Painting to music

Students paint while string quartet performs selections by Beethoven, Ravel, Kaufmann


Mary Saslow's ARTS 305 painting studio engaged in an experimental collaboration of music and art last October when they invited the Marian Anderson String Quartet—Ensemble in Residence at Texas A&M and Prairie View universities—to perform as they painted.

The cavernous studio in Langford B was the site of the venue, which included selections from Beethoven, Ravel, and Kaufmann. The artwork created during the performance was later exhibited at the quartet's Nov. 3, 2003 concert in Rudder Theater on the Texas A&M campus.

"We were interested in playing while the students drew or painted whatever came to mind that represented the music that they heard visually," said Marian Henry, the quartet's first violinist.

Once called the Chaminade Quartet fourteen years ago, the Marian Anderson Quartet has brought inspiration to performance venues ranging from the concert stage to soup kitchens; from presidential inaugurals to juvenile correctional facilities. In 1991, the Quartet won the International Cleveland Quartet Competition, becoming the first African American ensemble in history to win a classical music competition. The quartet's mission is to create new and diverse audiences for the field of chamber music.

The collaboration with the College of Architecture studio was supported, in part, by A&M's Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts. Ward Wells, director of the academy, furnished the studio with fresh canvases

See related story in the Bryan-College Station Eagle: Marian Anderson String Quartet reaches out to audiences.


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