ARTS & CULTURE
12/18/2013 11:22 am ET Updated Dec 18, 2013

Six-Hour Stein Song

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The composer Petr Kotik has been reading Gertrude Stein for more than 40 years, and her work remains a riddle.

"I don't think it's clear to this day," Mr. Kotik said. "It's not about clarity."

He doesn't mean that as a slight. The avant-garde writer, who died in France in 1946, has long served as a muse for Mr. Kotik. "Many Many Women," his six-hour work for six singers and six instrumentalists, which will be featured in a rare performance Friday at Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea, is inspired by Stein's 1910 story of the same name.

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