Murphy 32TowerRd Giese 002 front 300 x 200

Music in Modern Houses #3 

Saturday, May 13, from 1 - 4pm

Please join us for an afternoon of music by the renowned Sheffield Chamber Players and the moving composition of architecture in harmony with its landscape.

Live and via Zoom in the garden of the 1937 Murphy House, Lincoln 

Please RSVP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and make a donation below.

Limited space for in-person. Donations to benefit Friends of Modern Architecture

Suggested in-person Donations $100

Suggested Zoom Donation $25 

Suggested student Donation $20


The concert will live stream here.


SCP Casual Instruments 30 x 200 Copy of Sheffield Symbol Name Tagline 300 x 308 copy


1:00 pm - Arrival
1:30 pm - Architectural Presentation by FoMA | Homeowner Remarks | Introduction by Composer Ralf Yusuf Gawlick
2:00 pm - Music Program performed by the Sheffield Players - Sasha Callahan and Megumi Stohs Lewis, violins, Alexander Vavilov, viola; Leo Eguchi, cello | Ralf Gawlick’s Berlin Suite op.16 | Mozart’s String Quartet #23
3:00-4:00 Refreshments and Home visit

murphy murphy 1937 Terrace lhg 300 x 200

The 1936-37 Murphy House was a small Modern cabin in the woods designed by Lincoln resident, architect Cyrus Murphy, a two-story, simple cube that was one of the first Modern houses built in Lincoln.

In 1974, the house was transformed by noted Lincoln architect, Henry Hoover, for his daughter and son-in-law, Lucretia and Paul Giese. To increase interior light and an improved floor plan, key exterior walls were angled, creating a Zen-like view through broad openings that generously invite the outside in. The addition of deep window recesses at the ground level were designed to generate vitality by providing a greater play of light and shadow. In addition, broad overhangs were added to produce a stronger horizontality, anchoring the house to the land. Landscape architect Jonathan Keep designed an intricate landscape enhancing and extending the play of light and shadow, while reinforcing the intimate relationship of the house and its setting. 

Berlin Suite op.16 (2009) for string quartet, was commissioned by the German Embassy (Washington D.C.) and Boston College for the film documentary Writing on the Wall: Remembering the Berlin Wall (John Michalczyk and Ronald Marsh, co-producers) for the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Each of the concert suite’s eight distinct movements explores psychological landscapes that emerge as profiles of energy, hope, sadness, anticipation, nostalgia, and reverie. The Berlin Wall holds both real and metaphorical meaning, its presence physically dividing East and West Berlin, while symbolically representing Communist oppression. Liberation from this oppression is painfully bittersweet as a profound sense of regret and loss pervades the music:

I. Fall/Bau (Falling/Building) 
II. Zerteilt (Divided) 
III. In jener Zeit (In that time…) 
IV. Rückblick I (Looking back I) 
V. Rettender Regen (Saving Rain) 
VI. Rückblick II (Looking back II) 
VII. [N]ostalgie (Nostalgia) 
VIII. Liebesleid (Love’s pain) 
Ralf Yusuf Gawlick, a German-American composer and Professor of Music at Boston College, is of Romani-Kurdish descent. His works include solo, chamber, orchestral, film and choral music, traversing a wide range of styles and often exploring aspects of his complex international heritage. 

W.A. Mozart (1756—1791) | String Quartet No. 23 in F major, K.590
I. Allegro moderato, in F major
II. Andante, in C major
III. Menuetto: Allegretto
IV. Allegro, in F major

While most composers had to consciously create their voice, Mozart seems to have had an intuitive vision for his own musical language when he began composing at the age of 5.  However, many music historians have observed a change in Mozart’s writing style in his final years. He made a concerted effort to simplify, which revolutionized his writing and could be clearly observed in his last few piano concerti, his last symphony, his final opera The Magic Flute, and his last several chamber music compositions. Many mourned the absence of the delightful irregular phrases, textural complexity, and unusual rhythms in this new language of his. The gains were less obvious to spot, but were profound nevertheless. Shedding these perceived excesses provided Mozart with direct access to the most serene and sacred corners of the human soul even he was unable to fully explore before. In this particular quartet, written in 1790 for the cello-playing king of Prussia, the highly melodic cello part transforms the texture, flipping the voicing upside-down. The resulting sonority, combined with the transparently ascetic writing, creates a unique equilibrium of voices – a stunning effect, which lasts long past the double bar. This is particularly true of the evasively transcendent second movement, while the fiddling runs and bag-pipe drones in the finale remind us that youthful shenanigans remained as dear to Mozart as the sublime. ~ Alexander Vavilov

FoMA is dedicated to increasing awareness of Lincoln's 20th Century Modern Houses by: publishing, documenting, hosting events such a House Tours, presenting Lectures and Symposia and screening Films