For its season finale, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is teaming up with the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a concert that couples art and music.
The program is entitled Pictures at an Exhibition, named for the world premiere of music director and award-winning film composer Dirk Brosse's Pictures at an Exhibition.
"If you've heard any of his music before, this is a major addition to the repertoire," says Bill Rhoades, Executive Director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. "This project appealed to him very much because there was a visual element to it."
The Art Museum is said to be one of Brosse's favorite places to visit. He composed seven works inspired by seven American paintings in the museum's collection.
"He looked at what some of the emotional undercurrents were in the paintings to bring that to the fore," says Rhoades.
"It's a wonderful partnership; I would say it's one that's made in heaven," says Timothy Rub, Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Because the combination of art and music is as old as the history of the arts themselves."
Artworks that served as inspiration include Thomas Moran's Grand Canyon of the Colorado River and Winslow Homer's The Life Line, "which depicts the rescue, a dramatic rescue of a woman from a ship that's foundering in a storm," says Rub. "And it's not clear looking at the painting if she is unconscious or if she's conscious or if she's even alive," adds Rhoades. "All of these elements come out in the music."
Audiences can see the works come to life right before their eyes with projections of the paintings shown throughout the concert.
"It's like going to the movies only it's still life; it's a still picture," says Rhoades.
The show also features Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 and a world premiere by the Curtis Institute of Music's Dai Wei.
"It'll be an experience that I'm sure will be unforgettable," vows Rhoades.
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia performs Pictures at an Exhibition May 14-15 in the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater.
For tickets and show times visit http://theartsinphilly.org/events/beethoven-and-bross.
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