A Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration

CULTURAL FUSION: The Gamelan Experience

Wednesday, January 23, at 7:30 pm
The Washington National Cathedral

Benjamin Pasternack and Wan-Chi Su, pianos
Netanel Draiblate, violin
Indonesian Embassy Balinese and Javanese gamelans and dancers
PCE conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Commentary by Bill Alves and Joe Horowitz
Remarks from Ambassador Budi Bowoleksono

Javanese gamelan with dancers
Debussy Pagodas (solo piano)

Balinese gamelan with dancers
Colin McPhee Ceremonial Dances (two pianos)

Maurice Ravel Vallee des cloches (solo piano)
Francis Poulenc Sonata for Two Pianos (movement one)
Olivier Messiaen Vision de l’amen (movement one) (two pianos)
Bill Alves Black Toccata (piano duet) (DC premiere)

intermission — Balinese gamelan

Lou Harrison Suite for violin, piano, and chamber orchestra
Lou Harrison Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

This unique mega-event, which will transform the Great Nave into an exotic cultural kaleidoscope, includes both Javanese and Balinese gamelan with dancers, archival films, and much more.

We’ll tell the story of the 1889 Paris Exposition (the one with the Eiffel Tower), which introduced Claude Debussy to the hypnotic fragrance of Indonesian music and dance – an introduction that transformed Western music via Debussy and countless other composers.

“But my poor friend! Do you remember the Javanese music, able to express every shade of meaning, even unmentionable shades which make our tonic and dominant seem like ghosts?. . . Their school consists of the eternal rhythm of the sea, the wind in the leaves, and a thousand other tiny noises . . . that force one to admit that our own music is not much more than a barbarous kind of noise more fit for a traveling circus.” – Claude Debussy

7:00 – Doors Open. Javanese Gamelan Orchestra & Dancers
7:30 – Piano and two-piano music by Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, and McPhee
8:30 – Intermission: Balinese Gamelan Performance 
9:00 – Lou Harrison’s Suite for Violin, Piano, and Chamber Orchestra and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra 
10:00 – Indonesian reception and Gamelan Demonstration/Discussion

CULTURAL FUSION: The Gamelan Experience is presented in partnership with the Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia in Washington, DC. To learn more about the Embassy and their Balinese and Javanese gamelan ensembles, visit:


LOU HARRISON: Concerto for Violin and Percussion (finale)
PCE in live performance with violinist Tim Fain at the Indonesian Embassy, Angel Gil-Ordóñez conducting

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