Summer Midday Music Series at the Blanton

To kick off our summer Midday Music Series, Kress Interpretive Fellow Natalie Zeldin provides a look at what to expect from this monthly musical event.

Picture the scene: It’s a Tuesday afternoon and you’re about to whip out the Tupperware for lunch at your desk. Why not try something more refreshing this week? At noon on the last Tuesday of each month, the Midday Music Series offers an opportunity for you to break away from the thick of the grind. Treat yourself to an uplifting encounter with music and art instead.

Midday Music Series
Photo: Ashley Stanford

The Blanton’s Midday Music Series features diverse one-hour programs that explore the relationship between musical and artistic technique, form, and style. The connections that we find through deep looking, listening, and discussion cast new light on both the music and the art presented. These concerts provide the unique opportunity to reflect on one art form in relation to another. In one recent concert, students and faculty from the UT Jazz Composition Department wrote short works in response to the same painting by Fernando de Szyszlo. In this program, the musicians celebrated the variety of interpretation possible in response to the same work.  In another concert, the UT Harp Ensemble compared the ways that harpists and painters use their technique to evoke a particular mood or setting, comparing their practice to that of landscape artists of the American West.

This is the first year we are continuing the Midday Music Series through the summer, and to kick off the season, we are offering a 20% discount at the museum shop and a cookie-and-coffee deal at the Blanton Cafe following the program from 1pm to 3pm! (As a reminder, these programs are always free for members and UT students, faculty, and staff.)

Enjoy a preview of our upcoming summer lineup:

MAY 27:

Hendrick Goltzius, Helios, from Pairs of Deities, circa 1588-1590, Chiaroscuro woodcut from three blocks, tone blocks printed in ochre and brown, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1983.
Hendrick Goltzius, Helios, from Pairs of Deities, circa 1588-1590, Chiaroscuro woodcut from three blocks, tone blocks printed in ochre and brown, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1983.

This Tuesday, we’ll discuss what a sixteenth-century print has in common with a violin and cello duo. The musicians of Mohinya perform works by Maurice Ravel and Zoltán Kodály and discuss the challenging process of learning chamber music. Then, we’ll compare their rehearsals to chiaroscuro woodcut by the master Dutch printmaker Hendrick Goltzius. The meticulous use of layering to create a range of textural and colorful effects is key to the success of both the music and art. Afterwards, we will head to the Blanton’s Julia Matthews Wilkinson Center for Prints and Drawings for a special treat–an up-close look at the Goltzius print.

JUNE 24:

This concert will feature flute and guitar duo Duo Epsilon, performing works by Bulgarian composer Atanas Ourkouzounov and the Argentine tango composer, Astor Piazzolla. The art featured in the discussion will be Quipus 58 B by Peruvian artist Jorge Eielson. The concert celebrates the ways that visual artists and composers incorporate regional folk idioms into their work to assert pride in their cultural identity. In our discussion, we will highlight the variety of techniques artists use to celebrate cultural traditions in their work.

JULY 29:

This concert is part of our summer collaboration with the Austin Chamber Music Center. This woodwind quintet concert will feature works that depict animals, in conjunction with our summer exhibition In the Company of Cats and Dogs. The cornerstone of this program will be a bilingual presentation of Peter and the Wolf [Pedro y el lobo], narrated by KUT’s All Things Considered host, Nathan Bernier.

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