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Sonic Portraits: Art, Music, and the Power of Depiction

Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Registration is required
Members $20 and Non-members $30

Sonic Portraits: Art, Music, and the Power of Depiction

Music can shape the perception of an image.

Principal string players of the New England Philharmonic present a concert celebrating the descriptive powers of music, applied to works of art from the Boston Athenæum’s collection.

After a lighthearted overview of famous musical depictions, from weather systems to water fowl, we will then match musical excerpts to selected artworks. As we view these images the players will strive to musically evoke the character and mood of the subject.  

We’ll also explore music’s manipulative powers, altering our experience of an art work by changing its “soundtrack.” Watch and listen as we “color” an image with sound.  

Join us for an enjoyable, interactive evening of music featuring the Athenæum’s art collection.

Danielle Maddon, violin, is Concertmaster of the New England Philharmonic and founder and leader of the New England Philharmonic Chamber Players. As soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral violinist, she performs, records, and tours with groups including the Boston Pops, Boston Baroque, and Emmanuel Music.

John Lyneis, violin, has been Principal Second Violin with the New England Philharmonic since 2007. He performs frequently in chamber and orchestral ensembles in the Boston area and is a management consultant specializing in simulation analysis of complex business issues.

Jamie Doyle, viola, is Principal Violist with the New England Philharmonic and a Scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. While majoring in chemistry at Wake Forest University, she received a Presidential Scholarship for her music.

Jason Coleman, Principal Cello with the New England Philharmonic, is a freelance cellist and composer based in the greater Boston area. He has performed in numerous orchestral, chamber, and theatrical productions in New England. His works have been performed throughout the United States.

Over the years, the Boston Athenæum has collected six paintings from Boston-based artist Polly Thayer Starr. Polly Thayer Starr’s paintings consist heavily of modernist portraits as well as landscapes, one of which hangs in the Athenaeum’s Henry Long Room on the first floor. View this and many other wonderful paintings throughout the building on your next visit to 10½ Beacon.

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Most programs held in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the Athenaeum's first floor are amplified and assistive listening devices are available for patron use.

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To request ASL interpretation services for any of the Athenaeum's programs, please contact Hannah Weisman at 617-720-7617 or