February 2020 Events at Strathmore Mansion

By Editorial Team on February 3, 2020
Strathmore Mansion work by Shibley.

February in the Mansion at Strathmore provides plenty of new, vibrant concerts that are sure to keep the winter chill away. Former Artists in Residence (AIR) at Strathmore, Indie rock maven Margot MacDonald and classical guitarist Piotr Pakhomkin team up to create a unique concert experience comprised of layers of looped vocals and expertly plucked strings (February 6). Genre-bending string quartet, and AIR alumni, Invoke return home for a three-day residency which kicks off with a performance showcasing their unique blend of bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle, jazz, and minimalism (February 20). A Saturday Family Jam Session is the perfect musical adventure to kickstart your weekend. During this popular kid-friendly event you will sing, play, and explore the fun of folk music, as you’re treated to the sounds of guitar, ukulele, accordion, banjo, flute, hand percussion, and kazoo (February 29).

Early folk instrumentalist and Strathmore Artist in Residence Niccolo Seligmann blends historical and experimental music as he utilizes both acoustic and electronic instruments to create a unique listening experience (February 12 & 26). Seligmann will also present his AIR Workshop on Early Music in Today’s World, where he explores the interactions between historical music and the musical technology of today, uniting strings of gut with lines of code. (February 19). Lovers of both art and literature will enjoy this month’s Artists in Fiction Monthly Book Clubwhich will discuss The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis (February 19). Budding authors can seize the opportunity to hone their writing skills during this month’s Creative Writing Workshop, led by poet and Executive Director of Community Building Art Works Seema Reza (February 20).

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.strathmore.org or call (301) 581-5100.


Thursday, February 6, 2020
Tickets: $24
Indie rock maven Margot MacDonald is known as something of a one-woman band. Using a looping pedal, she creates lush layers of haunting melodies. It will be a delight to see how the expertly plucked strings of Piotr Pakhomkin’s classical guitar are woven into this mix, layered and looped along with MacDonald’s award-winning voice. Pakhomkin trained under guitarist, Manuel Barrueco at Peabody Conservatory after just 18 months of playing classical guitar. MacDonald is a critical darling of DC, with 11 awards from the Washington Area Music Association under her belt. Expect the unexpected from this unique pairing.

Strathmore Artist in Residence Class of 2020
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Tickets: $19
When Niccolo Seligmann comes across an obscure folk instrument he’s never seen before, he can’t help but pick it up and play! Having earned a degree in viola da gamba performance from Peabody Conservatory, he plays over 20 acoustic instruments, including medieval fiddle, and is apprenticed to master luthier Ken Koons. Seligmann is a member of various medieval, traditional, and early music ensembles, including the Jefferson Baroque Orchestra, with whom he is premiering his original new-baroque opera, Minerva, based on Handel’s arias. He has toured North America and Europe, performing in venues that range from the Kennedy Center to the inside of a 2,000-year-old California redwood tree. His work unites historical and experimental music, utilizing both acoustic and electronic instruments to create a completely unique listening experience.
Sponsored by Van and Linda Hubbard & Stephen and Tanya Spano

Artist in Residence Workshop
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Tickets: Free, registration required
The music of the past still moves people today. In this workshop, Niccolo Seligmann tells the story of bowed strings, from 8th-century Kazakhstan to the glitter of baroque Versailles. By looking at the differences in instrument construction and technique throughout history, we gain appreciation for the rich diversity of music across time and culture. But historical bowed strings can tell today’s stories too—­with newer techniques like sampling, creative use of MIDI (musical instrument digital interface), and controlling a laptop’s sound with a live instrument, we can unlock new musical possibilities. Share in Seligmann’s exuberant wonder at the power and mystery of the musical laptop by learning different ways to make sounds on one of today’s most ubiquitous devices as he explores the interactions between historical music and the musical technology of today, uniting strings of gut with lines of code.

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Tickets: $30
Described as “not classical…but not not classical” (SiriusXM), Invoke’s sound keeps you on our toes. This string quartet seamlessly weaves multiple American musical traditions, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism into its own stylized brand of contemporary music. As alumni of Strathmore’s Artist in Residence program, the ensemble pushes boundaries through dynamic collaborations with artists like chamber rock powerhouse San Fermin and DC beatboxer virtuoso Christylez Bacon. Their most recent EP, Furious Creek, incorporates spoken word, banjo, and deep vocal chants—all while keeping a sense of lightness and joy. Invoke’s performances at Strathmore are part of a three-day residency that includes a Music in the Mansion concert on February 20, concerts in schools on February 21, and two concerts for kids on February 22.


The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
3 & 7PM
Tickets: FREE
Strathmore’s art-themed book club discovers the lives of Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Explore the fictions of your favorite artists, turning the pages of both popular and lesser-known novels, then join fellow readers and art enthusiasts one Wednesday a month to discuss forgotten painters, mysterious art heists, and miraculous recoveries of masterpieces. At each meeting, we’ll examine the factual background along with the fiction.

Presented by Community Building Art Works in Partnership with Strathmore
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Tickets: $25
Creative writing is a tool for knowing yourself, understanding the world, and connecting with other people. Led by author Seema Reza and accomplished guest writers—including poets, memoirists, novelists, and storytellers—these community workshops follow the model developed by Community Building Art Works over the course of a decade of bringing people together in military and hospital settings. Each workshop is designed to help participants put their personal stories on paper in a supportive environment.

Bring a pen, a notebook, and an open mind! Whether you’re just starting out or have been writing for years, you are welcome; no experience is required.

Saturday, February 29, 2020
Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 at the door
Junior music aficionados spend Saturday mornings in the Mansion singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of music appreciation. This year, families go on a musical adventure as expert artists guide them through folk, go-go, classical, bluegrass, and soul.

This February, discover folk music with The Sweater Set as you raise your voice and sing! Maureen Andary and Sara Curtin of the award-winning soprano-alto duo The Sweater Set treat kids to a smorgasbord of sound with classic folk and original songs. Guitar, ukulele, accordion, banjo, flute, hand percussion, and kazoo accompany their harmonies.

Mansion at Strathmore is located at 10701 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD.