5 questions to Lynn Bechtold (violinist, member of Zentripetal Duo)

With three more concerts to go, the 26th season of North River Music at Greenwich House Music is not over yet! We asked 5 questions to Lynn Bechtold, violinist and member of Zentripetal Duo performing tonight  on Barrow Street…

Sometimes, musicians fall in love with the geometry of a piece and decide to start an ensemble (I believe something similar happened between Janus Trio and Debussy’s sonata). Did such a thing happen with Zentripetal Duo?

No, just tired playing traditional violin/piano, cello/ piano rep and there are some great duos for vln/cel by Ravel, Kodaly, Schulhoff, Handel-Halvorsen. We liked the combo and then started getting other composers to write for us.

Lynn Bechtold

Why use the German word for Centripetal? Wouldn’t Zentrifugal be more musical :) ?

Just aesthetically we liked the word better… pulling inwards, and includes the English words “zen” and “trip.”

Your concert at Greenwich House Music School focuses on music by Pioneers (John Cage, Gloria Coates, Morton Subotnick, Dan Cooper, and Milica Paranosic). Mavericks is another word that was used quite a lot this Spring: is there a difference for you?

Pioneers seem to lead the way, offer a movement and imitators follow. Mavericks seem like pioneers who have yet to prove themselves. And the latter two composers are listed as “premieres” as they are more up-and-coming.

Can you tell us about your upcoming CD on Composers Concordance Records?

It includes works by Lei Liang—the current Rome Prize winner—Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, Milica Paranosic, Joe Pehrson, Alfred Schnittke, Alvin Lucier, and one by me.

Zentripetal Duo - Photo by Josh Pashman

Zentripetal Duo - Photo by Josh Pashman


Has performing with popular artists (Sheryl Crow, Roberta Flack, Left Banke, Smokey Robinson, etc.) changed the way you present New Music?

I guess a little… Jen (Jennifer DeVore, cello, the other half of Zentripetal Duo, Ed.) and I both come from a “good music is good music, regardless of the genre” viewpoint, and we often work with “classical” composers who also play guitar/electric bass/keyboards/percussion/etc.

Zentripetal Duo
Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm.
Program: Premieres by Dan Cooper and Milica Paranosic; works by John Cage, Gloria Coates and Morton Subotnick.
Admission:  $15 general; $10 students & seniors; tickets at the door.
For more info: http://www.zentripetalduo.comhttp://www.greenwichhouse.org