The Live Music Project debuts at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Live Music ProjectThe Live Music Project, a new, conductor-less orchestra based at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, will make its debut Sunday, Feb. 29, at 3 p.m. The 16-member orchestra's performance will include beloved works by Bach and Mozart and the world premiere of two compositions by the Project's Artistic Director Daniel Smith of New Haven.

Conceived by Smith and Musical Director Netta Hadari, a violinist from New Haven, the ensemble features some of the region's top musicians, including several members of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the oldest orchestra in the United States. The group plans to tackle classical and modern pieces in this and future concerts, encouraging a casual atmosphere and time for discussion of the program and composers with the audience.

"We wanted to do something different, something very alive and friendly to the audience," said Hadari. "There are no tuxedos, no conductor. We want people to enjoy themselves, be moved and come away learning something, too, about classical music."

Some of the musicians appearing in the Feb. 29 concert are coming from as far away as New York, Pittsburgh, Washington and Canada to join the effort. "If it's something that is going to be really musically rewarding, people will come and play," Hadari said.

Smith, who also directs the Quick Center's popular series of live radio dramas wrote "Overture in A Minor," the closing piece in the Feb. 29 concert, to herald the new orchestra. Written in the style of late 18th century European composers such as Mozart and Haydn, the piece features solos for the lead violist, cellist and two violinists.

The Feb. 29 concert also features two works by Mozart.

"There's really quite a range in these two pieces," said Smith. "And they're both classic Mozart."

"Adagio and Fugue in C minor" is Mozart at his simplest and most pleasing, while his "Symphony No. 29 in A Major" shows how complex he could become. The latter was originally written for two pianos, but Mozart apparently liked the melody so much he later re-wrote it for both a string quartet and string orchestra. The symphony has become one of his most loved pieces among modern audiences, Smith said.

Bach's "Concerto for Violin and Oboe in D minor" will offer virtuoso solos for Hadari and oboist Amari Barash of Washington. The challenging piece is strongly melodic and a nice complement to the Mozart and Smith works.

In this and future concerts, the Live Music Project can draw from a core of about 30 musicians to ensure the best possible mix for each particular program.

The ensemble will appear at the Quick Center's Wien Experimental Theater on March 21 with a performance that is part of the Quick Center's ongoing Russian Arts and Letters Festival. The program will feature works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich and a dramatic reading of selections from Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground" with a an original musical accompaniment.

Tickets for the Feb. 29 concert are $15 and $20. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 29, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 170