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USM celebrates 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and the 1913 Armory Show

To celebrate the 100th anniversaries of the premier of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and the Armory Show, USM will be holding a daylong symposium, “Scandalous Modernism: Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ and the Armory Show in Context.” The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 2 at Corthell Concert Hall, USM Gorham campus. 0.5 CEUs will be available for teachers for $20. Forms are available at the symposium. This event is free and open to the public, and lunch must be pre-ordered for an additional charge. For more information, contact Lori Arsenault at or (207) 780-5142, and to pre-order lunch, call 207-780-5555. 

In the spring of 1913, on opposite shores of the Atlantic, two events took place that put the spotlight on a new style in the arts - modernism. In May the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky premiered his ballet “Rite of Spring” in Paris, while three months earlier the “International Exhibition of Modern Art,” known as the Armory Show, opened its doors in New York City. The public in both cities were shocked and scandalized by the experimental, innovative sounds and sights presented at these events. Both prompted passionate reactions from viewers - from a riot at the Stravinsky premier to dozens of comedic cartoons and commentaries in the press about the Armory Show.

The University of Southern Maine’s arts and humanities faculty will host the interdisciplinary symposium. This is just one event of many nationwide events celebrating “Rite of Spring” and the Armory Show. The symposium will include lectures and discussions examining these two events from diverse perspectives and in the context of modernist art - in all its forms - as it was emerging in the early twentieth century.

The program will include lectures by Associate Professor of Music Paul Christiansen, Assistant Professor of History Libby Bischof, Professor of Russian Culture Charlotte Rosenthal, and Professor of Art History and American and New England Studies Donna Cassidy; A concert reading of Djuna's Barnes' one-act play “The Dove” led by Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Dramatic Literature Meghan Brodie; and a session on teaching modernism by Lecturer of Music Education Steven Bizub, Professor of Music Education Michele Kaschub, Assistant Professor of Art Education Kelly Hrenko, and K-12 Arts Educator from the Jonesport-Beals School District Lisa Marin.

The co-sponsors for this event are Portland Ovations, USM Art Department, USM School of Music, USM Women & Gender Studies Program, USM College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.