October 17, 2015: Modern Subjects, Classic Forms at the Modern

click here to see the program

Kehinde Wiley’s works put modern American figures into compositions, contexts, and frames that invoke the European tradition; the cognitive dissonance of these juxtapositions is central to his artistic statements. Composers confront this dissonance daily: expressing the experience of our own time and place through the medium of concert music means framing one’s ideas in the written language, instrumental practice, and stylistic expectations of classical musicians steeped in the European past. Modern Subjects, Classic Forms – how can they be reconciled? On October 17, Sounds Modern will share works by Ravi Shankar, Arvo Pärt, Lou Harrison, and others who answered this dilemma – like Wiley – with works of shocking beauty and timeless nobility. Admission is free and open to the public (museum admission is separate).