LPR Lists

Why I’m Going to Nouveau Classical



I cherish the moments when I am made to experience the music I love from a completely different perspective, whether that’s listening to Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed or pairing a classical ensemble with an artist working in a different genre for live events at LPR.
Fashion and classical music, seeming so incongruous, do this for me. When they’re pared down to their aesthetic essence they can share the same context quite beautifully, playing off of each other, dovetailing, and creating something entirely new. This is the defining spirit of the Nouveau Classical Project.
I’m sure the NY Times article that came out about Sugar Vendil, the founder of the series, made many “serious” classical music aficionados cringe. That’s often the reaction when an artist proposes a new idea that challenges the conventions we’re comfortable with. But while pairing classical music and fashion seems like a marketing ploy or a stunt that somehow “dumbs down” the music, this is hardly the case. In fact, it’s the opposite. The presentation is challenging. It’s daring. Think Second Viennese, not First.
I think that’s what makes me really interested in what Sugar and Nouveau Classical are doing. That it is not some vile attempt to attract a young, hip, audience for classical music. There is no ulterior motive. Rather, it belongs to the inspired collaborations between the arts that dot the history of classical music. Think Pablo Picasso and Manuel de Falla or Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky. Productions from Ballet Russes over the years have involved costumes and sets by Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Georges Braque, to scores by Darius Milhaud, Stravinsky, and Georges Auric, respectively. In many ways Nouveau Classical is an extension of this lineage, this inspired collaboration between the arts.
This is a passion project for listeners who find inspiration reveling in the unexpected interactions that occur when varied art forms converge.
posted by Justin Kantor