Rensselaer Faculty Presents Innovative World Premiere at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

April 10, 2024

Music at Noon

Chrysi Nanou, music fellow at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and member of Spira Quartet, will present a program of classical and contemporary pieces, including a world premiere composition by Mary Simoni, Dean of the RPI School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Tuesday, April 9, at noon.

Simoni’s “Piano Quartet,” commissioned by Leonardo Laser Talks’ Cambridge University chapter, utilizes machine learning and algorithmic composition to pair COVID-19 datasets with the work of famous classical composers including Niccolò Paganini, Johannes Brahms, J.S. Bach, and Eric Satie, creating an allegory of the pandemic experience as a musical rehearsal.

“RPI’s 200-year culture of innovation has been a playground for sciences but also for the arts as both are articulated in similar processes of theory, practice, observation, experimentation, and transformation,” said Nanou. “The interdisciplinary environment pollinates, and even accelerates, creativity and allows for new technologies to be included as artistic media or research tools. The thriving community is a testimony to how RPI’s inclusivity has helped both scientific and artistic genealogies.”

In addition to “Piano Quartet,” the program will include “Trio No. 2, Op. 76” by Joaquín Turina Pérez, and Bohuslav Martinu’s “Duo No. 2 in D Major” for violin and cello, and “Piano Quartet No. 1” for violin, cello, and piano. 

Nanou, who curated the program, will perform on piano, joined by Rensselaer music fellows Jamecyn Morey on violin and David Bebe on cello, along with violist Brittany Zellman.

Spira is presented as part of Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s Music @ Noon concert series and will include a pre-show workshop, “Explore Bowed String Instruments and Piano: Demonstration & Instrument Petting Zoo,” from 10 to 11 a.m. The workshop, which is designed for students in grades 1-4, will begin with an interactive series of songs in which the musicians introduce their instruments and the concept of chamber music. In the later portion, students will have the opportunity to try each instrument.

“Through the fusion of the Arts and STEM, we embody RPI's steadfast commitment to nurturing our students' intellectual curiosity and holistic inquiry,” said Simoni.

Both the concert and workshop are free and open to the public. Seating for the workshop is limited, and attendees are encouraged to register here.

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s Music @ Noon series is sponsored by Fenimore Asset Management / FAM Funds, Troy Redevelopment Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Fagan Associates, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, MVP Healthcare, Saratoga National Bank, and NYS Music.

Written By Christian TeBordo
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