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Hye Yeon Nam (Louisiana, b. 1979) Floating Identity, 2017 Plexiglas and silicone (kinetic sculpture)

Share and save: “Out of the Box” Event Pics

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JCSM is so grateful to have so many friends and new visitors to the Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition outreach programs and grand opening celebration. We hope you had a great time and will share and save your favorite pictures.

With a varied exhibition schedule featuring historic and contemporary art and more than 200 free arts programs per year, JCSM has transformational experiences for all ages and stages!

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AU Faculty Bill Schaffer Will Perform Chamber Music for French Horn

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On Thursday, March 30 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert of chamber music featuring Bill Schaffer on French horn. Joining him will be pianist Joshua Pifer and trombonist Matthew Wood. The concert will feature music by Louis Piantioni, Nicolas de Krufft, Alex Wilder, and Luigi Caracciolo.

Gifts from Bob Ekelund & Mark Thornton and anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this concert possible.

Luigi Caracciolo was a late-1800s composer. His “Tuscan Folk Songs” includes colorful titles like “A Streamlet Full of Flowers” and “Oh! Happy Are the Blind.” Caracciolo wrote the songs for soprano and baritone voices with piano, a popular type of song during that period. Schaffer arranged Thursday’s version of the piece, substituting French horn and trombone for the vocal parts. Wood will play the trombone part.

Schaffer said arranging for his instrument is a big part of his life. Some of it is published by RM Williams Publishing, a small firm that specializes in music for the horn. He said he’s been arranging since college and does a lot ensemble pieces.

French horn player Bill Schaffer


As a faculty member at Auburn, Schaffer acknowledged that publishing music for his instrument is part of Promotion and Tenure. But he said he is also very motivated by a desire to make new repertoire for students of the instrument. “You want to do stuff so that horn players will have stuff to use.”

Though there is a small income stream from his specialized arrangements, Schaffer said it isn’t very much. “This is really not about the money,” he said, adding that his entire market is the country’s 200-or-so horn ensembles. He said it’s more about getting your music performed and supporting the community of people who play and study the instrument.

“There is a real fraternity among horn players,” said Schaffer, adding that the idea is instilled early in a player’s formation. He said one of his teachers once told him, “You’re a part of a family of people who get up every morning and wrestle with the dragon that is going to bite you.”

Schaffer said his teacher was referring to the extreme difficulty of the instrument. Perhaps more than with most instruments, Schaffer said there is the constant danger of making a very loud, very noticiable mistake, and that it happens even to the very top players. “Everyone face plants,” he said. He said they don’t judge or criticize each other for it, because, “Next week, it will be you.”

As he will do Thursday, Schaffer likes to open recitals with a piece by Louis Piantoni, “Air de chasse,” from the early 20th century. Pifer will join him on what he described as a happy, short piece that sounds like a composer writing music for his students to play on recital.

Schaffer and Pifer will perform “Five Love Songs,” originally written by Alec Wilder (1907-1980) for horn and orchestra and commissioned by Morris Seacon. He said all five movements sound like 1950s New York City jazz ballads.

Nicolas de Krufft lived and wrote music around the turn of the 19th century. Schaffer said this period of the late 1700s and 1800s was a great one for horn music. Very well-known composers like Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Luigi Cherubini, Johannes Brahms, and Camille Saint-Saens wrote for the instrument.

But Schaffer said a lot of lesser-known composers added to the repertoire during that period. He likes to highlight those, and de Krufft is one of them. Schaffer holds the piece in as high regard as the more commonly heard ones. “I think it’s as good as or better than most of the pieces that get played.”

During Schaffer’s career he has taught every level from Kindergarten through graduate school. He has remained active as a performer since the early 1980’s and currently serves as principal horn with Sinfonia Gulf Coast in Florida.

Pifer is Lecturer in Piano at Auburn University. In December 2015, Joshua released his solo CD, “Alexander Tcherepnin: My Favorite Piano Works” with Puros Records.

Wood is Associate Professor of Low Brass at Auburn. In 2015, he was awarded a Southeastern Conference Visiting Travel Grant. Prior to joining the Auburn faculty, he was a performer, educator, and clinician in the Austin and San Antonio areas.

Serebryany Will Perform Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata

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On Thursday, March 23 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Auditorium by pianist Vadim Serebryany. The concert will feature Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata (Op. 106) and music by Béla Bartók.

A gift by anonymous friends of the series is helping to make this concert possible.

Serebryany will open Thursday’s program with a short, four-movement suite by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. Typical of Bartók’s work, the piece draws its influence from the folk music of Eastern Europe.

But Bartok is only a warm up. The main event will be Beethoven’s famous Sonata in B-flat, Op. 106. “It’s just really notoriously hard for the pianist,” he said. At 40 minutes long, he added that it can even take some work from the listener.

Serebryany described the sonata, nicknamed “Hammerklavier,” as extremely complex, dense music. For instance, it includes a fugue section that he described as “relentlessly, densely contrapuntal all the way through for ten minutes.” And he said its slow movement is easily Beethoven’s longest, outside of the string quartets he wrote during the same later period of his life.

“His late music is unique as far as how deeply personal it is,” said Serebryany of Beethoven’s last ten years or so of compositions. “It’s not unfair to say that they are all uniquely strange pieces of music,” he added.

Beethoven is often painted as a tortured person. Some connect his complex and intense music with the struggles of his life. But Serebryany doesn’t see it that way.

Serebryany acknowledges Beethoven’s troubled life, especially during the last years. In addition to the composer’s famous loss of hearing which forced him to stop performing, Serebryany noted the extreme toll taken on him by turn-of-the-century European politics.

Beethoven took much hope for mankind from what was happening in France after its revolution, said Serebryany. He said the composer was a great believer in the steps Napoleon was taking, moving forward in the new democracy of the French Republic. But when Napoleon declared himself Emperor in 1804, Serebryany said Beethoven was crushed.

The subsequent Napoleonic Wars that included two campaigns through Austria put further stress on Beethoven, said Serebryany. Though a proponent of universal brotherhood, the composer’s closest friends were in the Viennese aristocracy. The wars forced them to flee the country.

Despite all of this, Serebryany sees Beethoven’s art as less affected by his troubles and more by his artistic temperament. Unlike Beethoven’s contemporary, composer Richard Strauss, who wrote his waltzes in his signature way until the end, Beethoven was always looking for solutions to musical problems, said Serebryany.

“He was the epitome of the idea of never being satisfied,” said Serebryany. “He pushed the boundaries of the harmony he inherited.”

In fact, the “Hammerklavier” sonata was the first piece Beethoven wrote after a ten-year period of producing nothing. Serebryany said Beethoven felt he had nowhere to go, so didn’t see any reason to write anything at all.

But even if Beethoven’s work, and especially his later work, seems at times dark and brooding, Serebryany said there is evidence of hope. He referenced Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony setting of Friedrich Schiller’s poem, “Ode to Joy,” as evidence of the composer’s persistent faith in people’s ability to come together for the sake of a better world.

Serebryany said Beethoven’s life and music support the idea that all was not gloomy for the composer. “Beethoven ultimately doesn’t have a pessimistic worldview,” he said, adding that there are always glimpses of Paradise, even in the intense and complex “Hammerklavier.”

Serebryany has performed in Europe, South America, Australia and throughout the US, Canada and Japan. He has been a guest soloist with the National Arts Center Orchestra, The Kingston Symphony, the Osaka Century Orchestra, and the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra.
In 2005, Serebryany founded Trio+ with violinst Yosuke Kawasaki and cellist Wolfram Koessel. The trio has performed to critical acclaim throughout North America and Japan.
Serebryany is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, the Juilliard School and Yale University. From 2008 to 2016, he was professor of music at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, and in 2015 was named Huntingdon’s first ever Belcher-Cheek Artist in Residence. He joined the piano faculty at the Ithaca College School of Music in 2016.

Museum presents Gospel-Jazz Experience

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David Banks Gospel Jazz Experience to perform at A Little Lunch Music

On February 16 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium by the David Banks Gospel Jazz Revue. The concert will feature original music as well as David’s (and others’) stylized versions of classic Gospel hymns and songs.
Anonymous friends of the series are helping to make this concert possible.
Pianist, composer, and arranger Banks is returning to the museum with his jazz Gospel group’s Silver Lining project. The project recruits and showcases older musicians whose talent Banks feels is often neglected.
Performing with Banks will be Patrick Davis on percussion; Elwood Madeo on guitar; Sam Williams on woodwinds; Charlie Person on trumpet; Barbara Banks, Louville Holstick, Florence Miller, Maxie Fleming, and Lucius Fleming on vocals; Bobbie Shipman as humorist.
As a boy growing up in Tuskegee, Banks said he was able to listen to a lot of different music. He said jazz, big band, and R&B were mixed up on the radio at the time, and there were lots of bands playing in the area. As he got older, he got involved in mostly R&B bands and forgot the other music. He said he toured a lot and made a decent living as a performer.
Banks said a very painful break up put him in a dangerous emotional state. He said he asked God to get him through it, and in return he would only play Gospel music. Almost immediately, he said his life turned around. He said played in church and eventually went to graduate school at Auburn. There he said he was part of the team that helped to secure the Auburn University Gospel Choir as a regular ensemble course offering.
As an educational technology instructor at Tuskegee University and still playing music, he began to notice national artists like Ben Tankard, Kirk Whalum, and Hart Ramsey who were able to fuse jazz and Gospel. He decided that was the direction he wanted to go.
Saxophonist Sam Williams will perform with the group on Thursday. He runs a late-night jam session on Sunday nights in Montgomery at 1048 Jazz & Blues that features musicians from all over the state. Banks said the session was an important part of his decision to follow a jazz/Gospel path.
Now called the Silver Lining Writers Project, it features some original music by the group’s members. Adding to Banks’s jazz arrangements of classic and new Gospel songs, the group will perform Singer Louville Holstick’s “Three Pictures High,” and singer Maxie Fleming’s “Spend Some Time with the Master,” as well as guitarist Elwood Madeo’s jazz arrangement of the standard “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
Though Banks has been bringing a group to A Little Lunch Music for years, he said that last February’s Silver Lining performance was this project’s first gig. Since then they’ve performed at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Tuskegee University Chapel, churches, and jazz clubs around the region.
Banks said working with seniors has been eye opening. With age comes health problems. One member lost her sight, another her hearing. Saxophonist Charles Cochrane recently passed away. “If you want to do something, you better go on and do it while you can,” said Banks.
But against the transportation and health problems, Banks said a mature musician with a lifetime of professional experience and a high degree of talent is invaluable. He said audiences and musical groups are missing out by not using older performers. He described the Gospel jazz platform as an ideal launching pad for this much overlooked artistic resource of diverse artistic talent.
Banks said his group members have amazing talent that only gets better with age. “You become wiser, and you learn to do what counts,” he said. He added that sometimes it’s not so important how many fast and high notes musicians use, but how well they place the ones they choose. “Life experience finds its way into the music,” he added.

Visiting International Pianists Featured on Two Upcoming Recitals

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Visiting International Pianists Featured on Two Upcoming Recitals

On Thursday, February 9, from noon to 1:00 pm, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, will present a free concert in the auditorium by pianist Dino Mulić, violinist Kay Lee, and pianist Sangmi Lim. Mulić will perform solo piano music by Domenico Scarlatti, Joseph Haydn, Alban Berg, and Boris Papandopulo. Lee and Lim will perform a sonata by Sergei Prokofiev.
The performance is part of the museum’s weekly series, A Little Lunch Music. Gifts from George Kent and anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this concert possible.
Drs. Mulić and Lim will also perform a piano four-hands recital on Wednesday, February 8, at 7:30 pm at Goodwin Recital Hall. Wednesday night’s concert, hosted by the Auburn University Music Department, is a ticketed event and will feature music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and Astor Piazzolla.
When violinist Kyungha Kay Lee first performed with pianist Sangmi Lim, they were in middle school in South Korea. Lee said they were close friends, and continued to perform throughout high school and college. Both moved to the US to do graduate work in music, though at different schools.
Now, both having performed throughout the world, Lee is based in Auburn as a teacher and performer, and Lim is on faculty at Texas A&M University. The two will come together again at the museum to share a concert with Lim’s husband who is also a pianist. It will be the first time the two friends have performed in public together since 2006.
On Thursday, the duo will perform Prokofiev’s “Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94,” which Lee said is dramatic and lyrical. She said violin virtuoso David Oistrakh was a good friend of Prokofiev and loved the piece, which was originally written for flute. So Prokofiev arranged the sonata for Oistrakh.

Pianists Sangmi Lim

Kyungha Kay Lee, violinist

Lee said she loves to travel and to get out in nature. “When I travel somewhere, I always think of some music to blend with that scenery,” she said. The reverse is also true. She said the Prokofiev piece reminds her of beautiful scenery, which she visualizes as she plays, especially during the lyrical moments.
Lee said the sonata is one of her favorites and has a nice balance between lyricism and technical fireworks. She said the piano parts are very hard, but are no match for Lim’s talent.
“We have a very good synergy,” said Lee of her pianist colleague and friend, whose playing she described as energetic and dramatic. “When I play with her, she gives me energy to play very powerfully.”
Lim’s husband Dino Mulić is from Bosnia and Herzegovina. They met in 2009 at Michigan State University where she was a graduate student and he was a part of the US State Department’s Visiting Scholar program. He will perform the other half of Thursday’s program on solo piano. The two will perform together at Goodwin Hall the night before.
“When we met, our English was poor,” said Mulić, who said he fell in love with her immediately. Though it was hard to communicate, he said they had the language of music. Over time, they developed a repertoire of music for piano four-hands. “For me it is very special to play with Sangmi,” he said. “It’s wonderful.”
Mulić was born in Yugoslavia before the Bosnian War. He was very young when it started, and wasn’t able to go to school. He credits his mother’s encouragement to continue with his education by reading and studying. “She told me, ‘Don’t worry, when this is over, if we survive, we will start over,’” he said. And they did.
One of Mulić’s solo pieces on Thursday will be a one-movement sonata by Alban Berg. Mulić said the piece is extremely moving for him and connects him to the war. “At one point it’s so tragic. It’s devastating,” he said, still feeling that it is one of the most romantic pieces he’s ever played.
Berg was from the Second Viennese School, which is what scholars call a group of composers in the 20th century. They broke traditional rules of music, experimenting with new ways to present harmony, melody, and musical form. Mulić said Berg’s sonata doesn’t even establish a key until the very end, a tragic b-minor.
“It’s tragic, but proud,” said Mulić. He said it reminds him of what his family endured during the war, and how they came through it.
During the war Mulić moved to Sarajevo with his family into his grandfather’s apartment that had formerly been the residence of composer Boris Papandopulo. Papandopulo was opera conductor and teacher in Sarajevo from 1948-1953. Mulić said Papandopulo was called “Mozart from the Balkans,” because of his cheerful friendly character which Mozart was famous for.
Mulić said he loves Papandopulo’s music as well as his life story. When Russia took control of the composer’s home country Croatia after World War II, officials ordered him to abandon music, and he took a job as truck driver. Mulić said while doing that, Papandopulo, the son of a Croatian nobleman, got to know and love the common people of his country. Later, he was able to re-enter the world of music and became well known and loved.
Music by Mozart will open Wednesday night’s program, followed by what Mulić said is probably the most famous piano four-hands piece, Franz Schubert’s “Fantasy in F Minor.”
Still-living Serbian composer and friend of Mulić’s family Vladimir Đenader wrote his “Three Pieces” for piano four-hands one morning after dreaming it the night before. Kyoko Yamamoto arranged the famous “History of the Tango” by Astor Piazzolla which Lim and Mulić will also play Wednesday at Goodwin Hall.

Pianists Dino Mulić

New Year, New Exhibitions and Programs

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With the start of the new academic year, there’s plenty of things to do in Auburn at the museum. Here are just a few highlights from our spring semester schedule. View more by visiting our online calendar.

Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here

Jan. 21—April 30, 2017
Bill L. Harbert Gallery and Gallery C

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Jiha Moon (Korean, born 1973) harvests cultural elements native to Korea, Japan and China and then unites them with Western elements to investigate the multi-faceted nature of our current global identity as influenced by popular culture, technology, racial perceptions and folklore.

Jan. 27, 2017: Opening Reception with multimedia artist Jiha Moon

Feb. 9, 5 pm: Cloud Atlas (2012) R | 2h 52min | Drama, Adventure

Feb. 23: Lost Horizon (1937) Unrated | 1h 37min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

March 30: The World (2004) 2h 23min | Drama

Tiger Giving Day

JCSM needs your help to give a permanent home to Self-Portrait as Bunnies (The Bathers) during the university’s 24-hour online giving campaign, Tiger Giving Day, on Feb. 21, 2017. The sculpture is on loan. Your gift can help SAVE THE BUNNIES!

 

Teen Takeover 3

Teens respond to selected works in the JCSM collection in a project that will include both curated and created objects all built around a theme of animals and human interaction. On view March 27 to April 30.

Holidays at Auburn’s Art Museum

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Holiday Hours

Spend your holidays here at Auburn’s art museum for our extended holiday hours, where our galleries and gift shop will be open for you and your family to enjoy.

Closed November 23-24
November 25-26: 10-4:30 pm
November 27: 1-4 pm

Closed December 24-25
December 21-23: 1-4 pm
December 27-30: 1-4 pm
Closed December 31-January 1

Regular operations begin on January 3

Detail of Amber Luster Chandelier

Holiday Gift Shop Sales

Give the gift of art! The museum gift shop is taking a 20% off regularly priced merchandise for the holiday season. Museum members can enjoy this discount on December 1, and regular shoppers on December 15 from 10 am to 8 pm.

Family Fun Night

Join us December 15, from 5-8 pm, for some holiday family fun! We’ll be creating cards, wrapping paper and gifts for the holiday season.

Marc Karam

Vocalist Sets International Classics to Jazz

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On November 17, from noon to 1:00 pm, A Little Lunch Music will present a free concert featuring Marc Karam and Friends. Joined by a trio of jazz musicians, Marc will sing well-known standards from France, Italy, Spain, Lebanon, and Egypt. English versions of some of the songs, like “Les Feuilles Mortes” (“Autumn Leaves”) and “La Mer” (“Somewhere Beyond The Sea”), became hits in the United States.

The concert will be in the Auditorium. Thanks to Leslie Swartz for helping to make this performance possible.

The concert will be in the Auditorium. A gift from Leslie Swartz helped to make this performance possible.

Karam said he is a frequent performer in church settings. Twice a year, he likes to join with a group of friends to present a concert of sacred music. They perform traditional pieces, modern pop, and even Gregorian and Byzantine chant.

Marc Karam

Karam said he loves performing with these friends. “We have an amazing range of styles,” he said. “I always like to present a program of diversity,” he added, saying that diversity is something he has loved about American culture since he moved here to study 24 years ago.

That tendency toward diversity and trying new things carries over into his secular music as well. Thursday’s concert will be his first full concert with jazz musicians. It will include what Karam calls “international classics.” Many of these songs that originated in Europe, like “Les Feuilles Mortes” (“Autumn Leaves”) and “La Mer” (“Somewhere Beyond The Sea”), became English-language hits. Others, like “Save the Last Dance for Me,” were composed in the US and became translated hits in France.

Karam will sing in French, English, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic. He is from Lebanon which historically has had strong ties to France. He said he learned his love of the French classics from his uncle. He will also sing well-known songs from Lebanon and Egypt.

The trio of jazz musicians will be composed of guitarist Taylor Pierce, bassist Jason DeBlanc, and saxophonist Patrick McCurry, who also coordinates A Little Lunch Music.

Most of Karam’s performances, whether in church or on stage, have been as a soloist while he accompanies himself on piano, but said he doesn’t like to get in a rut. “I like not to always do the same thing over and over,” he said.

The first time Karam worked with a jazz trio was at his A Little Lunch Music concert in November 2015. It was only for a short part of the program, but was very well received. He wanted to explore the ensemble more deeply.

In May, he presented a concert at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival with Montgomery-based jazz musicians. Thursday’s concert will be with the original Auburn trio from last year. Performers will be Patrick McCurry on sax, Taylor Pierce on guitar, and Jason DeBlanc on bass.

“It helps me focus on the singing,” said Karam about performing with a trio like this. He said not playing the piano helps him to enjoy the singing more, but requires a different kind of coordination among the players. “In the end it is beautiful,” he said.

Karam doesn’t consider himself a jazz musician. But he enjoys combining his classic style of singing the melody with the improvisation brought by the others in the group. “I love the solos. That fascinates me,” he said.

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art!

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Upcoming Events

Tue 21

Museum Cafe Closed

November 20 @ 11:00 am - November 24 @ 2:00 pm
Wed 22

Seasonal Hours: Museum Closed

November 22 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Thu 23

Seasonal Hours: Museum Closed

November 23 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm