Abstraction in Music & Art

Sun, May 19, 2019, 2 PM
Part of the series Sight & Sound

at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
in NYC


Single-concert tickets $30–$50
Bring the Kids for $1
All tickets include museum admission

  • Conductor and music historian Leon Botstein explores the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts
  • A discussion is accompanied by musical excerpts and on-screen artworks, then a full performance and audience Q&A
  • Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra, the NY premiere of Feldman’s Orchestra, and the artwork of the Abstract Expressionists

More About the Program

The Music:

Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra
Bustling with an inner intensity

Feldman’s Orchestra (NY Premiere)
A journey through an orchestral landscape

The Artwork: Works by the Abstract Expressionists
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera, on view at The Met Breuer opening November 2018.

Painters have often been inspired by music as the ultimate abstract art form. Musical abstraction started with the radical modernist Anton Webern, freeing the form from the conventions of late Romanticism. At the movement’s height, experimental composer Morton Feldman mirrored the painters and took his inspiration from abstract visual art.

Program subject to change.

Timings & Program Order

The program will last approximately 2 hours.

Conductor and music historian Leon Botstein discusses the parallels between Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra & Feldman’s Orchestra and the artwork of the Abstract Expressionists, accompanied by musical excerpts performed by The Orchestra Now and on-screen artworks.
1 hr

20 min

Full performances
Anton Webern Six Pieces for Orchestra
10 min

Morton Feldman Orchestra (NY Premiere)
18 min

Audience Q&A
10 min

All timings are approximate. Program subject to change.

More About the Artists

LEON BOTSTEIN, conductor
Leon Botstein brings a renowned career as both a conductor and educator to his role as music director of The Orchestra Now. He has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, artistic codirector of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival since their creation, and president of Bard College since 1975.
>Full Bio

Artists subject to change.

Sample the Music

Webern Six Pieces for Orchestra

Feldman Orchestra

Jackson Pollock (American, Cody, Wyoming 1912–1956 East Hampton, New York). Number 28, 1950 (detail), 1950, Enamel on canvas, 68 1/8 x 105 in. (173 x 266.7 cm), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection, Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman, in honor of her grandchildren, Ellen Steinberg Coven and Dr. Peter Steinberg, 2006 (2006.32.51) © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Mahler & The Feminine Ideal

Sep 30 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Brahms & England

Oct 6 & 7 at the Fisher Center

China Now Music Festival: Program One

Oct 19 at the Fisher Center

China Now Music Festival: Program Two

Oct 21 at David Geffen Hall

China Now Music Festival: Program Three

Oct 22 at Carnegie Hall

Copland's Lincoln Portrait

Nov 3 & 4 at the Fisher Center

Tan Dun & Respighi's Pines of Rome

Nov 11 at Rose Theater

Chopin, Delacroix & The Romantic Impulse

Nov 18 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dvořák's Sixth Symphony

Dec 2 at Peter Norton Symphony Space

Russian Evolution: From Rimsky-Korsakov to Glière

Dec 12 at the Fisher Center

Russian Evolution: From Rimsky-Korsakov to Glière

Dec 14 at Carnegie Hall

Mozart's Symphony No. 25

Dec 20 at Olin Hall

Beethoven & Mozart

Dec 21 at Hudson Hall

Pictures at an Exhibition

Jan 27 at Peter Norton Symphony Space

The Romantic Hero

Feb 9 & 10 at the Fisher Center

All-Karol Rathaus Concert

Feb 24 at LeFrak Concert Hall

Also sprach Zarathustra

Mar 13 at the Fisher Center

Fabio Luisi conducts Brahms' Second Symphony

Mar 26 at Rose Theater

Verdi's Requiem

Apr 6 & 7 at the Fisher Center

Beethoven's Seventh Symphony

Apr 13 at Olin Hall