LUDLOW, Vt. – “Like so much of our everyday life, routine jet-plane touring is unsustainable—which means something, it’s literally not possible to keep doing. I want to model a performance culture that doesn’t require hopping on a plane and flying all over the world.”
Last May, composer-pianist David Feurzeig embarked on “Play Every Town: 252 free concerts” in each of Vermont’s 252 towns to combat climate change through the power of community and music. With this project David will become the first musician to perform in every Vermont municipality. He is traveling in his solar-charged electric vehicle throughout the state, offering free concerts to bring attention to the interrelated issues of climate and community, while bringing the joy of music to his audiences.
“I want to support Vermont’s local communities with live performance in village centers and downtowns, while fulfilling UVM’s mission to serve as a resource for the whole state.”
Feurzeig, a professor of music at UVM since 2008, specializes in genre-defying recitals that bring together music of an astonishing variety of styles, from ancient and classical to jazz, avant-garde, and popular traditions. These striking juxtapositions, peppered with informative and humorous commentary, create eye- and ear-opening programs that will change how you hear all kinds of music.
Each program includes local customization. On this concert, on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Ludlow, 48 Pleasant St., Ludlow tenor George Thomson will sing. The program will also include “Happy Birthday Martin,” Feurzeig’s tribute to Martin Luther King, born this day in 1929, and other solo piano works from classics and ragtime to modern works.
Feurzeig finds his approach attracts new audiences to so-called “classical” concerts and brings new insight to existing fans. “Classical music culture puts the ‘Great Composers’ on an almost religious pedestal. Once this was an indication of the audience’s love and respect, but it distances people from the music. It turns away new listeners, who feel like they’re in a stuffy museum instead of a live concert. Sure, the music can be serious, but there’s no reason anyone should feel intimidated. And if I don’t get a laugh from the audience in the first two minutes, I get worried!”
Follow David on his journey on Instagram, find up-to-date events for your town via Facebook, or visit the website at www.PlayEveryTown.com.
“Not just for stars, but in academia as well there are pressures on musicians to travel far and wide, to maintain an international presence. We take this and a thousand similar practices for granted—but they’re simply not compatible with a livable world.”