For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


PHILADELPHIA, September 15, 2017—The Music Department at the Parkway Central Library is delighted to partner with neighboring institution the Barnes Foundation to offer library users free access to rehearsals of the Barnes Ensemble at the Parkway Central Library. The rehearsals will be part of a 9-day Barnes Ensemble Festival that leads up to a culminating debut performance at the Barnes Foundation on October 8. This collaboration, in line with the work of the Free Library’s Music Department librarians, aims to offer library visitors the opportunity to discover relationships between different pieces of music, making contemporary classical works more approachable for new audiences.

The Barnes Ensemble is an innovative contemporary music ensemble with the celebrated JACK Quartet—an award-winning contemporary-music foursome comprised of two violinists, a violist, and a cellist—as its core. Its work is inspired by Albert Barnes’s unconventional approach to arranging art, which can be seen in the Barnes collection. The Barnes Ensemble presents musical works of different cultures and periods, challenging established genres much as Dr. Barnes’s unconventional art ensembles challenged traditional art norms.

During the festival, the Barnes Ensemble will hold rehearsal sessions at the Parkway Central Library. Library visitors are invited to attend, as audience members, scheduled open rehearsals and master classes, which are free and open to the public at the Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street.

The following public events will be hosted at Parkway Central:

Cello/Bass Masterclass with JACK cellist Jay Campbell
Sunday, October 1 ¦ 1:00–4:00 p.m. ¦ Room 108

Quartet Masterclass with JACK Quartet
Tuesday, October 3 ¦ 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. ¦ Room 108

Violin Masterclass with JACK violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman
Friday, October 6 ¦ 1:00–3:00 p.m. ¦ Montgomery Auditorium

Viola/Composer Masterclass with JACK violist John Richards and composer Eric Wubbels
Friday, October 6 ¦ 3:00–6:00 p.m. ¦ Montgomery Auditorium

Fellows Jam Session (informal breakout performance)
Saturday, October 7 ¦ 1:00–4:00 p.m. ¦ Montgomery Auditorium

“As part of our mission, the Free Library of Philadelphia seeks to inspire curiosity and build an enlightened community devoted to lifelong learning,” said Ray Banas, Music Department Head. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to further our mission through this collaboration with the Barnes by offering a welcoming and inclusive public space that promotes community engagement through a thoughtful and creative program that makes modern musical works understandable and relevant.”  

The Barnes Ensemble’s premiere performance, “Ramifications,” will be on Sunday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Annenberg Court of the Barnes Foundation, located at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In celebration of the partnership with the Free Library, library cardholders can access discounted tickets to this performance. For more information, visit

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About the Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including  those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.

About the Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned masterworks by such artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and non-Western art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850