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Cultural Encounters: Friday Night Soirées celebrating Birth of Impressionism with Cypress String Quartet, Le Café Peetnik, and DJ Schmeejay

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DJ Schmeejay
6:00–8:45 p.m. Fifty years of Pop de Français
Richard Kuhns
6:45 and 7:30 and 8:15 p.m. French accordion music
Cypress String Quartet, “Impressions, Then and Now…”
6:30–8:30 p.m. This quartet captures Impressionism in its musical form
Le Café Peetnik
6:00–8:30 p.m. Relax in le cafe with a delicious tasting of Peet’s Coffee while art and music happen before your eyes
Hands-on art making for everyone with Mademoiselle Kim
6:30–8:30 p.m. Construct a mini theatrical stage
July Artist-in-Residence Jeanine Briggs, Transfigurations
1:00–8:30 p.m. Help Jeanine construct Detritussaurus, a full-scale dinosaur of recycled materials

DJ Schmeejay
6:30–7:15 and 7:45–8:30 p.m.
Wilsey Court

DJ Schmeejay, the host of Radiodrome, KUSF, spins popular tunes of mondern-day France, from Chevalier to France Gall and a Gainsbourg or two. 

“Impressions, Then and Now…” by the Cypress String Quartet
7:00 p.m.
Koret Auditorium

Expand your experience to include hearing how Impressionism can be captured in musical form. Combining sensuality and impressions, the Cypress String Quartet will perform masterpieces by Claude Debussy and 2010 Pulitzer-Prize winner Jennifer Higdon, complemented by images from the current D’Orsay exhibit.

One of the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, French composer Claude Debussy’s chamber music pushed the contemporary standards of harmony and form while preserving wonderful stylistic nuances.   Compare this to contemporary American composer, Jennifer Higdon’s string quartet from 2004, titled “Impressions”, which is a response to the composers and artists of the Impressionistic period. Higdon's piece was written for the Cypress String Quartet, who has recorded both this work and the Debussy to great critical acclaim.

Widely celebrated for the power of its performances and its passionate dedication to the genre, the Cypress String Quartet combines technical precision with imaginative programming to create unforgettable concert experiences.On top of a busy schedule of over 90 concerts each year at venues across America and internationally, including the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, Krannert Center and Ravinia Festival, the Cypress String Quartet is a vibrant member of the San Francisco arts community.

The members of the Cypress Quartet play on exceptional instruments, including violins by Antonio Stradivarius (1681) and Carlos Bergonzi (1733), a viola by Vittorio Bellarosa (1947) and a cello by Hieronymus Amati II (1701).

Le Café Peetnik
6:00–8:30 p.m.
Piazzoni Murals Room

Join us in a bohemian cafe where artist Marius Starkey paints in the Impressionist style, Charith Premawardhana, of Classical Revolution, entertains with his viola, and Peet's offers complimentary sampling of select signature Peet's coffees, teas, and goodies. San Francisco artist Marius Starkey was first inspired by the Impressionists. "When I saw their original paintings in person, I reveled in their colors and saw how the artists applied their paints. I threw myself into my own paintings with a fury and explored my own ways to paint that pushed me into different realms of visions. I am as excited and thrilled today about painting as I was when I first started." Charith Premawardhana is a San Francisco based classically trained viola player, specializing in chamber music performance from the classical era to contemporary music and improvised styles. 

Hands-on art making for everyone
6:00–8:30 p.m.
Wilsey Court

Construct a mini theatrical stage, ready for performance by ballerinas, opera singers, and performers, with Mademoiselle Kim.

July Artist-in-Residence Jeanine Briggs, Transfigurations
1:00–8:30 p.m.
Artist Studio/Kimball Education Gallery
June 30 to August 1, Closing Reception Friday July 30

Be prepared to see different things and see things differently as you encounter the figurative art that Jeanine Briggs creates from reused and repurposed materials: life-size human figures, oversized chess individuals, small fertility and guardian figures, and various exotic life forms that inhabit our living planet—in reality or imagination. Just as Jeanine draws inspiration from nature and from cultural interpretations of the human experience, she welcomes your questions and comments, which in turn influence the direction of her work. Jeanine invites all visitors to engage in the creation of an early-21st-century Detritussaurus. Participants will bring this large-scale, colorful, and tactile work of public art into being from a surprising array of discarded items common to our everyday lives. Follow the link for more info on the Artist Studio


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Programs are free. Museum admission is always free to members; regular admission fees apply for non-members to visit the galleries. Special exhibition tickets required to visit Birth of Impressionism.

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