Parker Quartet | Cristina Zavalloni, soprano | Blake Pouliot, violin | Stephen Prutsman, piano | Vera Quartet

“The music one moment evoked a lilting lyrical Fauré and the next a jaunty rag.” The New York Times

The 38th Rockport Chamber Music Festival opens with a spectacular evening of music inspired by the Roaring 20’s and followed by a celebratory cocktail party with the artists. The Opening Night concert brings music by Ravel, Milhaud, and an original score by Stephen Prutsman performed to Buster Keaton’s 1927 film College, highlighting how the explosion of jazz during the 1920’s inspired classical music and the world around it.  For example, in 1922, Milhaud’s experience of hearing jazz in Harlem impacted his musical perspective including La Creation du monde, in which he used elements of jazz for the ballet score. Ravel was also inspired by jazz and blues for his Violin Sonata No. 2.

All Opening Night concert attendees are invited to a celebratory cocktail reception immediately following the concert at the Rockport Art Association & Museum.


RAVEL: Violin Sonata
Song Set-Second Hand Rose, Stardust, Ain’t Misbehavin’
DARIUS MILHAUD: Creation du Monde
PRUTSMAN: College by Buster Keaton-1927
(live performance by Prutsman & Vera Quartet)


“Prutsman’s score…conjures suspense with ghostly string effects. It greets upbeat plot turns with swing fiddle, Harlem stride piano and echoes of 1920s Ellington…Prutsman builds an extended chase scene around a Gypsy-inspired dance. It all moves briskly, fits the bill, feels like the ’20s. Cute stuff.” New York Times (Prutsman’s performance to Keaton’s Sherlock Jr.)