled the exterior of one of the tower dorms without ropes. Graber returns to his alma mater to share his thoughts about the true nature of adventure and talk about the three remaining wilderness areas to be explored. In addition, you will be thrilled by the beautiful slides that will be part of the presentation.

Koinonia: Diversity and Unity in Earliest Christianity

Building on the research of the past several decades, Luke Timothy Johnson examines some of the ways in which a rediscovery of classical rhetoric and moral instruction has enabled a fresh appreciation for the ways in which the first Christians drew equally from Jerusalem and Athens.

Dr. Johnson is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He specializes in the history and historiography of ancient Christianity. He was for many years a Benedictine monk and priest before becoming a biblical scholar. He taught at Yale Divinity School from 1976 to 1982 and at Indiana University from 1982 until his appointment at Emory in 1992. During his years at Indiana he received three awards for outstanding teaching.

Professor Johnson received his M. Div. from St. Meinrad School of Theology and his Ph.D. from Yale. He is the author of The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation (1986); a two volume commentary on Luke-Acts for the Sacra Pagina series; and a number of books and articles for the church, including Sharing Possessions: Mandate and Symbol of Faith (1981) and Faith's Freedom: A Classic Spirituality for Contemporary Christians (1990). His most recent books include the Anchor Bible commentary's Letter of James (1995); The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels (1996), and Religious Experience in Earliest Christianity: Tagline: A Missing Dimension in New Testament Studies (1998).

Charles Ives's Concord Sonata and Culture Both Popular and Unpopular

The Concord Sonata (1920) of Charles Ives, America's greatest composer, is a musical portrait of some of our most significant literary figures: Emerson, Hawthorne, the Alcotts, and Thoreau. The Concord is a work of startling contrasts that alternates between gentle lyricism and jarring discord, and incorporates material from such diverse sources as Beethoven masterworks, traditional hymns, and Stephen Foster songs. Considered for decades to be unplayable, this remarkable sonata remains one of the most daringly innovative and technically challenging in the entire classical piano repertoire. In his Athenaeum lecture/ recital, David Michael Hertz will illustrate, by means of live piano demonstrations and performance that will accompany and amplify his talk, how Ives realizes his manifold alms in the Concord.

As literary scholar, composer, and pianist, Hertz is uniquely qualified to address his subject. A professor of comparative literature at Indiana University, Hertz is the author of three books: The Tuning of the Word: The Musico-Literary Poetics of the Symbolist Movement (1987), Angels of Reality: Emersonian Unfoldings in Wright, Stevens and Ives (1993); and Frank Lloyd Wright in Word and Form (1995). He is also the composer of China Songs (1995) (a setting of 21 lyrics by poet Willis Barnstone) and The Rose Garden Conspiracy, a musical theater piece (with music and lyrics by Hertz) based on Aristophanes' Lysistrata (410 B.C.). Owing to the variety of his talents and the scope of his erudition, Hertz is frequently engaged to give lecture/ recitals which emphasize the interrelationships of literature, music, architecture, and the other arts.

Professor Hertz's lecture/recital is the premiere of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies series In Tune with the American Spirit: Innovations in American Music. Each program will explore how the social, political, and intellectual climate of our nation shaped a particular composer's artistic development.

A Concert With Comment

Benice Lipson-Gruzen has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike as a virtuoso pianist of extraordinary sensitivity and emotional range who creates an exceptional rapport with her audiences. The New York Times has described her performance as "exhilarating" and "memorable," and commented that her performance represented "a well-nigh ideal combination of virtues."

Born in New York and a first-prize winner by the age of thirteen, Ms. Lipson-Guzen has performed in major concert halls in North America, Europe, and Asia, and recently earned a place in music history when she became the first Western artist to record with an orchestra from China, the result of an invitation by the Beijing Central Philharmonic and its principal guest conductor, David Gilbert.

In addition to her degrees and training in music, Lipson-Gruzen has also earned advanced degrees in anthropology and psychology. Her piano teachers include Sascha Gorodnitzky, Andre Singer, and Arminda Canteros, a student of Walter Gieseking. In addition to her performing and recording, Lipson-Gruzen has also recently branched out into television, where she recently made her debut with a program featuring the life and music of Chopin.

Her performance at the Athenaeum will include the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin, and is entitled "Concert with Comment" because of her practice of introducing each musical piece with background information on the composers and the particular piece. This concert is part of the Stotsenberg Chamber Music series, made possible by a generous gift from Ed and Dorothy Stotsenberg.

How the Cold War Was Won and Lost

The current crisis with Saddam Hussein's Iraq highlights the timeliness of William T. Lee's expertise. Russia has again begun to assert its influence in the Gulf region, and the U.S. and its allies must take a fresh look at Russian military power.

Lee is one of a handful of intelligence analysts who have monitored Soviet and Russian military and economic affairs since 1951 when he began work with the Central Intelligence Agency. He has been doing threat analyses and forecasting of both the People's Republic of China and Soviet/Russian strategic forces. Lee's estimates of Soviet defense expenditures are the only Western estimates to be corroborated by Soviet sources. Lee's book Soviet Military Policy Since World War II (1986) was translated into Chinese by the government of the People's Republic of China. His most recent book, The ABM Treaty Charade: A Study in Elite Illusion and Delusion (1997), was published last year.

The Athenaeum and the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies invite you to join us for this informative presentation.

Playwright Reads from His Work

A good play is defined by Edward Albee as one "with something to say and the ability to say it." He believes that "a play should bring its audience some special sense of awareness of the times, alter and shape that awareness in some significant manner." Albee's own plays have been doing just that for the past 40 years.

Long acclaimed by critics as "America's most important dramatist still writing," Albee's award-winning plays are produced in theaters throughout the world. Albee continues to write plays and direct some of his earlier ones. His widely recognized Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) is one of the most frequently performed plays created in recent times by any American dramatist. It was this piece which brought Albee into the international spotlight as one of the greatest playwrights of our time. The play has been translated into many languages and was made into a movie starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

Albee grew up in a famed theatrical family. He started seeing plays at the age of five, and began writing at six. He has written over 25 plays, three of which, A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1974), and Three Tall Women (1991), have won Pulitzer Prizes. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Albee has received other honors including the Foreign Press Association Award, the Gold Medal in Drama from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Tony Award, and the National Medal of Arts.

Edward Albee's appearance is sponsored by the Athenaeum and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies. Dinner reservations are for persons affiliated with CMC only. Albee's 6:45 p.m. talk is open to all, no reservations needed.