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© Charline von Heyl, Primavera 2020

THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT is a modern-day collaboration of music and art inspired by one of the most widely admired and enigmatic paintings of the Renaissance, Botticelli’s Primavera. Contemporary artist Charline von Heyl has created her own original large-scale painting, Primavera 2020, prophetic in tone. In our new reality of the global pandemic and social upheaval, both Primavera paintings’ composition, characters, symbolism, nature and flora, darkness and light, mythology, identity, and spirituality are ripe for reflection and new interpretations. The two Primavera paintings are the genesis for a series of contemporary musical commissions.

The commissions, solo cello works each around 5-7 minutes long, began with nine composers incorporating a variety of musical languages. Each composer recommends colleagues to be considered as the next participating composers; a total of 81 composers will be selected and commissioned for the project. New pieces are workshopped by the composer and performer to realize the composer’s vision. Together, these North American composers highlight the immense diversity of voices in our contemporary musical landscape.  

Along with the series of recordings, Matt Haimovitz performs live concerts of the newly commissioned music in both alternative and traditional performance spaces with a life-size giclée reproduction of von Heyl’s Primavera 2020 painting, and ultimately with a multimedia theatrical production with both Botticelli’s and von Heyl’s Primavera paintings.