published Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Impressionism will make an impression at the Hunter

Art meets music each month at the Hunter Museum of American Art.

String Theory, a collaboration between the Hunter and Lee University, continues this week with a discussion led by chief curator Ellen Simak, with special guest Tom Wolf, the artistic director for Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine.

"He is going to be talking about the music in general, and I'll be comparing it to a specific work in the gallery," Simak said.

The musicians, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, horn player William VerMeulen, and pianist/artistic director Gloria Chien, will join in for the discussion.

Following that, the trio will play three pieces, including Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Piano. The 1897 work will be the featured piece in the discussion. These are not prepared lectures, but rather allow both audience members and facilitators to find those areas of commonality as the evening progresses.

The painting to be discussed is "French Tea Garden" by American impressionist Childe Hassam.

"Ravel is often connected to impressionism," Simak said. "I think it is a less structured kind of music. Tom told me there are Asian influences in Ravel's work, and there certainly are influences from Japanese art on impressionism."

She said she feels impressionism is a "hinge of change in art," as it is both influenced by several elements and it also has influenced elements after it.

"I feel it was the first step in leading toward abstraction," she said. "It was a subtle change, but it was a big change."

Simak said she is looking forward to learning more about the music.

"We've found some areas of commonality that we're going to flesh out as we speak," she said. "I think it's really fascinating. Often there are currents going on in particular periods of time that influence music and art."

IF YOU GO

What: String Theory concert.

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday; preceded by gallery talk at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View.

Admission: $20.

Phone: 267-0968.

Website: www.huntermuseum.org.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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