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Breaking the Rules

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Breaking the Rules
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Breaking The Rules ® is an innovative and exciting program designed to promote a new understanding and enjoyment of classical music in order to expedite a positive effect on our culture.


“BREAKING THE RULES®” is a vivacious, irreverent investigation of classical music, intended to spur a revolution in music comprehension. Fueled with insatiable desire to introduce classical music from a completely different perspective, Bob Dawson pulls out all the stops. Unlike a formal piano recital, this is a 3  person music/theatre piece hosted and performed by pianist Bob Dawson. He invites the listener to the delights and integrity of classical music with vivid imagery, amusing stories and a profound universal connection that stimulates curiosity about classical music and its place in our world.

Breaking The Rules exists in two segments, each 60 minutes in lenght.  The first segment, a 3 person musical/theatre piece utilizes the w

The first segment of my “Breaking The Rules” program, “Did Mozart Break Any Rules?” has expanded into a 3-person music-theatre piece. It now includes my director, Christine Prendergast and producer, Juliet Sunara.

In past rehearsals, Christine and Juliet would offer humorous suggestions or make impromptu remarks. So, we decided to include their clever witticisms into the script! This means a “performance” runs as if it were a “rehearsal” (it’s a lot more fun).

Stylistically, but a lot younger, Bob Dawson is similar to Liberace with his pianist flair and curious like Lenny Bernstein with his personal passion and knowledge of classical music.  Bob Dawson in “BREAKING THE RULES®” is presented nationally on stage at performing art centers, colleges and universities.

The second segment, "Translators of the Universe®":  A few years ago Bob Dawson, who in addition to being a gifted pianist, composer and playwright, is also a music scholar, had a question constantly swirling within his mind, which he could not answer, so he started to study it: "What makes classical music, among all other forms of music, unique?"   He bought scores and scores of music, ripped them apart, and taped them up all over the walls of his apartment, so that he could constantly LOOK for the piece, the idea, that was pursuing him. It was a messy apartment, but he told his friends, "I loved the wallpaper."  One day, walking home on the Upper West Side through Central Park, he had his "Eureka!" moment.  The mysterious “discovery” fell into place! He raced home to check the scores---double check the scores-----he was correct! This idea, this "discovery," really, brought him into the world of science, so his next step was to hire graduate students from Columbia University to check his statistics.  They  were accurate. Then, he decided to take his musical/scientific "discovery" to the top----to NASA. NASA scientists  scrutinized his work; realized Bob's "finding,"  "discovery," had NEVER been discovered before in the natural sciences as they related to music!  NASA scientists endorsed Dawson's discovery, which remains a MYSTERY, a magic and fascinating one,  until "Translators of the Universe"  is completed and launched in a major way to the American public.

“BREAKING THE RULES®” Team: Bob Dawson, Co-Creator, recipient of the ASCAP composer award, has enjoyed a long career as a composer and pianist performing with the Juilliard Chamber Ensemble as well as part of a 12 piece touring ensemble for Columbia Records.  Dawson also performs solo frequently for private events hosted by esteemed organizations such as Sloane Kettering, Musica Sacra, Network 20/20, Conde Nast, HBO, Simpson Thacher, Weil Gotshal, Lazard Freres, Credit Suisse and for repeated events hosted by private individuals such as Hillary Cinton, the late William F. Buckley, Jr, Mikhail Gorbachev and the late Peter Jay Sharp. In addition, Dawson has appeared on television and has performed with Broadway pit orchestras.  Among Dawson's recording accomplishments is a Warner Brothers folio release for MTNA (Music Teachers National Association).

Christine Prendergast, Artistic Director, Associate Editor. Co-author of the acclaimed international publication of the book, "A Sense Of Occasion" an introduction to the art of the theatre. Considered an expert in her field, Christine has worked as a consultant for such agencies as The New York State Council On the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Pittsburgh, PA. School System. Christine has taught and lectured about her two passions: acting and directing for adult audiences, at many universities and cultural arts centers; including, the Kennedy Center, New York University, NYC's  New School for Social Research and the Ohio Theatre Alliance. Previously a theatre manager and educator in the performing arts,  she  frequently worked as an Assistant Director for Off-Broadway productions. Christine is an actor who has studied and taught the Meisner Method of Acting in New York.  As a writer, she works as a "sounding board" to other writers.  Christine titled the First Segment of "BTR," "Did Mozart Break Any Rules?" 

Juliet Sunara has been with “BREAKING THE RULES®” since 2007 and has assisted in many areas including, editing, producing and as a diction coach.  Ms Sunara’s creative and intuitive abilities make her an invaluable asset to the BTR team.  Formerly, Ms Sunara was active at the United Nations, assisted in event management and employed by the Indian Mission in public relations.

Bill Wright, adviser and consultant to “BREAKING THE RULES®” has successfully spanned three careers in four decades - architecture, university administration, and performing arts management. Bill's expertise as an advisor to Dawson and the “BREAKING THE RULES®” Team is invaluable. After celebrated careers at the University of Houston and Rutgers University, President of the New Brunswick Cultural Center of New Jersey, he then went on to become Executive Director of the Wharton Center at Michigan State University, which he developed into one of the largest performing arts programs in the country.  As a member of the New York League of American Theatres and Producers, Bill has been active in the New York theatre industry, and a Tony Voter for 12 years.

Mary Hilliard, Jeff Peckage,  photography.

Friends and Advisors: George Andrews, Berge Avedisian, Ralph Buxton, Mary Chenoweth, Rachel Chenoweth, George and Mary Dawson, George Dawson III, Vicky Glass, Patricia Kondek, Ibolya Korody, Kevin Olson, Andrea Scola, Anne Strain, Gail Wilson and other unnamed friends. Steinway and Sons - especially Irene Wlodarski & Peter Goodrich Attorneys: Ben Tabler, Rob Isackson, Kristen Cornuelle and paralegal Olga Rapoport of Orrick Herrington. In great appreciation:  all Bob Dawson Music Service clients--for whom he plays in Metro NYC.    

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