September 13, 2022

Death of Classical's video concert series 'From the Catacombs' to premiere on ALL ARTS, beginning September 18


Death of Classical and Green-Wood Cemetery present From the Catacombs, a video concert series filmed in the Catacombs of Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be available to watch on ALL ARTS, beginning September 18.

Filmed during a single day in November 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the performances explore themes of politics, isolation, grief, remembrance, healing and more. The episodes include Jennifer Koh performing Bach; Simone Dinnerstein playing Glass and Couperin; Helga Davis and Jeffrey Zeigler performing music by Paola Prestini, Marcos Balter, and Yuan-Chen Li; Conrad Tao playing Rzewski and his own music; Conor Hanick playing Hans Otte's Book of Sounds; the Harlem Chamber Players performing George Walker; and the Ulysses Quartet playing Beethoven and Golijov.

Of the series, Death of Classical founder and curator Andrew Ousley says, "The early days of the pandemic were full of fear, loss, isolation, heartbreak, anger, division, and countless other challenging emotions. We filmed these concerts to capture as many of those emotions – and the seismic societal shifts that were taking place around them – as we could, during what will forever remain a pivotal moment in human history.

From the Catacombs debuts September 18, with new episodes rolling out each Sunday through October 9 at 8 p.m. ET. on the free ALL ARTS app,, and in the New York metro area on the ALL ARTS TV channel (channel lineup).

Program Schedule

Episode 1

September 18 at 8 p.m. ET

Conor Hanick - Hans Otte: The Book Of Sounds
“This Book of Sounds rediscovers the listener as a partner of sound and silence, who in the quest for his world, wishes for once to be totally at one with sound.

It rediscovers the piano as an instrument of timbre and tuneful sound with all its possibilities of dynamics, colour and resonance.

The Book of Sounds rediscovers playing as the possibility of experiencing oneself in sound, of becoming at one in time and space with all the sounds around one.

It rediscovers a world of consonant experience which could only now be written because of a totally changed consciousness of sounds on earth.”
—Hans Otte

Episode 2

September 25 at 8 p.m. ET

Conrad Tao - Which Side Are You On?
Frederick Rzewki’s Which Side Are You On? takes a protest song written in the 1930s by Florence Reese, the wife of a union organizer in the Kentucky coal mines, and explodes it into a gripping, kaleidoscopic set of variations. Ranging from reflection to rage, the piece is a towering sonic representation of these United – and oftentimes Divided – States of America. Pianist and composer Conrad Tao closes the set with a piece of his own, inspired by the writings of Kevin Killian.

Rzewski: Which Side Are You On?
Tao: all I had forgotten or tried to

The Harlem Chamber Players - George Walker: String Quartet No. 1
George Walker composed his first String Quartet a year after the death of his beloved grandmother - a remarkable woman who had escaped from slavery. He dedicated the profound slow movement to her, and while it is now known famously as the “Lyric for Strings,”  

George Walker: String Quartet No. 1
I. Allegro
II. Molto Adagio
III. Allegro con fuoco

Episode 3

October 2 at 8 p.m. ET

Jeffrey Zeigler and Helga Davis – Memoria
This is a program about memory. About how memories can give us hope in moments of despair, and a sense of place in times of uncertainty. But those same memories can haunt us, turning into an obsession that can darken our present and erase our future.

Marcos Balter: Memoria
Natasha Trethewey: Bellocq's Ophelia
Paola Prestini: Ophelia
Yuan-Chen Li: Syn, Sym, Sing
Paola Prestini: Do You Remember?

Jennifer Koh
Bach’s unaccompanied sonatas and partitas for the violin are unquestionably the emotional and technical summit of solo violin music. Sonata No. 2 contains the full spectrum of human experience in four strings - the solemn anguish of the opening, the fury of the fugue that follows, the quiet hope of the slow movement, and the dazzling virtuosity of the finale.

J. S. Bach: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003

Episode 4

October 9 at 8 p.m. ET

Simone Dinnerstein – A Character of Quiet
When the pandemic lockdown set in, Simone Dinnerstein stopped playing the piano. Music did not seem like an adequate response to everything that was happening in the world. In time, a friend convinced her to return to music and record an album in her living room. She chose this music, by Glass and Schubert, because of the pared-down, almost ascetic quality of their music. They both create a feeling of a solitary journey, a character of quiet privacy, asense of time being trapped through repeated vision and revision as the music tries to work itself to a conclusion.

Philip Glass: Etude No. 16 (0:55 - 8:25)
François Couperin: Les Barricades Mystérieuses (8:27 - 11:38)

Ulysses Quartet – Hymns and Shadows
This is a program about healing. About how we can find joy after experiencing hopelessness... how we can regain strength after withering in weakness… how we can feel wonder after witnessing horror...

Tenebrae responds to the terrible violence the composer saw on a trip to Israel by contrasting it to the unbridled awe his son felt at learning about the vastness of the cosmos. Beethoven’s transcendent slow movement is a hymn of thanks after recovering from what he thought would be a fatal illness.

Osvaldo Golijov: Tenebrae
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 - III. Molto adagio