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NORMAL — Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker and Pulitzer Prize finalist for his book, "The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century," will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Center for Performing Arts Concert Hal at Illinois State University.

The free lecture will be followed by a students-only question-and-answer session with Ross. 

The ISU visit is a joint project of the School of Music and the Department of English with grants from the Sage Fund and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology.

Ross will discuss not just music and writing, but also about avenues of social communication and the ways in which music responds to and sometimes  pushes social, political, and economic issues.

“We invited Mr. Ross to speak because he addresses — in fascinating, engaging, and relevant ways — the topics that our students are grappling with: Is classical music still important?” said Professor of Musicology Allison Alcorn. “He connects with people and has them laughing at the same time they’re thinking about perplexing issues.” 

In addition to writing for The New Yorker, Ross is now at work on Wagnerism: Art in the Shadow of Music. He received an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Belmont Prize in Germany, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Free parking is available in the School Street Parking deck in spots 250 and above, at 400 W. Beaufort St., Normal.

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