Experience 21st Chamber Music Inside a 21st Century Art Museum

Trillium Salon Series and members of Walton Arts Center's Artosphere Festival Orchestra present a night of 21st century chamber music at 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Monday, June 18, at 8 p.m. This salon features composers David Lang, Wu Man, Missy Mazzoli, & Artosphere’s own Charles Krenner.

An emphasis on music of the 21st century is a perfect fit for a venue that features contemporary art. In fact, the oldest piece on the program is David Lang’s “Thorn” for solo flute, which the Pulitzer-prize winning composer wrote in 1993. 

Two women composers are featured, both collaborators with groundbreaking and always boundary-pushing Kronos Quartet. The New York City-based string group commissioned Missy Mazzoli’s mournfully kinetic piece “Harp & Altar” for strings and electronics in 2009. 

Composer Wu Man, a pipa virtuoso (a traditional four stringed instrument sometimes described as the Chinese lute) and longtime collaborator with Kronos, had never composed for string quartet prior to the Kronos Quartet asking her to contribute to their ambitious “Fifty for the Future” project. The result is “Four Chinese Paintings,” her first ever attempt at writing for string quartet. “ Writing a piece for string quartet was a great challenge for me,” writes Wu Man in describing her contribution to the project, explaining, “Though I have written and improvised countless works for the pipa, composing for Western string instruments was a brand new experience.” 

The salon will also feature a quartet for four violas written by Artosphere Orchestra’s own Charles Krenner in 2010. This work, filled with resonant cascades, was composed for a highly unusual combination of four violas. Together the pieces embrace the rhythms and textures of 21st century classical music.