In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one extremely gifted individual took it upon himself to ponder the effect of music on human creativity.

Paul Wong
The American String Quartet will back up Da Camera in their tribute to Proust.<br><br>Courtesy of UMS

Influenced by prominent composers such as Reynaldo Hahn, Gabriel Faure, Cesar Franck and Claude Debussy, Marcel Proust went on to compose brilliant literary masterpieces heavily doused by French culture.

Tomorrow night, UMS”s presentation of Marcel Proust”s works by Da Camera of Houston Productions will include “Paris,” “Swann”s Way,” “Without a Budding Grove” and other noteworthy compositions.

The French government has honored Sarah Rothenberg, artistic director and pianist of Da Camera of Houston, with the presentation of the Medal of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. Rothenburg believes that the reading of Marcel Proust”s literary works by the essayist and critic Andr Aciman will make this particular performance stand out from other performances which follow the same program.

“Each project I try to find something new, a different way of presenting, which brings an element of surprise to the audience they might not know how fast or slow a musician will play,” she said. “The spontaneity is something I want to bring into the concert.

Aciman composed the memoir, “Out of Egypt,” which retells his refined and cosmopolitan Jewish family”s experience in Alexandria, Egypt, spanning the time between their arrival in Alexandria in 1905 and their forced departure in 1965. One critic has dubbed him as “our contemporary Proust.”

The American String Quartet will provide the musical accompaniment to the performance. Created in 1974, the Quartet celebrated its 25th anniversary with a 50-state tour in 1998. In addition, the Quartet has had the distinction of performing in Japan alongside the Montreal Symphony, the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Quartet is comprised of violinists Peter Winograd and Laurie Carney, violist Daniel Avshalomov and cellist David Geber.

To belt out the deep, resonant music of the French compositions, William Sharp will be the baritone. He is known for performances that, according to the Chicago Tribune, “are so caring of words and music, so direct of declaration that (they) cease to be performances at all, but emotion itself.”

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