an invitation to participate in classics without walls

IN OUR TIME a commercial model of art has transformed music from an act of participation & community into a commodity to be consumed; and the recording-studio æsthetic of mere technical perfection has drained the blood out of that commodity, to the point where the passion & vibrant expression of live performance has become an afterthought for many. In such an age, classics without walls has modestly sought to reawaken appreciation for the experience of live music. Over the last 15 years, classics without walls has broadcast over 750 weekly programs on KUSF, and has recently presented:

  • “Day Into Night”, an evening at the Hayes Street Grill combining an “audiovisual tour” of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde with live Lieder performances and a banquet designed by Patricia Unterman
  • “What Do I Listen For Next?” – a series of audiovisual tours of Wagner’s Ring, presented during complete Ring cycles at the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Seattle Opera, combined with wine-tasting and banquets designed in partnership with Chicago’s Italian Village and Seattle’s Ten Mercer.
  • informal post-opera and post-concert meals — a chance to enjoy food, wine, and conversation after imbibing great music
  • the “Gurre-Lieder Project,” my mixed-media presentation of Arnold Schoenberg’s monumental orchestral song cycle
  • impromptu get-togethers for the purpose of doing the impossible – i.e. talking about music

Other recent classics without walls activities have included:

  • “Who’s the Boss?” – a KUSF Spotlight show on the notorious public disagreement between Glenn Gould and Leonard Bernstein in 1962, with music ranging from the Brahms D minor piano concerto to The lion sleeps tonight and I am the walrus
  • turning musicians loose as guest DJs on the weekly broadcast, with complete freedom to spin anything and talk about anything they want to; guests have included Maria Bachmann, Bill Bennett, Michael Morgan, Steve Paulson, and Terry Riley, among others
  • participation in planning the “Musical Menus” series of concerts, recitals, and lectures in Berkeley’s Loper Chapel, an intimate 110-seat venue with wonderful acoustics/li>

classics without walls is now seeking to honor your work by the range of its presentations. We would be grateful for your participation in creating events that blur the lines between concert, lecture, and convivial enjoyment, and that provide creative interaction between listeners, musicians, and composers.

The Hayes Street Grill is eager to experiment with more events along the lines of “Day Into Night,” and the Loper Chapel series allows great flexibility. I’m especially interested in providing chamber-music and Lieder experiences that bring these intimate forms closer to the audience. And as always Studio A is home to the weekly broadcast of classics without walls every Monday evening at 10:00 on KUSF, a station that has granted its producers complete creative freedom for three decades. If you’d like to work together on such a presentation, or would like to try your hand at free-form DJing, please let me know!

With gratitude and deep respect for your service to the muse,
Mark's signature
Mark Theodoropoulos, a.k.a. <mtheo>