Monday, January 11, 2010

Living Your Life With More élan

By Alexander Jarman, Public Programs Manager
This coming Tuesday, January 12, the Museum has another installment of its exciting Art of Élan concert series-it’s chamber music with a heck of a lot of energy. I asked Art of Élan’s two artistic directors, Kate Hatmaker and Demarre McGill, if they could answer a few questions about their group, classical music and working with the Museum.

1. Tell us a little about how you decided on the name Art of Élan.
First, we love the word élan. It’s a French word that represents spirit, vitality and momentum, all of which have universal appeal. For us, Art of Élan is really about the art of living your life with more élan. It’s about injecting some élan into all that you do, and for us, that’s classical music.

2. You are both already professional musicians playing in a highly regarded symphony. What made you want to decide to start a side project?
We formed Art of Élan a little over 3 years ago, with the intention of attracting a more diverse audience to classical music. There is often a misconception that classical music is somehow outdated, that young people are unable to relate to it today, but we both feel that live ‘classical music’ is extremely relevant and exciting. We felt that we… would be able to showcase the local talent of San Diego [and] make classical music more accessible for people in San Diego.

3. Who do you enjoy listening to?
While we both listen to a wide variety of music (pop, hip-hop, classical, jazz, blues) we are usually struck by people who are trying to do something different with their art.

4. Why did you specifically want to work with the Museum for this series?
We are so thrilled to be collaborating with SDMA on this year’s “Fantasia” series. Performing in an art gallery allows people’s senses to be stimulated much more than they would at traditional concert halls, and, as each of our concerts is inspired by a different work of art in the museum’s collection, there is certain synergy that pervades the events, uniquely marrying both music and visual art. It’s an added bonus that the Hibben Gallery has such nice acoustics as well!

5. What can we expect from this next concert on Tuesday?
Our upcoming concert is called “Shades of Affection.” Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s Painter and Model III, it features a wide variety of musical tellings of love and lust. We have also invited a bass/guitar duo from Tijuana to come perform some of their original compositions on the program. The entire show will be available online by Wednesday afternoon (, so that concertgoers can continue to enjoy the concert experience, long after it’s over!
As with all of our concerts, we invite our guests to join us afterwards for Happy Hour food and drinks, next door at The Prado.

We're not the only ones interested in Art of Élan. Check out the article in this past Sunday's Union-Tribune with the link below.

Concert details:
Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 p.m.
Hibben Gallery
Members: $20, Nonmembers $25, Students $10
Above image: Pablo Picasso

Spain, 1881–1973
Painter and Model III, 1970
Pastel on card
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment!