The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation present contemporary chamber music performed in response to the art on view. The 2020 Spring season is curated by Tim Munro, Creative Partner at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Grammy Award-winning flutist.
This concert will include the world’s first live performance of Study for Strings, a work by Susan Philipsz based on a 1943 composition of the same name by Czech composer Pavel Haas. The original orchestral work was written while Haas was imprisoned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The only known performance was recorded as a part of a 1944 Nazi propaganda film Theresienstadt, itself a part of a larger progaganda effort to discredit reports of genocide. Not long after the performance, Haas and many of his fellow musicians were killed. In 2012, Susan Philipsz deconstructed the composition for an eight-channel sound installation at Documenta 13 where she isolated only the viola and cello parts. Philipsz’s reworking includes moments of silence to highlight the absence of other instruments and make reference to the lives that were lost.