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Tyshawn Sorey: Rothko Chapel Commission

Rothko Chapel / Houston / Music

Really? So soon? Yes, the Rothko Chapel, the celebrated interfaith sanctuary John and Dominique de Menil built to Philip Johnson’s octagonal design, first opened its doors 50 years ago. A total of 14 monumental black canvases hang there, arranged as three triptychs plus five single panels. Commissioned for the anniversary, Tyshawn Sorey’s Monochromatic Light (Afterlife) seeks to communicate the paintings’ “inky hues” as well as the “visceral sense” of Rothko’s presence that the composer experienced in the singular space. The musicians on hand include the Houston Chamber Choir as well as the new-music champions Kim Kashkashian (viola), Sarah Rothenberg (piano), and Steven Schick (percussion). In late-breaking news, they will be joined in a wordless solo by the bass-baritone Davóne Tines, a charismatic spiritual seeker whose refusal to be bound by old-school expectations has been making big waves. —M.G.

Rothko Chapel 3900 Yupon St, Houston, TX 77006
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