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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts inaugurates "Soundframes"

The Art of Music


There was a time when most children in America had a violin (or a trumpet, or a marimba) under the bed or propped up in the corner of their bedroom. The forced march to music lessons was a shared trauma, but many, if not most, came out of the experience actually loving Brahms, Gershwin, Debussy and Ellington.

This picture of an idyllic classical music past may be nostalgic and rose-colored. But as arts programs are being drained dry, it's good to remember that there was a time when sitting down around the radio and listening to music was a daily event, and when Joe Average found genuine pleasure in attending a classical music concert. This week, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts inaugurates "Soundframes," a series designed to revive interest in classical music, to encourage audiences to attend music concerts as a way to refresh their senses, expand their worldview, and to experience sheer entertainment.

The programming for the concerts displays a broad-minded definition of classical music. Old-standbys such as Beethoven will be performed coupled with the fractious Arnold Schoenberg. The series lineup includes an eclectic mix of contemporary American music, Brazilian jazz guitar, modern piano music and Japanese classical music. At least two of the concerts are linked to exhibitions in the museum, in one instance, exploring the synergy between contemporary art and contemporary music.

The first concert in "Soundframes" is Feb. 19. at 7 p.m. and it introduces Richmond audiences to The Quadrivium Players, the newly anointed resident chamber music ensemble of the museum. The quartet, composed of flutist Mary Boodell, pianist Peter Miyamoto, cellist Hannah Holman and violinist Michael Head will announce their ensemble's birth with a concert of Bach and Mendelssohn.

The series continues March 19 with the Jacques Thibaud Trio; April 4 and May 25 with the Quadrivium Players; April 27 with the Brazilian String Quartet; and May 4 with pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Tickets to the series are $30 and tickets to individual events are $8. Call 340-1405 for

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