Press Release

Nothing but the Sound – Loop 38 debuts work by Austrian Composer George Friedrich Haas in Houston

April 04, 2017

Nothing but the Sound – Loop 38 debuts work by Austrian Composer George Friedrich Haas in Houston

Rothko Chapel hosts concert performed in near darkness, Tuesday, May 2

HOUSTON – April 4, 2017 – Ever wonder about the relationship between music and light? In May, guests will discover how melodies sound interplays in almost darkness – with an immediate burst of light -- at the Rothko Chapel.

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, the local nonprofit is set to host Music in Darkness, a performance of “in vain” by Austrian composer George Friedrich Haas. Most of the piece is played in near darkness with performers playing from memory.

The event is free and open to the public -- with a suggested donation of $10. The Rothko Chapel is located at 3900 Yupon.

Praised by the New York Times as a ‘masterpiece’ and the Guardian as ‘a monumental work,’ ‘in vain’ has already made a splash on the classical music scene. The upcoming performance at Rothko Chapel will mark the Texas premiere of the piece.

The demanding composition will be performed by 28 musicians from Loop38 – a local chamber ensemble comprised entirely of Houston transplants – as part of their debut season. Musicians in Loop38 have played all over the world, and its members hold degrees from Juillard, the Peabody Institute, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Yale, the Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Michigan and the University for the Arts in Bremen, Germany.

Born in East Austria, Haas is an internationally acclaimed composer. He serves as professor of music, composition at Columbia University. His work synthesizes the Austrian orchestral tradition with groundbreaking and experimental composition.

“While many of his works have been performed to great acclaim in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and London, Haas has yet to be discovered in Houston,” Rothko executive director David Leslie said. “The Rothko Chapel is the perfect venue for this concert. The acoustics in the Chapel are second to none, and the absence of light during this performance will accentuate that and create a unique experience for the listeners.                      

For more information about the Rothko Chapel and a full calendar of upcoming programs, workshops and events, visit or call 713-524-9839.


About the Rothko Chapel

The Rothko Chapel is open to the public every day of the year at no charge and successfully interconnects art, spirituality and compassionate action through a broad array of free public programs. Founded by Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, the Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary. Today it stands as a monument to art, spirituality and human rights. As an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, the Chapel depends on contributions from foundations and individuals to support its mission of creating a space for contemplation and dialogue on important issues.

About Loop38

Co-founded by conductor Jerry Hou and pianist Yvonne Chen at the Shepherd School of Music in 2016, chamber ensemble Loop38 is comprised entirely of Houston transplants, bringing their unique musical experiences from all over the world to share with the Houston community. Its members hold degrees from The Juilliard School, Peabody Institute, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, Yale University, University of Michigan, University for the Arts in Bremen, Germany, and Oberlin Conservatory. Members of the group have worked with composers such as Steve Reich, Pierre Boulez, Gyorgy Kurtag, Helmut Lachenmann, Bernard Rands, Unsuk Chin, and Mark-Anthony Turnage. Loop38 aims to create unique aural experiences for the community, record and disseminate new works, and provide resources to further enjoyment for listeners and performers.

For more information, visit

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