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The Crossroads Project
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 02/13/2014 at Symphony Space.

Responding to one of society's greatest challenges, the Crossroads Project weaves together a chorus of artistic and scientific voices to examine the Earth's changing climate. At the core of the project is a multi-media concert featuring the Fry Street Quartet performing a newly commissioned work by Laura Kaminsky, as well as works by Haydn and Janáček, interwoven with live commentary by physicist Dr. Robert Davies to explore mankind's impact on the climate and how society might respond.

The Crossroads performance combines compelling research and vivid imagery to examine humanity's predicament and then unleashes powerful music in an effort to take the audience on a journey from intellectual understanding to visceral experience and finally to personal resolve.

Conceived by Dr. Robert Davies


"The robust, young Fry Street Quartet was a triumph of ensemble playing" -The New York Times




String Quartet No. 4, Op. 76, “Sunrise”

Franz Joseph Haydn

I. Allegro con spirito



from Rising Tide

Laura Kaminsky

I. H2O 

II. Bios

III. Forage



from Rising Tide

Laura Kaminsky

IV. Societas 





“The Machine” 



String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata

Leoš Janáček

IV. Con moto - (Adagio) - Più mosso


A discussion with Dr. William Schlesinger and Dr. Gavin Schmidt, joined by The Crossroads Project team.


+ About the Artists

A physicist and educator, Rob Davies has served as an officer and meteorologist in the U.S. Air Force, worked for NASA on the International Space Station project, and taught on the faculty of three universities. His scientific research has included interactions of spacecraft with the space environment, the fundamental nature of light and information, and Earth’s changing climate. For the past six years, Rob’s work has focused on communicating the science of climate change, energy and sustainability. 

As a principal author of this performance, along with the Fry Street Quartet, Rob is seeking to effect a deep-seated and visceral communication of the challenges we face.

“Our purpose, I think, is not the wrangling of those who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge our challenges, but rather to speed the journey of those who do understand — intellectually — but are not yet behaving as though they believe what they know…”


Over fourteen years, the Fry Street Quartet has performed for audiences both nationally and internationally -- from Carnegie Hall to the Utah State University Performance Hall; from Jerusalem to Sarajevo; Austria to Brazil. As Utah State University’s string quartet in residence, FSQ violinists Robert Waters and Rebecca McFaul, violist Bradley Ottesen, and cellist Anne Francis Bayless also comprise the string faculty at the Caine College of the Arts. Now in their tenth season at USU, in addition to maintaining an active national and international performance schedule, the FSQ has built a thriving string program, as well as a devoted following in the northern Utah community they call home.


Laura Kaminsky is a composer with “an ear for the new and interesting” (The New York Times). She has received commissions and awards from the Koussevitzky Mousic Foundation, NEA, Aaron Copland Fund, NYSCA, and Chamber Music America, among others. She has been a fellow at artists’ communities including the Hermitage Artist Retreat Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Centrum Foundation, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase. A recording of Kaminsky’s recent chamber and solo music was released in February 2013 by Albany Records. She is currently writing an oboe concerto for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and As One, a chamber opera on a transgender theme for Sasha Cooke and Kelly Markgraf for a premiere at BAM in September 2014.

Rebecca Allan is a New York-based painter whose work centers on the landscape and themes of music. Rivers, tributaries, and coastal regions of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and northern England are the artist’s primary sites of investigation and inspiration. Exhibiting nationally and abroad for more than 25 years, Allan’s most recent solo exhibitions were presented at Ringling College of Art + Design/Longboat Key Center for the Arts, Seattle Art Museum (SAM) Gallery, and 2/20 Gallery in New York City. She has been a Fellow at the Hermitage Artists Retreat, Centrum Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Dorland Mountain Art Colony. Allan is also the Head of Education at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture in New York City.


Dr. Gavin Schmidt is a climate scientist and deputy director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, where he studies past, present, and future climate change. Schmidt was cited by Scientific American as one of the 50 leading researchers of 2004 and has been a contributing author and reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is a cofounder and contributing editor of, which provides context and background on climate science issues that are missing in popular media coverage.  He co-authored Climate Change: Picturing the Science, a collaboration between scientists and photographers, published by W. W. Norton in 2009 and was the inaugural recipient of the AGU Climate Communications Prize in 2011. He tweets at @ClimateOfGavin.
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