About In Times of Fear

Some of the finest works in all music have been inspired by periods of oppression, tyranny, and war. This powerful program demonstrates the power of music to represent such forces, yet provide solace and healing. Featuring works by Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, and Palka, the performers are, Robert Zubrycki, Kristina Musser Gitterman, violins; Adria Benjamin, viola; and Katherine Cherbas, cello. At the Studio Around the Corner, 67 Main Street, Brewster, NY, on Sunday, December 4th at 3:00PM.

The program opens with Process, by Katie Palka (b. 2001). Katy is a young Los Angeles-based composer and performer. Her works have been commissioned and performed throughout the United States and Europe. This piece dialogues with Ethel Smyth’s March of the Women and was written in honor of the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. When Smyth wrote The March of the Women in 1911, it quickly became the anthem of the suffragette movement. She  would later be jailed along with 100 of her fellow protestors during their fight for equality. 

In the summer of 1960 Dmitri Shostakovich was in Dresden, the German city that had been destroyed in World War II. There, in the course of three days, he composed his 8th string quartet. It is inscribed “In memory of victims of fascism and war”. Some interpret this as a reference to the victims of all totalitarianism, while others believe he dedicated it to himself. The work is a journey through heart-felt anguish and is truly a masterpiece of the twentieth century.

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote his String Quartet no. 2 in A minor in the years 1942-44 for the violist Jean Stewart (hence the subtitle "For Jean on her birthday"). It is colored by wartime experience, a work of turbulence that movingly gives way to consoling serenity. The main theme of the scherzo was taken from Vaughan Williams's own music for the film "49th Parallel".

Violinist Robert Zubrycki is the Director of the Concerts Around the Corner series. Robert and his colleagues are active performers at major venues in the NY region, performing for Broadway, Ballet, and Symphonies, including the American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Lumos, New York City Chamber Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart Festival and American Ballet Theater. 

This project is made possible, in part, through the Putnam Arts Council’s Arts Link Grant Program with public funds provided through the NY State Council on the Arts with support from the Governor’s Office and the NY State Legislature and public funds from Putnam County. 

Cultural Arts Coalition

​​Cultural Arts Coalition is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing an accessible and affordable performing arts venue and cultural center for the Village of Brewster, Town of Southeast, and surrounding communities.