Evening with Stravinsky

7:30 to 9 p.m.


Fairchild Theatre

542 Auditorium Road, East Lansing

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TUESDAY, NOV. 20 — When Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” debuted in Paris in 1913, it allegedly sparked a riot from its dissonant and avant-garde notes and rhythms.

See this composer’s other work brought to life by the MSU Chamber Winds in a special performance including Stravinsky’s “Octet,” “Pastorale” and “L'histoire du Soldat” in its hundredth anniversary.

“All of the music selected for this program is from Stravinsky's neoclassical period,” said Kevin Sedatole, conductor and MSU professor of music, director of bands, and chair of the conducting area. “This period is where he returned to musical forms used in the baroque and classical periods.”

The final piece, “L'histoire du Soldat” is the story of a soldier who exchanged his violin for a book of infinite wealth from the devil.

MSU associate professor of voice Marc Embree will narrate its theatrical parts.

“It is a fun piece and it is full of tale and you get all kind of Stravinsky in it: a tango, a ragtime piece, his classical pieces and chorales and preludes,” Embree said. “It is my job to keep all the non musical glow together.”

Despite being 100 years old, the themes of this story stand up today, Embree said. “It is always the struggle between Yin and Yang, good and bad, the human struggle of creating wealth with an empty life and living a full life without material goods. It is about trying to find that balance.”

It is important to note that these musical pieces were designed often with theatrical elements involved, Embree added. “When I finally saw his ballets, it was extraordinary because I knew them as music and this was theater.”

The performance will be backed with the traditional Septet.

Conducting Stravinsky is difficult because of the time meters, Sedatole said. “They change irregularly. Additional, the unusual combination of instruments can be difficult to balance and blend, but that's also the beauty of the pieces.”

MSU graduate students Brent Echols, Travis Higa, Simon Holoweiko, Hunter Kopczynski and Branden Steinmetz will also conduct.

“He was one of the greatest composers that bridged the gap from late Romanticism into the twentieth century,” Embree said.

More events in Lansing:

Holiday Mailbox: Wine and Canvas

6 to 9 p.m., Old Chicago Okemos, 1938 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos

Café Scientifique presents Mistaken and Misleading Maps

7 to 9 p.m., Schuler Books & Music, 1982 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos