Humanities West 2014-2015 Season

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From Haydn to Schoenfield:
Rockin’ the Sonata with the Saint Michael Trio
Friday, September 19, 2014   7:30 PM
Music at its most fun! Both Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Paul Schoenfield (1947- ) are highly formal in their sonata form. Yet Haydn’s classical sonatas embodied the formalism of the 18th-century Enlightenment, while Detroit native Paul Schoenfield’s “Cafe Music” (1987) expresses the whimsy and energy of a 21st-century urban metropolis.Daniel Cher (violin), Russell Hancock (piano, lecturer), and Michel Flexer (cello) demonstrate through illustrated lecture and performance how two utterly different composers use the same tools to express the sentiment of their age.An antidote to the staid world of classical music, the artists earn glowing praise for making their trademark ‘informances’ interesting, accessible, and oftentimes funny.

The Roman Republic (509-27 BCE)
Friday, October 24, 2014   7:30 PM
Saturday, October 25, 2014   10:00 AM
From its legendary origins as a tiny cluster of villages in the Italian countryside, ancient Rome grew into a vast metropolis and the dominant power of the Mediterranean. Leaders of the Roman Republic established a constitutional framework that embodied principles of separation of powers, checks and balances, and the rights and duties of citizenship (for some) — a model that endured for centuries. Ultimately civil strife exacerbated by wide disparities in social and economic wellbeing and the strains of governing a far-flung empire doomed Cicero’s Republican Rome in the first century BCE. From its modeling of democratic values to its golden age of drama and its Greek- and Etruscaninspired art, the Roman Republic was a major turning point in western civilization that inspires us to this day.

Charlemagne: The Father of Western Europe
Friday, February 27, 2015   7:30 PM
Saturday, February 28, 2015   10:00 AM
Even 1200 years after his death in 814, Charlemagne still symbolizes a critical turning point in Western civilization. King of the Franks and Lombards, Emperor of a New Rome, Charles the Great ushered in the Carolingian Renaissance and fathered a dynasty. While political unity proved ephemeral, his economic, administrative, educational, and religious reforms created an enduring cultural identity that encompassed the heartland of today’s Western Europe. For the first time, European political power shifted from the Mediterranean’s Byzantine and Islamic empires to continental (and Catholic) Europe.

The Great War: Cultural Reverberations Across Europe
Friday, May 1, 2015   7:30 PM
Saturday, May 2, 2015   10:00 AM
The First World War collapsed empires, redrew national boundaries, caused cataclysmic change in a generation of Europeans, and revolutionized long-held world views all across Europe. From 1914–18, “The Great War” raged amid a vast crisis of cultural confidence. The war to end all wars was a monumental catastrophe, one of history’s major turning points. Yet among The Great War’s legacies of drastic political, social, and cultural change has been its immense artistic response in music, film, art, and literature.

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