By Jack Fishman, VP, External Affairs, BSO at Strathmore

“Lura plays a few bars, then I come in and then the space station explodes!”

That is how BSO violist Peter Minkler describes his performance on this trailer for the hit movie Gravity. Director Alfonso Cuarón, stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and our Peter Minkler and Lura Johnson (BSO guest pianist) combined to make a film that has grossed over $715 million worldwide. Watch (and listen) to Peter and Lura on the first 30 seconds of this video:

The music that Peter and Lura are playing is by Arvo Pärt, and it was recorded for a CD that Peter produced that also featured a sonata by George Rochberg. Peter has been playing the Rochberg Viola and Piano Sonata for more than 30 years. “It is powerful, has energy and is really difficult,” said Minkler. “But, it’s worth it. Chamber music and solo work has become something I do more frequently lately. I performed in Louisiana recently and I’m going to Ft. Wayne, Indiana in May to premiere a work I commissioned by Baltimore composer Jonathan Leshnoff. I’m playing the Rochberg again at the University of Pennsylvania at a Rochberg memorial concert in October. Rochberg was a longtime composer in the serialism style, but he was the first composer to go back to tonality. That’s like Nixon going to China!” joked Minkler.

The Rochberg sonata was featured in a non-BSO concert at the Strathmore Mansion on March 30. So, you don’t have to be at a BSO at Strathmore orchestral concert to come across a BSO musician in the Montgomery County/DC metro area. The next recital at the Strathmore Mansion is on Thursday, May 1 and features BSO musicians Marcia Kämper, Karin Brown and Sarah Fuller (BSO guest harpist).