The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exhibitions and collections inspire a dynamic schedule of weekend concerts and performances from October 9, 2004 to May 14, 2005. In the intimate, 400-seat Van Pelt Auditorium and galleries showcasing the works of world masters, the Museum provides an incomparable atmosphere for performances of classical and contemporary music, opera, and theater through its three affordable series: Concerts on Fairmount, The Philadelphia Orchestra Connection, and Music in the Galleries: The Curtis Institute of Music. Several special performances and lectures will be held in conjunction with the upcoming special exhibitions African Art, African Voices, Pontormo, Bronzino and the Medici: The Transformation of the Renaissance Portrait in Florence, Salvador Dalí, and the 75th anniversary of the Rodin Museum.
Concerts on Fairmount explores the connection between visual arts and performance through three productions this season:
- Opera Company of Philadelphia
Friday, December 12, 2004 at 8 p.m.
When soprano Angela Brown appeared with the Opera Company of Philadelphia in January 2004, Opera News hailed her as "a soprano to watch," and before this exciting singer returns to the title role in Verdi’s Aïda, she will sing a program inspired by the special exhibition African Art, African Voices. Along with mezzo-soprano Tracie Luck and accompanist Susan S. Ashbaker, Brown will perform a diverse selection of music, including arias from Aïda and pieces from Porgy and Bess.
Friday, March 11, 2005 at 8 p.m.
In honor of the special exhibition Salvador Dalí, this fresh, vibrant voice of today’s music will explore the relationship between Dalí’s aesthetics, with particular emphasis on Surrealism, and similar trends in 20th-century music. Described as "the hottest new classical band in New York," Fireworks will feature composers Mauricio Kagel, John Cage, Brian Coughlin, and Igor Stravinsky.
- Eliot Fisk
Friday, March 18, 2005 at 8 p.m.
Internationally renowned guitarist Eliot Fisk will present an evening of classical guitar music from Salvador Dalí’s homeland of Catalonia in conjunction with the special retrospective of the artist’s work. Fisk will explore themes in Dalí’s work through Catalonian composers such as Granados, Mompou, and Albeniz, as well as avant-garde composers Cristobal Halffter and Luciano Berio.
The Philadelphia Orchestra Connection is a unique collaboration between the Museum and The Philadelphia Orchestra now in its eighth year. It allows visitors to experience the music of a top orchestra in a small venue. The series is made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Louis C. Maderia IV, and features three performances this season.
- Quartets for Bass
Sunday, November 14, 2004 at 2:30 p.m.
This concert will feature pieces written and arranged for bass duos, trios and quartets. Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Bass Harold Robinson will be joined by colleagues from the Curtis Institute of Music in presenting this unique and lively program in homage to the bass.
- Changing Shapes: 20th Century Duos, Trios, and Quartets for Bass
Sunday, February 6, 2005 at 2:30 p.m.
The shape of the music in this concert, which features works written between 1922 and 1961 for a variety of combinations, is defined not only by the different compositional styles, but also through the very nature of the instrumental combinations. Philadelphia Orchestra Trumpets David Bilger and Jeffrey Curnow will join Principal Trombone Nitzan Haroz and a guest pianist for this program, featuring such composers as Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Andriessen.
- A Celebration of Brahms
Sunday, April 17, 2005 at 2:30 p.m.
This concert is a rare opportunity to hear Johannes Brahms’ String Sextet No. 1 In B Flat Major, Op. 18 and String Sextet No. 2 In G Major, Op. 36 in the same program. Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Viola Roberto Diaz will be joined by five Orchestra members in exploring these seldom-performed pieces.
Tickets for Concerts on Fairmount and The Philadelphia Orchestra Connection are $20 for each concert, $50 for the entire series. Seating is not reserved, and ticket prices do not reflect Museum admission. Museum members receive a 20 percent discount on all concerts. Call 215-235-SHOW for information and tickets. Tickets may also be purchased at the Museum.
The Museum is proud to introduce talented students of music to a wide audience through Music in the Galleries: The Curtis Institute of Music. Soloists, duos, and chamber ensembles present informal concerts – free with Museum admission – in designated galleries one Saturday each month. The program is presented at 1:30, 2:15, and 3 p.m. This season’s schedule includes:
- Cello and Flute October 9 at the Rodin Museum
- Harpsichord November 13 in Gallery 283
- Harp December 4 in Gallery 277
- Voice and Piano January 15 in the Great Stair Hall
- Woodwind Quartet February 12 in Gallery 152
- String Duo March 12 in Gallery 206
- String Quartet April 9 in Gallery 299
- String Trio May 14 in Gallery 169
The Museum is also happy to continue its collaboration with The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in a series presented in the Museum’s Van Pelt Auditorium. Details and ticket information are available through the Society by calling 215-569-8080.
In conjunction with several upcoming special exhibitions, the Museum is offering a series of lectures and performances that are free after Museum admission. The schedule for the fall and winter is as follows:
- The Greenfield Foundation Lecture: Rodin and the Gates of Hell
Friday, October 15, 2004 4 p.m.
Speaker: Antoinette LeNormand-Romain, Curator of the Musée Rodin in Paris
- The Eda G. Diskant Memorial Lecture: Florentine Manners: Pontormo
and Bronzino’s Portraits
Sunday, November 21, 2004 2:30 p.m.
Speaker: Elizabeth Cropper, Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art
- Performance: Fashions of Africa
Friday, December 3, 2004 7 p.m.
Members of Philadelphia’s African community will present traditional and contemporary fashions in the Great Stair Hall
- The Greenfield Foundation Lecture: The Secret Life of Renaissance
Friday, December 10, 2004 8 p.m.
Speaker: Leo Steinberg, noted art historian, critic, and author
- One-day workshop: In Vino Veritas
Saturday, December 11, 2004 1:30 to 4 p.m.
John McNulty, wine educator, radio show host, Food & Wine writer, and coowner of Corkscrewed in Cherry Hill, N.J., will lead visitors in a tasting of Italian wines. Participants must be 21 years of age.