Category: CFA Newsmakers
School of Visual Arts students, Luca de Gaetano and Taylor Mortell, organize
Greater Boston community art project in response to the heroes of the Boston Marathon.
Boston, MA – In response to the tragic violence of the Boston Marathon and the succeeding events the devastating week brought forth, Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) School of Visual Arts students, Luca de Gaetano (MFA ’13) and Taylor Mortell (BFA ’16), launched Still Running: An Art Marathon for Boston, a Greater Boston community art project aimed at producing works of art in remembrance of the events that took place on April 15, 2013.
A four-part project, Still Running: An Art Marathon for Boston launches on Saturday, May 25, with an open invitation for the community to come together at 808 Gallery to create art in memory of the tragedy.
Still Running: An Art Marathon for Boston
Saturday, May 25, 9am – 5pm
808 Gallery (808 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215)
Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Boston University Arts Initiative.
Art materials generously provided by the Strathmore Paper Company.
“As an Italian student living in Boston since 2008, I have never felt as close this city as after the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon,” said Luca de Gaetano (MFA ’13), who co-organized Still Running. “Being passionate about my work — which is to make art — and finding myself surrounded by my peer when learning about what happened, awoke an urgent need to respond visually and positively to the tragedy.”
Still Running consists of four parts: (1) Art Marathon events in which participating institutions and artists will come together over different weekends to produce art for the small works exchange and for the traveling exhibition; (2) a Small Works Exchange to encourage donations to charitable organizations supporting those affected by the tragedy; (3) a Final Exhibition of artwork produced by the Greater Boston community to coincide with the 2014 Boston Marathon; and (4) the creation of Mile Markers for next year’s event from artist submissions.
“For me personally, art came to me as an intervention during a traumatic accident I had a few years ago,” said Taylor Mortell (BFA ’16). “Ever since, I’ve been trying to find ways to use art to build community, and to let everyone know that on an individual level, contribution matters — because collectively, we can do something great.”
“Like many others, I was extremely moved by the incredible acts of kindness put forth by members of our community in the wake of the tragedy,” continued Mortell. “I wanted to do something to help the healing of our community by creating Still Running, this art show for Boston, by Boston.”
For more information, to make a submission, or to contribute to Still Running: An Art Marathon for Boston, please visit bostonartsmarathon.com.
By Susan Seligson (BU Today)
The BMC Cancer Care Center’s chemotherapy unit is a busy place. Adult patients of all ages and prognoses settle into curtained-off sections called “boxes” and endure up to five hours at a time being hooked to IVs. Some watch TV and some doze, but on a recent spring day, Lucia (not her real name), a patient in her early 50s, gratefully accepted Amanda Britton’s offer to sit beside her and recite poetry. As a downpour streaked the hospital windows, Britton (CFA’13) read Lucia the sunny quatrains of William Wordsworth’s “Daffodils,” along with Elizabeth’s Bishop’s “I Am in Need of Music” and selections from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. When it was over, Lucia gave the theater arts major a hug, and before moving on to another patient, Britton declared the experience “awesome.”
The intimacy of reading poetry one-on-one “allows me to make a new friend,” she says. “And I’ve learned that any one of us can be hooked up to that IV.”
This poetic interlude was one of many recent efforts of the fledgling Arts Outreach Initiative of the College of Fine Arts, which enlists students like Britton to nurture a partnership with the Medical Campus through its diversity and multicultural affairs office. Since the program was launched in October, students have shared their talents in a range of nontraditional venues, from monthly concerts in the lobby of BMC’s Menino Building (a string quintet) to the hospital’s surgical unit (soloists on cello and viola) to the pediatric outpatient clinic (various soloists).
“It’s like you light a direction for the patients to exit from their reality,”
says Moisès Fernández Via, curator and researcher of the program, which has trained about 65 undergraduate and graduate students from the Schools of Music, Visual Arts, and Theatre. The CFA musicians also provide occasional stress relief for BU medical students, who can take late afternoon study breaks and hear 20-minute concerts in the lobby of the School of Medicine Student Residence.
Read the rest of the story on BU Today.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon tragedy, School of Music graduate student Anna Arazi finds hope in Music STRONG, hosting a five hour Musical Marathon to support One Fund Boston
Boston, MA – In response to the tragic violence of the Boston Marathon and the succeeding events the devastating week brought forth, Boston University College of Fine Arts Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance candidate, Anna Arazi, organizes Musical Marathon at The George Sherman Boston University Union, Wednesday, May 1, 12–5pm.
Wednesday, May 1, 12–5pm
The George Sherman Boston University Union
(775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215)
Free and open to the public. Donations collected for The One Fund — Boston.
Bringing together graduate and undergraduate students and faculty members from Boston University, as well as the New England Conservatory, The Boston Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, and Harvard University, among others, the Musical Marathon will support the victims of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack.
“It’s Music STRONG,” said Anna Arazi, Musical Marathon organizer and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance candidate at CFA. “The Musical Marathon is a declaration of intent to continue distributing culture in spite of hatred and violence. Education is the best weapon we — musicians and academicians — can choose to fight terror and to enlighten dark minds.”
For more information on the Musical Marathon, please visit http://annaarazi.wix.com/bumusicalmarathon.
Book looks at world through Beethoven’s Fifth
In the two centuries since Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his Fifth Symphony, the piece’s iconic opening has etched itself into the human imagination. Those first four notes have become a kind of Rorschach test for a never-ending parade of musicologists, historians, and biographers speculating on Beethoven’s intentions.
In his book The First Four Notes: Beethoven’s Fifth and the Human Imagination (Knopf, 2012), Matthew Guerrieri takes readers on a wild, whimsical 277-page ride as he ponders the famous notes by pulling in far-flung references, from Steve McQueen to Napoleon Bonaparte to A Clockwork Orange to Unitarians. Although he plunges deep into the social, political, and musical world of the Romantic period, Guerrieri (CFA’97) doesn’t shy away from contemporary pop culture. Somehow, it works.
The book has earned widespread critical acclaim and landed Guerrieri, the Boston Globe’s classical music critic, an appearance on the The Colbert Report. In Leon Botstein’s Wall Street Journal review, he writes: “With a quick mind and wit, he traverses two centuries of musical culture, literature, and politics with uncommon authority.” Publisher’s Weekly notes that Guerrieri “clothes his erudition in lucid, breezy prose…the result is a fresh, stimulating interpretation that shows how provocative the familiar classic can be.”
BU Today spoke with Guerrieri recently about the power of those four notes, the enduring mystique of the Fifth, and why no words written on the subject will be the last.
BU Today: An NPR piece on your book refers to the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony as “the most well-known notes in classical music.” Do you agree?
Guerrieri: I do. What makes them so particular is they’re probably the four notes of classical music that most people who aren’t even part of classical music would know. They have some sense of who Beethoven was and why the piece is famous. The piece has acquired a fame that’s transcended even the experience of the piece itself in a way.
You write a lot about how the symphony begins “literally, with silence,” an eighth rest that translates into a beat given by conductors. But when Beethoven wrote the symphony, there were no conductors. What was he up to?
There were no conductors, but somebody would have gotten it started, usually the concertmaster. The rest is there almost for housekeeping. It’s there because you have to fill out the bar. Beethoven could have started it as just a three-note pickup. But he decided to put the rest in for whatever reason, and probably didn’t think nearly as hard about it as I did. There’s this thing that happens right before the notes that’s in the score, that you don’t actually hear, just a sort of a little intellectual takeoff. It was too much fun to resist. But it is there to indicate this downbeat. And there’s this tradition with Beethoven’s Fifth that you’re supposed to get it started giving one beat, which happens to follow exactly where that rest is, so even the rest has become more important probably than Beethoven intended.
Interview by Susan Seligson. More on Bu Today
Above: In the wake of the tragedy that occurred at the Boston Marathon, College of Fine Arts Dean Benjamín Juárez talks about the duty of the arts community at Boston University to create “pockets of hope” in this difficult time.
Schools of Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts students demonstrate resilience in responding to tragic violence of Boston Marathon, new artistic outreach program aides in Boston Medical Center patients’ recovery
Boston, MA – In response to the tragic violence of the Boston Marathon and the succeeding events the devastating week brought forth, students at Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) are joining together to help those injured, and to help one another.
Among those lost that day was LU Lingzi (GRS ’14), a BU graduate student. Though pursuing a statistics degree, LU also studied piano at CFA because music brought her joy. Music was part of her identity, just as LU was part of ours.
With three lives lost, hundreds injured, and thousands stunned, students at CFA’s Schools of Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts have demonstrated resilience. Through the Arts Outreach Initiative, an unprecedented partnership between the Boston University Medical Campus and CFA to build productive relationships between artistic creativity and health care practices, students are stepping forth to use their individual crafts to help the 23 victims being treated at Boston Medical Center, BU’s affiliated academic hospital.
“Since last October, the Arts Outreach Initiative, has been articulating an ongoing artistic presence in the Medical Campus, with special emphasis at Boston Medical Center,” says Moisès Fernández Via, Project Curator & Researcher for the Arts Outreach Initiative. “At this very moment, BMC is providing care to patients injured at the Boston Marathon. Surgical and Trauma units are dealing with exceptional levels of stress and anxiety. Nurses and staff are working under an exceptionally overloaded emotional context.”
In the face of the extraordinary circumstances of that tragic week, the next generation of artists shares a message of hope, resilience, and collaboration. “For the Arts Outreach Initiative, this exceptional moment demands an exceptional response — understanding that not only medical care is required at this point, but stress relief, consolation, and empathy,” continued Fernández Via.
Almost immediately, students from the School of Visual Arts launched Still Running: An Art Marathon for Boston, an open call for art to celebrate strength and raise money. And, in a remarkable spirit of community, both casts of the Opera Institute’s production of La Clemenza di Tito, shared their final performance with one cast performing Act 1, and the alternate cast performing Act 2. Music and Theatre students are also responding to the devastation, performing for patients injured at the Marathon, and staff at BU Medical Campus, as part of the new outreach initiative, are focusing on artistic intervention.
“We’ve heard it said that the arts community comes together during times of tragedy,” says Benjamín Juárez, Dean of Boston University College of Fine Arts. “In the days immediately following the Boston Marathon, I witnessed this first-hand.”
Educating the Citizen Artist is central to CFA’s mission. Since September, CFA has celebrated this with initiatives and programming. Commencing CFA’s Keyword Initiative’s second year, much of the College’s programming, discussions, and collaborations have revolved around the annual theme, or keyword, of resilience — the buoyancy of the human spirit in times of war, tragedy, hardship, suffering, and oppression. The Keyword Initiative is a project funded by Nancy Livingston (COM ’69) and her husband, Fred Levin, through the Shenson Foundation, in memory of Ben and A. Jess Shenson.
“None of us could have predicted the relevance of CFA’s KEYWORD: ‘Resilience’ before the tragic events of April 15th,” continues Dean Juárez. “Wounded, the city of Boston mourned, and did what this great city, the birthplace of America, has done before: it grew stronger, more resilient, and I am so proud to say that our CFA community did the same.”
As CFA’s community of Citizen Artists continue to demonstrate the power of art in the healing process, please visit bu.edu/cfa for ongoing updates and more information.
By Erin Thibeau (CAS’13)
How do we go about creating a sustainable future? That question is at the center of a new project titled Alternative Visions/Sustainable Futures, a collaboration between the College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts and sustainability@bu. Taking place throughout the semester, the project features an art exhibition, speakers, and weekly forums that include collaborative art projects, film screenings, musical performances, and poetry readings.
Two years in the making, the cross-disciplinary project was the brainchild of Dennis Carlberg, BU’s director of sustainability, and Dana Clancy, a CFA assistant professor of visual arts, who wanted to explore the creative ways that artists, scholars, and members of the BU community might build a sustainable future.
CFA Dean Benjamin Juárez says that the project dovetails perfectly with this year’s Keyword Initiative, which focuses on the theme of resilience. “This exhibition is about discussion and growth,” says Juárez. “With a children’s program, interactive workshops, and stimulating lectures, this is a participatory exhibit that speaks to all ages with the hope that exploration will lead to tangible action. The hope is to open up dialogue across campus about the environment in the context of art.”
Kicking off the Alternative Visions/Sustainable Futures project is a provocative exhibition at the 808 Gallery titled System: ECOnomies. Curated by Clancy and Lynne Cooney (GRS’08,’15), CFA, School of Visual Arts exhibitions director, the show highlights work by individual artists and collaborators who have created proposed models for sustainable living.
Read more on BU Today
Whether you’re a Boston Local, or far across the country, CFA alums have performances in your neck of the woods!
SpeakEasy Stage Company
Other Desert Cities by Bruce Norris
Calderwood Theatre Pavillion
January 11 – February 9
Karen MacDonald, CFA ’72 – Polly Wyeth
Scott Edmiston, CFA ’95 – Director
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
Calderwood Theatre Pavillion
Mar 1 – 30
Paula Plum, CFA ’75 – Bev/Kathy
Michael Kaye, CFA ’95, ‘99 – Karl/Steve
Tim Spears, CFA ’06, ‘11 – Jim/Tom
Boston Lyric Opera Company
Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart
March 15, 17, 20, 22, 24
Sandra Piques Eddy, CFA ’99, ‘02 – Dorabella
Marcus Dilliard, CFA ’83 – Light Designer
Boston Lyric Opera Company: The Flying Dutchman by Wagner
April 26, 28 and May: 1, 3, 5
Chris Akerlind, CFA ’85 – Light Designer
Boston Philharmonic Orchestra: Ninth Symphony by Beethoven
Michelle Johnson, CFA ’07 – Soprano
Yeghishe Manucharyan, CFA ’01 – Tenor
Nice Work If You Can Get It (revival) Music by George & Ira Gershwin/Book by Joe DiPietro
Brad Oscar, CFA ’86 – Cookie McGee
The Lying Lesson (world premiere)
February 20 – March 31, 2013
Craig Lucas, CFA ’73 – playwright
Orphans (revival) by Lyle Kessler
Preview March 19, Opening date April 7
Starring Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
Jess Goldstein, CFA ’72 – costume designer
Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (revival)
Preview January 25, Opening date March 3
Greg Hildreth, CFA ’05 – Jean-Michel
The Washington Chorus: Elijah by Mendelssohn
The Kennedy Center
Stephen Salters, CFA ’91 & ‘94 – Baritone
Julian Wachner, CFA ’91 & ’96 – Music Director
Washington National Opera Company: Show Boat
May 4 – May 26
The Kennedy Center
Morris Robinson, CFA ’01 – Joe
Opera Company of Philadelphia
Silent Night (2012 Pulitzer Prize Winner/East Coast Premiere)
February 8, 10, 13, 15, 17
Academy of Music
Kelly Kaduce, CFA ’99 – Anna Sørenson
Marcus Dilliard, CFA ’83 – Light Designer
The Magic Flute by Mozart
April 19, 21, 24, 26, 28
Academy of Music
Scott Zielinski, CFA ’87 – Light Designer
Houston Grand Opera Company
January 18, 20, 26, 30; February 1, 3, 6, 9
Wortham Theatre Center
Morris Robinson, CFA ’01 – Joe
January 25, 27; February 2, 5, 8, 10
Wortham Theatre Center
Morris Robinson, CFA ’01 – Commendatore
Portland Opera: Tosca by Puccini
February 1, 3, 7, 9
The Hampton Opera Centre
David Kneuss, CFA ’70 – Director
Anton Belov, CFA ’10 – Jailer
Atlanta Opera Company: Italian Girl from Algiers by Rossini
April 27, 30 & May: 3, 5
Cobb Energy Centre
Sandra Piques Eddy, CFA ’99, ‘02 – Isabella
NORFOLK, FAIRFAX, RICHMOND
Virginia Opera Company: A Streetcar Named Desire by Previn
Norfolk: Harrison Opera House, February 16, 20, 22, 24
Fairfax: George Mason Univ. Cent for the Arts, March 1 & 3
Richmond: Carpenter Theatre March 8 & 10
Matthew DiBattista, CFA ’95 – Steve Hubbell
Guthrie Theatre: Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill
January 12 – February 23
Chris Akerlind, CFA ’85 – Lighting Designer
Minnesota Opera Company: Turandot by Puccini
April 13, 16, 18, 20
Kelly Kaduce, CFA ’99 – Liu
Florentine Opera Company
Albert Herring by Britten
March 8 – 17
Vogel Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Noele Stollmack, CFA ’86 – Designer
Marriage of Figaro by Mozart
May 10 & 12
Uihlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Noele Stollmack, CFA ’86 – Designer
ST LOUIS (MO)
Opera Theatre of St Louis: Il Tabarro and Pagliacci by Puccini & Leoncavello
June 1 – 25
Kelly Kaduce, CFA ’99 – Nedda (P)
Matthew DiBattista, CFA ’95 – Tinka (IT) & Beppe (P)
Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, in the 1950s, Stephen A. Frank dreamed of hitching rides on the Pennsylvania Railroad trains that thundered past his kitchen window, bound either for Philadelphia and New York or for St. Louis. He imagined himself transported to the national parks and monuments whose photos he had seen in magazines.
“National Geographic, Life, Look, and The Saturday Evening Post were my windows to the world,” recalls Frank, a College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts master lecturer. But Frank’s parents, owners of a liquor–gourmet food store, had neither the time nor the means to travel. “I grew up with what I call the Jewish work ethic, the retail work ethic,” he says. “There was no time for vacations. There was only time for work.” The closest Frank got to realizing his wanderlust were occasional trips with his family to nearby Vandalia Airport, where they’d watch TWA propeller planes take off. “I longed to be one of the silhouetted figures in those tiny windows going to places I could only dream of, but longed to see,” he says.
After graduating with a degree in photography from Ohio University in the late ’60s, Frank moved East to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he earned a master’s degree. He then moved to Boston and began teaching at BU in 1974. But he says he never had the time—or the money—to see the sites he had dreamed of as a boy. “I was always so jealous of everyone who had traveled,” he says. “Any place you had been and I hadn’t, I was jealous of you being there.”
Read the complete article on BU Today
Jamie Hillman was surprised by the enthusiasm of the men in his freewheeling music class at MCI-Norfolk last spring, part of BU’s Prison Education Program. But it wasn’t until the instructor learned that the inmates, several serving life sentences, were singing the mournful Handel aria “Lascia ch’io pianga” in the shower, that Hillman (CFA’13), a College of Fine Arts doctoral candidate, realized that he was making a difference in their lives.
They have certainly made a difference in his. Faculty mentor and coinstructor Andre de Quadros says that Hillman “is traveling down the normal pathway of being a choral conductor and suddenly he goes wide angle and adopts a socially responsible lens to his work.” For Hillman, the experience was rewarding beyond expectation, and a testament to the transcendent power of music. “You need a thick skin to survive in prison, and it was interesting, week by week, seeing people let their guards down,” he says. “We called our classroom a safe haven.”
-By Susan Seligson
Read the complete article on BU Today
Boston University Mourns the Passing of Anthony di Bonaventura, School of Music Professor and Legendary Pianist
Boston, MA – The Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) mourns the death of Anthony di Bonaventura, Professor of Music for the School of Music for nearly four decades. Di Bonaventura passed away on Monday, November 12, 2012, his 83rd birthday.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Professor di Bonaventura,” says Benjamín Juárez, Dean of the Boston University College of Fine Arts. “A major figure in the music world since his debut as a child prodigy, Tony enriched the School of Music with his passionate commitment to musical excellence and his advocacy of new music by such luminaries as Ligeti, Berio, Ginastera, and Persichetti, all of whom wrote music for him.”
In addition to his position at Boston University, di Bonaventura was director of the Brandywine International Piano Institute at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He performed in 27 countries, appearing in recital and with the major orchestras and conductors of the world. He has appeared in the Great Performers Series at New York’s Lincoln Center and at such major music festivals as Saratoga, Ann Arbor, Bergen (Norway), Spoleto and Lucca (Italy), and Zagreb (Yugoslavia). His recordings for Columbia, RCA, Connoisseur Society, and Sine Qua Non have consistently received highest acclaim. Current releases include three compact discs on the Titanic label, consisting of Fourteen Scarlatti Sonatas, the complete Preludes, op. 32 of Rachmaninoff, and an all-Chopin recording of his late works. In addition, forthcoming releases include16 Scarlatti Sonatas and works of Schubert and Prokofiev.
Acknowledged as a master teacher of international stature, di Bonaventura has given master classes at UCLA, University of Michigan, Eastman School of Music, Brigham Young University, North Carolina School for the Arts, University of Toronto, University of Texas, Tulane University, and the Yamaha School of Singapore, among others. In May 1992, Professor di Bonaventura was awarded the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence, Boston University’s highest award for excellence in teaching. In May of 2002, he was given an honorary doctorate from Husson College. At the Graz Festival in Austria in the fall of 1986, di Bonaventura gave the world premiere performance of Gyorgy Ligeti’s Concerto for Piano, written especially for him, followed by performances of the concerto in Vienna, Paris, London, St. Louis, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Other world-renowned composers who have written expressly for the artist include Luciano Berio, Vincent Persichetti, Milko Keleman, and Alberto Ginastera, whose Second Sonata was given its world premiere by the pianist in 1982. In 1991, di Bonaventura gave the Netherlands premiere of Witold Lutoslawski’s Piano Concerto, with the composer conducting, followed by performances of the work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Polish National Radio Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony (January 1993) on the occasion of the composer’s 80th birthday.
Professor di Bonaventura began his piano studies at the age of three and gave his first professional concert at four, won a scholarship to New York’s Music School Settlement at six, and appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic at thirteen. At sixteen, he became the pupil of the celebrated Russian teacher, Madame Isabelle Vengerova, and later entered the Curtis Institute from which he graduated with highest honors. Enthusiastic acclaim by critics and audiences alike came early in his career. His brilliant performances in an early European tour led to his selection by Otto Klemperer, the great conductor, to perform the complete Beethoven Concerti at the London Beethoven Festival. Professor di Bonaventura is survived by his 5 children; Christopher di Bonaventura, AZ Greene, Peter di Bonaventura, Sarina Birsh and Betsey Brown and his 14 grandchildren. Also survived by his eldest brother, Mario di Bonaventura. He is predeceased by his wife Muriel Applebee di Bonaventura.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, November 19 at 10 a.m. in Sacred Heart Parish, 1321 Centre St. Newton Centre. Interment will be private. Visiting hours will be held Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at the Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home, 56 Washington Street, Wellesley Hills, MA.
In lieu of flowers, charitable donations in Professor di Bonaventura’s memory may be made to Boston University College of Fine Arts, care of the Office of Development, 855 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA, 02215. To honor his legacy, donations will support need-based scholarships for gifted students at the School of Music.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.