We're glad you're here!
Echoes of Chicago is looking for Visual Artists for this upcoming collaborative event.
Pictures & Selfies
Sunday May 20th // 3pm
$18 Adults // $15 Students & Seniors
Anne and Howard Gottlieb Hall
Joy Faith Knapp Music Center
Home of the Merit School of Music
(38 South Peoria Street)
Mussorgsky pays tribute to his friend by bringing his paintings to life and setting them to music. Take a selfie with these paintings that will be on display at this majestic, exciting, and brassy season finale!
Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
Russell Vinick, conductor
Joshua Brown, violin
Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture
Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
Working with the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, we are collaborating on an exciting project: to curate a series of work inspired by music which was inspired by artwork.
In the 1870s, composer Modest Mussorgsky attended memorial exhibition of his friend, Artist and Architect, Viktor Hartmann. This moved him to write a piece of music inspired by the experience but specifically mused by 10 pieces of artwork.
The reception space of the music hall will have replicas of the original pieces of artwork next to the contemporary pieces of work to get a feel for the process. The Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra will then have a concert which finishes with the work "Pictures at an Exhibition" composed by Modest Mussorgsky.
We challenge artists to…
• listen to the music composition in its entirety (if you don't have time, listen to pieces of the work)
• choose a movement that moves you and apply to "claim it" (one artist per movement until all are "taken")
• we will respond as soon as possible to confirm your designated movement (first come, first serve)
• once confirmed, submit a piece of artwork inspired by the movement without researching the original piece of artwork
• Deadline ASAP / May 1st
• Venue: Joy Faith Knapp Music Center (38 South Peoria Street)
• Event Date May 20th
Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, written in 1874, published in 1886, after his death.
Artist and Architect Viktor Hartmann was a fan and friend of Mussorgsky. Hartmann died suddenly at age 39 and a huge exhibition was put together in St. Petersburg as a memorial. This is the exhibition that inspired the music. Originally there were images for all 10 movements but some art has been lost and only the art associated with #5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 survive today.
1/ The Gnome
2/ The Old Castle (thought to be Italian Castle)
3/ Tuileries - children playing and quarreling
4/ Cattle (oxen pulling large wagon)
5/ Ballet of Unhatched Chicks (based on set design for ballet, Trilby)
6/ Samuel Goldberg and Schmuyle (based on 2 pictures: Jewish men, one rich, one poor)
7/ Limoges (a French market town, based on image of women haggling in the market)
8/ Catacombs (self-portrait of Hartmann getting a tour of Paris catacombs)
9/ Baba Yaga (folktale of witch with a house on chicken legs, she also flies)
10/ Great Gate of Kiev (based on Hartmann’s winning architectural design, but was never built)
The music was considered a radical composition in its time for trying to depict scenes and action. The public loved it in performance, but most music critics and the musical establishment were confused by it. Mussorgsky was disheartened and commented that maybe he “had gone too far” and did not actually publish the work in his lifetime.
Here’s a link to the whole piece on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq7Qd9PSmR0
Both Mussorgsky and Hartmann were supporters of the idea of producing very “Russian” art. They were concerned with creating art that was truly Russian and thinking about what qualities or influences defined the essence of their country. They wanted to work within a strict cultural idea. At this time, Russia was ruled by the Romanov Emperors - the Tsars. Russia was in the midst of the Crimean War (and losing badly) and the government was corrupt and bribery was common. Police were brutal and the upper class ruled society through a feudal system of land ownership. In 1855, Tsar Alexander II succeeded his father and tried to usher in an era of reform. He emancipated the serf class and took away some power from the landowning nobles. He used diplomacy to end the war and to forge alliances for mutual protection with other countries. He certainly also had his faults and repressed the area then known as Poland-Lithuania brutally. However, he did improve fairness in life in Russia itself and rooted out much corruption as well as making changes in the country’s army conscription and defense that were still in place 100 years later. Not everyone was happy with his changes. After 4 other assassination attempts, the 5th was successful and he died in 1881.
His successor abandoned all reform plans, brutality and corruption returned to the police and government, the assassinations inspired the Anarchists to promote terrorism as an effective agent of political change and anti-Semitism was rampant.
Mussorgsky died around this time and the score was published 5 years later.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD:
Echoes of Chicago is a nonprofit whose mission is to create affordable, innovative arts and music events that promote Chicago culture and community while raising awareness and funds for local nonprofits. We are entirely volunteer-run and donate 100% of each event’s profits to local nonprofits.
More information about Echoes and past events: www.echoesofchicago.org
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.