Ursel Schlicht is a masterfully poetic player both inside the piano and on the keyboard. Robert Dick is known for creating revolutionary visions of the flute’s musical role. He uses a wide range of flutes, including the giant contrabass flute and his invention, the Glissando Headjoint®.
Ursel Schlicht & Robert Dick at Merkin Hall, NYC. Photos by Anibal Pella-Woo.
Pianist Ursel Schlicht plays improvised music, jazz, new music, and is a scholar and educator.
Fostering intercultural collaboration has been an important focus of her work. She currently works with refugees from several areas in the Middle East. Her project SonicExchange during documenta13 in Kassel (2012) featured over 50 artists from nine countries and is documented on the DVD SonicExchange. Sonic Exchange continued as a series of concerts, projects and workshops and led to The SonicExchange Quintet with Catherine Sikora, Stephanie Griffin, Hilliard Greene and Andrew Drury, and Maninn Lidur, a trio with Icelandic soprano Anna Jonsdottir and accordionist Ute Völker.
CDs featuring her as leader or co-leader are on Nemu, Cadence, CIMP, Hybrid, Konnex, Muse-Eek and Leo Records, notably the duo CDs Photosphere and The Galilean Moons with Robert Dick on Nemu Records. She is part of large ensembles - Hans Tammen's Third Eye Orchestra, Sarah Weaver's SLM Orchestra, The Polytonale Kassel - and numerous small groups, among those the quartet Dimensionality - A Tribute to Connie Crothers project with Andrea Wolper, Ken Filiano and Lou Grassi.
Performances include: Festival Cervantino (Mexico), Juneau Jazz & Classics (Alaska), Guelph Jazz Festival (Canada), Festival for Creative Music in Seattle (US), International Music Meeting in Monterrey (Mexico), Melbourne Women's International Jazz Festival (Australia), Merkin Hall Interpretations Series (New York), Roulette (New York), Jazzfestival Kassel, et al.
Ursel Schlicht holds a doctorate in musicology from the University of Hamburg, Germany, and has published a book about the working conditions of women jazz musicians, including Marian McPartland, Carline Ray, Joanne Brackeen, Connie Crothers, Geri Allen, Jane Ira Bloom, and Myra Melford (Coda Verlag, Germany).
She lived in Brooklyn for many years as a freelance musician and educator; she designed and taught seminars on Music & Gender and on Improvisation at Ramapo College of New Jersey, has taught Music Appeciation at Rutgers University and Masterpieces of Western Music at Columbia University in New York until 2013. She currently lives in Germany and teaches Improvisation at the University of Kassel.
Her compositions interweave notated and improvised material. Also, she interprets silent film classics Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Faust, and The Adventures of Prince Achmed with an avant-improv approach. As an artist-in-residence at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center in New York, she created a score for F.W. Murnau's silent classic film Faust.
Robert Dick is a musical visionary, a creative virtuoso in the tradition of Paganini and Hendrix, artists who redefined both the music and the technique of their instruments. Dick has released over 30 CDs of original solo and chamber music. Improvisor, composer, author, teacher and inventor, he performs worldwide. His solo performances have been likened to the experience of hearing a full orchestra.
Dick has numerous solo recordings, the most recent being “Our Cells Know”, improvisations on the contrabass flute (Tzadik). Additionally to his long-standing duo with Ursel Schlicht, he has performed and recorded with Thomas Buckner, Steve Lacy, John Zorn, Nicole Mitchell, Paul Giger and Satoshi Takeishi, Jaron Lanier, Randy Raine-Reush and Barry Guy, Mari Kimura, Steve Gorn, Joëlle Leandre and Miya Masaoka, Tiffany Weitien Chang, Adam Caine, Nicola Hein, Ulrike Lentz and many more of Europe and America's finest improvisors. He’s been a member of the groups New Winds (with Ned Rothenberg, JD Parran and Herb Robertson), Tambastics with Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemingway and Denman Maroney), Oscura Luminosa (with Alfred Zimmerlin, Dorothea Schurch and Petia Kaufman), the A.D.D. Trio (with Christy Doran and Steve Argüelles), and has two CDs made in collaboration with the Soldier String Quartet.
It is a rare composition for flute written anywhere in the world today that does not bear Robert Dick’s influence. His impact on flute playing is major, made through countless masterclasses, the seminal books The Other Flute, Tone Development through Extended Techniques and Circular Breathing for the Flutist plus two volumes of the etudes Flying Lessons. Instructional CDs and DVDs and his series of instructional videos on YouTube illuminate his ideas and music, and empower other musicians to transform their playing.
Dick teaches at NYU and the City University of New York Graduate Center. He maintains an active private teaching studio, works with flutists the world over using Skype.
Robert Dick holds degrees from Yale College and the Yale School of Music and has received many commissions, grants and prizes for his compositions, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Pro Musicis Foundation International Award.