"In the light of history, man's pretense to be governed by reason in any ordinary sense of the word seems a bad jest. The critical observer is forced to agree with Napoleon that, not reason, but 'imagination governs mankind.' It does not follow that mankind need be governed by the Napoleonic quality of imagination." - Irving Babbitt
The El Paso Pro-Musica Season, “Sound Investments,” is designed to not only bring the finest musical artists in the world to the region, but to “invest” in the future with outstanding Education Programs, Collaborations and Community Engagement. This season features renowned Grammy Award Winning Artists, El Paso Favorites, and Zuill Bailey.
The Pre-Season Kick-off for the Summer is set for August 19th with a Special Concert presented by the El Paso Museum of Art in conjunction with the “Celebrating Picasso,” and “Posting Picasso,” exhibits. Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica and World Renowned Cellist Zuill Bailey will perform the works of Manuel De Falla, Stravinsky, Piatigorsky, and Pablo Casals, all contemporaries of Pablo Picasso. The Concert begins at 6:30 p.m. with a Champagne Toast. The Presentation is being made possible in part by the
National Endowment for the Arts. Admission is Free.
This year also celebrates the second year of the Master Class Program with UTEP’s Department of Music. Artists performing at each concert will perform Master Classes for Students within the Department. Zuill Bailey is also a Professor of Cello at UTEP.
The Main Season officially kicks off on September 30-October 3 with the Grammy Award Winning Ying String Quartet. The Quartet is releasing their newest CD, “Re-Imagined; Schumann and Beethoven, with Zuill Bailey, and their performances in El Paso and Las Cruces will celebrate their new recording. The quartet will also make a special appearance in Carrizozo, New Mexico on October 3, for “Carrizozo Music.”
El Paso Pro-Musica will once again collaborate with Johns Hopkins University and the Peabody School of Music for the Young Artist Development Series. This year, following an audition in Baltimore, Artistic Director Zuill Bailey selected “Marquee Brass,” an outstanding group of dynamic horn players, who will work with area schools and showcase their talents in Community Engagement in a Special Residency from November 8-12. The residency will include concerts in El Paso and Las Cruces.
The El Paso Pro-Musica Chamber Music Festival is set for January 6-28, 2017 with incredible Concerts, Free Events, collaborations and the all new “Twilight Tours.” The “Complete Beethoven Trios,” will be performed with Kurt Nikannen, violin, Scott Rawls, viola, and Zuill Bailey, cello. The Chamber Music Festival will continue it’s “Bach’s Lunch,” Free presentations each Thursday at Noon presented by the El Paso Museum of Art and Sponsored by United Bank of El Paso Del Norte.
All of the Artists will present “informances,” in preparation for the weekend concerts. A special Piano Duo will also be presented featuring legendary pianist Jerome Rosenthal and his renowned student Michael Brown, for a “four hand piano,” event.
El Paso Pro-Musica and the El Paso Symphony Orchestra for the 11th year will present the January collaboration concert, featuring Grammy Award Winning Guitarist Jason Vieaux, performing Joaquin Rodrigo’s immortal “Concierto De Aranjuez,” with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Bohuslav Rattay, conductor. The award winning guitarist will also showcase his solo technique in concerts in El Paso and Las Cruces. The Festival will conclude with Concerts featuring Newly Commissioned Compositions for El Paso Pro-Musica featuring Zuill Bailey.
The Main Season continues with Concerts on February 18 and 19 in Las Cruces and El Paso featuring Navah Perlman, pianist, in a “Musical Memoir,” reflecting her journey as the daughter of famed violinist Itzhak Perlman. The interactive presentation will include poignant stories, incredible visuals and amazing music.
Paul Jacobs, the only Organist to win a Grammy will perform in El Paso, on March 18th. The Season will end with the one of the world’s great cellists, Steven Isserlis, who is one of only two living cellists featured in the Gramophone Hall of Fame. His concert is set for April 24th. He has recently teamed up with violinist Joshua Bell for a new CD, “For the Love of Brahms,” to be released this Fall.
Your Brain on ART German neurologists at the University Hospital Erlangen have been studying the brain on art. According to a recent experiment, while painters have their ups and downs, it’s not painkillers they’re releasing. Instead, artists are engaged in the refinement of grey matter — building connections between regions of the brain for higher, more integrated functioning. In the study, 28 men and women took a “resilience scale measurement” psychology test, agreeing or disagreeing with statements like, “I can usually find something to laugh about,” and had their brains scanned. Then, once-a- week for ten weeks, they either learned to paint or attended an art appreciation class where they analyzed and discussed artwork with an historian. After the ten-week period, participants retook the resilience test and had their brains rescanned.
Researchers noticed that the painters saw raised levels of brain function connectivity and a considerable bump in psychological resilience, while the appreciation group remained unchanged. The painters’ brain improvement was pinpointed to within their default mode networks — an area responsible for introspection, self-monitoring and memory. Scientists ‘read dreams’ using brain scans. Rebecca Morelle, Perhaps you already knew this. Art-making demands our experiences and observations be processed in inventive, abstract ways, with focus and emotional alertness — or as the researchers concluded, painting requires “enhanced memory processing, which is indeed required when stored knowledge is connected with new information to create creative works.” Squeeze out. You’re only a painting away from a better brain. Esoterica: Because with age the default mode network begins to decline, the neuroscientists at University Hospital Erlangen studied the brains of older people. Their test subjects were men and women aged 62-70 — each retired for a minimum of 3 months and no more than 3 years. A significant improvement was found in the visual art production group. “Our results have important implications for preventative and therapeutic interventions,” say Bolwerk and Maihofner. The verdict is in: Picking up a brush at any age can strengthen brain connectivity and build confidence and emotional resilience. “Art is a guaranty of sanity. That is the most important thing I have said.” (Louise Bourgeois)