David Niwa and Ken Matsuda
Free “New Music Salon at Short North Stage” Concert Series Debuts October 23 at Garden Theater
The Johnstone Fund for New Music will launch “New Music Salon at Short North Stage,” a free contemporary classical music series, on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Garden Theater. The hour-long performance is the first of three concerts crafted under the artistic direction of the nonprofit recital series Sunday at Central.
For the October 23 opening performance, violinist David Niwa (Artistic Director, Sunday at Central); violinist Olev Viro (Columbus Symphony); violist Ken Matsuda (Columbus Symphony); violist Belinda Reuning Burge (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra); cellist Luis Biava (Columbus Symphony); and cellist Michael Carrera (Professor of Cello, Ohio University) will perform Arnold Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night (Verklärte Nacht, 1899). This Late Romantic, impressionistic piece was inspired by Richard Dehmel’s poem of the same name. The musicians also will perform Pulitzer-Prize-winning American composer Charles Wurionen’s String Sextet (1989). Written nearly a century after Transfigured Night, String Sextet exudes cutting edge harmonies and relentless rhythms.
This inaugural concert coincides with Short North Stage’s production of the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine Pulitzer-Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George, which is based on Georges Seurat’s painting “Sunday on the Island of the Grande Jatte.” Both Transfigured Night and “Sunday on the Island of the Grande Jatte” were completed at the end of the 19th century as romanticism in the arts gave way to the modern era. Sunday in the Park with George (1984) and String Sextet (1989) were written at about the same time, and both composers are connected to Schoenberg through the serial composer Milton Babbitt, with whom Sondheim studied and whose music influenced Wuorinen.
“We’re excited about this collaboration between Sunday at Central, which features some of the finest classical musicians in Ohio, and Short North Stage, which has brought high-quality musical theater to a lively urban neighborhood in Columbus,” said Zoe Johnstone, co-founder of the Johnstone Fund for New Music. “As we look into the uncertainty of a new century, these two great 20th century works for string sextet show how connected we are to the past.”
This program is recommended for ages 9 and older. The Garden Theater is located at 1187 North High Street. Parking is available at a lot just south of the theater and at nearby meters. Free street parking is available after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays on the south side of Fifth Avenue west of High Street around the corner from the theater.
The series continues in 2014 with concerts on February 19 and June 4. Both performances are free and take place at the Garden Theater from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
“The Garden Theater was built in 1920 specifically for live music performance,” said Short North Stage board president Peter Yockel. “These concerts help bring the theater back to its original purpose.”
More information about New Music can be found at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/art_music and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/contemporary_classical_music.