Pianists perform four-hand rendition of 'Rite of Spring'

The Philosophy in Art and Science class hosted a recital of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” during first period on May 3 in Rugby Auditorium. The piece was performed four-hand by professional pianists Danny Holt and Steven Vanhauwaert, whom philosophy teacher Ted Walch knew through his involvement with the music group Jacaranda: Music At the Edge. The recital celebrated the 100 anniversary of the premiere of the Rite of Spring in Paris and served as a culmination for the class’s unit on Aesthetics.

“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.

After the performance, 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. They talked at the end about how it was connected with the ideas of Erik Satie and they were really influenced by him. He’s a pianist I really admire, so I thought that was pretty cool,” Rebecca Moretti ’13 said.

Walch said he and fellow philosophy teacher Kevin Weis intended to make the performance an annual event.

“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.”

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