Home /  Harmonic Series Concert: Pianist Annie Yim’s The Poet Speaks: From Debussy to Pärt

Math & Cultural

Harmonic Series Concert: Pianist Annie Yim’s The Poet Speaks: From Debussy to Pärt March 05, 2020 (07:00 PM PST - 08:30 PM PST)
Parent Program: --
Location: First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

MSRI logo

Join us for a special event as part of MSRI's 2019-20 Harmonic Series Concerts:

Pianist Annie Yim

 The Poet Speaks: From Debussy to Pärt

Thursday, March 5th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Doors open 6:30 p.m.)

First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 (Google Maps)

Free and open to the public; advanced registration is requested via Eventbrite.

Annie Yim (Photo: Jamie Baker)

MusicArt, in association with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), presents a cross-disciplinary, poetry-inspired concert, featuring pianist Annie Yim.

‘The Poet Speaks: from Debussy to Pärt’, a MusicArt conceptual concert, combines the recorded voices of composers and poets with live piano, juxtaposing poems from two centuries with musical responses to them by Debussy, Ravel, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, and Philip Glass.  Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina will be performed with a specially commissioned poem ‘Sunlight’ by Zaffar Kunial.  The concert includes extracts from a new work ‘Mirrors’ co-created by composer Raymond Yiu, poet Kayo Chingonyi and pianist Annie Yim.

Other writing included ranges from French poetry by Aloysius Bertrand and Charles Baudelaire to a personal love poem by John Cage; from Else Lasker-Schüler’s expressionist poem Versöhnung (Reconciliation), which inspired Franz Marc’s woodcut print, to Allen Ginsberg’s anti-war poem ‘Wichita Vortex Sutra’.  John Cage’s iconic 4’33” is reimagined through a poem by Ed Baker.  Each pairing of musical composition and poem reveals tributes, friendships, and artistic affinities.

From John Cage to Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, each work is no more than a few minutes long, and yet contains a microcosm of the composer’s unique stamp, carrying far more than meets the eyes and ears.  The hope is to create meaningful dialogues within the pairing of poetry and music.   

Presented by MSRI and MusicArt London


Annie Yim is a concert pianist and founder of MusicArt.  Her performance has been described by The Times as "the most beautiful sounds, radiantly coloured, thoughtfully articulated”.  Known for her wide-ranging solo and chamber music repertoire that encompasses canonic works and new music, Annie has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, and national radios in Canada and Portugal.  

Passionate about collaborations and commissioning new works across art forms, Annie founded MusicArt in 2015, an initiative to create original artist-led performance projects.  From London to Berlin and Salzburg, her performances with artists and art spaces have been featured in New York T Magazine, Artnet, and Gramophone.  She has worked closely with contemporary artists, leading art galleries and organisations including The Poetry Society.  Her book chapter ‘MusicArt: Creating Dialogues Across the Arts’ will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in an edited volume in 2020.

Annie is founding member of the Minerva Piano Trio, who made their London debut at the Southbank Centre in 2014 as Park Lane Group artists.  She was St John’s Smith Square Young Artist in Residence in 2016/17 and made her UK concerto debut at LSO St Luke’s in London.  Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, she studied piano at the University of British Columbia with Robert Silverman. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and completed her performance-based research on Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms at the Guildhall School of Music, studying piano with Joan Havill and musicology with Christopher Wiley at City, University of London.


Claude Debussy
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir (from Preludes Book 1)

Maurice Ravel
Scarbo (from Gaspard de la Nuit)

John Cage
Dream; 4’33”

Arvo Pärt
Für Alina

Cheryl Frances-Hoad
Star Falling

Raymond Yiu / Kayo Chingonyi / Annie Yim

Philip Glass
Wichita Vortex Sutra

Poets: Charles Baudelaire, Aloysius Bertrand, John Cage, Ed Baker, Zaffar Kunial, Else Lasker-Schüler, Kayo Chingonyi, and Allen Ginsberg


Video of Annie Yim’s performance with Zaffar Kunial’s pre-recorded reading of his poem ‘Sunlight’, inspired by Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina.


This special Harmonic Series concert is free of charge and open to the public with registration via EventbriteAdvanced registration is requested to assist with event logistics; registration at the door will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m. on March 5th.

For more information, contact Jennifer Murawski at jmurawski@msri.org or (510) 642-0771.


First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 (Google Maps)
*Please note, this special event does not take place at MSRI. 

This event venue is handicap accessible, via the church's Dana Street entrance.

Paid parking ($10) is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the First Congregational Church of Berkeley parking lot. Coming from Telegraph Avenue, the parking lot is located to the right after Dana St. on Channing Way; from Shattuck Avenue, the parking lot is located to the left before Dana St. on Channing Way.

For those taking AC Transit, take the 6 route (Downtown Oakland - Downtown Berkeley) to Durant Ave at Dana St.

From Downtown Berkeley BART Station, this venue is a 15-minute walk (via Shattuck Ave to Channing Way).

From Evans Hall/Mining Circle (UC Berkeley), this venue is a 13-minute walk (exit campus via Sather Gate walkway to Bancroft Way, and follow Telegraph Ave or Dana Street to Dana Street at Channing Way).

No Video Uploaded
Media No Notes/Supplements Uploaded No Video Files Uploaded