“When I draw and paint, I feel like I am dancing.” RB
Rita Blitt, award winning painter, sculptor and filmmaker, has been creating art for seven decades. Her work celebrates her love of nature, music, dance and the spontaneous flow of movement captured in the drawn gesture. Her art, recording her enthusiasm for life, has been seen throughout the world.
Aspen, Colorado, has been a primary inspiration in Rita Blitt’s life. In 2011, her art was featured on the cover of the Aspen Music festival’s program book.
Referring to “Abyss of Time," a collaboration between composer Michael Udow and artist Rita Blitt, Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize winning author, University Professor of History and Art History, George Mason University wrote:
“Abyss of Time is an astonishingly beautiful integration of painting and music. Watching it is an experience akin to drifting through MOMA on a cloud of mesmerizing music. At times the paintings seem to be the musicians, and at other times the music seems to be painting. It is a technically perfect documentary that demonstrates how intimately connected are our aural and visual senses.”
Commenting on film "Collaborating with the Past,” with music of holocaust victim Pavel Haas and Rita Blitt drawings inspired by the music, Ida Simchowitz wrote:
"Looking and listening to 'Collaborating with the Past' made me immediately relate and visualize the flames of the 'Burning Bush' of the Bible with the flames and cinders of the gas chambers. In your recent creations, the marriage of painting, music and dancing seems very inspiring.'
Blitt films have received numerous awards. “Caught in Paint,” a collaboration with choreographer David Parsons, the Parsons dancers, and photographer Lois Greenfield has received 16 awards and been shown in over 130 film festivals throughout the world. In 2008, Moving Pictures Magazine showed “Caught in Paint" at a Film Festival party in Cannes, France.
Blitt’s words, ”Kindness is contagious. Catch it!", sent all over the world in hopes of making the world a better place, inspired the film “What Kindness Means to Me.”
In addition to her paintings and sculpture being shown in over 70 one person exhibitions, Blitt's monumental sculpture, up to 60 feet in height, are seen in many states in America, Japan and Singapore.
Blitt works can be seen in museums and private collections. The Blitt Archive, a collection of Blitt’s most important pieces created throughout her life, is being established at the Mulvane Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas. A small building connected to Washburn’s concert hall will show changing exhibitions from the Blitt Archive. The new building will open in 2017.
In 2000 Yehuda Hanani, international cello soloist and professor wrote:
“Rita Blitt’s art and life are inseparable. Every gesture, in both, is borne on the wings of spontaneous responses unfettered by self-consciousness and guided by childlike purity and trust, immediacy, and an unshakable belief in ultimate goodness. Her constant search for the spirit and essence of reality is accompanied by a sense of wonder and mischief. She lovingly conveys with experienced choreographic lines her vision of the world, where the kinetic energy of dance and an entire musical universe are transformed into the realm of the visual. The sculpture and drawings are by turn fluid and harmonious or rhythmic and staccato. In each instance they resonate with primal memories of collective symbols.”
Yehuda Hanani - Cello
Yehuda Hanani has performed with many orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Buenos Aires Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Symphony, collaborating with conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson and Vladimir Fedoseyev. He performed at Marlboro (where he studied with Pablo Casals) and at festivals including Aspen, Chautauqua, Blue Hill, Round Top, Great Wall, Musicorda, Prades, Finland, Ottawa, Oslo, Australia Chamber Music, and Yale at Norfolk.
He presents master classes worldwide including the Juilliard School, Univeristy of Indiana at Bloomington, New England Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Berlin Hochschule, Taipei, Tokyo National University, Utrecht Conservatory, University of Ottawa, Colombia, Israel, Brazil, China, and others. Since his New York debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he has appeared at Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y and Lincoln Center. He has collaborated in performances with Leon Fleisher, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, David Parsons, Sigourney Weaver and Richard Chamberlain as well as the Tokyo, Vermeer, Muir, Lark, Amernet, and Avalon quartets.
A champion of contemporary and rarely played cello repertoire, he has had composers write music specifically for him, including a recent premiere of a work by Osvaldo Golijov with soprano Dawn Upshaw, and commissions by Lera Auerbach, John Musto, Bernard Rands, Kenji Bunch, and Paul Schoenfield. He made the first recording of the monumental Alkan Cello Sonata, which received a Grand Prix du Disque nomination, as well as the Nicholai Maiskovsky sonatas and American works by Lukas Foss and Leo Ornstein. He acts as artistic director of the thematic chamber music series in Scottsdale, the Berkshires’ "Close Encounters with Music," and at the Frick Collection in New York City. He also leads the 'Bach' Annalia symposium at CCM.