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Solomon's Knot

Brown University's Lindemann Performing Arts Center opened recently, and Bach's Magnificat opens the Christmas season at London's Wigmore Hall


The Lindemann Performing Arts Center, located centrally in the Perelman Arts District at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, opened on 21 October 2023. The opening of the one-hundred-and-one-thousand square foot facility, designed by REX/Joshua Ramus and managed by Brown Arts Institute (BAI), marks a watershed moment for the arts on Brown's campus, as it prepares to host a range of internationally renowned artists and inaugurate a new chapter of expanded academic and artistic programming.

Interweaving innovative design, year-round arts programming, and gathering and rehearsal spaces, The Lindemann aims to increase accessibility to cutting edge artistic resources to further cultivate a community committed to the arts. Through its five radically different preset spatial, acoustic and technical configurations designed to accommodate a variety of performances, installations and programs - Experimental Media, Recital, End Stage, Orchestra, and Flat Floor - the facility is able to accommodate Brown's varied creative communities and fill a need for state-of-the-art performance, rehearsal and teaching spaces to serve the University's arts departments, ensembles and student arts groups.

The Lindemann Performing Arts Center at Brown University, designed by REX, showing the elevated lobby which acts as a beacon during eveningtime. Photo © 2021 Iwan Baan
The Lindemann Performing Arts Center at Brown University, designed by REX, showing the elevated lobby which acts as a beacon during eveningtime.
Photo © 2021 Iwan Baan

BAI Artistic Director Avery Willis Hoffman said:

The opening of The Lindemann marks a moment of catalyzing potential for the future of the university, cementing its commitment to artistic practices on campus and in the broader Providence community. We are excited to welcome students into the space to engage with its leading technology and programming, with each other, faculty, on-campus arts groups, and leading visiting artists and performing arts organizations that will be made available to them through our collaborative programming.

The Lindemann's fluted aluminum façade is intersected by a stage-level 'clearstory' that reveals the interior of the main floor in every direction, welcoming passersby to witness and engage with the creation of art in the space and providing views of Infinite Composition, a site-specific, dynamic light installation by internationally acclaimed artist Leo Villareal. Adjacent to other arts-centered academic facilities in the campus core, The Lindemann's location will establish a hub of creative activity on campus, as it hosts year-round programming, rehearsals, research-focused courses, collaborations, community partnerships and BAI commissions.

REX principal architect, Joshua Ramus, comments:

The transformational capabilities of The Lindemann respond to the students' needs, as well as the University's pedagogical structure, reflecting its commitment to excellence and adaptability to provide an architectural tool capable of expanding its artistic offerings.

Incorporating a new performance typology, invented by REX's design team during their work on this project, all six surfaces of the hall - floor, ceiling, and four walls - modulate physically and/or acoustically through automated and manually assisted performance equipment. Below street level, three spaces designed for music, theatre and dance will enable students, faculty and visiting artists to create cutting-edge, original artwork in flexible, well-equipped studios. Each includes a control room and customizable equipment, allowing the rooms to function as studios, classrooms and performance spaces where artists and scholars can engage in experiments, fabrications, installations and speculative projects.

Brown University marked the opening of The Lindemann with a ribbon-cutting on Saturday 21 October 2023, kicking off a year-long celebration of the arts at Brown that includes the launch of the inaugural IGNITE Series. Organized by BAI, IGNITE showcases a diverse array of offerings from across the Brown Arts ecosystem, including projects by students, student groups, faculty and departments, Brown alumni, Brown Arts Institute collaborations with other campus units and visiting artists, as well as projects by local and regional artists and arts organizations. IGNITE is anchored by large-scale imaginings and collaborative residencies with BAI's Artistic Innovators. The first two in the series are:

- Carrie Mae Weems' Varying Shades of Brown, a campus-wide artistic activation, re-imagining major works in collaboration with students (18 September-3 December 2023)

- A collaborative residency by William Kentridge and The Centre for the Less Good Idea, including a presentation of Houseboy at The Lindemann (Spring 2024)

Further information:




Solomon's Knot will open the Christmas Season at the Wigmore Hall, London, UK on Thursday 7 December 2023, performing Johann Sebastian Bach's Magnificat, three hundred years after the work was first performed by the composer in Leipzig, on Christmas Day, 1723.

Solomon's Knot's first performance at Wigmore Hall since it became the venue's Baroque Ensemble in Residence, the concert launches Bach 300, a major series featuring Bach's music performed by Solomon's Knot three hundred years after its first performance in Leipzig, which will form part of the group's three-concert Residency every year.

The music that Bach composed for Leipzig's Lutheran congregations, from 1723 when he assumed the position of Thomaskantor in the city until his death in 1750, continues to hold a significant presence in church services globally. Encompassing hundreds of cantatas, organ works, and his renowned larger-scale choral works, it remains profoundly influential and stands as a cornerstone of our cultural heritage.

Solomons Knot. Photo © 2021 Dan Joy
Solomons Knot. Photo © 2021 Dan Joy

John Gilhooly, Director of Wigmore Hall, commented:

I'm delighted to have Solomon's Knot on board as our first Baroque Ensemble in Residence. Their performance of the Bach Christmas Magnificat will be a major highlight of Wigmore Hall's Christmas season. We look forward to Solomon's Knot taking our audiences on new journeys with Bach's music over the coming seasons.

Alongside Bach's original 1723 Magnificat (BWV 243.1), complete with four German Christmas hymns, Solomon's Knot performs the cantatas Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! (BWV 70) and O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort (BWV 60). Bach revised the Magnificat in the early 1730s, removing the Christmas interpolations and transposing the work into D major, creating the version most often performed today (BWV 243.2).

Wigmore Hall's Christmas Season features leading vocal ensembles including Voces 8, Siglo de Oro and Stile Antico performing everything from Renaissance polyphony to 21st century choral works. There is more Bach from The London Handel Players, lunchtime concerts from bass-baritone Willard White and vocal ensemble The Sixteen and a New Year's Eve concert with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie.

Further information: (although at the time of writing, the Solomon's Knot Bach Magnificat concert is sold out).

Posted 5 November 2023 by Keith Bramich



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