Project Brahms Requiem


Each season, juniors in the Illustration Department of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design create works of original art in response to a masterwork being performed by H+H that year. H+H Historically Informed Performance Fellow Teresa Neff and an H+H musician work with students to understand the background and composition of the selected work.

In March 2024, a professional jury selected 12 works to display during H+H's performance of Brahms' Requiem. We invite you to view those 12 artworks below.

If you are interested in purchasing a piece of art, contact Emily Reed at Artwork will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis and students will receive 100% commission for the sale.

View all of the artworks

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Selected by Jury

Liana Soares de Almeida
Acrylic | $550

As an artist, my primary mode of communication has always been through images. I create art as a way to demonstrate various relationships - that of the paint and the canvas, the viewer and the subject, the line and the light - and emotions. I began my art career with a love for linework and have used that basis to inform the forms in my acrylic paintings. Initially, my art was mostly flat in color; over time, however, I’ve learned to use palette knives to add texture and bring more body and life to a piece. I am attracted to saturated colors, particularly cool tones. My hope is for the viewer to see the subject through the same bright lens I do. My greatest success has been in my portraits of people I know and love. I feel they best convey to the viewer my feelings about the subject. My desire for other people to see my point of view is rooted in enjoying company in my world and a hope that they can understand the importance of my relationships and my imagination.

Gwendolyn Enos
Charcoal | $650

Brahms' A German Requiem is a vividly human piece to me. The intensely emotive soundscape the orchestra offers pushes forward the chorus, specifically the solo male and female voices. The moments of the piece in which the two voices work together and at times have a a push and pull dynamic resonate, leading me to compose a piece of two figures intertwined, yet not completely. The piece being a requiem also lends to the positioning of the bodies, the female looking up to the atmosphere; the heavens, whilst the male arm is pulling her back to earth. Grounding the mourner in grief or holding on to the spirit/memory.

Noah Gianfriddo
Watercolor | $550

In moments of grief we find ourselves contemplating many things on the path to acceptance, especially one’s own mortality. This is a process we go through several times in our lives, yet we are always surrounded by the circle of life and death, from the microscopic to the huge. The only thing that seems to be ever-changing is our perspective, influenced by our own emotion.

Sophia Grausam
Charcoal, graphite pencil | $500

This piece of artwork represents how music can help us heal and how we can hide our emotions within music. Whether we play an instrument, sing, perform or just listen. Music is meaningful to all of us somehow and it can help us heal. The figure is hiding in the shadows of the waist of the violin to represent how music will always be there for us, even if we want to be hidden away from the world. It protects us even in the darkest of times.

Bre Gutheil
Gouache | $500

I made this piece in gouache paint, and it shows a hooded figure riding a horse toward a large tree. When I listen to Brahms’ Requiem, I imagine nature, and I picture a journey from beginning to end. In this piece I wanted to show the magic of the journey, and how inspiring it can feel to get a glimpse of your goal even while still having progress to make. I made the figure a hooded silhouette so that anyone can insert themself into the piece. I also like to think that the large tree can be interpreted in different ways.

Meiyi Huang
Digital | $250

I was inspired by the second part of the lyrics, which say
“Be patient therefore, brethren,
unto the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the husbandmen waiteth
for the precious fruit of the earth,
and hath long patience for it,
until he receive the early and latter rain.”
I wanted to represent the farmers by their hands, and the yellow ribbon is the "coming of the Lord" that the farmers are waiting for.
Tie the hands representing the farmers to the seed.

Cooper Laurie
Watercolor, ink | $215

Chloe Marcotti
Digital, ink | $250

This piece is a view of life and death from three realms- the heavens, the earth, and the ground. They are interconnected and unchangeable. The heavens are a beautiful space full of hope, the earth is filled with mourning (and spaces of peace), and the ground is a neutral area, where the living and dead coexist without even knowing.

Emily Patenaude
Digital | $250

To me, Brahms' Requiem is about remembering loved ones after their passing and continuing to live on with their memories, it is more about the remembrance and love that is found in grief rather than just the sadness. I wanted to depict a peaceful resting place and the feelings of being surrounded by love when passing. When our loved ones pass, we are left with the love and legacy they planted before us.

Jacqueline Powell
Digital | $450

Within the first days of working on this assignment, news surfaced of what was only the beginning of Israel’s bombing campaign upon Gaza. The horror of thousands of men, women, children, even the unborn, dying in such cruel conditions heeds no explanation.

I am an American Jew, the great-granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, and I stand with my peers and cry that it is not “never again”, but “never again to any people”. My intention is to show that even in great despair, hope persists. This artwork is a reflection of these feelings in combination with this piece of music.

Frankie Rivera
Digital | $300

My piece was inspired by the second part of Brahms' Requiem, "For all flesh is as grass." I imagined a struggle between two forces, both fragile yet still with a will to oppose one another. This warrior stands a casualty of this battle, lashing out after the comrades they lost, and the characters left are the soldier and the moonlight.

Max Sexton
Pastel chalk | $450

Feelings of sorrow, grief, and hope were manifesting as I listened to Brahms Requiem. I represented these feelings with a soft image of a sailboat floating on a still ocean, during either sunrise or sunset. I wanted to convey a feeling of solitude and a sense of being lost, but also of better times just over the horizon.