DALLAS, TX – January 29, 2019: On Monday, February 18, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza will mark its thirtieth anniversary by presenting the premiere of a commissioned work by Texas composer Jesus Martinez. Entitled “The Sixth Floor,” the work pays tribute to the Museum’s early beginnings as well as honoring the life, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated fifty-five years ago.
“The thirtieth anniversary of our Museum is an important historical and cultural milestone for Dallas, and in conjunction with the fifty-fifth anniversary of the death of President Kennedy, it is appropriate to acknowledge these anniversaries with an original musical composition that pays homage to President and Mrs. Kennedy’s affinity for arts and culture,” said Nicola Longford, chief executive officer. “Integral to our mission is offering meaningful programming experiences that link the past to the present and future. This anniversary program is the launch of a new series inspired by Kennedy’s challenge for boundless creativity, innovation and discovery; uniting arts and culture with science and technology; and the exploration of frontiers yet to be imagined.”
A Texas native who had not yet been born at the time of the assassination, acclaimed composer Jesus Martinez had an inherited understanding of the impact of the death of President Kennedy. While creating the composition “The Sixth Floor,” he gained deeper insight into why his generation and those even younger remain connected to Kennedy’s legacy as a symbol of unbridled passion for truth, perseverance and patriotism. Arranged in three movements, “Sniper’s Perch,” “A Nation in Crisis” and “The Legacy,” Martinez’s composition is a stirring journey from the darkest days of 1963 to a deeper understanding of the enduring relevance of President Kennedy, and a call to imagine what lies beyond.
The composition will be performed by The Julius Quartet, which currently serves as the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. The quartet debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2016 and is rapidly becoming known for both its musical talents and work with outreach events and educational workshops for at-risk youth.
The 30th Anniversary Concert will be held on Presidents Day, Monday, February 18. A pre-concert reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30, and are available for advance purchase at jfk.org.
Concert attendees will also be able to tour the Museum’s temporary exhibit, 55 Years, on display on the seventh floor through August 4, 2019. The installation includes 57 magazine covers depicting President Kennedy from 1963 to 2018 and reflects how the memorialization of the thirty-fifth president has evolved over time.
About Jesus Martinez
With a master’s degree in Music Composition from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from University of Texas at Arlington, Jesus Martinez has served as Composer-in-Residence for both the Alabama Orchestra Association and the Irving Symphony Orchestra. While at SMU, he studied primarily with composer Dr. Robert Frank and developed a special interest in film scoring and new music ensembles.
Martinez was commissioned to score the film “Mystery of Birds,” which premiered in Houston in 2011 and was selected to screen at the Los Angeles Black Film Festival. In 2012, the film won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Film by an African Living Abroad. Also in 2011, Martinez presented his 34-minute world premiere of “Threnody for 9/11 for Mixed Chamber Ensemble,” which received accolades in Texas print and broadcast media and a resolution in his name issued by the Texas State Legislature. Martinez scored the 2013 film “Take the Spotlight,” which premiered at four film festivals in Texas, Arkansas and Georgia, winning awards for best film and best director.
His other noteworthy works include “American Dances” with the SMU Dance Studio, “Revelations” with Dr. Michael Varner, “All the Wrong Friends” with Mark Kerins and “The Hanging Tree,” which received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Earshot Columbus Symphony Orchestra Composer Competition.
About The Julius Quartet
Hailed as “the captivating young string quartet” (The Bennington Banner), the Julius Quartet is rapidly making itself known in the chamber music world. As the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, the musicians worked intensely with the celebrated Shanghai Quartet and went on to hold a special residency as “The Boston Conservatory’s Honors String Quartet.” The quartet was awarded First Prize at the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, First Prize at the first annual MA-ASTA String Quartet/Quintet Competition by unanimous vote and was nominated for the Harvard Musical Association’s Arthur Foote Award.
The Julius Quartet has performed in Bing Concert Hall (Stanford, CA), Bargemusic (Brooklyn, NYC), the Shalin Liu Performing Arts Center (Rockport, MA), The Moss Arts Center (Blacksburg, VA), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA) and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, MA). In addition, the group has been featured repeatedly in the Music from Salem festival, where it collaborated with artists and directors Rhonda Rider, Lila Brown and Judith Gordon.
The quartet includes violinists Hyun Jeong Helen Lee and David Do, violist John Batchelder, and cellist Brooke Scholl.
Marketing and Communications Manager
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
About the Museum
Mission Statement: The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history.
Vision Statement: To be an impartial, multi-generational destination and forum for exploring the memory and effects of the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, through sharing his legacy and its impact on an ever-changing global society.
Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are included with admission and available in eight languages, including ASL. For more information, visit jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.
Admission: $18 Adult, $16 Senior, $14 Youth (children aged 5 and under are free or $5 with audio/ASL).