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May 13, 2016 Back To News

May 1st: Bach Cello Recital with Justin Kantor & Anna Leonhardt


We held a Bach recital on the cloudy afternoon of Sunday, May 1st, 2016. The recital was performed by Justin Kantor, co-founder of (Le) Poisson Rouge, a music venue and multimedia art cabaret in New York City founded in 2008 on the former site of The Village Gate, in the midst of Anna Leonhardt’s abstract paintings.

For Wassily Kandinsky, music and color were inextricably tied to one another. In fact, it was after having an unusually visual response to a performance of Wagner’s composition Lohengrin at the Bolshoi Theatre that he abandoned his law career to study painting at the prestigious Munich Academy of Fine Arts. He later described the life-changing experience: “I saw all my colors in spirit, before my eyes. Wild, almost crazy lines were sketched in front of me.”

Due to his hectic schedule, Justin could only make it to the gallery an hour before showtime, needless to say we were nervous about how the instrument would sound in an echoey, cavernous gallery room. When Justin first walked in, he was thrilled and mentioned that this was as close to a cathedral hall as you could get – playing the first note we were blown away by the warmth and richness the 300 year old hickory floors gave.

As the crowd took their seats there was a sense of anticipation in the air. After a short introduction speech, Justin kicked off the afternoon’s event with the complete recital of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3, followed by a cello rendition of Violin Ciaccone in D minor. The 45-minute performance had us mesmerized and went by too quickly. One could enjoy the music complementing Leonhardt’s abstract gestural strokes.

Leonhardt’s paintings are about life and expression of colors that exist on the canvas. Enjoy this short snippet of the recital and stay tuned for more events like this one!

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