Pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass Pushes the Envelope at Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

February 16, 2012

New Brunswick, NJ – The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers celebrates groundbreaking musical moments with pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass and Pushing the Envelope: Experimental Music Before and After Fluxus, on Sunday, March 18, at 3 p.m. The program highlights the provocative spirit of the exhibition at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers, on view through April 1. Tickets are $15 for nonmembers, $10 for Zimmerli members, and $5 for Rutgers faculty, staff, and students with valid IDs. Tickets are available the day of the concert at the front desk on a first-come, first-serve basis, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Rosanne Vita Nahass presents a mini history of works that demonstrate the connections between nineteenth- and early twentieth-century maverick composers who challenged the accepted boundaries of sound and musicians leading up to the 1960s and Fluxus. Although now considered a member of the Western musical canon, Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-83) was regarded a ground breaker during his lifetime, especially in his theories of the Gesamtkunstwerk – the total work of art – which is considered to be the basis of performance art, an essential element of Fluxus. The program includes works by Liszt, Satie, Debussy, Ives, Hindemith, Ruth Crawford Seeger, and Henry Cowell. These historical works guide the audience to a clearer understanding of featured selections by John Cage, “the Godfather of Fluxus,” and Phillip Corner, a Fluxus composer and former Rutgers professor.

Nahass is regarded for performing innovative concert programs that illuminate the relationship between music and the visual arts. Her popular lecture-recital format attracts broader audiences to classical music. She helps non-musicians cultivate a better understanding and appreciation for classical music by discussing not only the composers and their works, but also other cultural trends of the eras. The Paterson, New Jersey, native earned the Fellowship Diploma from Trinity College London and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers University. She continued at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and practiced internal medicine for 18 years. After her hiatus from performing, she returned to music to pursue her passion full time. On the surface, music and medicine seem disparate, but the musician fervently believes music is a healing art, essential to our humanity. Nahass has appeared on stage with the New Jersey Symphony, North Jersey Philharmonic, and other local orchestras. In 2011, she also took on the role as independent music producer and released Bartok and Ives, her first CD.

With more than 60 sculptural objects, games, photographs, assemblages, ephemera, books, and films assembled from the museum’s permanent holdings and private collections, at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first official Fluxus festival organized by George Maciunas in Germany in 1962. The exhibition features such artists as Allan Kaprow, George Brecht, and Robert Watts, who were active at Rutgers and with Fluxus. Through the 1970s, Fluxus artists associated with the university remained very active on and near campus. Since then – including fall of 2011 – artists occasionally return to New Brunswick for Fluxus-related exhibitions and events.


The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in nineteenth-century French art; Russian art from icons to avant-garde material; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.


The Zimmerli’s operations, exhibitions, and programs are funded in part by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Johnson & Johnson; and the donors, members, and friends of the museum.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street (at George Street) on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.

Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and the first Wednesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for adults over 65; and free for museum members, as well as Rutgers students, faculty and staff (with ID), and children under 18. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call 732.932.7237, ext. 610 or visit the museum’s website: www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu


Who to contact: