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


Image: Live Music ProjectThe Live Music Project, a conductor-less orchestra based at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, will offer an afternoon of Russian composers on Sunday, March 21, at 1 p.m. at the Quick Center's Wien Experimental Theatre. The program, part of an ongoing Russian Arts and Letters Festival, is a tribute to the breadth of Russian composition, including Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and an intriguing reading from Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground" adapted for the stage with an original score.

A collaboration between the Quick Center and co-founders Daniel Smith and Netta Hadari, the ensemble of about 30 core performers includes several members of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and top musicians from around the country. The new group formed to tackle classical and modern pieces, encouraging a casual atmosphere and time for discussion of the program and composers with the audience.

The March 21 concert, the Live Music Project's second at the Quick, opens with Dmitri Shostakovich's "Chamber Symphony, Opus 110a, For the Victims of Fascism and War," a reworking of his achingly autobiographical "String Quartet No. 8." Composed in Dresden in the 1960s, the challenging composition moves seamlessly from movement to movement, incorporating a satirical waltz, Jewish folk song and the staccato sounds of crackling gunfire likely inspired by the WWII-ravaged city in which the piece was composed.

The orchestra will also play selections from Tchaikovsky's "Serenade in C, Opus 48." Starkly different from the Shostakovich, the circa-1880 "Serenade" encompasses the waltz form, Russian folk melodies and sweetly romantic tones reminiscent of his beloved ballets.

Another highlight of the concert will be an unusual presentation of passages of Fyodor Dostoevsky's controversial novella "Notes from the Underground," adapted for the stage and performed by actor Michael Lochar of Prospect. The piece, which will be presented in two parts, also includes an original musical score by Smith, the Project's artistic director.

In "Notes from the Underground," Dostoevsky considers personality, ideology and the very idea of existence. It has been both critically praised and attacked for its politics and provides a sure stepping-off point for debate, some of which might begin in the post-show Meet the Artists discussion.

"It's an edgy, clever piece," Smith said. "It's really captivating."

Concert tickets are $15 and $20.

The Sunday events also include a Russian Food Tasting, featuring perogi, babkas and more, after the concert from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. There will be a selection of vodkas available for tasting. The fee is $5. Following the food tasting, the Quick Center will host a 2:45 p.m. screening of the film "The Russian Ark." Tickets are $7.

For tickets to these events, 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. Media inquiries should be made to Dana Ambrosini, Fairfield University's assistant director of Media Relations, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726.

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

Posted on March 5, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 207