Tim Tai, Photography Editor

Adam Winograd ’25 has spent a lot of time thinking about Thomas Eakins’ “Kathrin.”

As a composer-performer with the Yale Undergraduate Chamber Orchestra, or YUCO, Winograd is one of several undergraduates who composed chamber music in response to visual works of art on display at the Yale University Art Gallery. Wielding the name “Kathrin” as a unifying theme, Winograd noted the difficulty of “solidifying the emotions a painting elicits.”

On Thursday night, YUCO will perform 10 pieces composed in response to a wide breadth of artwork, from the Eakins’ brooding 19th-century piece to more modern artworks by Salvador Dalí and Mardsen Hartley. After the performance, audience members will have the opportunity to browse the gallery after-hours — the YUAG is always open late on Thursday evenings, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — and engage with art from around the world. 

“When you have composers who are working on expressing themselves through a different medium, you are actively encountering a different point of view towards works of traditional visual art, with a necessarily modern flair,” said Winograd.

He added that the interdisciplinary performance is part of a broader exploration of the boundaries between the fine arts, and “though visual arts are more able to portray a narrative and music is abstract, when things come together, either mode can inform the other.” 

YUCO was founded in 2016 and is revamping itself this year, according to artistic director Ben Beckman ’24. He describes the organization as a “group for musicians who are committed to high-level music making.” YUCO will perform 12 concerts this academic year. 

Beckman noted that YUCO and this Thursday’s program “really gives back to the broader Yale composition community,” highlighting the opportunity that the organization provides for first-years to perform and contribute to technically challenging music.

Keeley Brooks ’25 will be performing in both a duet and several larger ensembles Thursday evening. 

“One of my favorite things about working with a composer is that you can see what their vision was, and also you can try and translate it in the best way you can; the process is more back-and-forth” she shared. 

Brooks added that being able to meet personally with the composer “made it easier to identify the emotional content they had drawn from the artwork and wanted to communicate through the musical composition.”

YUCO approached Molleen Theodore, YUAG curator of public programs, and Alice Matthews, Jock Reynolds Fellow in Public Programs early in the fall to create an event that would serve the goals of both the YUAG and YUCO. 

Matthews said that the program is “exciting because it serves both [Yale and the New Haven public] at the same time, and it is a great chance for the public to experience student groups at Yale and some really great classical music.” 

“One of the most important things a museum can do is support both performing and visual art; when the two happen in the same space, it really resonates,” she added.

Theodore emphasized that a main goal of the art gallery is to get more students interested in and involved with the incredible resources it offers. Audience members are welcome to explore the gallery and its collections following the conclusion of YUCO’s performance in the Robert McNeil, Jr. Lecture Hall. 

The performance is sponsored by the Martin A. Ryerson Lectureship Fund. Tickets can be reserved through the Yale College Arts website. 

Anabel Moore edits for the WKND desk. She previously wrote for the WKND, Magazine and Arts desks as a staff writer. Originally from the greater Seattle, WA area, she is a junior in Branford College double-majoring in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and the History of Art with a certificate in Global Health.