Four hands play ‘Rite of Spring’

A performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” culminated the Philosophy in Art and Science class’ unit on Aesthetics.

The assembly took place during first period on May 3 in Rugby Auditorium.

The piece was performed four-hand by professional pianists Danny Holt and Steven Vanhauwaert.

Philosophy teacher Ted Walch knew Holt and Vanhauwaert through his involvement with the music group Jacaranda: Music At the Edge.

The recital also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the premiere of the Rite of Spring in Paris.

“Mr. Weis and I both feel that this unit is made dramatically more effective by having [the pianists] out,” Walch said. “We’re just trying to open the kids’ eyes and give them something to react to.

Walch added that they intend to make the performance an annual event.

After the recital, students had the opportunity to ask Holt and Vanhauwaert questions.

“I like how they talked about Stravinsky and how he was really novel at the time and radical,” Rebecca Moretti ’13 said.  “They talked at the end about how it was connected with the ideas of Erik Satie and they were really influenced by him.  He is a pianist I really admire, so I thought that was pretty cool.”

Walch also believed that Stravinsky was an influential composer.

“Stravinksy’s importance not only in modern music but also in the history of western thought, in so many ways prefigures the modern philosophical movements of the twentieth century, everything from cubism to Dada to you name it,” Walch said.

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