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Drew Peterson, pianist
Josephine Baker

Paris at Midnight: Jazz and Surrealism in the 1920s

Guest Curator Harry Cooper, senior curator of modern art at the National Gallery of Art

Paris in the 1920s was a place of great artistic conflict and excitement. While some like Igor Stravinsky and Pablo Picasso embraced Neo-Classicism and a "return to order" in the aftermath of the Great War, others launched bold new experiments. Under the leadership of André Breton, Surrealism sought to shock the bourgeoisie, while a passion for African and African American art and culture, from jazz to art to dance, galvanized the city, personified above all by Josephine Baker. Join PCE for a screening of the classic Surrealist film Entr’acte (René Clair, 1924) with the original score by Erik Satie performed live. The program also includes film footage of Baker dancing and a tribute to jazz great Sidney Bechet. It culminates with Maurice Ravel's partly-jazz-inspired Piano Concerto in G featuring soloist Drew Petersen, winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 American Pianists Award. Presented in collaboration with Harry Cooper, senior curator of modern art at the National Gallery of Art.

That is what is so astonishing about Drew...that he feels the music, he can make it come alive again, make you touched by it... That's what is unusual. That's what I like about him. He is not just a child prodigy but is a brilliant musician.
— Lukas Foss, composer, conductor, pianist
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Program

Visit Drew's website.

Watch Drew perform at the 2017 American Pianists Awards.

Concert

Paris at Midnight: Jazz and Surrealism in the 1920s

Wednesday, November 9, 2022, 7:30pm

Terrace Theater | The Kennedy Center | 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC

Harry Cooper, guest curator

Drew Petersen, piano

David Jones, clarinet

Jim Roberts, guitar

Aaron Clay, double bass

Joe Connell, drums

Simone Baron, accordion

PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Program

  • Cinéma (1924): Entr’acte symphonique du ballet Relâche pour le film de René Clair 
  • Music by Erik Satie
  •      I.     Chimneys; deflating balloons 
  •      II.    Boxing gloves and matches 
  •      III.   Scenes from the air; chess game and boats on roof 
  •      IV.   The female dancer and figures within water 
  •      V.    The hunter and the beginning of the funeral 
  •      VI.   Funeral March 
  •      VII.  Funeral procession in slow motion 
  •      VIII. The chase 
  •      IV.   The coffin's fall and the emergence of Börlin 
  •      V.    The End (Screen bursts and The End) 
  • Zouzou (1934) film clip with Josephine Baker Jean Gabin, Pierre Larquey, Yvette Lebon 
  • Sidney Bechet: Jazz Set (1897 –1959)
  • Maurice Ravel (1875 –1937). Piano Concerto in G Major
  •       I.     Allegramente
  •       II.    Adagio assai
  •       III.   Presto

Post-Concert Discussion with Drew Petersen, Harry Cooper, and Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Presented without intermission

This performance is an external rental presented in coordination with the Kennedy Center Campus Rentals Office and is not produced by the Kennedy Center.

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What people are saying

So many thanks for that most inspiring, capacious evening. With PCE’s usual ability to surprise and delight… that symphony was astonishing…

Kate

Your leadership and dramatic shaping of the Symphony last night was truly masterful - and so inspiring. I know I’ll never forget this experience. Thank you, Maestro!

Chris

I loved the intimacy of the ensemble and the aching beauty of the melody repeating and recurring and turning up where I did not expect it .  And I found the quality of the sound thrilling.

That was my take on the concert --that and the tears that it brought to my eyes, simply to be there, to be present at the creation of something so beautiful..

Michaele

What a perfect PCE evening, wonderful concert and lovely gathering

Liz

Angel, You are so musical! I've played the 4th twice, it was the first Mahler I heard as a kid, and I'm invariably disappointed that conductors don't let it breathe.  U nailed it.

David

Congratulations again to you and your superb ensemble on a wonderful and provocative performance in the Terrace Theater last evening.  As always, we learned something from this concert and it was fun, too.

Alec

Everything about it was sheer delight, including the lively and interesting talk at the end…

Catherine