Stefan Kießling in residence at Union April 2-5: Reaching out to Music, Visual Arts and Computer Science

Publication Date
Stefan Kiessling

Stefan Kießling, the assistant organist at Johann Sebastian Bach's church in Leipzig, Germany, is returning to Union for a one-week residency during the first week of April.

This year his residency is focused on Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. An exhibition of artworks by Viktor Hartmann inspired Mussorgsky to write this work for solo piano, and more than a dozen orchestral arrangements followed. Kießling has transcribed Mussorgsky’s work for pipe organ.

Sandra Wimer, senior lecturer of visual arts, has invited students enrolled in her printmaking class to interpret Mussorgsky's music. Each student was assigned a movement and asked to render his or her own interpretation, without reference to Hartmann’s work.

During Kießling's performance on Friday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Chapel the audience will see each print on a large screen as the organist performs each movement. A reception will follow at the Nott Memorial, where all can see the students’ prints and talk Herr Kiessling and the visual artists. The prints are featured in an exhibition in the Wikoff Student Gallery at the Nott Memorial throughout spring term.

On Tuesday, April 2, during common hour, Herr Kießling will perform a recital on the pedal harpsichord at Schaffer Library. The performance will feature a piece that one of Bach’s copyists called “the very best pedal piece by Mr. Johann Sebastian Bach.” The audience may meet the performer at a reception after the performance.

The residency also includes two lectures. On Wednesday, April 3, at 11:45 a.m. He will give a lecture about Pictures at an Exhibition at Memorial Chapel, analyzing some aspects of the work. Thanks to support from the Computer Science Department, he will give a lecture on Thursday, April 4, at 1 p.m. in Olin 107 on how computers help musicians with image detection in sheet music.

All events are free and open to the public.