Concert and film screening complement ‘Art for the People’ exhibition

Posted on April 01, 2016 by Janika Carey

The Sweet Briar Chamber Orchestra will perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s “String Quartet, No. 1” at 7 p.m. Friday, April 8, in Pannell Gallery, followed at 7:30 p.m. by a screening of the 1927 silent film “October: Ten Days that Shook the World” by Sergei Eisenstein. Both events are presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Art for the People: Propaganda and Public Service,” and are free and open to the public.

Pannell Pannell is home to alternating exhibitions and performances throughout the year.

“[These events are] part of my continuing effort to get different audiences into Pannell Gallery to experience our art exhibitions from new perspectives and to put the art into fresh contexts,” said galleries and museum director Karol Lawson.

“The concert grew out of a satisfying collaboration with [assistant professor of music and orchestra director Jeff Jones] in the fall, when four of his students performed in the exhibition ‘Made Possible by the Friends of Art.’ I am also delighted to showcase the talents of Sweet Briar students in the art gallery.”

The film that follows the concert was chosen, says Lawson, “because several of the posters on view reference the 10-year anniversary of the October Revolution. Shostakovich dedicated several works to the October Revolution and even composed a score for the film, so his inclusion on the program is appropriate. Moreover, he likened the music of ‘String Quartet, No. 1,’ to reflections of springtime, so it is appropriate to this season, as well.”

During the concert portion of the program, Jones also will talk about the impact of socialist realism on musical aesthetics and compositional practice during the early years of the Soviet Union.

“The posters on display for the ‘Art for the People’ exhibition, as well as the silent film that follows our performance, feature visual manifestations of socialist realism in the Soviet Union. However, the values and aesthetics of this movement impacted the various arts in different ways,” Jones explained. “Musically, Dmitri Shostakovich’s creative biography is an interesting window into this phenomenon.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. The performance begins at 7:30. No reservations or tickets are required, and refreshments will be provided. For more information, please contact Karol Lawson at (434) 381-6248 or