2015 Festival - The New World

Lecture: Bartók – Paths not TakenNick portrait 1371 x 1800

August 5th, 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Boyd Neel Room – Edward Johnson Building

Free admission


Guest Speaker: Nicholas Kitchen

Nicholas Kitchen is an active performer, presenting upwards of 100 concerts each season in venues ranging from the Library of Congress in Washington, to the Philharmonie in Berlin, to Carnegie Hall in New York, to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  Founding first violinist of the Borromeo String Quartet, Nicholas has worked with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and performed in Festivals such as Tanglewood and the Prague Spring Festival.  He has also taught for ProQuartet in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Banff Center in Canada.

Nicholas is full time faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music and in 2011 received the Arion Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Musical Culture from the Cambridge Society for Early Music.  This award was presented at a concert where Nicholas performed the sonatas and partitas for violin solo of J. S. Bach. He projected from his computer onto a large screen the 1720 manuscript and explained the remarkable symmetry of the cycle.  He turned the pages with a USB page-turning pedal.  Mr. Kitchen has been a pioneer in the use of technology to enrich the quality of musical dialogue.  Within the Borromeo Quartet, all members work from the full score displayed on a computer.  Everyone sees all of the information left by the composer about all four parts, and the group can easily consult primary sources such as a composer’s manuscript. For the public, the opportunity is there to view the very pages on which Beethoven or Bartók or Schoenberg created one of their great masterworks.

Mr. Kitchen has always engaged in a wide range of activities.  He was artistic director for the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival for six years and has developed many innovative educational programs about music such as “Joyride in a Time Machine” for which he developed skills in computer animation.  In 2003 he founded Living Archive, a recording company devoted to capturing the unique energies of live performance.  He has also made numerous transcriptions for string quartet of keyboard works of Bach, Brahms, and jazz pianist Bill Evans.

For more information on Nicholas Kitchen.




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