The Bechtler Music and Museum Series

The Bechtler Music and Museum program presents New Modern: Music Inspired by the Bechtler Collection January 25. The Bechtler Ensemble performs new compositions by local composers Craig Bove premiering a string sextet entitled Risen, with other works by John Allemeier, Ron Parks and Mark Lewis.

PERFORMANCE

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for general seating in the fourth-floor gallery. The concert starts at 6 p.m. A cash bar is available before the evening concert.

The Bechtler performance of Risen

At the Bechtler

Alan Yamamoto presided over and conducted a concert of new works that is part of the Music and Museum series at the Bechtler Museum on October 27th. Ron Parks from Winthrop and John Allemeier from UNC, and I shared the program with some guy named Mahler. Working in concert with maestro Yamamoto were the Bechtler Ensemble and the Out of Bounds Ensemble for new music who both played a role in in making this concert a reality. A program of new classical works by living composers is a rare sighting in Charlotte. Perhaps this combined effort will begin to change that…

Hmmm…

I was fortunate to have one of my pieces on a program recently that drew a
fairly large audience.  Afterwards, friends and students came up to congratulate
me, and I was feeling satisfied with the evening as I left the theater.  Then, I
heard it, that phrase no one in the arts is happy to hear:  “I didn’t like it,
did you?”…(I get that a lot)…

It was an older couple walking in front of me.  Tamping down my
knee-jerk reaction of “well, then you don’t understand new music,” I thought
instead about the phrase at the end of that sentence:  “did you?”  The person
I’d overheard was inviting conversation.  He was saying that the piece hadn’t
appealed to him, but he was open to another take on it.  Isn’t that really a
positive outcome?  When people talk about your work, it continues to live beyond
the performance.

I confess I didn’t wait to hear his companion’s
response.  Sometimes you have to take the positives and get to the parking
lot.

All new music, etc.

All new music is not created equal.  There are the pieces that are recognizable, pieces that are easy for audiences to digest, pieces that come with their own legends.  I was thinking about the variability the other day as I spoke to a class about John Cage’s 4’33”.  Everyone knows it…or thinks they do.   So, how do we talk about new music when what looms large in the public’s collective consciousness is a piece that, to all conventional appearances, is a piece that contained none at all?