Talk and Music: Bach and Beauty: A Multi-Disciplinary Investigation (September 26th)

Talk and Music: Bach and Beauty: A Multi-Disciplinary Investigation (September 26th)

Talk and Music: Bach and Beauty: A Multi-Disciplinary Investigation (September 26th), © Sculpture: Alexander Polzin. Photo: Norbert Banik

05.09.2023 - Article

We bring together painter and sculptor Alexander Polzin, leading Bach specialist Laurence Dreyfus (Oxford University), distinguished artistic manager Hanna Gaifman (New York), evolutionary biologist Richard O. Prum (Yale University) and the mathematician Michael Harris (Columbia University).

Join us for an extraordinary exploration into the captivating allure of Johann Sebastian Bach's music in the event, “Bach and Beauty: A multi-disciplinary investigation.” Delving into the depths of this timeless composer's works, a diverse panel of experts tries to unravel the enigmatic appeal that Bach's music holds for people all around the world. An evening which will seamlessly combine conversation and music performance.

Performances by Laurence Dreyfus and Arthur Haas, Visiting Professor of Harpsichord, Yale School of Music.

The panelists are:

Alexander Polzin - Painter and Sculptor: With his keen artistic vision, Polzin will share his unique perspective on how Bach's compositions have inspired visual expressions. Throughout his career, Alexander has created several busts of the composer – he will tell us what fascinates him about Johan Sebastian Bach as well as his understanding of Bach's universal appeal.

Laurence Dreyfus - Bach Specialist from Oxford University: Renowned for his expertise in Baroque music and Bach's oeuvre, Dreyfus will provide valuable insights into the composer's creative genius and also play his music. Through his extensive research and scholarly knowledge, he will shed light on the compositional techniques and underlying complexities that make Bach's music captivating.

Hanna Gaifman - Distinguished Artistic Manager: Gaifman's deep understanding of the performing arts and her experience in curating cultural events as the Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y will bring a fresh perspective to the discussion. Drawing upon her expertise, she will explore how Bach's music has transcended time and borders.

Richard O. Prum - Evolutionary Biologist from Yale University: Prum's expertise in evolutionary biology and Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution will give insights into the role that beauty plays in nature and societies. His book, “The Evolution of Beauty” (2017), and his research on birds help him approach musical compositions from a natural science perspective.

Michael Harris - Mathematician from Columbia University: Harris's mathematical prowess reveals the intricate mathematical structures within Bach's compositions. Through an exploration of patterns, harmonies, and mathematical principles underlying the music, Harris demonstrates the exceptionality of Bach's work.

Together, the panelists will embark on a journey that combines the realms of art, music, science, and mathematics, offering insights and shedding new light on Bach’s compositions.

Date and time: Tuesday, September 26, 2023 – 6:30-8:00 PM

Location: 1014 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10028

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