The Inspiration: The twenties was a time when classical, jazz, and popular music overlapped. There was a willingness to experiment, an adventurous spirit, that makes the music, art, and literature of the twenties timelessly fresh and exciting. Plus adding a fun social element is so obvious: dress up, drink, and dance like you're at one of Gatsby's parties!
Beyond this concert being a really fun and engaging event, I see it as a model for the type of concert that could effectively meet the needs of our time, that could help classical music stay vital and relevant for more than the few of us who study it and make it. The possibilities for this sort of "experiential concert" are limitless, and I hope this will be the first of many.
The Music: All the music on the program was written in the year 1924. There was so much amazing music written in that year alone, using many distinct styles and methods (Stravinsky's neo-classicism, Schoenberg, Webern and Berg's serialism, Bartok's combination of modernism with folk music) but the pieces we chose emphasize the jazzy, the wild, and the sensual. Here's the program:
Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue
Roussel, Joueurs de flute
Cowell, The Banshee and Aeolian Harp
Ravel, Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major
Performers: Emily Kalish, violin; Sara Sherman, piano; Nicole Schroeder, flute
The Party: After the concert, it's time to enjoy snacks, drinks, live vintage jazz by The Bianco Martinis, silent movies projected on the walls, and my favorite part: dancing.