by Mike Telin
When the performing arts world came to a sudden halt back in March, Tom Welsh, director of performing arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art, began to think about how to respond.
“After the shutdown there was a dash to develop online content,” Welsh said during a recent telephone conversation. “That sparked the Museum staff to create the curatorial video series On My Mind. So I stepped back and thought, instead of just inviting musicians to play on-screen, why not talk to them and hear what they have to say about how they’re confronting the situation and feeling in this weird moment.”
Hosted by Welsh, Behind the Beat features artists who have direct connections to CMA, and highlights the Museum’s rich legacy of music.
In Episode 1, Welsh speaks with composer Aleksandra Vrebalov and David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet. “Aleksandra’s new work Antennae was to have been premiered at CMA at the end of March, so that piece was the first big casualty of COVID-19,” Welsh said. After returning to Serbia, Vrebalov phoned Welsh, telling him that she had gotten in touch with Harrington, and had re-written a short excerpt from Antennae for string quartet. “That was Kronos’ first online-only production.” [Read more…]