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Classical 101

Preview The World Premiere Of Columbus Composer Richard Jordan Smoot's 'Crossing Variations'

This weekend, a Columbus-based professional cello quartet will breathe new life into choral music originally composed for an art installation piece that explored the question of death.

UCelli performs the world premiere of Columbus composer Richard Jordan Smoot’s Crossing Variations, 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Columbus.

Recently Smoot and the members of UCelli stopped by the Classical 101 studios to give us a preview of Crossing Variations and to talk about how the piece came about.

Smoot composed the music for an art installation piece created by physician and artist Robert Falcone and exhibited in the Columbus College of Art and Design’s 2016 MFA exhibition. Falcone created the installation, called Crossing, on his own quest to find meaning in his wife’s tragic death in a 1998 car accident.

Crossing featured Smoot’s music performed by the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus as the audio backdrop for an oversized image of a tiny, white roadside cross in the midst of an expanse of Montana landscape.

UCelli founder Cora Kuyvenhoven viewed Crossing and asked Smoot to create a cello quartet arrangement of his music. The resulting work, Smoot’s Crossing Variations, expands on the main theme of his earlier music for Crossing in a stand-alone concert piece.

UCelli, Columbus’ professional cello quartet, performs the world premiere of Richard Jordan Smoot’s Crossing Variations, 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at Highlands Presbyterian Church.

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Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.