January 2012 Exiled to Hollywood: Outcast Artists in Southern California

The concert and forum focused on music by composers who fled tyranny in Europe before and during the Nazi era and settled in Hollywood. The contributions of these composers to American concert and film music, and to the teaching of great music to the American public, are a small part of a larger story about the growth of all the arts in America before, during, and after World War II. In the forum the panelists explored issues surrounding the experience of artists such as being uprooted from their native soil and transplanted in a new land, social and professional acceptance, accommodation to or resistance of public taste, and their impact on the growth and teaching of arts in America. Surrounding events included The Rise of Film Noir, a class offered during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP), film series at MIT and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a docent-led tour of Harvard’s Sackler Museum.

Introduction, program notes and panelist biographies (PDF)

January 2011 An Artistic Menagerie: Collaborations of Mind, Hand and Imagerie, Paris, 1900-1926

The concert featured pieces for piano four hands and voice with piano, showcasing images from two extremes, ballet and nature, in music from Paris between 1900 and 1926. This is a fertile period for visual and musical experiment, introduced by experts with a wealth of images from ballet including period stage sets and costumes by Picasso and Leger from both the Russian and Swedish Ballets.

Introduction, program notes and panelist biographies (PDF)

January 2010 Musical Time

The theme of this unique series of forums and concerts was time, primarily musical time, but also time as understood and experienced in a variety of disciplines and as the focus of a variety of works of chamber music. In addition to forums and concerts, there were open rehearsals and scheduled meetings of a specially-designed MIT IAP course called Interdisciplinary Approaches to Musical Time during the week.

Visit MIT OpenCourseWare website for program notes, selected video and audio recordings, “Living in Musical Time,” an essay by Michael Cuthbert, with introduction by Marcus Thompson, forum panelist statements and biographies, and more.