August 30, 2023

Nicholas DiEugenio Performs and Paints Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

In 2023, Nicholas DiEugenio celebrated 300 years of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin with performances of the full cycle accompanied by companion pieces of his own visual art. “We don’t know exactly when or why Bach wrote his Sei Solo for ‘violin without bass’ (probably around 300 years ago), and after their mid-19th century rise to prominence they have remained a staple in violin learning and literature ever since,” says Nicholas. Much has been made of the grammatical curiosity on their title page (Sei Solo reading variously as “you are alone” or “he is alone”), since Bach was famously meticulous and could easily have written Sei Soli (six solos). Nicholas notes that “during the height of the pandemic in the relatively lonely summer of 2020, I explored these works in conjunction with interviews of many musician-friends doing social justice work in an effort to feel less alone myself.” Since then, Nicholas has created works of visual art inspired by each of these incredible, monumental pieces. The visual art, which is all soft-pastel on sanded paper, will be projected during this concert as the music sounds. “It has always been a dream of mine to present all six of these pieces in one concert,” remarks Nicholas, “and over the years I have had various ideas for ways of mixing media as part of that presentation. This will be a first for me, and hopefully it might inspire others to create their own ‘firsts’ even as we celebrate 300 years of these creations by Bach.”

This '23-'24 concert season, Nicholas is excited to bring the full Bach cycle on tour, along with projections of his original works of visual art, to venues including the University of Michigan, Penn State University, Florida State University, and New York City's St. Ignatius of Antioch.