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January 2013
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Andrew Patner on Arts and Culture

Critical Thinking: Ole Kiilerich plays Rzewski









Andrew presents a new recording of Frederic Rzewski’s landmark, hour-long 1975 “The People United Will Never Be Defeated: 36 Variations on a Chilean Folk Song” for solo piano.  A new release from Bridge Records by the young Danish pianist Ole Kiilerich.

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  • I want to thank Andrew Patner for introducing me to “The People United Shall Never Be Defeated”, by Frederic Rzewski, as recorded by pianist Ole Killerich. This piece was totally unfamiliar to me, but not the message, and the times that inspired it. I was doing alternative service as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War in West Berlin at the time when Chilean President Salvador Allende was overthrown. I still vividly recall joining in with popular student and worker outrage over the assassination of democratically elected Allende by Pinochet et al, who plunged Chile into a repressive miltarist/fascist nightmare that lasted way too long. Listening to this work tonight, I was transported back to thoughts and feelings of the early/mid 1970’s, and was moved to tears by the more lyrical passages. It had a very strong emotional impact for me, to say the least. Thanks again Andrew for programing “The People United Shall Never Be Defeated”.

  • Sonia Csaszar

    Dear Andy,

    Thank you very much for your program last Monday! As a Chilean living in Chicago for forty five years you brought back many memories of the Chilean refugees I met in the ’70s, as well as the shame we felt at seeing our 150 years of uninterrupted democracy destroyed by the CIA and Pinochet. Needless to say anything about my discovery then of Amnesty International! During your program I also remembered my days as a student at The University of Chicago (NOT IN ECONOMICS!) and the letters and articles published in The Maroon about Milton Friedman and the Chileans studying economics. The ironies of neo-liberal economics, preaching government divestment of economic responsibilities! These Chilean upper-crust students were on Chilean goverment scholarship while the country was under severe poverty!
    I also remembered the many September 11ths (the anniversary of the coup) we Chileans went protesting in front of the Chilean Consulate, on Michigan Avenue, where the battle call was “El pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido!”
    I’m glad those days are over, although the struggle is never over.
    Muchas gracias otra vez!