Concert by Pianist David Feurzeig
In May 2022 composer-pianist David Feurzeig embarked on Play Every Town: 252 free concerts in each of Vermont’s 252 towns to confront 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, and to call into question the normality of long-distance touring and travel, 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, specializes in genre-defying recitals that bring together music of an astonishing variety of musical 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 is locally tailored. For the concert in the historic Fairlee Town Hall, built in 1913, David is preparing a number of works composed in that year: from little-known works of Debussy and Ravel to classic ragtime by Artie Matthews (“Pastime” Rags nos. 4 & 5) and David’s own ragtime parody of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (which premiered in 1913), “Stride Rite”. As with every concert in the project, this one will include its own unique sonata by Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata no. 49 for this forty-ninth concert in the project. David will be joined by Robert McNelly in one or two of his original songs.
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 now it just 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. 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 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.”