SALEM, MA – The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) continues its Present Tense contemporary initiative with an immersive exploration of music making, featuring PEM Composer-in-Residence Matthew Aucoin and violinist Keir GoGwilt on Friday, October 2, and Saturday, October 3.

“Keir GoGwilt and I have a uniquely close musical partnership,” said Aucoin. “I’ve learned so much from the way Keir approaches the act of playing the violin, and of making music. It’s made me more deeply aware that composing music is a physical action, and that everything we call ‘spiritual’ or ‘transcendent’ in music is physically present in the air around us. We invite audiences to drop in on our ongoing collaboration – who knows what’ll happen?”

The duo will host an evening of engaging dialogue and musical virtuoso, attempting to explore and demystify the creative process and examine questions about the relationship between composing and performance.

Enjoy a cocktail and be prepared to step inside the innovative minds of these two rising stars, ask questions and experience performances that include new and in-progress music by Aucoin.

Learn more about PEM’s composer-in-residence program and purchase tickets for Music Beyond Sound at


This program is generously supported by Eunice and Jay Panetta and the Robert N. Shapiro Fund for Innovation. Also made possible in part by supporters of PEM’s Present Tense Initiative: Terry and Dick Albright, Dick and Deborah Carlson, Mr. Alfred D. Chandler III and The Reverend Susan Esco Chandler, and Fay Chandler.

The Present Tense Initiative is an extension of PEM’s contemporary art program. Under the guidance of curator Trevor Smith, the initiative celebrates the central role that creative expression plays in shaping our world today. The Present Tense Initiative engages leading creative agents and thinkers to cultivate innovative experiences fueled by the intersection of cultures, disciplines and technologies. By encouraging innovation and fostering new forms of creativity, PEM seeks to push the boundaries of what a museum experience can be.


Matthew Aucoin is a composer, conductor, poet and pianist.  A 2012 summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, Aucoin is currently the Solti Conducting Apprentice of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he made his conducting debut in February 2014. He is also the youngest assistant conductor in the history of New York City’s Metropolitan Opera. Aucoin’s third opera, Crossing, premiered at theAmerican Repertory Theater in May 2015. Aucoin’s poems and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Yale Review, The Harvard Advocate, The Colorado Review and Plain China.  He was the recent subject of a New York Times Magazine feature and a profile in The Wall Street Journal. He has served as guest lecturer on music and literature at the New York Shakespeare Society and New York University’s Casa Italiana, and has hosted classical music radio programs for New York’s WQXR. For more information visit


Keir GoGwilt has performed concerti with the Chinese National Symphony, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Santiago, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival Orchestra. He has collaborated closely with composers such as Matthew Aucoin, Tan Dun, Anna Clyne, and Tobias Picker. Recital appearances include the Spoleto Festival, Miller Theatre, and the Shalin Liu Center at Rockport. He has served as associate concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company, principal second of the Gotham Chamber Orchestra and recorded for Tzadik records. GoGwilt graduated from Harvard University with high honors and was awarded the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts.  For more information visit

Photos by John Andrews/Social Palates Photography.


The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is one of the oldest and fastest growing museums in North America. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people’s lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. Founded in 1799, the museum’s collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time – including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, as well as Native American, Oceanic and African art. PEM’s campus affords a varied and unique guest experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities, performance spaces and historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese House, a 200-year-old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. ADMISSION:Adults $18; seniors $15; students $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866‐745‐1876 or visit



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