Marfa Dialogues

Kimball Gallagher Children’s Concert

01 June 2012

Kimball Gallagher
1 June 2012
Crowley Theater, Marfa, TX

Ballroom Marfa is pleased to present pianist Kimball Gallagher, who will perform an intimate concert at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, including an original piece of music dedicated to Texas arts patron Toni Beauchamp. Gallagher will also host a children’s concert that same day at 2 pm.

Gallagher is a dynamic classical pianist — he obtained his master’s degree as a pupil of Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School. His recent performances include shows at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul and a sold-out debut at Carnegie Hall. Gallagher’s stop in Marfa is part of a world tour — the 88 Key Concert Tour — built around his desire to open “an unparalleled forum for dialogue between artist and listener.”

When asked what he has planned for the Marfa performance, Gallagher says, “I’ve connected different pieces of music to some of the different countries I’ve traveled to throughout the tour. Two examples: The set of Chopin Études will be related to the experience I had of performing the Chopin Études in Kabul at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music with six machine gun guards at the door.

“The Interim Finance Minister of Tunisia just after the revolution was Jaloul Ayad — also a composer — so I’ll play some of his works, too,” he adds.

Gallagher also composes a personalized piano work unique to each performance, based on the name of an individual closely related to the event. “I’ve written preludes that include the names of King Bhumibol of Thailand, Uma Thurman, Nicola Bulgari, the US Ambassador to Tunisia, and the author Thomas Moore,” he says.

“These Preludes are created by spelling out the names of home concert hosts in musical notes and then using those notes as the basis for a short musical composition,” he says. “There are different ways to generate musical notes from letters. Obviously if the letter falls in the musical alphabet (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) those notes are used. Likewise if the letter corresponds to any of the letters in the solfège syllables (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti) the corresponding note may be used. Once the material is generated it can be used forwards, backwards, on different clefs and many other ways.”

In the case of Marfa, he has chosen to create a piece of music in honor of beloved Texas arts patron Toni Beauchamp, who passed away earlier this year. In addition to her deep involvement in the arts community of her native Houston, Beauchamp was a generous supporter of Marfa Public Radio, The Chinati Foundation, the Marfa Book Company, the Lannan Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and other endeavors in Far West Texas.

This performance will be Gallagher’s first occasion to visit Marfa, in which he’s been interested since his days as an undergraduate at Rice University. “I’ve heard about Marfa since then and have always been very curious,” he says. “I’ve heard reports from friends that Marfa is fun, surprising and artistic. Can’t wait to explore it a bit!”

    Support for this project provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston, TX and Texas Commission on the Arts.

    Special thanks to Jeff Beauchamp, Jack Bresette-Mills, Dan Chamberlin, Rob Crowley, Jennifer Bell and Tim Crowley of the Crowley Theater, Rachel Lindley, Marfa Public Radio, Marfa Recording Company, Raymond Montelongo, Kim Pence and Virginia Lebermann & John Wotowicz.