• Geff Strik

Re-interpreting Don Quixote - St. Pete Catalyst

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"Last month, The Florida Orchestra trumpeted the news that French-born painter Geff Strik had been named Visual Artist-In-Residence. His tryout was a triumph: For the mid-spring concert performances of Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night, the St. Pete resident created a series of oils in his moody, dramatic style, and a film of Strik  – itself equally artistic – had been screened as the orchestra performed the piece live.

The film worked as a time lapse of the creative process, as Strik’s work evolved on a single canvas. Like the music, it was a study in evolution. He painted over each scene as new ones arrived.

The artist’s next interpretive piece arrives this weekend. With Michael Francis conducting, TFO will perform Richard Strauss’ Dox Quixote, an orchestral interpretation of the literary masterwork The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha by the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes.

“Geff,” enthuses Maestro Francis, “is exceptional; what he did with Transfigured Night blew me away. It was so much more than I expected. So I said ‘We’ve got to go more of this.’”

Francis gave Strik a copy of the Don Quixote score – with a road map of handwritten notes. The artist furiously sketched, and mused, before approaching his 10-by-5-foot canvas with a brush.

“He has been absorbed in this project for six months,” says Francis, “just living and breathing it every day, this incredible language. So what we’re going to see is something no other orchestra in the world is doing.”

The 42-minute film was produced by Siècle des Lumières, LLC, with executive producers Phil Yost and Strik. It is, itself, a singular work of art, as just one canvas was utilized – the only remaining physical evidence of Strik’s ambitious process is the final scene, never painted over..."

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