‘Music in the Galleries’: Where music, paintings come together

Jessica Chang performs in concert with her viola.

It’s not every day that masterpieces of Mozart and Picasso meet in the middle. The “Music in the Galleries” series, presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Curtis Institute of Music, blends two art forms into one harmonic experience.

The monthly series features gifted young musicians from Curtis performing live in the galleries, tuned to a particular work of art. Prior to each concert, performers and audience members examine the centerpiece artwork, discussing how it visually informs the musical interpretation.

This multidimensional conversation sparks “wonderful spontaneity with each performance,” said violist Jessica Chang, one of last month’s players.  While the students’ rehearsal of the repertoire is “purely musical,” certain elements remain unrehearsed. 

“One of the coolest moments is when we see the artwork for the first time.  We suddenly realize how the visual element guides our understanding of the music,” says Chang.

Not only does the artwork bring an organic quality to the interpretations, but the venue itself encourages exploration.  “The art gallery is very different from traditional concert halls.  It removes the formality,” said Chang.

Engaging the unusual environment through space, sound and sight, Chang added, “It’s all about the context. It forces you to step outside the norm. It’s real life.”

Rocking out

Curtis students keep it classy, and not always classical. When she’s not practicing works from the canon, violist Jessica Chang gets performance-ready with:
Ella Fitzgerald – “Someone to Watch Over Me”
Ben Folds’ cover of Elton John – “Tiny Dancer”
Maroon 5 – “The Sun”
AC/DC – “Back in Black”


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.