University of Vermont

University Communications

Piano Concert to Showcase the Music of 1913

UVM Recital Hall
Hear music from 1913 in the UVM Recital Hall, Tuesday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. (Photo: Sally McCay)

If you were alive in 1913, what sort of music might you have heard? Pianist Michael Arnowitt will perform a program of contrasting pieces by six great composers, all music written in the single year 1913. The concert, free and open to the public, will take place Tuesday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the UVM Recital Hall.

Featured on the program is Arnowitt’s piano transcription of the complete first half of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, "The Adoration of the Earth.” The famous riot that took place at the premiere of the Rite of Spring by the Russian Ballet in Paris was part of a turbulent, edgy time in all the arts. The world situation was equally rich in change at the time, with the end of aristocracy, the birth of new technologies such as the car, the airplane, and electricity, and mass social unrest over the issues of equal rights for women and the working conditions of factory laborers. Tensions were further heightened by a series of diplomatic and military crises that ultimately led to the outbreak of World War I the following year.

Other pieces on the program include music by Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Sergei Rachmaninov, Leo Ornstein and Charles Ives, chronicling the diverse romantic, expressionist, post-impressionist, futurist, mystical and surrealist art currents of this vibrant era, a true crossroads time between the old and the new.

Michael Arnowitt, who has lived in Vermont since 1983, has toured the U.S. and Europe, garnering praise for his performances from the likes of the Washington Post, which wrote of his concert at The National Gallery of Art: “A beautifully thought-out program.... He played with an exquisite sense of touch, color and musical imagination."  His life and music is the subject of a documentary film, Beyond 88 Keys (2004). The documentary, filmed in both the United States and Europe, has been broadcast twice on public television and has been shown at a variety of film festivals and venues including the Rode Pomp, an arts center in Gent, Belgium, and the Anthology, a theater in New York City's East Village.

Follow Arnowitt on Twitter: @MAPianoVt.

The concert is presented in conjunction with UVM’s Integrated Humanities Program and courses taught by professors of English Tom Simone and Huck Gutman on James Joyce, Modernism and Modern Poetry. Public attendance at the concert has been made possible by the support of UVM President Tom Sullivan.