Nov 12: Dr. Seth Parker Woods, "Difficult Grace"

Difficult Grace


Date/Time                       Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, 7:30 pm 

Location                         Lippes Concert Hall, Slee Concert Hall, UB North Campus

Performance By

Dr. Seth Parker Woods, UB CDI Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Post-concert Talk               Dr. Seth Parker Woods and Dr. James Currie (UB Dept. of Music)

Sponsor                     UB Dept. of Music

For ticket info                   ONE FREE TICKET for each UB student, staff, and faculty member; in advance: Tues/Wed noon - 6 pm Center for the Arts Box Office or beginning an hour before the performance at Slee Hall Box Office)  (This is a ticketed event; proof of vaccination required. More details:


Image of Seth Parker Woods, on stage with his cello.

UB Distinguished Visiting Scholar Dr. Seth Parker Woods

FREE for all UB students, staff, and faculty.

See the trailer here:


A Free, Ticketed Event for UB Students, Faculty and Staff.

Tickets available in advance from the Center for the Arts (UB North) Box Office, Tuesday and Wednesday, 12 noon to 6 pm.

OR on day of show: at the door/Slee Hall Box Office beginning an hour in advance of the performance

(Interested UB students may also contact for tickets while supplies last.)

COVID protocol for UB in-person events requires proof of vaccination. 

UB Department of Music Presents Seth Parker Woods, "Difficult Grace"

Evocative, theatrical, and genre-bending, Difficult Grace is an evening-length, multimedia concert tour de force conceived by and featuring cellist Seth Parker Woods in the triple role of cellist, narrator/guide, and movement artist, performing music written for and with Seth by Freida Abtan, Monty Adkins, Fredrick Gifford, Michael Gordon, Nathalie Joachim, and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay.

Heightened by film, spoken texts, dance, and visual artwork by Jacob Lawrence, Barbara Earl Thomas, Zoë McLean, and Freida Abtan, Difficult Grace creates a vivid sonic and visual canvas that draws its inspiration from the Great Migration, archive research in the year 1915 of the historic newspaper The Chicago Defender, immigration, and the poetry of Amiri Baraka and Dudley Randall.

In fall 2022, Difficult Grace will premiere in its fully realized new iteration including an on-stage collaboration with choreographer and dancer Roderick George with new musical commissions from composers Ted Hearne and Devonté Hynes a.k.a Blood Orange.

The world premiere of Difficult Grace was presented by the Seattle Symphony at Octave 9 at Benaroya Hall in February 2020.

“Seth Parker Woods’s audiovisually mouthwatering performance”


“married the cellist’s most introspective playing with an affecting visual narrative…”


COLERIDGE-TAYLOR PERKINSON — Calvary Ostinato from Lamentations: “Black Folk Song Suite”

FREDRICK GIFFORD  –  Difficult Grace
(with artwork by Barbara Earl Thomas)

MONTY ADKINS  –  Winter Tendrils
(with film by Zoë McLean)

NATHALIE JOACHIM  – The Race: 1915
(with projected images of Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series)

FREIDA ABTAN  –  My Heart Is A River

PIERRE ALEXANDRE TREMBLAY  –  asinglewordisnotenough 3 [invariant]


SPONSOR:  UB Department of Music

DATE/TIME:  Friday, November 12th, 7:30 pm (This will be a free but ticketed event. To access ticket info:; CFA Box Office--Tues/Wed noon - 6 pm, Slee Box Office on evening of performance, or interested students should contact:

LOCATION:  Lippes Concert Hall, Slee Concert Hall

POST-CONCERT TALK: Dr. Seth Parker Woods and Dr. James Currie (UB Dept. of Music)



Composer/Performer Bio

Photo of Prof. Seth Parker Woods, smiling.

Dr. Seth Parker Woods, UB Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace,” Dr. Seth Parker Woods has established himself as an in-demand soloist, chamber musician, curator and educator both stateside in the USA, Europe and Asia. A fierce advocate for contemporary music and interdisciplinary arts, his collaborators have included the Atlanta and Seattle Symphony’s, Basel Ballet, Berlin Staatsballet, Ictus Ensemble, Tate Modern, Aldo Tambellini, and Adam Pendleton. His latest body of work and research revolves around intersections of interdisciplinary performance, acoustic ecologies, migration storytelling, as well as choreographic archiving, translation and performance. At present he is at work on his first monograph, ICED BODIES: A Performative Rebirth, which chronicles the evolution of his performance/sound installation with collaborator Spencer Topel. He is also developing new musical works for his solo show Difficult Grace, which serve as a commentary on The Great Migration, translation, acts of adornment and the human condition.

BM, Cello Performance, Brooklyn College; MM, Specialized, Performance for Soloists and Chamber Music, Musik Academie der Stadt Basel, Switzerland; PhD, Performance Research, University of Huddersfield, UK


This presentation is currently an in-person only event.