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Contemporary Music, Art and Architecture Converge at St. Louis Symphony's Pulitzer Series

By Louise Burton on Oct 01, 2013 11:58 PM EDT

The St. Louis Symphony's innovative Pulitzer Concert Series continues this year with more concerts at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. This chamber music series, now in its 12th season, pairs works of contemporary music with artworks currently on display at the Pulitzer Art Museum in downtown St. Louis.

Concerts on October 23 and November 19 explore the unique interplay between the Tadao Ando-designed building, the multi-colored works of painter and sculptor Donald Judd and contemporary music chosen by St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson.

The October 23 program includes two solo performances by members of the St. Louis Symphony: violinist Helen Kim performing Anthèmes for solo violin by Pierre Boulez, and principal cellist Daniel Lee playing Zoltan Kodály's Sonata for solo cello. The concert ends with a stirring bagpipe finale performed by Matt Pantaleoni.

The second concert of the series, on November 19, will present John Cage's One, Louis Andriessen's Workers Union and Iannis Xenakis' Rebonds for solo percussion, featuring principal percussionist William James.

Curator Marianne Stockebrand specifically chose the Donald Judd artworks for the spaces in the art museum where they will be displayed. This includes the main gallery where the concert series will take place.

"The multi-colored works require a kind of brightness to underscore their presence in space," says Stockebrand. "I hope that both art and architecture will enhance each other in this exhibition."

The Pulitzer Art Museum will also provide the backdrop for an unusual première in January. The St. Louis Symphony will present the U.S. première of John Cage's Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras (1981) on January 22. This concert marks the first time the entire St. Louis Symphony has performed in the Pulitzer Art Museum. The orchestra will be divided into five smaller ensembles located throughout the museum, and audience members will migrate from room to room to experience the entire work.

Future concerts include an all-Steve Reich concert on February 26, featuring three of the composer's works. The series will conclude on April 9 with a performance of Nico Muhly's Drones and Violin and Morton Feldman's Three Voices. For more information about the Pulitzer Concert Series, visit stlsymphony.org.

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TagsSt. Louis Symphony, Pulitzer Concert Series, Tadao Ando, David Robertson, Donald Judd, Boulez, Kodály, John Cage, Louis Andriessen, Xenakis, Marianne Stockebrand, Reich, Muhly, Feldman

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