Jack Laycox, "Morning Rain," 1969, oil on canvas.  Collection of Janet and Mark Hilbert.

Jack Laycox, “Morning Rain,” 1969, oil on canvas. Collection of Janet and Mark Hilbert.

The Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University will present its first live music event on Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m., as a quartet of musicians from Pacific Symphony performs inside the museum. Admission is free and open to the public.  A selection of California wines and cheeses will be offered.

The event is part of the ongoing INTERPLAY Festival of arts and ideas, presented by Chapman University and Pacific Symphony.  This is the fourth year of the Chapman – Pacific Symphony partnership, which brings music and visual arts events, lectures and more to the Chapman campus and to the Symphony’s home venue, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. Visit the INTERPLAY website for more information and to find more events on the festival schedule.

The quartet — flute, harp, viola and cello — will perform American chamber pieces by Katherine Hoover, Francis Hopkinson, Gary Schocker and Vincent Persichetti. The main attraction, however, will be a new work, inspired by a painting in the Museum, commissioned from Chapman music student Sam Ek ’17 by Hilbert Museum founders Mark and Janet Hilbert.  Ek based his piece on the 1969 Jack Laycox painting “Morning Rain,” scoring it for flute, cello and viola.

Laycox (1921-1984) was a well-known California fine artist whose work flourished throughout the 1950s and ’60s.  Virtuosic in both watercolors and oils, he developed a signature style, especially in his cityscape pieces, that focuses on the variety of ways the bright neon colors of street signs and car headlights bounce off dark, wet pavement.  “Morning Rain” depicts figures walking along a street, and the buildings around them, almost dissolving into abstraction, as if seen through a rain-streaked window.   The Hilbert Collection includes many outstanding examples of Laycox’s work.

Pacific Symphony musicians who will perform at this event are Cynthia Ellis, flute; Michelle Temple, harp; Pam Jacobson, viola; and Lazlo Mezo, cello.  (Mr. Mezo is also an adjunct professor in Chapman’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music.)   The 2017 INTERPLAY Festival is curated by Chapman adjunct faculty member Susan Key.