LACMA’s Art & Music concert series has been a staple of our music programming for four years. Each concert finds a connection between the museum’s exhibitions or permanent collection and the music being performed. Typically we hold these concerts in our Bing Theater, but for Saturday night’s performance, in celebration of Renoir in the 20th Century, we’re doing something we’ve never done before—holding the concert inside the Renoir galleries.
With the exhibition’s focus on Renoir’s later works, the musical choice was quite clear. At that time in France, Debussy and Ravel were composing groundbreaking music that ushered in the Impressionist period in music. Given the confines of the gallery, the acoustics of the room can only accommodate a single instrument, so solo piano was also an obvious choice. While there are a handful of world-class French pianists actively performing today, there is really only one master of that repertoire—Philippe Entremont. The world-renowned pianist and conductor began his piano studies at a young age with Marguerite Long, who was a favored interpreter of the music of Ravel. Entremont has performed recitals of Debussy and Ravel the world over, and we are fortunate to have him fly in from France for this concert. Here’s a video of Entremont performing Debussy’s Sarabande from Suite pour le piano, in 2008.
To be visually surrounded by Renoir’s greatest works circa 1900–1920, and to be musically surrounded by France’s greatest music circa 1900–1920, performed by one of France’s legendary pianists, is going to make for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Mitch Glickman, Director of Music Programs