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Playlist No. 23: Honoring Pianist Leon Fleisher

Thursday, August 6, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

As we struggled this week to work remotely, many of us without power or an internet connection thanks to Storm Isaias, it was a great comfort to listen to the extraordinary outpouring of recordings by pianist Leon Fleisher. The world lost Leon Fleisher this week at age 92. But we are left with a treasure trove of recordings that mark a brilliant career spanning more than half a century. This week’s playlist remembers his artistry, in particular his collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra and conductor George Szell, which resulted in many iconic recordings. In the latter part of his career he struggled with injury, losing use of his right hand. During that time, he pioneered new works for left hand and then later made a triumphant comeback. He made his PUC debut in 1962 at the height of his career with a recital focusing on Schubert, Bach, and the music of Leon Kirchner, one of many composers he championed throughout his career. Schubert's B-flat Major sonata, included on our playlist, was one of the pieces on his PUC debut recital.

Leon Fleisher was a wonderful man, a consummate musician, and a cherished pedagogue. I was lucky enough to work with him a few times. In 2001, I presented him with the Borromeo String Quartet in Chicago shortly after he returned to stage playing with both hands. I will never forget the life and character he infused into the Brahms Piano Quintet, especially remarkable for someone who had spent years without the use of one hand. When I drove him to the airport after his performance and lugged his suitcase out of my trunk, I joked with friends that I would never wash my hands again having touched something of his (that joke surely wouldn’t work today!). It is a musical memory that I treasure. It was fun to dig out the photo (above) that he signed for me and share it. I hope you will get some of the same pleasure out of listening to a sample of his work. Enjoy!

Marna Seltzer, Director of Princeton University Concerts

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

LEON FLEISHER, Piano

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Allegretto from Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503
with The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, Conductor

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Allegro moderato from Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 (1959-61)
with The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, Conductor

JOHANNES BRAHMS Allegro non troppo from Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 (1962)
with The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, Conductor

JOHANNES BRAHMS 5 Studies for Piano, No. 5 on Bach Chaconne

FRANZ SCHUBERT Molto moderato from Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960, Op. Posth. (1956)

JOHANNES BRAHMS Finale from Quintet for Piano and Strings in F Minor, Op. 34 (1963)
with the Juilliard String Quartet

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Playlist No. 22: Remembering Bryan Logan

Thursday, July 30, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

The music we share with you this week is a tribute to the life of Bryan Logan—a beloved production manager at Richardson Auditorium and the Department of Music and an even more beloved friend, husband, and father. Bryan’s sudden death from a seizure last week has been a most devastating and shocking loss to the countless lives that his gentle demeanor, hardworking spirit, and limitless passion and love have touched. As we have begun the impossible task of trying to accept his passing and collect memories through which he will live on, one aspect has continued to resound loudly for us all: Bryan’s deep devotion to music.

Many members of the University community have contributed tracks to this week’s playlist as a way to honor this devotion and friendship. The music we gathered reflects musical remembrances: works that remind us of Bryan, whether they be distinct musical memories or pieces that evoke his incredible spirit. Please take a moment to read the written tributes accompanying each track (see below). You will find a tremendous outpouring of love and respect for a colleague who will be universally missed.

As ever, music keeps serving as an incredible source of solace and kinship—and an extraordinary celebration of life. Bryan’s is a life that we will celebrate always. We will continue to add to this playlist; please use this form to send us your musical tributes. Thank you for helping us commemorate this exceptional man and for keeping Bryan and his family in your hearts.

Here’s to you, Bryan. Thank you for everything.

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY>

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST ON YOUTUBE>

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI “Duo Seraphim” from Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610)
Selected by Wendy Heller, Professor of Music/Chair, Department of Music

I chose this excerpt for Bryan because it is expresses anguish with such extraordinary beauty, and it captures something of the exquisite pain that we are all feeling with this extraordinary, unexpected, and painful loss. This is also a piece that reminds me of Bryan in perhaps unconventional ways. First of all, it is composition that celebrates collaboration—first two and then three soloists, who weave their lines together to create a beautiful whole. Bryan was a master collaborator, who knew what each of us needed to “sound” the best that we possibly can. His voice was always there, and yet he made every project on which he worked stronger and better. Second, it is a work of great intricacy and complexity that—in the hands of great singers—sounds effortless and even improvised. Bryan knew how to take the most complex processes and make them look easy, always able to improvise a solution when we needed it. Finally, Monteverdi’s glorious music here brings to us a foretaste of heaven, a brief encounter with the songs and cries of the angels. And I can think of no one else who would be better at getting those angels to look and sound their best.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004
Selected by both Anna Lim, Violinist/Princeton Performance Faculty &
Hana Mundiya, Princeton undergraduate class of 2020

From Anna…
Bryan helped me record the Chaconne just a week ago. For me that piece will forever be linked to his memory. He was so generous, such a complete angel about helping me with that project, despite COVID-19. He told me he was really excited about doing the recording that afternoon. He made me, and everyone, feel that making music mattered tremendously. I’m thinking that might be the last project that he did...I’m honored, and somewhat incredulous, that it was with me. And also all the senior recitals he produced...he came to the rescue of all the seniors whose rituals of senior year evaporated with Covid. I am completely crushed by this loss.

From Hana…
The Chaconne is the last piece I performed in my virtual senior recital on YouTube, which Bryan organized and produced; the performance had originally been scheduled for April, and due to COVID-19 was postponed to May. Bryan made something that I had thought would be impossible—an opportunity for me to share my music-making with friends, professors, and family during the pandemic—into one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of my Princeton experience, even through the internet!

I also played excerpts of the Chaconne for our thirty minute "soundcheck," during which he and my dad talked about recording equipment and techniques as I attempted to keep up. When I thanked Bryan for his time, he said, "Of course, and you have a great dad to help you out." For some reason, I teared up right when he said that. I think it's because his pureness, warmth, and dedication suddenly hit me all at once.

Thank you, Bryan, for letting me share my music with you. The Chaconne will now always hold a special place in my heart.

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF Adagio from Symphony No. 2
Selected by Lou Chen, Outreach Program Music Coordinator, Department of Music

I've chosen the Adagio from Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony. It was the first new piece that Trenton Youth Orchestra began learning after we moved practice spaces this past spring, which was all thanks to Bryan. No request was ever too big for him, no mission too impossible. He always found joy in creating space for others to create beautiful art. By extension, our art will always be his.

WILLIAM BYRD O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth
Selected by Darwin Scott, Mendel Music Librarian

I didn't know Bryan very well, but he was extremely helpful for the two library-sponsored concerts we gave in 2019. I have chosen this exquisite motet by William Byrd as sung by the Tallis Scholars. It is solemn and moving—and filled with cross relations (a feature of English polyphony at this time), making it especially poignant yet kind of like the voice of angels.

MUMFORD AND SONS “Awake My Soul”
Selected by Danielle Dennis, Venue Manager, University Services

When I was processing that Bryan was really gone, I immediately thought of Mumford and Sons. Back in December 2018, I went to the Mumford and Sons concert in Philadelphia with my husband. I was at the concert and I got a text from Bryan. I immediately thought it was related to work, so I read the text. He also was at the concert, and I had no idea he was there. We spent the rest of the concert texting back and forth how awesome it was to experience it live. There is a quote in “Awake My Soul” that Mumford and Sons sing, and it’s “where you invest your love, you invest your life.” That line makes me think of Bryan. He invested so much of his time into his work, but at the root of him, he invested his life for his wife and kids. I found it a privilege to work side by side with Bryan, and I will miss him dearly.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Aria from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Selected by Kerry Heimann, Operations Manager, Princeton University Concerts

Bryan was an ideal colleague. We worked together on many PUC projects, including Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato's staged version of Schubert's Winterreise. The last project we worked together on was from Johann Sebastian Bach's St John Passion. Besides our work, I recently learned that we shared something else in common: a love of the television show The West Wing.

As I reflected on Bryan, my respect for him, and my grief, I tried to think of a piece of music to convey my emotions. Perhaps not surprisingly, I landed on Bach, specifically the so-called "aria" from his harpsichord masterpiece commonly known as the Goldberg Variations. While many of the ensuing movements develop sprightly, animated musical motives, I find the opening aria (and its "da capo" repeat at the conclusion) to be among the most tragically beautiful, melancholy pieces that Bach composed.

Coincidentally, this music was featured in an episode of The West Wing, "The Long Goodbye," wherein C. J. Cregg temporarily leaves her post as President Bartlet's White House press secretary to return home to effectively say goodbye to her father, who is rapidly deteriorating from Alzheimer's. In a fleeting moment of clarity, her father quotes philosopher Blaise Pascal, "We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end."

It was my honor to sail with Bryan in his work at Princeton. And although his untimely passing now reminds me of life's innumerable uncertainties, I will always remember his kind and patient spirit and admire his drive to produce amazing concerts at Princeton. Goodbye, Bryan, and thank you.

FELIX MENDELSSOHN Allegro moderato ma con fuoco from Octet, Op. 20
Selected by Francine Kay, Pianist/Princeton Performance Faculty

I chose this piece because it expresses how I felt after every interaction with Bryan. Bryan lifted everyone up. No matter what idea or request I brought to him, I was met with enthusiasm, positivity, and respect. Bryan supported me and my students with great care and kindness. He made us feel as though everything was possible. That is what I hear in this piece—boundless enthusiasm, kindness, and love lifting our spirit into flight, the same way that Bryan did.

GIUSEPPE VERDI Kyrie from Messa da Requiem
Selected by Michael Pratt, Conductor, Princeton University Orchestra/Director, Program in Musical Performance

The Verdi Requiem would never have been mounted in Richardson without Bryan—the Princeton fire code would not have allowed an orchestra and choir of that size and density on the stage. When I wistfully told Bryan of my desire to do the work, but knew it was not possible, his reply was an understated, “Tell me the numbers and let me fool around with it.” He came up with an ingenious stage extension system that became part of the regular equipment at Princeton, thus enabling the Verdi and future large-scale works. He worked for weeks on it, persistent and determined. I finally realized that the reason he put himself into it like that was that he wanted the students to have the experience of playing the work—same as me. He cared so deeply about the students, en masse and individually.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH “Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine” from St. John Passion, BWV 245
Selected by Gabriel Crouch, Conductor, Princeton University Glee Club/Associate Director, Program in Musical Performance

The Glee Club’s recent performance of Bach’s St John Passion was slated for broadcast on WWFM in April of this year—but we discovered to our horror that the recording system had crashed for about a minute during the opening recitative sung by our soloist James Taylor. In order to fulfill our obligations to WWFM, we needed to find a way to record the missing material and splice it into the recording...under lockdown conditions! As despair set in, Bryan promised to find a solution. And so he did—he sent a recording unit to Mr. Taylor in New Haven, with step-by-step instructions for self-recording. He then set up the organ remotely, on Princeton’s campus, and recorded Kerry Heimann playing the accompaniment. After editing together these two components, he found a way to merge this new material with the live recording from Richardson. It must have taken many hours, but he saved the broadcast. Just a tiny example of Bryan’s loving care for the music and musicians of Princeton.

A musical note from Beth Schupsky, Business Manager, Department of Music

Even though we don’t have the video to share, I will always remember the time Bryan showed a number of staff members a video of him and his wife singing in a band. I believe the name of the band or song was “Walking Upright.” I remember being so impressed by his voice and the fact that he was so humble about it. This is the one song that I think of since Bryan sang it, and it brings back fond memories of a day when we were all together and laughing and enjoying music!

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Adagio from Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 “Emperor”
Selected by Marna Seltzer, Director, Princeton University Concerts

There were so many pieces of music I could have chosen to pay tribute to Bryan. We worked on endless number of concerts together, all made better by Bryan’s soft and steady direction. I thought about something from our residency concert at the Trenton War Memorial with conductor Gustavo Dudamel when Bryan pulled a rabbit out his hat figuring out how to add complicated projection to Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Like my colleague Beth wrote above, one of the most memorable moments I had with Bryan was shortly after he started working in the Department of Music, and he showed us all a video of a band that he and his wife were in. We had no idea that Bryan was a singer and a composer! We all understood in that moment how personal Bryan’s commitment to his job was. In the end, I chose a piece of music that gives me comfort in difficult moments. This movement is steady, gentle, serene, beautiful, and enduring, all qualities that I will think of when I remember Bryan.

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND “The Space Between”
Selected by Laura Sabatie, Production Support Specialist, Department of Music

Bryan really loved Dave Matthews Band. He often went to concerts and shared the music with friends.

JERRY BOCK/SHELDON HARNICK "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof
Selected by Dasha Koltunyuk, Marketing & Outreach Manager, Princeton University Concerts & Department of Music

The first time that I saw Bryan outside of the context of Richardson was at an end-of-year celebration where he was joined by his wife and kids. As gentle a man as he was always, seeing him with his kids was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. His love for and pride in them was so apparent; the joy that he took in being near them was infectious. That image stuck, and everytime that I interacted with him since then, I continued to feel that love for his family. That's why this song, which so beautifully encapsulates fatherhood, makes me think of him. It has brought me comfort as a daughter in my own life, and I hope that it might take on that same meaning for his family, who I know continues to feel his presence always.

AURELIO MAGNANI Mazurka-Caprice for Clarinet and Piano
Selected by Yang Song, Princeton undergraduate class of 2020

Bryan single-handedly made sure that my virtual senior recital could happen. As an international student stuck on campus during the quarantine period, I thought there was no way for me to perform again, but Bryan delivered a lot of equipment to me and spent many late nights and weekends instructing me on the setup. I played this piece during my senior recital. The greatest challenge of having a virtual recital was syncing the clarinet to a pre-recorded piano track, but Bryan ensured that it was possible, letting my parents back home in Australia watch me perform live for the first time. I will never forget Bryan's help throughout such a difficult time, and he will surely be missed.

THE BEATLES "Here Comes the Sun"
Selected by Deborah Rhoades, Accounts Manager, Princeton University Concerts

Although I wasn't able to work with Bryan very much, I always knew he was around, because he was like a ray of sunshine.

JOHN DOWLAND “In Darkness Let Me Dwell”
Selected by Martha Elliott, Soprano/Princeton Performance Faculty

I recently told Bryan that I had taught a lesson during which I had actually accompanied a private adult student singing this song by John Dowland. We were experimenting with some new technology which worked so well that we actually felt like we had been together in the same room. When I told Bryan about this, he wanted to hear the recording. I found it on Wednesday afternoon and sent the recording to Bryan at 5:50pm. Little did I know that he would never hear it. I think he was already gone by then. It’s also shattering that it was this gorgeous song. I can’t believe that he is gone.

NICOLA MATTEIS Alia Fantasia for Solo Violin
Selected by Nancy Wilson, Violinist/Princeton Performance Faculty

I first met Bryan in Taplin at the dress rehearsal for my student Janice Cheon’s baroque violin recital this past January. When I entered the room he was sitting quietly, listening to her warm up. He stood up, offered his hand, and said, “I’m Bryan Logan.” That simple gesture was imbued the gentleness, sincerity, and generosity that was Bryan. In gratitude for Bryan.

THE WAILIN’ JENNYS “Firecracker”
Selected by Lindsay Hanson, Artist Services Manager, Performing Arts Services

I shared an office with Bryan and had worked with him for several years before discovering that we shared an appreciation for The Wailin’ Jennys. I’m not sure how often he listened to them, but they’re one of my favorite musical groups to listen to and to see perform live. One morning I walked into Richardson and heard footsteps on stage above, which typically meant Bryan was there working on something that he wanted to take care of before anyone else got in—sometimes the footsteps would be accompanied by loud drilling or banging noises, but this time I heard some familiar music. Once I realized what the song was, I had to figure out whether it was actually Bryan on stage or someone else. When I got to stage, I discovered my assumption was correct because it was Bryan, working out something with the sound console and playing The Wailin’ Jennys. What a lovely way to start the day.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN “Somewhere” from West Side Story
Selected by Mariana Corichi Gomez, Princeton undergraduate class of 2021

Before and during the COVID-19 shutdown, I was working with Bryan on what was going to be my performance thesis: a concert version of West Side Story. He was very encouraging of the project and had been so kind to coordinate with Richardson staff, Lewis Center for the Arts, and Gabriel Crouch. When I talked with Gabriel a couple of weeks before Bryan's passing, he told me Bryan was still thinking of ways to adapt West Side Story to an online platform. I'm so grateful for Bryan's dedication and care toward the undergraduate music students. It's still hard to believe he's gone.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Sheep May Safely Graze
Selected by Peggy Kampmeier, Pianist/Princeton Performance Faculty

The quiet, contemplative nature of the music reminds me of Bryan in action. He approached problems big and small with steady assuredness, consummate skill, and a sense of calm. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

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Playlist No. 21: PUC Audience Selects

Thursday, July 23, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

For this week’s installment of our Collective Listening Project, we continue to highlight classic summer road trip music as selected by our PUC audience. Perhaps it was music that someone discovered during a vacation, a favorite from a special summer music festival, or a long-beloved classic saved for a long drive. The response was tremendous—so much so that we devoted two playlists to these picks!

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Adagio Affetuoso ed Apassionato from Quartet No. 1, Op. 18, No. 1
Submitted by Judith 
Czigler, PUC Subscriber

The timing and expressions layered in this movement adds uplifting romance and love and you will forget how many remaining miles until your destination. Enjoy!!!
 

JEAN SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5
Submitted by Marue Walizer, PUC Subscriber/Member Princeton University Concerts Committee

I loved listening to this in the evening in the Rocky Mountains, not the Norwegian fjords but just as beautiful.
 

GABRIEL KAHANE 8980: Book of Travelers
Submitted by Zachary White, PUC Patron

When I think of road trips and PUC, I think of Gabriel Kahane's Book of Travelers project (presented February 2019). Searching and empathetic, the album is essential listening for this American moment - a reminder of our shared humanity and the power of song to help us connect across time and space. 
 

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV Symphony No 5
Submitted by Sheldon Eldridge, PUC Patron

My summer listening pleasure always includes the music of Alexander Glazunov who is, to my mind, a composer much underrated today. Franz Liszt once said “The whole world will be talking about this composer.”  While his ballet music, especially “Raymonda” is in the canon, his symphonic work less so. Symphony No. 5 in four movements and dubbed “Heroic” is a favorite. The movements are alternatively characterized by majestic breadth, airy virtuosity (in particular the woodwinds), supple lyricism, and dynamic driving energy. All these kaleidoscopic affects are brilliantly brought to the fore in performances led by the incomparable conductor Neemi Järvi.
 

SAMUEL BARBER Knoxville:Summer of 1915
Submitted by Bob Pollack, PUC Subscriber & Irene Caramuta, PUC Patron

Bob says...

To me this Barber-Agee work is quintessential Americana, perfectly describing the scene of a summer evening in most pre-WWII, town and city neighborhoods, not only the South.  Barber skillfully and magically captures all the emotions and movement in James Agee's poetic prose from ""A Death in the Family," with word painting of people rocking on their porches as they watch and listen to the constant flow of traffic. There are people in pairs, a horse and buggy, loud and soft autos, a whining streetcar - passing, creating a feeling of continous motion.  While I would love to relate my first hearing to a road trip of some kind, I actually first heard the piece, 30-40 years ago sitting in Richardson Auditorium and it has been a favorite ever since. And of all recordings, I think that soprano Dawn Upshaw with David Zinman conducting St. Lukes is the finest. Enjoy the music and here is a link to the exquisite Agee prose.

Irene says...

The title of this work, scored for soprano and orchestra and a setting of James Agee's evocative and nostalgic poem of the same name, says it all about its connection to summer. Quoting directly from Agee's text, this is a great piece to listen to "on a summer evening, among the sounds of the night." To this I would add while practicing social distancing on your road trip, of course. Although I am straying far from the task you've set for us by giving you the following details, I allow myself to add that I fell in love with this piece many years ago (in freezing cold Rochester, NY -- of all places), courtesy of the Eleanor Steber recording. (She recorded the work with the Dumbarton Oaks Orchestra, under the baton of William Strickland.). Leontyne Price and Dawn Upshaw have also lent their voices to this score in very respected recordings. If I had to choose, I'd say that Upshaw, with her light moon-beam of a voice, is the most believable as Agee's prescient child narrator, but oh Steber! This largely forgotten American artist had an effortless evenness of voice and hauntingly ethereal pianissimi (manifestly on display in her performance of this work). She deserves a re-hearing and her recording of this work should be included on any summer road trip playlist.

PS - We would like to continue to collect your favorite pieces for future playlists. Please use this link to share your inspiration with us.

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Playlist No. 20: PUC Audience Selects

Thursday, July 16, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

For this week’s installment of our Collective Listening Project, we asked you for your suggestions for music for a classic summer road trip. Perhaps it was music that you learned during a vacation, a favorite that you experienced at a special summer music festival, or a long-beloved classic that you save for a long drive. Your response was tremendous—so much so that we’re devoting the next two playlists to your picks!

We are still taking submissions if this list inspires you. Simply fill out this form, offering a favorite piece and a brief explanation describing its relationship to travel, vacation, or summer and its significance for you. The form will accept only one piece, but you may submit the form multiple times for additional pieces. Thank you for your suggestions!

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

ANTONIN DVORÁK Symphony No. 8
Submitted by Dasha Koltunyuk, Marketing Manager/PUC

I was introduced to this piece by pianist Ian Brown, whom I met on the PUC series, and listened to this symphony on repeat on a train going through Switzerland the summer after my junior year in college. The third movement in particular is reminiscent of the gentle, smooth motion forward surrounded by nature (a world away from the jarring Amtrak experience...) 

HENRY PURCELL Fairy Queen “Here’s the summer, Sprightly Gay”
Submitted by John Burkhalter, Subscription Manager/PUC

Every summer for years and years (either on country roads cycling with ear phones or at home) I have “revisited” Purcell’s marvelous theatre production “The Fairy Queen” (1692) a semi opera in a prologue and five acts in turn based on actor/impresario Thomas Betterton’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. This restoration spectacular, complete with magically appearing grottos and woods, swans, peacocks, god and goddesses, and troupes of fairies all in elaborate allegorical costumes, is quintessentially English. Take delight listening especially to the Act IV song “Here’s the Summer, Sprightly Gay.”

MAX AVERY LICHTENSTEIN “Tarnation”
Submitted by Tom Uhlein, Graphic Designer/PUC

I discovered this piece about 10 years ago during a summer road trip through parts of the Midwest. The piece was instantly included in our driving play list as we traveled the winding roads of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. The music continues to be a part of a number of my play lists to this day. Enjoy!

LOWELL LIEBERMANN Nocturne-Fantasy, Op. 69
Submitted by Laura Oltman, Guitarist/Princeton Performance Faculty

This work was commissioned for my husband and me with funding from the Edward T. Cone Foundation. It was premiered at the Raritan River Music Festival on the hottest possible Memorial Day weekend. Lowell and his mom came to the performance, in an un-airconditioned historic church. He wore a white linen suit for the occasion. The piece is kind of a journey by itself, very beautiful and contemplative. It would make great listening for late night summer driving.

ANGELIQUE KIDJO Voodoo Chile
Submitted by Donna Raskin, PUC Patron

This version of Jimi Hendrix' song kept me hopeful on a drive from Birmingham, Alabama to Brooklyn, New York in 2001.

MARK KNOPFLER Sailing to Philadelphia
Submitted by Barbara Kirsh, PUC Patron

This beautiful ballad sung by James Taylor and Mark Knopfler tells of the voyage from England to the new US by Mason and Dixon, full of hope and worry about expanding their life opportunities.

SAMUEL BARBER Dover Beach
Submitted by Brandon Gaines, PUC Subscriber & Princeton University Concerts Committee Chair

I feel this piece is particularly appropriate given the beauty described in Matthew Arnold's lyric poem, but there are also undertones of sadness. This summer many of us are seeking a change of scenery - and beautiful scenery at that - but we are also a bit sad as our typical vacations and visits with family and friends have been canceled or significantly altered.

ROBERT SCHUMANN Symphony No. 3, “Rhenish”
Submitted by Mariana Olaizola, Princeton class of '13, former member of the Student Ambassadors of PUC

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya

KEVIN VOLANS String Quartet No. 2
Submitted by composer Julian Grant, PUC Patron

I was working with English National Opera in Moscow, St Petersburg, and Kiev, many summers ago, and encountered this piece for the first time then: it simply blew me away. Rimsky-Korsakov then, less so now, was considered a lightweight, and I hadn't realized he could be capable of writing such a profound and complex piece. Great for long car journeys, as it unfolds in a leisurely way!

The quartet by Kevin Volans is a reminder of a magical trip to South Africa last summer: such travel scarcely seems possible from the vantage point of 2020.

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Playlist No. 19: Professor Daphne Brooks Selects

Thursday, July 9, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

One of our most distinguished scholars of race, gender, and popular music culture, Daphne Brooks serves as Professor of African American Studies and Theater Studies at Yale University and was previously on the faculty at Princeton University. We have enjoyed getting to know her this past year by working on a project together. (More on that soon!) In the meantime, Professor Brooks generously curated this week's Collective Listening Project playlist which she calls "Freedom Is, Freedom Ain’t: A Short Playlist for July 2020." Her selections reflect her deep love for and knowledge of black rock music and performance, and each is accompanied by a brief description that I urge you to read here. Taking us through a diverse landscape of artists and genres, Professor Brooks leaves us with Aretha Franklin singing "Never Grow Old," a song that she beautifully encapsulates as "Bold. Brave. Cathartic. Necessary."

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

Pastor T. L. Barrett, Jr. and the Youth for Christ Choir, “Nobody Knows” from the 1971 album, Like A Ship

The mighty Pastor Thomas Lee Barrett, Jr. leads his majestic choir through a dazzling rereading of the classic African American spiritual, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Barrett’s reimagining of this sacred lament leans into a gospel/R&B groove that burrows with stubborn determination and fortitude through the valley of despair and ultimately moves you towards the light of glory sounded out by the incandescent voices in his ensemble. A stirring combination of black struggle and grievance, resilience and revivification all bound up in one riveting performance.

TV on the Radio, “Ambulance” from their 2004 EP, Desperate Youth, Thirsty Babes

Williamsburg’s Afrodiasporic indie rock supergroup goes a cappella and delivers a gorgeous meditation on radical mutual care and intimacy and the urgent beauty involved in catching your lover, your neighbor, your beloved one when they fall. “Lean On Me” for the 21st century and an ethical anthem to live by in the Covid era of peril and catastrophe.

Childish Gambino, “47.48” from the 2020 album, Donald Glover Presents

Can you imagine Prince, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, and a pre-red-hat-wearing Kanye West having a baby with one another? If so, then you can imagine what this astonishing post-soul lullaby by actor Donald Glover’s hip hop alt-ego Childish Gambino sounds like. On this the penultimate track on his Spring 2020 release which dropped at the dawn of the pandemic, he offers a comforting, neo-soul salve for the anxious and angst-ridden. To his toddler child (who makes a wide-eyed, heart-tugging cameo as the song comes to a close), Glover extends words of assurance, hope in darkness: “don’t worry ‘bout tomorrow/The violence, the violence…” A love song to black children facing everyday danger and the parents who hold them so close.

Anderson Paak, “Lockdown,” 2020 single

Afro-Asian multi-instrumental phenom Anderson Paak went to work in mid-June on a song to meet the moment. Measured and contemplative hip-hop soul, Paak’s “Lockdown” documents the on-the-ground, affective state of grassroots activism: exhaustion and weary resolve, quietly buoyant intent, and the core nothing-can-stop-us-now energy of this historic moment in which we find ourselves. “You should’ve been downtown/the people are risin’..” sings Paak, adding that, “[W]e thought it was a lockdown/They opened the fire…” History has its eyes on us, and Paak takes it all in.

Fiona Apple, “Cosmonauts” from her 2020 album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters

The genius Gen-X songwriter Fiona Apple writes epic sonic manifestos about feminist interiority in all its dense complexity and steeped in roiling emotions. One of late denouement tracks on her masterpiece of an album, 2020’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters, “Cosmonauts” is a swirling piece of pop enchantment, the tale of real and sturdy romantics facing cosmic struggles. “How do you suppose that we’ll survive?” Apple asks of her lover before leaning into the certainty that “you and I will be like a couple of cosmonauts/except with way more gravity than we started off…” The anthem to carry us through our times and into a galaxy of possibility.

PJ Harvey, “We Float” from her 2000 album, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

At the dawn of the 21st-century, English post-punk warrior PJ Harvey recorded a love letter album to New York City, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, a rock and roll feminist flaneur’s take on the emotive volatility of modern life in motion. The exquisite climax to all that maelstrom, “We Float,” her parting message on that album is one of both existential reckoning and ethereal wonder. “We float…,” croon’s Harvey, “take life as it comes…” Twenty years on, she sings the soundtrack to our 2020 quarantine life.

Nina Simone, “I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free)” from her 1963 album, Right Here, Right Now

One of Nina Simone’s most famous songs, “I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free)” encapsulates key tenets of the black radical tradition in liberation music. Always layered and paradoxical, black freedom music, as Frederick Douglass told us all the way back in 1845, is both joyous and filled with turmoil, born out of subjugation and a music of fugitive resistance and transformative potential. It holds all of this in its notes. One of the twentieth century’s greatest forces in sound, Simone channels that history in her reading of Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas’s song which she first released at the height of the Civil Rights revolution. A tale of dreaming and flight and the will to teach oneself how to plot one’s own escape.

Beyoncé, “Black Parade” from the forthcoming 2020 visual album, Black Is King

March with the 21st century’s biggest pop star, a pathbreaking black feminist artist whose embrace of black public culture as restorative energy, insurgency, and renewal is summed up on a track that invokes generations of African American jubilee celebrations, Juneteenth parades, and homecoming block parties. “Black Parade” is the renewal single that dropped in midst of our 2020 protest world and urged the masses on. Beyoncé champions this moment of blackness in all its luminous and embodied dimensions, through its social, economic, and political reverberations, strolling and strutting and claiming the right to assemble. She calls out to us to not fear these streets.

Aretha Franklin, “Never Grow Old” from the 2018 film, Amazing Grace

The Queen of Soul’s greatest performance and arguably one of the greatest musical performances captured on film in the twentieth century, Sidney Pollack’s 1972 Amazing Grace finds Aretha Franklin at the height of her powers as a prodigious vocalist. The film includes her climactic marvel of a reading of the gospel classic, “Never Grow Old.” This is what it means to be wrecked and remade again in song. Bold. Brave. Cathartic. Necessary. The performance that calls upon each of us to become more human.

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Playlist No. 18: Princeton University Concerts Selects

Thursday, July 2, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

As we head into the 4th of July weekend, we wanted to share a playlist of music that is distinctly American and takes us through some highlights of PUC’s illustrious history.

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

AARON COPLAND: Appalachian Spring for 13 Instruments
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center


It's hard to believe that it was just a few months ago when we were all gathered together in Richardson Auditorium for the opening of our chamber music series. On that night last October, members of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center brought us the gorgeous chamber version of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

CHARLES IVES: The Alcotts from Piano Sonata No. 2
Jeremy Denk, Piano

In November we were joined by violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Jeremy Denk for an unusual exploration of some of the most substantial, yet rarely heard, music in the violin repertory by the American composer Charles Ives. We thought this selection amplified that event nicely.

BRAD MEHLDAU & CHRIS THILE: Independence Day

In recent seasons, we’ve had memorable concerts by mandolinist Chris Thile and pianist Brad Mehldau (separately, not together). We were taken by their joint recording of a song called "Independence Day."

SELECT AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRITUALS
Marian Anderson, Contralto

Heading even deeper into the archives, PUC proudly presented the American singer Marian Anderson who made her PUC debut on April 9, 1937 and then returned to the series many times. Conductor Arturo Toscanini credited her with a voice that is “heard once in a hundred years.” On this list, we share two American spirituals that were part of her 1937 program at Princeton—"Lord, I Can't Stay Away" and "My Soul's Been Anchored in the Lord"—and her version of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." And when you have a moment, check out this amazing video of her singing "My Country Tis of Thee."

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
Ray Charles, Singer

The playlist ends with one of the most iconic American songs. Though, not a PUC presentation, singer Ray Charles appeared on the Princeton campus in February 1961 and, according to the 2,500 people packed into Dillon Gym, it was a multi-faceted and amazing evening. Though we don’t know exactly what he sang, we couldn’t help but share his version of "America the Beautiful."

PS—With many people back on the road and local travel becoming more precious than ever, we want to hear your voices in our Collective Listening Project. We're asking you to suggest some of your favorite musical pieces for a classic road trip. Perhaps you keep a beloved Beethoven quartet on hand for a long drive, or maybe you grew up attending a summer music festival where you first learned of a now treasured Tchaikovsky symphony.

Simply use this link to offer a favorite piece and a brief explanation describing its relationship to travel, vacation, or summer and its significance for you. The form will accept only one piece, but you may submit the form multiple times for additional pieces. PUC will compile a playlist of as many entries as possible. Thank you for your suggestions!

We wish you all a safe, healthy, and happy fourth of July weekend.

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Playlist No. 17: Trenton Youth Orchestra Selects

Thursday, June 25, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

This week we are happy to showcase our new education program—the Neighborhood Project. We asked members of the Trenton Youth Orchestra, a string orchestra for high school students from the Greater Trenton area conducted by Lou Chen, to select two pieces of music: one classical and one non-classical. Their inspirations truly run the gamut from Fauré, Tchaikovsky, and Barber to Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and so much more!

In addtion, this Spring PUC sponsored the "Express the Music" contest, a contest desgined to capture the impact of music as perceived by Trenton Central High School students. Students were invited to channel their experience of hearing and interacting with world-class musicians on Princeton University Concerts’ series into their own creative expression. As you listen to some of our youngest classical music audience's playlist, enjoy the booklet of winning entries from the contest by clicking here.

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

1. Selected by Nayely Rivas, violin, 12th grade

ANTONIO BAZZINI: La ronde des lutins, Op. 25

“I remember back when I first started off with TYO, one of the coaches played it with her sister and the chemistry they had was so beautiful. That’s what I wanted to be like when playing with my friends. Also the piece itself is just amazing and fast and made me want to stomp my feet.”

SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: I Put a Spell on You

“This song is powerful enough to the point where I can feel it coursing through my veins and it just makes me want to contort my body in a weird way. It’s also a jazz piece which is one of my favorite genres of music because of how random it can be and this is exactly what this piece is: just completely random and odd and surprising when it hits you.”

2. Selected by Aariana Flippin, violin, 12th grade

CLAUDE DEBUSSY: Clair de lune

“This piece resembles my mind if it were a musical composition. It makes me feel like I’m lying down in the woods while rain comes pouring down. It’s a protective song. Swells that are present throughout the song gives you a feeling of placement (and this can be interpreted however).”

MOM JEANS: Death Cup (Content advisory: Explicit language)

“This is a song I’ve been attracted to lately in my hectic teen life and it’s a great resemblance of my style and who I am as a person. My favorite part of the song is the ending part and it’s where they begin to scream. This part of the song showcases an emotional pain...it embodies how I feel towards situations in life. Sometimes you just have to scream.”

3. Selected by Brandon Missouri, cello, 11th grade

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14

“Vocalise is a beautiful, sad song--but it’s not depressing.”

PARRIS CHARIZ: Smooth Operator

“This song reminds me of my bike rides through Trenton after school. So it reminds me of Trenton since I’ve moved. Also I like the bop and smooth hype.”

4. Selected by Christopher Tax, cello, Trenton Central High School alumnus

JOE HISAISHI: Theme from Howl’s Moving Castle (arr. solo piano)

“It’s calm and yet exciting. It brings a whole new emotion of warmth that feels familiar but new because no matter how many times you hear it, it always makes you feel something.”

5. Selected by Grace Mitchell, violin, 12th grade

FELIX MENDELSSOHN: First movement from Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64

“I choose this because it is my long-standing favorite piece to listen to. It’s one of the first pieces I listened to that I wasn't practicing to play. Even after all these years, I still find it soothing and exciting, my go-to while doing homework or walking home.”

ARIANA GRANDE: fake smile (Explicit language)

“I choose this song because the lyrics really speak to me as a person. One being ‘I won't say I'm feeling fine, after what I been thru I can't lie.’ I had to learn to give myself credit for even my little accomplishments, because I've been through a lot for a girl my age. I tend to have a brighter outlook on life once I focus on what makes me happy.”

6. Selected by Andy Dilone, violin, 12th grade

GABRIEL FAURE: Pavane, Op. 50

“Pavane was one of the first classical pieces I played and I enjoyed it a lot. It shines the spotlight on woodwinds such as the flute, clarinet, and my personal favorite, the oboe. This piece uses the strings almost as an accompanying sound. It also contains minor sounds which I really like. I’m not very good with musical jargon so I’ll leave it at that!”

LSD: It’s Time

“This is the last song of the album and really brings out the vocal powerhouse that both Sia and Labyrinth possess. It’s a really beautiful piece, especially towards the end. The song is about how love will not always work between people and realizing that it’s finally time to move on. You can hear the passion in their voices. It’s best experienced with headphones!”

7. Selected by Perla Diaz, violin, 9th grade

CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS: The Swan from Carnival of the Animals

“I chose this piece because I discovered it recently (like last month). And as soon as I heard it, I loved it. It has a very calm and slow rhythm and melody, which I like to listen to when I'm tired or need to relax.”

DAY6: Zombie (English version)

“This is a song that one of my favorite boy bands released on May 11. It's a really nice song with very deep lyrics. But it also has a nice rhythm to it. I listen to this song a lot, I really enjoy it.”

8. Selcted by Ashanti Ross, violin, Trenton Central High School alumnus

SAMUEL BARBER: Adagio for Strings

“This is such a unique and powerful piece. It’s hard not to be engulfed by the emotions Barber is communicating.”

EZRA COLLECTIVE: Reason in Disguise

“This is one of my top songs simply because every time I hear the opening I just feel a wave of relaxation. The band and instrumental itself is so enjoyable alone but when paired with her voice it’s something special.”

9. Selected by Edgar Cambara, violin, 12th grade

ERIK SATIE: Gnossienne No. 1

“I love listening to this piece when it’s raining and it’s a slow day.”

EDBL: magpies
CORY WONG and TOM MISCH: Cosmic Sans

“I love listening to these two songs when I’m doing work or I have a long trip ahead or when I just want to doze off into another world.”

10. Selected by Melki Garcia-Perez, violin, Trenton Central High School alumnus

CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS: Danse macabre, Op. 40 (arr. for piano and violin)

“This is a fun piece to listen to that I wish I could play with someone during Halloween.”

TWENTY ONE PILOTS: Level of Concern

“This is my go-to song for when I’m driving! It puts me in a good mood.”

11. Selected by Collin Thompson, violin, 12th grade

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: First movement from Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35

“I chose this piece because I believe it’s a true romantic concerto. Every note coming from the violin is a part of a bigger story being told and I think it’s extremely beautiful.”

MAC AYRES: easy

“This song really represents my personality accurately and every time I listen to it I feel at peace.”

12. Selected by Javier Martinez, violin, 11th grade

JOHANN PACHELBEL: Canon in D Major

“It is one of my favorite pieces and I really like the dynamics and musicality it brings out.”

CHILDISH GAMBINO: Redbone (Explicit language)

“I can listen and vibe out to this song because of its diversity and slow, laid-back tempo. And it’s a really nice melody.”

13. Selected by David Jen, cello, 7th grade

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo and Juliet

“It tells a story.”

TORI KELLY: I’ll Find You

“It conveys a good message and is rap/sung.”

14. Selected by Joshua Jen, violin, 8th grade

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL: Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah

“This song is super powerful and just sounds really, really, good.”

LIZZO: Cuz I Love You (Explicit language)

“I really like this song because it is so much more than just a song. It really represents something crazy in our community.”

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Playlist No. 16: Clarinetist Anthony McGill Selects

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

This week, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic Anthony McGill asked the classical music community to #TakeTwoKnees to protest racism. It is with this spirit of solidarity that we share his curated playlist, the next installment of our Collective Listening Project.

LISTEN TO THE FULL PLAYLIST HERE>

HENRY PURCELL: When I Am Laid in Earth
"This piece and Jessye's voice make tears come to my eyes. So much beauty you have to think of the goodness in the world as well as the pain."

FLORENCE PRICE: Symphony No. 1
"This is a beautiful work by one of our great composers. Makes me wonder why I've never played this in 20 years with orchestras and many other pieces like this."

SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Clarinet Quintet, Op. 10
"I just recorded this work with the Catalyst Quartet, to be released this year on Azica Records, and it is a masterpiece. Also don't know why it isn't performed more often. I'll try to fix that!"

NINA SIMONE: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
"This piece says a lot. So simple, so powerful, and yet so deep."

RHIANNON GIDDENS: Ten Thousand Voices
"I had the pleasure of meeting her on a call the other day. And she is amazing. Her art is simply thoughtful, powerful, and beautiful."

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Playlist No. 15: Tenor Lawrence Brownlee Selects

Thursday, June 11, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Together, we have spent the past several months of these extraordinary times engaged in collectively listening deeply and thereby reconnecting with the world around us. These past couple of weeks of important protests have made the urgency of that intention all the more clear. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee is an artist who has, of course, confronted these issues for a long time in a deeply personal and meaningful way, perhaps most poignantly in a program of Spiritual Sketches that he brought to our stage in 2018. This week, we invite you to listen to his profoundly moving recording of this program, recorded with pianist and arranger Damien Sneed. And to cap off this listening experience, Lawrence has also shared a handful of selections that have brought him comfort in these weeks. He sends us James Taylor to reassure us that You've Got a Friend; the rawness, commitment, and intensity of Concha Buika who with Mi Niña Lola "feels as if she is trying to calm unrest"; Luciano Pavarotti—one of his favorite voices—singing of longing for the return of the birds in Rondine al Nido; and a call to Lay Your Troubles Down, performed by Commissioned.

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

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Playlist No. 14:
Professor Scott Burnham Selects

Thursday, June 4, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Professor Emeritus Scott Burnham, a frequent and beloved guide at our pre-concert Warm Up events, has curated several sets of "short and long" listening experiences to fill your week in the next installment of our Collective Listening Project. Here's "The Long and the Short of It...":

LISTEN TO THE FULL PLAYLIST HERE>

THE SHORT OF IT

I begin with two pieces that vie for the honor of being the most beautiful three minutes in Western music. They’re both by Mozart, of course:

Ave verum corpus, K. 618. Mozart composed this brief motet during the last year of his life, for the Feast of Corpus Christi. With music that miraculously gets ever more beautiful as it progresses, Mozart stages the great Christian mystery of corporeal pain and spiritual redemption as a ravishing, yet quietly personal, revelation.

“Soave sia il vento,” the farewell trio from Mozart’s 1789 opera Così fan tutte. Instantly captivating, this number musically invokes the gentle winds it asks for in its role as a traveler’s benediction. The two sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella (accompanied by the cynical Don Alfonso) are saying goodbye to their boyfriends, who are ostensibly sailing off to war (they are actually enacting the first move in a shameless deception designed to test their sweethearts’ fidelity), but they really seem to be saying goodbye to innocence itself. 

THE LONG OF IT

Got an hour or more? Then you have time to get into the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. The quarantine could in fact be your opportunity to learn to appreciate the vast time scale of his symphonies (if you don’t already). Listen for how he revels in the sheer sound of the full orchestra. Brass players love Bruckner, because he creates cathedrals of symphonic sound, with brass in the place of honor. There are few things as electrifying as the sustained and often vividly animated orchestral harmony that concludes many of his symphonic movements. In these places, Bruckner seems to be offering praise to the Almighty with an almighty sound; not for nothing did he spend years as a church musician. His music exudes a kind of innocence, and he himself was reputed to be a rather childlike man. The great music critic Donald Francis Tovey once suggested that you should listen to Bruckner “with the humility you would feel if you overheard a simple old soul talking to a child about sacred things.”  

I would begin with Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony (perhaps my favorite). There are few things more beautiful than the exquisite opening of his first movement (and those few things are already on this playlist!). And by the way: if you are not deeply stirred by the endings of his first and final movements, you should never again check one of those “I am not a robot” boxes online.

For an even huger experience, invite the 60-something Franz Joseph Haydn into your home by taking in his two towering oratorios, The Creation and The Seasons, both composed around 1800. Play them back to back! Taken together, Haydn’s Creation and Seasons extend from the beginning of Time to the end of Time: from God’s creation of the universe to our eventual ascent into heaven after death (after Winter, the last of his Seasons). There are many astonishing numbers along the way, some pastoral, some sublime (the creation of light), some downright funny (the drinking song from Autumn). Let Haydn out-Wagner Wagner—make a day of it, with breaks between the three Parts of the Creation and between each of the four Seasons. You won’t regret experiencing the full extent of this immensely gratifying celebration of nature and the human experience.

BEETHOVEN, SHORT AND LONG

I hope you didn’t think I would forget Beethoven, especially in 2020, as we celebrate his 250th birthday. First up is the briefest piece of his I can think of, namely the tenth Bagatelle in his Bagatelles for piano, Op. 119. At a little over ten seconds long, you won’t even be able to wash your hands to it! But you might as well take in the entire set of 11 Bagatelles, composed at various times of his life but assembled together for publication in 1823. They offer brief forays into lighter frames of mind than we are accustomed to hear from this composer.

One of Beethoven’s longest works is the Missa Solemnis, which he himself considered to be his greatest achievement. It was premiered in St. Petersburg in April 1824, just one month before the Ninth Symphony was premiered in Vienna. The Missa Solemnis will last about an hour and 15 minutes, depending on the performance. I’ve always enjoyed Otto Klemperer’s performance, perhaps a bit old fashioned these days but deeply felt. If for no other reason, I recommend it for the overpowering way he performs the phrase “Pater omnipotens” (almighty Father) in the Gloria, but also for the way one can actually hear the separate voices in the hair-raising fugue on “Et vitam venturi” toward the end of the Credo. John Eliot Gardiner conducts my favorite modern performance.

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Playlist No. 13:
Pianist Paul Lewis Selects

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Pianist Paul Lewis, a beloved PUC veteran, shares some of the music that has lifted his spirits during these extraordinary times. Paul is scheduled to return to the PUC stage next season on February 18, 2021.

LISTEN TO THE FULL PLAYLIST HERE>

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART: Piano Concerto in F Major, K. 459
Brendel/Marriner/Academy of St Martin in the Fields

This is one of the most ebullient and charming of Mozart’s concertos, perfect for lifting locked down spirits. The outer movements dance along with great energy in this wonderful performance, but the real heart of the work is it’s beautiful, lyrical slow movement.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN: Chichester Psalms
Bernstein/Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

This is a nostalgic work for me, as I sang in the choir as part of a performance at school when I was 15! Chichester Psalms shows Bernstein the composer at his best. Exciting, colourful, lyrical, dynamic—and clearly having great fun with the enormous forces at his disposal.

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN: 12 Études, Op. 10
Maurizio Pollini (1956)

A friend recently brought this rare recording to my attention. Pollini famously recorded the Chopin Etudes in 1972 for Deutsche Grammophon—a recording legendary for its intensity and technical mastery. This rough recording of a live performance from 1956* when Pollini was 14—yes, 14!—is utterly remarkable for its explosive energy and spontaneity. A staggering performance.

*Please note that the 1956 recording is not currently available on Spotify, but you can listen to it on YouTube here. The Spotify playlist includes the first etude recorded just four years later, after Pollini had won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, followed by the complete etudes recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in 1972. 

GUSTAV MAHLER: Symphony No. 3, 6th movement
Haitink/Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

It is all but impossible to put into words the expressive magnitude of the final Adagio of Mahler’s 3rd Symphony. An awe inspiring journey of heart wrenching introspection, human fragility, and ultimately, an overwhelming expression of love. For me it’s one of the two greatest Adagios in all music, alongside the slow movement of Beethoven’s "Hammerklavier" Sonata.

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Playlist No. 12:
Creative Reactions Contest Winners Select

Thursday, May 21, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

The six student winners of this year’s Creative Reactions Contest shared the tracks that they have been listening to while quarantining or the music that means the most to them. The contest is dedicated to the memory of Vera Sharpe Kohn, a loyal member of the Princeton University Concerts Committee, whose support and enthusiasm contributed to the health and well being of Princeton University Concerts. The playlist concludes with J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor, a piece that Vera thought was the most perfect piece of music ever written.

SEE THE STUDENT'S WINNING ARTWORK HERE>

LISTEN TO THE FULL PLAYLIST HERE>

Alyssa Cai (First Place Winner)

FRANCISCO TÁRREGA Recuerdos de la Alhambra

“My father learned this song on the guitar a few years ago after a family trip together to Spain where we were able to visit the Alhambra. It was the last time our whole family was able to take a big trip together since I went off to college and everything got busier. Now, being at home with family, we're able to spend more time together, and this piece reminds me of the travels we had together.”

Nazdar Rosna Ayzit (Honorable Mention Winner)

DARIO MARINELLI Dawn, performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, from the Pride and Prejudice (2005) movie soundtrack

“This song has a very dear place in my heart. Although it is brief, merely two minutes long, it is one of the most narrative and romantic compositions of instrumental music that I have ever heard. I am grateful that quarantine could not take away the joy of listening to it, thanks to the music getting renown with the beautiful movie and taking its place among YouTube's gems early on.”

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER Selections from The Phantom of the Opera

“This recommendation is quite a contrast to Dawn in its mood but is similarly cherished in my memories: The Phantom of the Opera is one of the few world-famous musicals to perform in Istanbul. Getting to see it live was positively transformative, expanding my horizon on the stories that music can transmit. Years later, ironically stuck in coronavirus quarantine, I had the chance of watching The Phantom of the Opera on YouTube through "The Show Must Go On!” This is another reason that I am sharing this song, to mention this channel: you have to visit if you haven't already. This channel posts full-length, high-quality recordings of the most famous musicals every Friday as a contribution to alleviate our lack of real-life theatrical experience during these times.”

Eliana Gagnon (Honorable Mention Winner)

FELIX MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64
JACOB GADE Jalousie

Sam Melton (Honorable Mention Winner)

GIUSEPPE VERDI Dies Irae from Requiem

“I realize it’s pretty dark to choose a Requiem Mass during this time, but this piece really feels like I’m stepping back to get an awesome perspective on the world, which is nice when I’m trapped in my house working on finals.”

Helen So (Honorable Mention Winner)

FREDERIC CHOPIN Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 1

“This music means the most to me—It was the last piece that I performed in recital, and it was also featured in the emotional climax of my favorite show, Your Lie in April.”

Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2

“One of my favorite nocturnes. It can get uncomfortable, but it's truly an experience to listen to.”

Sandy Yang (Honorable Mention Winner)

Nocturne in B-flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1

“This is one of my all-time favorite pieces, and I think especially being home now, I've been playing it and listening to it a lot. The music itself is incredibly beautiful and comforting, although to be honest, I think it's very much a matter of personal nostalgia—it reminds me of simpler times and of home.”

SLEEPING AT LAST Jupiter

“This isn't a classical piece, but I also find it comforting, and I love that it's in reference to Galileo—it isn't very often you find pieces on scientific history that you can relate to.”

LISTEN TO THE FULL PLAYLIST HERE>

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Playlist No. 11:
Marna Seltzer Selects

Thursday, May 14, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Moments of Bliss

For someone who lives and breathes music, it is all but impossible to put together just a single playlist. But during this period of quarantine, I’ve been craving small expressions of beauty…moments of bliss. I’ve been cutting flowers from my garden and placing them all throughout my house. I reinstalled an old bird feeder in my backyard and have spent hours watching the birds reclaim some of the space that humans usually invade. And I’ve found myself repeatedly listening to the music that is simple and straightforward—music that captures sheer beauty in its transparency; music that pierces my heart and makes me want to weep. Admittedly the choices here are a bit melancholy, if not a bit sappy, but this is a somber moment. With this playlist, I encourage you to just relax and listen. Close your eyes. Turn up the volume. Escape and enjoy a few moments of bliss.

Aram Khachaturian: Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia from the Spartacus Suite No. 2

Last fall, I began listening to the Open Ears Project, a podcast produced by WNYC Studios. I highly recommend this “sonic love letter” in which people from all walks of life share a classical track that means the most to them. When the podcast first came out, I listened to a new episode every morning on my walk to work and discovered, through someone else’s ears, music that I hadn’t heard before or that I hadn’t heard in a long time. The Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia from Aram Khachaturian’s ballet, Spartacus, is contemplative, romantic, soaring, and gorgeous. Actor Alec Baldwin selected this piece as music that “never fails to change my mood…to revive me…to lift my spirits.” I couldn’t agree more.

Johann Sebastian Bach: from the Organ Sonata No. 4, BWV 528

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson is a recent discovery for me. There is something about his approach to the piano and to music-making that is heart-breakingly simple. When the quarantine first began, I listened to his recordings over and over again. I never tire of the track included here from Bach’s Organ Sonata No. 4. The way that the music slowly spins, quiet and plodding, building layer by layer to a climax that is important and profound, moves me every time. It is as if someone is whispering an essential and profound secret in my ear.

Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1

Although I have tried for years to persuade an ensemble to play it on our series, Haydn’s very first string quartet rarely gets performed. Essentially a violin solo with string accompaniment, it is not likely to jump to the top of the priority list for a string quartet of equals. At my previous job, I did succeed in getting the Petersen Quartet, heard here, to play this movement as an encore. I always loved their performance of this work and the way that you can hear the four quartet members collectively breathe together. It’s amazing ensemble playing, and the melody is simple and lovely.

Sergei Prokofiev: Andante from Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor

David Oistrakh has always been one of my favorite violinists. I love his sound—it’s so full of love. When I was in high school, I used to spend hours at the Princeton Record Exchange trying to find his recordings. That is how I first came across Prokofiev’s second violin concerto, with its remarkable slow movement, imbued with extraordinary beauty and longing. I especially like the way the harmonies blend into each other, causing momentary dissonances, and how the simple melody returns at the end with even more passion.

Antonín Dvořák: The Moon Song from Rusalka

When I think of music that moves me the most, I almost always return to the human voice. I find it truly miraculous. Hearing Maria Callas, the King's Singers, or Louis Armstrong brings up something we can all relate to and yet all be awed by. When I listened to this year’s Met Opera Gala (virtual—of course) I was reminded of this gorgeous aria from Dvorak’s Rusalka. I then listened to many recordings to find a favorite and eventually landed on one by Leontyne Price, a singer I wish I had heard live. It’s hard to imagine a more sweeping and gorgeous melody—a true love song. 

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19

The slow movement of Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata is, for me, one of the most stunning pieces of chamber music ever written. The music just seeps with tenderness, love, and romance. We presented the Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk a few seasons ago. His sound compliments this work—it’s soulful, rich, and passionate. And there is something inimitable in the sound of the cello, whose low notes can’t be recreated on any other instrument in the same way.

Johannes Brahms: Alto Rhapsody for Male Chorus, Contralto, and Orchestra, Op. 53

I have been obsessed with Brahms ever since I first heard his complex, dark, and romantic music. He is definitely “my guy.” There is almost no piece he wrote that I don’t love. When I first discovered he wrote a piece for alto and male chorus, I listened immediately. I was lucky enough to hear it first sung by Dame Janet Baker, whose voice is perfection. I have gone back to this piece, and to this recording in particular, at many moments in my life, and it never disappoints. There are so many colors and moods in this piece, but the moment the choir joins in, at roughly 6:36 and then again at 9:10, is so poignant. It is the perfect moment of bliss.

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST HERE>

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Playlist No. 10: Princeton University Concerts Selects

Thursday, April 30, 2020, 8:05 PM

Program

Even though we are disappointed that we cannot share our evening with baritone Matthias Goerne and pianist Jan Lisiecki, so much in the planned program gives us reason for hope. We are reminded of music's resilience and longevity, knowing that the all-Beethoven concert would have celebrated the composer's 250th (!) birthday. We are grateful for the lasting relationships that music forms, as this concert would have been a reunion with Matthias Goerne, back by popular demand. And we are excited for classical music's future, in the hands of such phenomenal artists as the 25-year-old Jan Lisiecki.

Luckily, we can still experience a taste of the duo's program, which they recorded for Deutsche Grammophon on a newly-released album. When listening to the An die ferne Geliebte ("To the distant beloved") tracks, we think of you, our beloved audience-at-a-distance!

We also have a special missive for you from Jan Lisiecki! He sends this video greeting to introduce a selection of the music that brings him most joy, from Bach and Chopin to Pink Floyd and more. Take a listen here, in the latest playlist of our Collective Listening Project.

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST HERE>

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Playlist No. 9: Pianist Jan Lisiecki Selects

Thursday, April 30, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Pianist Jan Lisiecki shares a selection of the music that brings him most joy, from Bach and Chopin to Pink Floyd and more. In addition, we can still experience a taste of the program that was originally planned on our series with baritone Matthias Goerne by listening to their newly-released recording of Beethoven songs, recorded for Deutsche Grammophon. LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

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Johann Sebastian Bach: Aria from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, played by Glenn Gould

Many people automatically associate “Canadian pianist” with Glenn Gould, Glenn Gould with Bach, and his recordings with those of the Goldberg Variations. His playing is emotional, revolutionary, and instantly recognizable. I love listening to his Goldberg Variations, they take me on a journey to another dimension—and Bach today has particular relevance, when one realizes he wrote this music at a time during which our current worries would be unimaginable.

Frédéric Chopin: Concertos No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11 and No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21, played by Krystian Zimerman & Polish Festival Orchestra

I grew up with this recording, as my parents enjoyed it frequently. Zimerman’s sound is inspirational, and I love how he truly “lives” the music"—making it his own. While my interpretation is quite different from his, listening to other recordings after you’ve experienced music onstage yourself makes you discover completely new things.

Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here

I love Pink Floyd, and of course this is one of the most iconic albums ever. I relate to some of the lyrics from this recording, and it’s music that I am easily fully immersed in.

Yann Tiersen: Amélie Original Soundtrack

If I ever need something to lift my spirits, this is it… I find that both the music and the movie’s storyline have a magical quality to them—and I have always dreamed of playing the accordion.

Jan Garbarek: Twelve Moons

My parents listened to a lot of jazz: this album was a favorite of theirs and, growing up with it, has become one of mine as well—a great way to end a day.

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Playlist No. 8: Violinist Stefan Jackiw Selects

Thursday, April 23, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

A frequent artist on our stage, violinist Stefan Jackiw most recently wowed us back in October when he joined pianist Jeremy Denk for the complete violin sonatas of Charles Ives. He brings his characteristic thoughtfulness and sincerity to this playlist, sharing why the three works listed below bring him comfort during this time. We hope they bring you some comfort, too!"  LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

1. Read & Listen: "The Kreutzer Sonata"

Leoš Janáček: String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata"

"I’ve been spending too much time on the internet, oscillating between reading heartbreaking and terrifying news reports from across the world and bingeing my way through one puppy video after the next. It’s time to put down my iPhone and unplug from the internet. What better way to do this than to curl up with a good book? Even better if it’s paired with a musical masterpiece. Might I suggest you crack open Leo Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata, and follow it up with Leoš Janacek’s first string quartet of the same name? True, Tolstoy’s searing novella is driven by violence, jealousy, and murderous rage—perhaps not the most soothing literary balm in these troubled times—but it holds the reader in a vice-like grip from cover to cover. Janacek wrote his first string quartet after reading Tolstoy’s work. Like the novella, the string quartet is a tightly coiled, blistering ride.

Consider supporting our friends at Labyrinth Books and purchasing a copy of Tolstoy's short story for curbside pickup or free delivery. More info>

2. Celebrate Beethoven: The Triple Concerto

Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C Major, Op. 56

During the summer, I traveled to London to record Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano, and Orchestra with some of my favorite musicians and dear friends: cellist Alisa Weilerstein, pianist Inon Barnatan, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, conducted by Alan Gilbert. This was one of the most fun and inspiring musical experiences of my life. The Triple Concerto is one of Beethoven’s sunniest, most optimistic works. To me, it feels like a joyful celebration of friendship, and the recording sessions with my fellow musicians felt like just that. 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, and ensembles and presenters across the globe have devised programs to honor this musical giant. Sadly, COVID-19 has cut the festivities short, but let’s still celebrate dear Ludwig at home with our loved ones.


3. Find Comfort in Darkness: Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time

Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Last season, I performed Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time at Princeton University Concerts. My collaborators were pianist Orion Weiss, cellist Jay Campbell, and clarinetist Yoonah Kim. These three are particularly dear to me. I’ve been friends with Orion since I was 16. Jay and I are in a piano trio (the Junction Trio, with pianist Conrad Tao), and he is one of my most frequent musical partners. And Yoonah and I have plans to get married soon, if city hall is open for business.

While, as its title would suggest, the Messiaen is a musical chronicling of the apocalypse, there is more to it than merely doom and gloom. At its core, the Quartet is a work of hope and profound tenderness. At the end of the nearly one-hour work, after all the dust has settled and "time is no longer,” Messiaen closes with a final praise to the eternity of Jesus for violin and piano. He marks the violin part “extatique, paradisiaque, avec amour—ecstatic, heavenly, with love.” It is a movement of almost ineffable vulnerability, love, and above all, hope. It is hard to find a silver lining in a cataclysmic event such as the current pandemic, but time and again, we see that in moments of suffering, tragedy, and loss, people come together to help each other and offer each other comfort and love. It is precisely during these trying times that we are reminded of our shared humanity, and that despite our differences—cultural, political, or otherwise—we’re all in this together."

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Playlist No. 7: Dover String Quartet Selects

Thursday, April 16, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

The Dover String Quartet was set to make its PUC debut on Thursday, April 16, 2020, but the concert was canceled due to Covid-19. In this playlist curated by Camden Shaw, the cellist of the Dover Quartet is drawn to music that has "no pretense, no showmanship, and some fascinating balance of selflessness and emotional transparency all at once."  He's curated the list via YouTube so follow the links below to hear (and see) his selections. Or, LISTEN TO SOME OF THE MUSIC ON SPOTIFY>

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Camden Shaw, the cellist of the Dover Quartet, writes:

As a performer myself, I am particularly inspired when I see a musician not only at the absolute height of their craft but also completely absorbed by the music and by the present. The four performances here are so special and are such sincere examples of musical communication that we can only thank the heavens the camera was rolling! These artists would have been wonderful on any given day, but in each case I believe it is clear that they were at their absolute best. No pretense, no showmanship, and some fascinating balance of selflessness and emotional transparency all at once.

1. Cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Denes Varjon playing Schumann Abendlied, Op. 85, No. 12

2. Violinist Joseph Silverstein plays Elgar Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61

3. Soprano Jessye Norman sings Purcell "When I am laid in Earth" from the opera Dido and Aeneas

4. Pianist Vladimir Horowitz plays Schubert Impromptu, D. 899, Op. 90, No. 3
 

CANCELED - Live Music Meditation: Dover String Quartet Photo
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CANCELED - Live Music Meditation:
Dover String Quartet

Thursday, April 16, 2020, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

Program

Experience world-class music more personally than ever before as you meditate to the playing of the Dover String Quartet, guided by Associate Dean Matthew Weiner, Princeton University Office Religious Life. This is a FREE, unticketed opportunity to indulge in attentive, focused, and mindful listening. No prior experience necessary.

Please note that capacity is limited, and there will be no late seating. We advise participants to arrive early. Doors to the hall will open at 12:00PM and will close once capacity is reached. The event will conclude by 1:30PM.

The Dover String Quartet will present a program of Mozart, Ravel, and Bartók in the evening. For concert tickets and further information, click here.

For more information about the Live Music Meditation experience, check out this New York Times feature and Performance Today segment.

Please be aware that this event may be photographed and/or filmed for promotional and archival purposes. By participating in the event, you consent to appearing in images resulting from the photography/video filming. Please see a staff member with any concerns.

“Here, nothing but the music exists. Here, people can access that state of the sublime more easily.”

- The Epoch Times

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Playlist No. 6: Tap Dancer Caleb Teicher Selects

Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 9:00 PM

Program

Tap Dancer Caleb Teicher was set to make his PUC debut on the Performances Up Close series with pianist Conrad Tao on Tuesday, April 7 but the concert was canceled due to Covid-19.  About the playlist he curated for us, Caleb says,"There's something analogous between the elements of tap dance and of piano: both have rhythmic play, momentum, power, delicacy, and embodiment." Caleb shares the music that has shaped and continues to inspire his dance and his life.

LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

ABOUT THE PLAYLIST, by Caleb Teicher

I chose three recordings with remarkable piano performances and one more for poetic reasons.

1. A live recording of Nina Simone’s breakout performance at Town Hall in 1959 that spurred my fandom of her haunting vocals and exquisite musicianship.

2. Pianist Glenn Gould’s tender performance of the second movement in Bach’s Concerto No. 5 — while working on a choreographic project to this music, I ate/slept/bathed in this recording.

3. Finally, the poetry of Billie Holliday's "God Bless The Child" that has spoken to me during the pandemic. I'm not a person of any particulary denomination, but the lines speak for themselves: Momma may have / Poppa may have / But God bless the child that's got his own / That's got his own.

4. Ray Charles irresistible blues groove on “What’d I Say, Pt. 1 & 2” that has inspired decades of dance parties in apartments and in dance-halls.

 

 

 

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Playlist No. 5: Pianist Conrad Tao Selects

Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 6:00 PM

Program

Pianist Conrad Tao was set to make his PUC debut on the Performances Up Close series with tap dancer Caleb Teicher on Tuesday, April 7 but the concert was canceled due to Covid-19.  About the playlist he curated for us, Conrad says, "These tracks share a centering of the human and all of their vivid traces. And what I hope these tracks provide are multiple angles from which we might learn to listen for those traces." The pianist/composer helps view this moment in time through centuries of music and interrelated influences. LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

ABOUT THE PLAYLIST by Conrad Tao

I made this playlist late at night. (The 2am hour is really tough these days.)

It opens with Bach’s Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein ("When we are in Dire Need") is a choral prelude originally written for organ but here presented by a consort of viols, all the better to hear the counterpoint, the interwoven sociality of voices. That same sociality can be heard in a transposition of poet Florence Reece’s enduring labor hymn, “Which Side Are You On?”—here performed by The Freedom Voices in a rewrite for the Civil Rights Movement: “Come all you bourgeois black men with all your excess fat / a few days in the county jail will sure get rid of that.” My riff on Frederic Rzewski’s extended, prismatic riff on “Which Side” quotes the riff that opens Pete Seeger’s beloved performance of the tune, a jangly banjo line, descending into the chorus.

I am at my happiest when one of many. As a musician who often plays music written centuries ago, I am inspired by the ever-unfolding constellations of voices packed in a piece across history: fellow performers, scholars, amateurs, listeners. So a Bach organ prelude is played by a quartet of strings; later, the prelude of his second cello suite is repurposed for saxophones. Fred Ho and Cindy Zuoxin Wang interpret an old song from Northern China about a young woman fighting for freedom in feudal times, trading phrases and then playing in ecstatic duet. In a 1964 concert at Carnegie Hall, Nina Simone takes Kurt Weill and Bertholt Brecht’s “Pirate Jenny” and renders it even more searing and explicit, Jenny no longer in Victorian London but in “this crummy southern town, this crummy old hotel.” And in a beguiling transformation, Swedish DJ Axel Willner (aka The Field) slices, dices, and builds an ethereal tapestry out of The Flamingos’ doo-wop classic, “I Only Have Eyes For You,” gently looping fragments of the song into an impossibly expansive space.

Alongside these dense clusters of voices and re-interpretations, I’ve made some more elemental selections. Cenk Ergun’s “Celare” is a series of mathematically precise harmonies that pulsate with mysterious life. Phil Ochs’ “When I’m Gone” is practically a thesis statement for his body of work. And as I read worse and worse news about Rikers Island becoming an epicenter of COVID-19 in New York, Alan Lomax’s haunting recordings of Bama, a prisoner at Parchman Farm, carry new weight.

What I hope these tracks share is a centering of the human and all of their vivid traces, even in or perhaps especially in the face of grave injustice. And what I hope these tracks provide are multiple angles from which we might learn to listen for those traces.

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Playlist No. 4: Andrew Tyson Selects

Thursday, April 2, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Pianist Andrew Tyson was set to make his PUC debut on Thursday, April 2, 2020 with violinist Benjamin Beilman but the concert was canceled due to Covid-19. In this playlist, curated by Andrew, he gives us an unusual glimpse of pianists from the "Golden Age of the Piano" that he admires. He's curated the list via YouTube so follow the links below to hear (and see) his selections. Or, LISTEN TO SOME OF THE MUSIC ON SPOTIFY>

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"This unusual time provides an opportunity for listeners to make new discoveries. This is a woefully incomplete sampling of pianists from the first half of the 20th century. For listeners who have never explored this era of piano playing, I hope it opens up new vistas in your inner aural landscape. This so-called "Golden Age of the Piano" was a time of colorful and distinctive personalities in which imagination was valued more than perfection or fidelity to the score.

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943) plays November from Tchaikovsky The Seasons

Rachmaninoff played for Tchaikovsky as a child. His incredible tone and uniquely wide rubato grab the ear of the listener from the first phrase.

Benno Moiseiwitsch (1890–1963) plays Schumann Fantasy in C Major, Op. 17

Benno Moiseiwitsch was considered by Rachmaninoff to be his pianistic successor and the greatest living exponent of his compositions (other than the composer, of course!). In contrast with Rachmaninoff, Moiseiwitsch is rhythmically rather strict. His elegant phrasing, voicing, and beautiful sound are nevertheless than captivating. Schumann Fantasie is surely one of the greatest musical achievements of the 19th century, and a good piece for reflection during this strange time.

Alfred Cortot (1877–1962) and baritone Charles Panzéra perform Schumann Dichterliebe

Alfred Cortot was a magician more than a musician and a poet more than a pianist. He dreams Schumann more than he plays it. His tone seems to float in the air; his unique rubato is endlessly enchanting. Charles Panzéra is a beautiful partner, but my ear always drifts to the piano part in this recording...some of the most sublime playing ever put to disc!

Moriz Rosenthal (1862–1946) plays Chopin Nouvelle Etude No. 2

This is perfume in musical form. Moriz Rosenthal, a student of Liszt, was said to have been a barn-storming, fire-breathing virtuoso in his younger days—a fact belied by the gentle elegance of his recordings. This little etude —seemingly insignificant—becomes more intoxicating with each hearing under Rosenthal's fingers. What color!

Josef Hofmann (1876–1957) plays the second movement of Chopin Piano Concerto No.1

Josef Hofmann was universally regarded as the greatest pianist of his age. A complicated musical personality, his piercing tone and immaculate rhythm compel the listener to accept even the most eccentric whims of the moment. For those curious about the more fiery aspect of his persona, check out the latter half of his Chopin Fourth Ballade."

~Andrew Tyson

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Playlist No. 3: Violinist Benjamin Beilman Selects:

Thursday, April 2, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Violinist Benjamin Beilman was set to make his PUC debut on Thursday, April 2, 2020 but the concert was canceled due to Covid-19. In this list he curated, he shares with us some music that is bringing him optimism. LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

Eugène Ysaÿe: Solo Violin Sonata No. 5 in G Major "L'aurore," Leonidas Kavakos, Violin

Like everyone, I'm trying to balance a few manageable goals while also treating myself in this time of isolation. This Ysaÿe sonata had been sitting on my wish list for quite some time now. It feels like a splurge to work on it since I'm not scheduled to perform it anywhere on the horizon. Ysaÿe titled this sonata "the dawn" and I think it's worth a listen, especially since we could all use a dose of optimism. I especially love how Leonidas Kavakos reaches the swirling, euphoric climax at the end of the first movement.

Antonin Dvorak: Piano Trio No. 3 in F Minor Op. 65, Tetzlaff Trio

This piece is one of my desert island must-haves; I could listen to it on repeat and never tire of it. The second movement is a work of total genius—Dvorak starts the strings in one rhythmic meter and a few bars later sends the piano voyaging off in a totally different realm. And if you're looking for catharsis from our current crisis, you can't do better than diving into the third movement. Christian Tetzlaff has been a huge influence on my artistic outlook and the balance on this recording between him, his sister Tanja, and pianist Lars Vogt is pure magic.

Benjamin Britten: A Ceremony of Carols Op. 28

Since the present and near future are looking increasingly uncertain, I find myself burrowing into fond memories from my childhood. Violin was my first instrument, but my earliest pivotal musical experiences came during my time singing as an alto in the Atlanta Boy Choir. This work by Benjamin Britten was a staple of the choir's repertoire and we performed it on an Italian tour at the Vatican, the Duomo in Siena, and the basilica in Assisi. The whole cycle is gorgeous but my personal favorites include "There is No Rose" and "Balulalow."

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Playlist No. 2: Princeton University Concerts Selects

Monday, March 30, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Get a taste of what Princeton University Concerts' new 20-21 season will hold, as we look forward to happier times ahead! This playlist was curated by the Princeton University Concerts team.  LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

HOW IT WORKS:
We will regularly post a new playlist on our Princeton University Concerts Spotify Profile. If you are not already a Spotify user, it is easy to sign up for a free account here. Click the "Follow" button on our profile for the most up-to-date access to our playlists. We recommend downloading Spotify's desktop platform or mobile app for easiest use.

 

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Playlist No. 1: Princeton University Concerts Selects

Thursday, March 26, 2020, 8:00 PM

Program

Revisit the music and musicians from Princeton University Concerts' 2019-2020 season, including concerts canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear pianist Mitsuko Uchida's sublime Mozart which we would have heard live with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Discover the monstrously talented young violinist Benjamin Beilman, who was set to make his PUC debut in April, playing Fritz Kreisler and Schubert. We have also included fan favorite Joyce DiDonato singing her rendition of Harold Arlen's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." The playlist appropriately ends with pianist Brad Mehldau's "Prayer for Healing," inspired by the music of Bach.

This list was curated by members of the Princeton University Concerts team.  LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST>

HOW IT WORKS:
We will regularly post a new playlist on our Princeton University Concerts Spotify Profile. If you are not already a Spotify user, it is easy to sign up for a free account here. Click the "Follow" button on our profile for the most up-to-date access to our playlists. We recommend downloading Spotify's desktop platform or mobile app for easiest use.

Chamber Jam with the Calidore String Quartet Photo
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Chamber Jam:
Calidore String Quartet

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 10:00 PM Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

Program

CALLING ALL AMATEUR STRING PLAYERS!

Join the Calidore String Quartet on the stage immediately following their concert to read Beethoven's String Quartet Op 18, No. 6 together! This is an annual opportunity for amateur musicians of all ages and levels to read music with artists on our season. This event is free, but reservations are required to participate. Registration is first-come, first-served.

REGISTER NOW>

ABOUT THE ANNUAL CHAMBER JAM

Now in its ninth annual recreation, the Princeton University Concerts Chamber Jam—a unique opportunity for amateur musicians in our community to read music with professionals—has become a beloved annual event. “Think of it like Roger Federer calling down a few fans from the stands at the U.S. Open to play doubles.” (The Princeton Packet) Even if you participate in the Jam only by listening, the experience is guaranteed to reverberate for a very long time.

Princeton University Concerts has offered community members a chance to play alongside professionals ever since a magical informal reading took place a few seasons ago, when Ensemble ACJW visited the university campus. In the midst of exam period, students were eager for a study break; reading a Beethoven Symphony alongside these professionals seemed like just the thing. Subscribers joined the musicians and students and the palpable excitement and spontaneous energy were unforgettable.

From that moment, Princeton University Concerts has been determined to make such a reading into an annual event and amateurs of all ages and levels have played alongside the talented young players of the Chicago Symphony Winds, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Escher String Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Takács String Quartet, the Tenebrae Choir, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel.

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Charlie Chaplin: “Modern Times” Photo
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Charlie Chaplin: “Modern Times”

Monday, February 10, 2020, 7:30 PM PRINCETON GARDEN MOVIE THEATRE, 160 NASSAU STREET, PRINCETON, NJ

Program

Before experiencing pianist Gabriela Montero improvise a movie score on the spot to Charlie Chaplin's The Immigrant on our Performances Up Close series on February 11, 6PM, come to the Princeton Garden Theatre to enjoy Chaplin's iconic comedic masterpiece, Modern Times (1936).

Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard). With its barrage of unforgettable gags and sly commentary on class struggle during the Great Depression, Modern Times—though made almost a decade into the talkie era and containing moments of sound (even song!)—is a timeless showcase of Chaplin’s untouchable genius as a director of silent comedy.

A post-screening discussion about music for silent films will follow between Gabriela Montero and composer Andrew Lovett

Tickets are now available for purchase at the Princeton Garden Theatre

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Live Music Meditation: Jean-Guihen Queyras, Cello Photo
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Live Music Meditation:
Jean-Guihen Queyras, Cello

Thursday, February 6, 2020, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

Program

Experience world-class music more personally than ever before as you meditate to the playing of cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, guided by Associate Dean Matthew Weiner, Princeton University Office Religious Life. This is a FREE, unticketed opportunity to indulge in attentive, focused, and mindful listening. No prior experience necessary.

Please note that capacity is limited, and there will be no late seating. We advise participants to arrive early. Doors to the hall will open and meditation instruction will begin at 12:00PM. Doors will close once capacity is reached. The event will conclude by 1:30PM.

Jean-Guihen Queyras will perform in the evening with violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov, presenting a program of Beethoven's piano trios. For concert tickets and further information, click here.

For more information about the Live Music Meditation experience, check out this New York Times feature and Performance Today segment.

Please be aware that this event may be photographed and/or filmed for promotional and archival purposes. By participating in the event, you consent to appearing in images resulting from the photography/video filming. Please see a staff member with any concerns.

“By meditating and holding silence together, musicians and audience members alike are open to experiencing music in a new way. Gone are the inhibitions surrounding proper concert etiquette. Instead, a gift: thirty minutes to listen to the music onstage and the music within.”

- Performance Today

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Film Screening for Kids: “Beethoven Lives Upstairs” Photo
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Family Film Screening:
"Beethoven Lives Upstairs"

Saturday, February 1, 2020, 3:00 PM PRINCETON PUBLIC LIBRARY, 65 WITHERSPOON STREET, PRINCETON, NJ

Program

Celebrate composer Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday with us at the Princeton Public Library in this free family movie screening! 

About Beethoven Lives Upstairs: When his mother rents their vacant room to a peculiar composer, 10-year-old Christoph can't believe his bad luck. But as the abrasive boarder, Ludwig van Beethoven, begins creating his masterful Ninth Symphony, Christoph is won over by the majesty of his music. This lighthearted family drama was awarded the 1993 Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program.

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Live Music Meditation: Stefan Jackiw, Violin & Jeremy Denk, Piano Photo
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Live Music Meditation:
Stefan Jackiw, Violin & Jeremy Denk, Piano

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

Program

Experience world-class music more personally than ever before as you meditate to the playing of violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Jeremy Denk, guided by Associate Dean Matthew Weiner, Princeton University Office Religious Life. This is a FREE, unticketed opportunity to indulge in attentive, focused, and mindful listening. No prior experience necessary.

Please note that capacity is limited, and there will be no late seating. We advise participants to arrive early. Doors to the hall will open at 12:00PM and will close once capacity is reached. The event will conclude by 1:30PM.

Stefan Jackiw and Jeremy Denk will perform in the evening, presenting a program of Charles Ives' complete violin sonatas. For concert tickets and further information, click here

For more information about the Live Music Meditation experience, check out this New York Times feature and Performance Today segment

Please be aware that this event may be photographed and/or filmed for promotional and archival purposes. By participating in the event, you consent to appearing in images resulting from the photography/video filming. Please see a staff member with any concerns.

“Here was music not as a text to be read nor a recreational drug to be consumed for mood management, but as an audible process of coming-into-being and fading-away. And, for a short while, listening turned into a state of pure receptivity: beginner’s ear.”

- The New York Times

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Live Music Meditation: Brad Mehldau, Piano Photo
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Live Music Meditation:
Brad Mehldau, Piano

Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

Program

Experience world-class music more personally than ever before as you meditate to the playing of pianist Brad Mehldau, guided by Associate Dean Matthew Weiner, Princeton University Office Religious Life. This is a FREE, unticketed opportunity to indulge in attentive, focused, and mindful listening. No prior experience necessary.

Please note that capacity is limited, and there will be no late seating. We advise participants to arrive early. Doors to the hall will open at 12:00PM and will close once capacity is reached. The event will conclude by 1:30PM.

Brad Mehldau will perform in the evening with tenor Ian Bostridge, presenting his own song cycle, The Folly of Desire, as well as Schumann's Dichterliebe. For concert tickets and further information, click here.

For more information about the Live Music Meditation experience, check out this New York Times feature and Performance Today segment.

Please be aware that this event may be photographed and/or filmed for promotional and archival purposes. By participating in the event, you consent to appearing in images resulting from the photography/video filming. Please see a staff member with any concerns.

“music wound its way through me as sound turned pure sensation.”

- The New York Times

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Martha Graham: Dance on Film Photo
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Martha Graham: Dance on Film

Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7:30 PM PRINCETON GARDEN MOVIE THEATRE, 160 NASSAU STREET, PRINCETON, NJ

Program

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's concert on October 10 includes the original orchestration of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring, which was written as the score to Martha Graham's ballet of the same name. Experience the full ballet, featuring Graham, in this film screening produced in partnership with the Princeton Garden Theatre. 

One of the great artistic forces of the twentieth century, performer, choreographer, and teacher Martha Graham influenced dance worldwide. Martha Graham: Dance on Film presents a sampling of her stunning craft through three short pieces. A Dancer's World (1957), narrated by Graham herself, is a glimpse into her class work and methodology. Appalachian Spring (1958) and Night Journey (1961) are two complete Graham ballets, the first a celebration of the American pioneer spirit, scored by Aaron Copland, the second a powerfully physical rendering of the Oedipus myth. These are signature Graham works and tributes to the art of the human body.

Princeton University Professor Simon Morrison will introduce the film.

Tickets are on sale now at the Princeton Garden Theatre.

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“4” - a documentary about the Ébène String Quartet Photo
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“4” - a documentary about the Ébène String Quartet

Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 7:30 PM Princeton Garden Movie Theatre, 160 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ

Program

A new partnership with the Princeton Garden Theatre offers another angle on our series' artists.

"4" - A documentary about the Ébène String Quartet by Daniel Kutschinski, followed by a post-screening Q&A with members of the quartet. Tickets are on sale now at the Princeton Garden Theatre.
 

MORE INFO ON THE FILM>

TICKETS>

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“The Artist in Society”: Gustavo Dudamel with Fintan O’Toole

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 8:00 PM Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Program

Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, Princeton University Concerts' 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence, joins Fintan O'Toole, one of Ireland's leading public intellectuals, for a conversation about "The Artist in Society." O'Toole is also a columnist for The Irish Times, and the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. The conversation will be chaired by Melissa Lane, Class of 1943 Professor of Politics and Director of the University Center for Human Values.

This event is hosted by the University Center for Human Values, as part of the Gustavo Dudamel campus-wide residency. 

Free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

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Chamber Jam with Ensemble Berlin Photo
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Chamber Jam with Ensemble Berlin

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 8:00 PM Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Program

CALLING ALL AMATEUR STRING, WOODWIND, BRASS, AND PERCUSSION PLAYERS...

Join members of the Berlin Philharmonic in a community sight-reading fest of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 "Pastoral"! This is an annual opportunity for amateur musicians of all ages and levels to read music with artists on our season. This event is free, but reservations are required to participate.

At this point, we are at capacity.  We do expect things to change. Please CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE WAIT LIST, or call our office at 609-258-2800. This event is open to participants only.

Part of the Gustavo Dudamel Residency. For a complete public residency schedule, click here

ABOUT THE ANNUAL CHAMBER JAM

Now in its eighth annual recreation, the Princeton University Concerts’ Chamber Jam—a unique opportunity for amateur musicians in our community to read music with professionals—has become a beloved annual event. “Think of it like Roger Federer calling down a few fans from the stands at the U.S. Open to play doubles.” (The Princeton Packet) Even if you participate in the Jam only by listening, the experience is guaranteed to reverberate for a very long time.

Princeton University Concerts has offered community members a chance to play alongside professionals ever since a magical informal reading took place a few seasons ago, when Ensemble ACJW visited the university campus. In the midst of exam period, students were eager for a study break; reading a Beethoven Symphony alongside these professionals seemed like just the thing. Subscribers joined the musicians and students and the palpable excitement and spontaneous energy were unforgettable.

From that moment, Princeton University Concerts has been determined to make such a reading into an annual event and amateurs of all ages and levels have played alongside the talented young players of the Chicago Symphony Winds, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Escher String Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Takács String Quartet, and the Tenebrae Choir.

“Think of it like Roger Federer calling down a few fans from the stands at the U.S. Open to play doubles.”

- The Princeton Packet​

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Gustavo Dudamel Picks: “The Liberator” Photo
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Gustavo Dudamel Picks: “The Liberator”

Monday, April 22, 2019, 7:30 PM Princeton Garden Movie Theatre, 160 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ

Program

A new partnership with the Princeton Garden Theatre offers another angle on our series' artists. 

Gustavo Dudamel Picks: "The Liberator" - Selected by our 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence to introduce the "Art & Politics" segment of his residency, this film by Alberto Arvelo celebrates Simón Bolívar as a force of freedom throughout South America.  A Q&A led by Princeton Professor Robert Karl, whose field of study includes modern Latin American history, will follow.  Tickets are on sale now at the Princeton Garden Theatre.

TICKETS>

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Mandolinist Avi Avital and Bassist Omer Avital in conversation at the Princeton Public Library Photo
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Mandolinist Avi Avital and Bassist Omer Avital in conversation at the Princeton Public Library

Monday, April 15, 2019, 7:00 PM Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ

Program

A new series of public talks with artists on the Crossroads Series, dedicated to music's uncanny capacity to tell stories and spark new conversations.  Mandolinist Avi Avital and Bassist Omer Avital will take part in a conversation about their partnership and upcoming concert on our series, moderated by Princeton University Professor Moulie Vidas. Attend this free conversation to get closer to the music and the musicians you love. FREE AND OPEN TO ALL.

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Live Music Meditation: Paul Lewis, Piano Photo
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Live Music Meditation: Paul Lewis, Piano

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

Program

Experience world-class music more personally than ever before by meditating to live music performed by pianist Paul Lewis, guided by Associate Dean Matthew Weiner, Princeton University Office Religious Life.  No experience necessary. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Please note that capacity is limited, and there will be no late seating. We advise participants to arrive early. Doors to the hall will open at 12:00pm and will close once capacity is reached.

Tickets are still remaining for our concert featuring pianist Paul Lewis and the Australian Chamber Orchestra on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 8:00pm.  MORE INFO>

Please be aware that this event may be photographed and/or filmed for promotional and archival purposes. By participating in the event, you consent to appearing in images resulting from the photography/video filming. Please see a staff member with any concerns.

“Here was music not as a text to be read nor a recreational drug to be consumed for mood management, but as an audible process of coming-into-being and fading-away. And, for a short while, listening turned into a state of pure receptivity: beginner’s ear.”

- The New York Times, about the Live Music Meditation series

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CANCELED: Live Music Meditation: Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Violin Photo
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CANCELED: Live Music Meditation: Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Violin

Thursday, March 28, 2019, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Program

This Live Music Meditation has been canceled. The next Live Music Meditation will be on Thursday, April 11 at 12:30PM with pianist PAUL LEWIS. 

Tickets are still remaining for our concert featuring violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and pianist Polina Leschenko on March 28, 2019 at 8:00pm.  MORE INFO>

“It was so moving to be able to experience chamber music up close, and with a group of people coming to the experience with a specific desire and intentionality to their listening.”

- Patron

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Singer-Songwriter Gabriel Kahane in conversation at the Princeton Public Library Photo
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Singer-Songwriter Gabriel Kahane in conversation at the Princeton Public Library

Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 7:00 PM Princeton Public Library, Community Room, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ

Program

Singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane will take part in a public discussion, moderated by Princeton University Professor Simon Morrison, about his upcoming concert on our series and using music as an attempt to rediscover our collective humanity in the face of all that seeks to separate us. Attend this free conversation to get closer to the music and the musicians you love. FREE AND OPEN TO ALL.

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Film Screening: “The Charm of Impossibilities”

Sunday, February 3, 2019, 3:00 PM Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ

Program

A film screening of "The Charm of Impossibilities," a documentary about Olivier Messiaen's masterpiece "Quartet for the End of Time."

The documentary tells the story of the genesis of the "Quartet for the End of Time,"  a piece that was composed and interpreted during World War II in a prisoner-of-war camp.  It features Olivier Messiaen and was directed by Nicolas Buenaventura Vidal.  This event is free and open to the public.  Running time 1 hour and 20 minutes.

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El Sistema: A Panel Discussion Photo
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El Sistema: A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 4:30 PM 10 McCosh Hall, Princeton University

Program

Maestro Gustavo Dudamel will participate in a panel discussion about “El Sistema,” a publicly financed music education program for underserved children founded in Venezuela in 1975, which has now grown to provide music access to young students around the world. An alumnus of the program, Maestro Dudamel will be joined by individuals who have similarly devoted themselves to advocating for accessible systematic music education: Elsje Kibler-Vermaas (Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vice President of Learning), Anne Fitzgibbon *98 (Harmony Program, Founder and Executive Director), and Lou Chen ’19 (Founder of the Trenton Youth Orchestra). The panel will be moderated by Stanley Katz, Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at the Woodrow Wilson School.

Sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies. 

FREE, UNTICKETED.

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“La Música Como Libertad: Gustavo Dudamel en Princeton” Photo
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“La Música Como Libertad: Gustavo Dudamel en Princeton”

Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 6:00 PM Trinity Church, 33 Mercer St, Princeton, NJ 08540

Program

Associate Professor Javier Guerrero in the Princeton University Department of Spanish and Portuguese will interview Maestro Dudamel in a Spanish-language talk titled “La Música Como Libertad: Gustavo Dudamel en Princeton” (“Music as Freedom: Gustavo Dudamel in Princeton) at the Trinity Church. 

Una conversación pública entre el maestro Gustavo Dudamel y Javier Guerrero, profesor de la Universidad de Princeton.

Co-sponsored by the Princeton University Program in Latin American Studies

FREE, UNTICKETED.

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Live Music Meditation: Martin Fröst, Clarinet & Henrik Måwe, Piano Photo
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Live Music Meditation: Martin Fröst, Clarinet & Henrik Måwe, Piano

Thursday, December 13, 2018, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Program

Experience world-class music more personally than ever before as you meditate to live music by clarinet virtuoso Martin Fröst and pianist Henrik Måwe, guided by Associate Dean Matthew Weiner, Princeton University Office Religious Life. This is a FREE, unticketed opportunity to experience world-class music on an incredibly personal and visceral level while meditating to live music performed by the duo. No experience necessary. 

Please note that capacity is limited, and there will be no late seating. We advise participants to arrive early. Doors to the hall will open at 12:00pm and will close once capacity is reached.

Our concert featuring clarinetist Martin Fröst and pianist Henrik Måwe on December 13, 2018 at 8:00 PM is sold out.  MORE INFO>

Please be aware that this event may be photographed and/or filmed for promotional and archival purposes. By participating in the event, you consent to appearing in images resulting from the photography/video filming. Please see a staff member with any concerns.

“Those of us who shared this experience together took away a heightened sense of the risk-taking of great art, and the importance of sharing our emotions with each other with the materials of spirit that are uniquely given to each of us.”

- Patron

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Opening Celebration: A Conversation About Art, Education & Social Change in Latin America

Saturday, December 1, 2018, 8:00 PM Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Program

Gustavo Dudamel's residency will launch with a public conversation between Maestro Dudamel and musicologist and Princeton alumnus Don Michael Randel. The pair will discuss the relationship between art, education, and social change in Latin America and beyond—a theme at the heart of Maestro Dudamel’s residency.

Dr. Randel was the Chair of the Board of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has previously served as the president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the University of Chicago, among other prestigious positions.

This conversation will be followed by a musical celebration at 9PM with venerated Afro-Venezuelan folk music singer Betsayda Machado

The Opening Residency Celebration is FREE, but tickets are required. All tickets to this event have been reserved; however, there are still opportunities to obtain tickets on the night of the performance: free tickets that are not used by 7:50PM will be released back to the public and any returned tickets will be released at the box office at Richardson Auditorium. To attend this event, please come to Richardson Auditorium anytime after 6pm on December 1.

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Live Music Meditation: Abigail Washburn, Banjo & Wu Fei, Guzheng Photo
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Live Music Meditation: Abigail Washburn, Banjo & Wu Fei, Guzheng

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Program

Experience world-class music more personally than ever before during half-hour meditations to live music by banjo virtuoso Abigail Washburn and guzheng star Wu Fei, guided by Associate Dean Matthew Weiner, Princeton University Office Religious Life. No experience necessary. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Tickets are still remaining for our concert featuring Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei on November 8, 2018 at 7:30 PM.  MORE INFO>

Please be aware that this event may be photographed and/or filmed for promotional and archival purposes. By participating in the event, you consent to appearing in images resulting from the photography/video filming. Please see a staff member with any concerns.

“It was so moving to be able to experience chamber music up close, and with a group of people coming to the experience with a specific desire and intentionality to their listening.”

- Patron

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Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei in conversation at the Princeton Public Library Photo
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Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei in conversation at the Princeton Public Library

Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 7:00 PM Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ

Program

A new series of public talks with artists on the Crossroads Series, dedicated to music's uncanny capacity to tell stories and spark new conversations.  Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei will take part in a moderated conversation with Princeton University Professor Dan Trueman about their upcoming concert on our series. Attend this free conversation to get closer to the music and the musicians you love. FREE AND OPEN TO ALL.

“As more and more people engage in this struggle for a new direction for the human spirit, we'll recognize that we're morphing into a global species.”

- Abigail Washburn

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Live Music Meditation: Bobby McFerrin, Vocalist & Gimme5 Photo
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Live Music Meditation: Bobby McFerrin, Vocalist & Gimme5

Friday, September 21, 2018, 12:30 PM Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

Program

Experience world-class music more personally than ever before during a half-hour meditation to live music by vocalist Bobby McFerrin and his ensemble Gimme5, guided by Associate Dean Matthew Weiner, Princeton University Office Religious Life.  No experience necessary. 

This event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Advance tickets are now sold out.  Any remaining tickets will be made available at the Richardson Auditorium at 11:45AM on Friday, September 21.

Please be aware that this event may be photographed and/or filmed for promotional and archival purposes. By participating in the event, you consent to appearing in images resulting from the photography/video filming. Please see a staff member with any concerns.

 

Have questions?  Call the University Central Box Office at 609-258-9220.  They are open Monday-Friday, 12pm-5pm.

Tickets are sold out for the Bobby McFerrin, Gimme5 and the Princeton University Glee Club on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 7:30 PM.  Turnback tickets may be available for purchase the night of the concert starting 5:45PM in Richardson Auditorium. For more information on the concert click here.

“Those of us who shared this experience together took away a heightened sense of the risk-taking of great art, and the importance of sharing our emotions with each other with the materials of spirit that are uniquely given to each of us”

- Patron

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