Neoclassical Sacrament is something in between a concert and a ritual, a musical oblation of sorts, embracing symphonic, instrumental and vocal genres in the form of a pianist’s statement.
The musical program for the evening will feature the first part of Philip Glass’s Violin Concerto #1 transcribed for piano (four hands; invited pianist Tatyana Stepanova)
The format of the event is inspired by Piano Piece for David Tudor #1—an early performance by the minimalist composer and Fluxus member La Monte Young, that saw him put a bucket of water near the instrument and keeping it there it there until the composer felt that the piano had quenched hunger and thirst.
Ekaterina Steppe believes the only thing a pianist can “feed” their instrument with is themselves. It is of no coincidence that she references La Monte Young, whose abovementioned performance became one of the first artistic impressions for Philip Glass—composer and author of multiple iconic film soundtracks, who, back then, had just moved to New York and was becoming familiar with the local creative milieu. Often labeled a minimalist composer, the graduate of America’s top music institutions specializing in composition, Glass also studied counterpoint under Mme. Boulanger, worked in collaboration with Ravi Shankar, wrote 11 symphonies and 15 operas—but he still prefers to identify himself as a classic.