Commissioning project between fivebyfive and the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG),
with open rehearsals and a premiere concert among the artworks, supported by New Music USA, the Eastman/ArtistShare New Artist Program, and the Decentralization Regrant Program of NYS.

Artist Judith Schaechter with her work “The Battle of Carnival and Lent” at the MAG

Artist Judith Schaechter with her work “The Battle of Carnival and Lent” at the MAG


Rochester-based quintet fivebyfive is excited to commission four works for an exhibition of the renowned stained glass artist, Judith Schaechter, to be held at the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) in February 2020. Schaechter has explored and pushed the limits of the stained-glass medium for over 35 years. Her singular, subversive, and masterful approach has altered the landscape of contemporary American art. She embraces the inherent contradictions of her work, gleefully melding the opposing currents of high and low, beauty and gore, sacred and profane, and transcendence and defeat.

The exhibition will explore her magical, ethereal and other-worldly images. Combined with the lush, rich colors and patterns, fivebyfive is eager to bring Schaechter’s works to life musically, and will commission four composers to write pieces inspired by her work.

Composers Edie Hill, Jung Sun Kang, Andrea Mazzariello and Jonathan Russell will write pieces for a premiere concert that will coincide with the exhibition and a visit by the artist in February 2020. These composers were chosen for their unique compositional voices that we believe will effectively capture and reflect upon the emotional, color-filled world of Ms. Schaechter’s work. The commissioned works will be completed in the Fall of 2019. Following the premiere concert, fivebyfive will include these works on its tour and make a documentary and recording of the project.

Embracing the spirit of accessibility, fivebyfive and MAG propose a large window of time for preparations. Through open rehearsals and preview performances, audiences will be given the opportunity to connect with the artists, ask questions and experience the work as it evolves. Both fivebyfive and MAG believe this to be essential to the ultimate understanding of the art and to the development of an engaged audience.

August 2019 – delivery of score and materials to fivebyfive

Fall 2019
Meet the Composer / Open Rehearsals
Memorial Art Gallery Auditorium
Sunday, September 15 – JON RUSSELL
Sunday, October 27 – EDIE HILL
Sunday, November 10 – JUNG SUN KANG
Sunday, December 8 – ANDREA MAZZARIELLO  

Sunday February 16, 2020 – premiere performances of commissioned compositions at Memorial Art Gallery’s Auditorium, 2:00PM

Late Spring 2020 – subsequent performances of works, tour and recording of project

Schaechter’s bold stained glass works illuminate a wide range of human experience from humor and beauty to pain and suffering. fivebyfive’s huge color palette is a fantastic medium to musically illustrate her work.
-Edie Hill

I’ve always found the duality of the things around the world fascinating and her art reflects in a way of juxtaposing sacred and profane, small details and a large scale, old and new.
– Jung Sun Kang

Schaechter describes her medium’s noncompliance: glass is unforgiving, cruel. I want to reconcile the ideal of “speaking music” fluently with a celebration of the ways music pushes back. fivebyfive is committed to advocating for new repertoire and is the ideal ensemble for this exploration.
– Andrea Mazzariello

Her work is uniquely striking, combining luminously gorgeous materials with complex, often disturbing subject matter. fivebyfive’s adventurous and eclectic spirit is a perfect complement to her work, and I would be deeply inspired by the opportunity to respond to her work with a piece for them.
– Jonathan Russell


We thank the Decentralization Program of NYS for its support of this project.

This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with thesupport of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts.