Premiering on The Strad is Absinthe - a multi-faceted storytelling project presenting classical music to new audiences in a combination of film and music making.

Absinthe stars Alexander Hersh, a cellist living in Chicago. In the film, he is seemingly haunted by a cello-shaped bottle of the lurid green, highly alcoholic drink Absinthe. Nicknamed ‘The Green Fairy’ due to its verdant hue, the drink was banned in many European countries in the early 20th century, due to claims it produced hallucinogenic effects on the drinker, as well as psychosis, seizures and dangerous behaviour.

The film aims to bring classical music to the mainstream, without diluting down artistry, but rather doubling down on creativity. The project also includes and album release of works recorded by Hersh and pianist Victor Santiago Asunción, including pieces by Ravel, Nadia Boulanger, Lily Boulanger, and Janáček. 

Raised in Chicago, Hersh began playing the cello aged five. He attended the Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago, New England Conservatory of Music and ’Hanns Eisler’ Hochschule for Musik Berlin, counting Steve Balderston, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Laurence Lesser, Paul Katz, Kim Kashkashian and Nicolas Altstaedt as his teachers.

Hersh is the co-artistic director of NEXUS Chamber Music. He has received top prizes at competitions worldwide including the 2022 Pro Musicis International Award and appeared at numerous chamber music festivals including Marlboro, Caramoor, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Music@Menlo, IMS Prussia Cove, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, among others. He plays a G.B. Rogeri cello on generous loan from a sponsor through the Guarneri Hall Affiliate Artists program and Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins in Chicago, IL.

Alexander Hersh will feature in a future episode of The Strad Podcast.

Creative team:

Director: Miles Jappa

Director of Photography: Mike Grittani, Grittani Creative

Edited by: Mike Grittani, Grittani Creative

Executive Producer: Alexander Hersh

Written by: Alexander Hersh, Miles Jappa, and Mike Grittani

Audio Engineer: Charlie Post

Audio Producer: Stefan Hersh

Creative Consultant: Roberta Freier

DCR: Naomi Wexer

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