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Moving Musicians Stand Classical Music Performance on Its Head
"Moved by Music" explores the way sound may be illuminated by the motions of the body


Steve Runk    
Director of Communications
Lewis Center for the Arts

(Princeton, NJ) The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Princeton Atelier in collaboration with the Department of Music will present Moved by Music, a performance that explores how sound may be illuminated by the movement of the musician’s body.  The concert will take place on Wednesday, January 11 at 8:00 p.m. in Taplin Auditorium of Princeton University’s Fine Hall.  The event is free and open to the public.

Inspired by works of Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Ravel, and Bartok, advanced undergraduate student musicians will present work that was created through a fall 2011 Princeton Atelier course, “Movement for Musicians,” co-taught by Princeton Professor of Music and composer Barbara White and New York City-based choreographer Kate Weare.  The course explored how to integrate movement into musical performance.  It aimed to prepare students for a field of contemporary musical performance that increasingly involves movement or action by the musician onstage.  The students’ collaborations and experiments, guided by White and Weare, will be shared publicly through this performance.

“Perhaps because sound is invisible and ephemeral, classical musicians often learn to deemphasize the physicality of the body onstage,” notes White.  “But our Atelier arises from the premise that giving our attention to the entire body may enhance, rather than distract from, musical experience.”

Weare adds, “As a choreographer who creates performance through the lens of movement, the micro-athletic nature of music making seems a fertile ground for the field’s development.  Musicians and composers are in a unique position to explore the link between sound, motion and emotion.”

The Princeton Atelier brings professional artists to the University for intensive, interdisciplinary, collaborative work with students and faculty.  Atelier artists explore a particular project or idea and experiment together and with students to develop new work in their field and for public presentation. Offered under the auspices of the Lewis Center for the Arts, the Atelier attracts students studying a wide range of subjects such as engineering, molecular biology, politics, and architecture, as well as the humanities and the arts, and provides them rare opportunities to work on creative projects alongside important emerging artists and acknowledged masters.  Atelier artists have included mural arts artist Jane Golden, jazz and hip hop artist Will Power, composer David Lang, novelist Gabriel García Márquez, visual artist Irina Nakhova, The Civilians, Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock, and theater director Peter Sellars.

The Princeton Atelier was endowed in 2009 through the generosity of a donor who has chosen to remain anonymous. The Atelier is additionally supported through The Schare-Pfaffenroth Endowment Fund and The Peter T. Joseph Foundation.


The Lewis Center for the Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for the Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.

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