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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

New KPAC Series: Modernists at The McNay

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. © Sucessio Miro / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2015

The visual art style of Cubism was born between the years 1907 and 1914, breathing first life mostly in Paris, and largely through the efforts of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. As the world began to notice this new way of “seeing,” reaction ranged from dismay to celebration. As other artists began to adapt their work to the new style, both music and theater became infected. Picasso found an ally and a friend in Igor Stravinsky, while Erik Satie pressed the boundaries of music to better reflect the changes in the art world. Before Cubism's grip loosened, around 1925, the Spanish artist Joan Miró had joined briefly, experimenting, but then found a more individual style as he drifted toward the emerging Surrealist movement.

The McNay's overlapping exhibitions Miró: The Experience of Seeing and Picasso, Braque, and the Cubist Legacy: Prints and Drawings from the Collection allow opportunities to observe the progression of the visual arts through more than half a century. It also allows for a parallel exploration of the progression of contemporary music, from the atonal experiments of the 2nd Viennese School (Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern) to the jazz inflected scores of Stravinsky and Darius Milhaud to the modernist heritage of Olivier Messiaen, Gunther Schuller and Pierre Boulez.

KPAC's four-part series, Modernists at The McNay, will search out those musical parallels and also demonstrate reflections and refractions of the Baroque and Classical masterpieces of Bach and Mozart, two composers much admired by Miró, and the nationalist works of Manuel de Falla, Joaquin Turina, and Joaquin Rodrigo whose work intersected with Picasso, Braque and Miró.

Expert commentary will come from McNay Director Dr. William Chiego, McNay's Chief Curator Rene Paul Barilleaux, and Lyle W. Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the McNay. Also contributing to the series will be Santa Fe based artist Sally Blakemore, Jim Balentine, professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and composer Gary Carpenter, professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music (London).

Modernists at The McNay will air weekly throughout November as part of KPAC'sClassics a la Carte. Weekly programs air from 7-9 PM, every Friday.