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Impressionism in Music, Art & Literature

March 7 @ 12:15 pm1:00 pm
| Cost: $4 | Cost for Members: $2

Caryn Block, accomplished flutist, will present Impressionism: An Exploration in Music as a lecture and demonstration that helps the audience explore connections between art forms: art, literature, and music.

The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program.

Tickets available first-come, first-serve on the day of the lecture at the Welcome Center. The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. Free coffee available. Cookies provided courtesy of Big Y.

Block explained: “Impressionism in music began as an outgrowth of the artistic and literary schools in France devoted to this style.”

Impressionist art like that of  Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Camille Pissarro in the 1870s, captured artists’ “impressions” of nature, gardens, and daily life, with its changing light, color and atmosphere, Block explained.  In literature, the movement of symbolism was born at the same time as the Impressionist art movement, represented in such French writers as Stephane Mallarme, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine, which would transform poetry and prose dramatically.

“From these activities, an evocative movement was born that would transform the sister art of music later in the 19th century, which had been become heavy, dramatic with overblown orchestrations, influenced by the German Romantic school,” Block said.

Block will briefly trace the roots of Impressionism with the original, captivating, and colorful art of Renoir and then examine the breathtaking work of the great painter Claude Monet. She will also examine the seminal literary work of the French Symbolist writers that will later influence and form the basis of musical settings by composers.

The majority of the presentation will be devoted to live performance and discussion of the Impressionist period composers for the flute, their lasting contributions and finally, twentieth contemporary works for solo flute influenced by this school. Through viewing art prints and listening to live flute performance of such works as Debussy’s “Syrinx” based on the myth of Pan, Honegger’s “Danse de la Chevre” and two works by Caryn Block, “Dream” based on a Greek myth as depicted in a poem by Edith Wharton and “Garden Music” based on paintings by Robert Zakanitch,  a portrait of impressionism in art and music will be painted for the audience.

Block is an accomplished, award-winning flutist and lecturer. She has performed as a flutist with a diverse range of groups in Philadelphia and New York: orchestras, chamber groups, opera and theatre ensembles as well as touring as a solo recitalist in twentieth-century flute music. Block studied conducting at Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, and Westminster Choir College and has conducted orchestras, opera companies, choral groups, and chamber ensembles.

Active as an educator and lecturer in twentieth-century music, she has taught at such institutions as the College of General Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the Juilliard School and the West Chester University School of Music.


March 7
12:15 pm–1:00 pm


Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103 United States


Lectures & Adult Programs


Cost for Members: