December 29, 2016

Heard It Through the Grapevine

Hilary GlenOne of the special opportunities afforded by the New World Symphony’s entrepreneurial curriculum is the New Audience Fellow Initiative which began last season. It’s an innovative concert format that allows selected Fellows to seek out new audiences with a production of their own design. Winning proposals are chosen at the beginning of the season, and the Fellows work with NWS staff to bring their creative concepts to reality. Using the New World Center’s performance hall facilities and state-of-the-art technology to best advantage, these one-night-only concert events are a marriage of imagination, talent and music, and in this case – wine!

Third-year Cello Fellow Hilary Glen is the creator and presenter of Heard It Through the Grapevine on Friday January 6, 2017. Doors open at 6:30 PM with Meet the Instruments followed by the concert at 7:30 PM, and a post-concert reception with sommelier, host and musicians. We asked Dr. Glen (Doc­tor of Musi­cal Arts 2015 East­man School of Music) to share her thoughts on this exciting concert experience.

I am very excited to present Heard It Through the Grapevine to audiences at the New World Center! This project has been a journey and I am so looking forward to seeing it unfold on January 6th. The evening will be co-hosted by master sommelier, Virginia Philip and New World Symphony Fellows. Virginia brings an incredible knowledge of wine to this event and I am thrilled that she will be joining us! The wine will be provided by Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits and served in special glasses from HaloVino.

Virginia Philip by LilaHeard It Through the Grapevine explores the various connections that exist between wine and music, and it is my hope that the audience, who might not have previously considered any connections between wine and music, will leave with increased knowledge of both and with their interest piqued to discover more. There are six wine and music pairings in the program and each pairing explores a different connection: some answer questions, some are structural, and others are historical. For example, there are two pairings in the concert that answer the question: what does wine X sound like? To help answer this, the orchestra and sommelier will look at complimentary aspects of the wine and music, likening rising harp and flute lines to rising bubbles in champagne.

The final tasting will give the audience the chance to experience what I found most exciting at the beginning stages of this project. While I was researching the topic, I discovered some studies that concluded that the type of music an individual listened to did in fact influence what / how they tasted the wine they were drinking.halovino I found this absolutely fascinating and wanted to do my own experiment with the audiences at New World Symphony. For the final pairing, the audience will be given one tasting of wine, but will listen to two very different pieces of music. Their instructions will be to sip during both and note how / if the wine changes and which pairing they prefer. I want this to lead to a conversations during the post-concert reception (where patrons can purchase a glass of their favorite wine from the event).

Before the event begins, the audience will have the opportunity to meet some of the Fellows from the orchestra, ask them questions, and even try out their instruments at the "Meet the Instruments" event.

During the event, the performance hall will be transformed into a tasting room, with the entire audience seated at tables. This is a brand new set-up at the New World Center and we are currently building special tables that rest over the seats! Not only will this facilitate the serving and distribution of the wine during the event, it's going to look fantastic! I am constantly amazed at what the NWS staff can create!

I think this will be a fun and unique way to spend an evening and ultimately, I hope that audiences come away inspired to listen to more classical music and drink more wine! 

The performance hall has been uniquely configured and furnished for this concert only – an occasion not to be missed by both new and regular New World Symphony concert-goers.

Click below for tickets and for more information on the wines and the music:


Click here for more on sommelier Virginia Philip

Click here for Hilary Glen's website

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Posted in: Concerts, Events, Fellows

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