PHILADELPHIA - The Rosenbach Museum & Library welcomes Philadelphia's Dave Burrell, famed composer, jazz pianist and Musician-in-Residence to the museum on Wednesday, February 20 at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m. Burrell will premiere Syllables of the Poetry of Marianne Moore, a series of new compositions commissioned by the Rosenbach. The series is inspired by the museum's extraordinary collection of Marianne Moore materials and based on Burrell's research into the life and work of the Modernist American poet and writer who was a central figure in New York Modernism.
In an intimate concert setting, Burrell will perform and discuss his new works, which serve as musical translations of Moore's poems: What Are Years?, The Mind is an Enchanting Thing, Those Various Scalpels, and O To Be a Dragon. The compositions interpret Moore's poetry in striking detail, often down to one musical note for every syllable in each poem. Upright bassist Michael Formanek, professor at Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute, will accompany.
The performance is free with museum admission. Seating is limited and tickets will be sold at the door on the day of the performance. The Rosenbach Museum & Library is located at 2008-2010 Delancey Place and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for children under 5. For more information, please call (215) 732-1600 or visit rosenbach.org.
Since 1998, the Rosenbach has commissioned artists to bring its collections to life in unexpected ways and through a variety of projects. As Musician-in-Residence, Burrell's previous work with the Rosenbach includes Bill of Sale for a Slave Girl, inspired by the museum's African American collections.
Since the mid-1960s, Dave Burrell has contributed to over 100 recordings, including 26 under his own name, in addition to pivotal recordings with Archie Shepp (Attica Blues), Pharoah Sanders (Tauhid), Marion Brown (Three for Shepp) and Grammy Award-winner David Murray (Lovers, Ballads). A recipient of numerous grants and awards from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, Philadelphia Music Foundation, and the Pew Fellowships in Jazz Composition. Burrell's recent releases include Momentum (High Two Records) and Consequences (Amulet Records) - his first recording with Medeski, Martin and Wood percussionist Billy Martin. 2004's Expansion, recorded with his Full-Blown Trio featuring William Parker and Andrew Cyrille, ranked #2 in The Village Voice's year-end best Jazz albums. In 2006, Burrell premiered the Db3 ensemble with Michael Formanek and Guillermo Brown. Hailed as a living treasure" by The Village Voice and a veteran pianist" who personifies the best of neoclassicism-uncompromising individuality and in-the-moment gusto" by The New Yorker, Burrell joined the prestigious Steinway Artist Roster in 2007 and is one of only six Steinway Artists in the Philadelphia region.
Marianne Moore (1887 - 1972) was a Modernist American poet and writer. The Rosenbach houses The Moore Collection, including a recreation of Moore's living room - where she worked for more than forty years - just as she once lived in it. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Moore's complete library, with many personally inscribed and annotated books from her friends and contemporaries including Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and Elizabeth Bishop, is part of the Rosenbach collections in addition to drafts of her poetry, correspondence and unpublished memoirs. The collection is a unique literary repository, preserving intact a comprehensive record of a writer's intellectual development.
The commission of Dave Burrell by the Rosenbach is made possible by a grant from the Helen Burke Charitable Foundation and additional support from the Hirsig Family Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation.
About the Rosenbach
The Rosenbach Museum & Library seeks to inspire curiosity, inquiry, and creativity by engaging broad audiences in exhibitions, programs, and research based on its remarkable and expanding collections. The museum was founded by legendary book dealer A.S.W. Rosenbach and his brother and business partner Philip. With an outstanding collection of rare books, manuscripts, furniture, and art, the Rosenbach is a museum and world-renowned research library, set within two historic 1865 townhouses, that reflects an age when great collectors lived among their treasures.