Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Three interviews with New York Times columnist Frank Rich

Frank Rich is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. His weekly essay on the intersection of culture and news helped inaugurate the expanded opinion pages that the paper introduced in April 2005. From 2003-2005, Mr. Rich was the front page columnist for the Sunday Arts & Leisure section.

Jane Wallace interviews New York Times columnist Frank Rich for PBS' NOW. Read the transcript here.

Terry Gross interviews Rich on Fresh Air (Real Player).

Tim Russert's interview with Rich from 2003.

Frank Rich makes his Celebrity Series debut on February 12 at John Hancock Hall.

Universal Classics' e-player for Cecilia Bartoli's "Opera Proibita"

Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's newest release, Opera Proibita, celebrates operas written in Bartoli's home city of Rome, in the 18th-century, "At a time when opera performance was forbidden by the Church, and female singers were forbidden from singing in public." Bartoli sings arias by George Frideric Handel (Handel lived in Rome during the early 18th-century), Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 - 1725), Antonio Caldara (c.1670 - 1736) .The CD includes world premiere recordings of arias by Scarlatti and Caldara.

Universal Classics has developed an e-player for Opera Proibita which features audio samples, album details, an interview with Bartoli, and concert tour dates (hint: our October 23 Boston concert is included).

Bartolicake_3If you want to do a little noshing while you listen to Opera Proibita, try The Ultimate Cecilia Bartoli Italian Almond Cake. Named for the legendary mezzo-soprano, the "rich yet light almond cake is an Italian masterpiece," and is "made even more divine with a layer of silky chocolate ganache." You can order The Ultimate Cecilia Bartoli Italian Almond Cake from the Zabar's web site.

The Celebrity Series brings mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli to Symphony Hall on October 23 with Orchestra La Scintilla of Zurich Opera.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jose Limón biopic to air on WGBH

Jose Limón, founder of the Limón Dance Company, is the subject of a television biography scheduled to air on WGBH television in September. Limón: A Life Beyond Words examines the poignant life and work of the enigmatic Mexican American choreographer Jose Limón (1908–1972) who dealt with his bi-cultural conflicts through art.

The company Limón founded in 1946 with Doris Humphrey comes to the Celebrity Series October 29 & 30 at the Tsai Performance Center at Boston University.

Spanish Harlem Orchestra announces personnel for October 8 performance

The Spanish Harlem Orchestra has announced the personnel for the ensemble's Celebrity Series concert, October 8 at the Berklee Performance Center. True to form, the band is stocked with many of the most prominent instrumentalists and vocalists in latin music. Here is the list:

Oscar Hernandez – Musical Director & Pianist
Ray De La Paz – Vocalist
Marco Bermudez – Vocalist
Willie Torres – Vocalist
Pablo Nunez – Timbales
Bobby Allende – Conga
Jorge Gonzalez – Bongo
Hector “Maximo” Rodriguez – Bass
Mitch Frohman – Baritone Sax & Flute
John Walsh – Trumpet
Jimmy Bosch – Trombone
Dan Reagan – Trombone
Pete Nater – Trumpet

The Spanish Harlem Orchestra makes its Celebrity Series debut Saturday, October 8 at the Berklee Performance Center.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ira Glass struggling with a TV version of "This American Life"

Longtime public radio producer Ira Glass is working on a televised version of his popular NPR program, This American Life, and the transition is proving difficult, writes Laurence Zuckerman in the New York Times:

"Glass, along with a director, an editor and a producer were camped in an editing studio near Canal Street in Lower Manhattan at 2 a.m. earlier this month, making the last push to finish the 40-minute pilot of This American Life for Showtime. 'This is everything that is really slow about production, times 500,' Glass moaned, summing up the four-month process." Read the article.

Ira Glass and Terry Gross will make their Celebrity Series debuts together at Symphony Hall on April 9, 2006.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Founder of Limón Dance Company subject of new children's book

Ruth Tabor writes in the El Paso Times on Susanna Reich's new children's book about choreographer and Limón Dance Company founder, José Limón. The book, José! Born to Dance: the Story of Jose Limon is available at

Limonbookweb"Brava! to Reich," Tabor writes, "For writing this lyrical story about a boy born in Culicacán, Mexico, in 1908, who made it to the top of the international dance world through perseverance and hard work."

You can read about author Susanna Reich on her web site, which includes a list of José! Born to Dance events and signings.

The delightful illustrations are by acclaimed artist Raul Colon. Colon discusses the surprising benefits of having chronic asthma as a child and how he once got a job accidentally by walking into the wrong location for an interview. Read his Houghton Mifflin interview.

The Limón Dance Company celebrates its 60th anniversary with a two-performance run at the Tsai Performance Center October 29 and 30 to open the 2005-2006 Dance Series. The Dance Series is a co-presentation of Bank of America Celebrity Series and The Wang Center for the Performing Arts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Was pianist Stephen Hough sporting green suede shoes at Mostly Mozart?

Pianist Stephen Hough with Osmo Vänskä and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra wowed the Festival crowd last Friday:

"Hough's cadenza for Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23," writes Marion Lignana Rosenberg in New York Newsday, "Was a wondrous thing, jagged and acidic, scooting off into unexpected harmonic realms and carrying more than a whiff of Gershwin and Ravel about it. The whoops and applause that greeted it even after the Festival Orchestra resumed playing is something that one hears all too seldom at classical concerts and, like Hough's natty bucks, a refreshing breach in decorum."

Stephen Hough is piano soloist with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg and conductor Ivor Bolton for a March 5, 2006 Celebrity Series concert.

NOTE: The performance listed above has been changed. Due to funding cuts by the Austrian government,
the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg was forced to cancel its North American tour. The venerable - and conductorless - Italian chamber group, I Musici, will replace the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg (and conductor Ivor Bolton) on March 5. We are happy to report that concert will still feature pianist Stephen Hough. The new program and link to purchase tickets are here.

Monday, August 22, 2005

'Send' Me One Great Singer

Daily Variety reports that the Houston Grand Opera has commissioned Michael John LaChiusa to write a one-person opera for soprano Audra McDonald. The new opera - tentative title: Send - is scheduled to premiere in March. Send will share a double bill with Francis Poulenc's 1959 one-person opera La voix humaine ("The Human Voice"), based on Jean Cocteau's play. McDonald will sing in both operas...

Audra McDonald will also visit Sanders Theatre for a Celebrity Series concert on May 20.

Barenboim's orchestra plays for peace in Ramallah

"...It is not every day that one sees a rehearsal being guarded by troops armed with semi-automatic weapons, but the atmosphere among the musicians was relaxed and excited..." Read Charlotte Higgins' article in The Guardian..."

Maestro Daniel Barenboim is conductor (and pianist for Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22, K. 482) on February 10, 2006 at Symphony Hall when the Staatskapelle Berlin brings an all-Mozart program to the Bank of America Celebrity Series.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wynton Marsalis to release live recording August 30

Wynton Marsalis is set to release a new quintet recording, Live at The House of Tribes, on August 30 on the Blue Note label. The record was recorded in the intimate confines of The House of Tribes, a small non-profit theater in Manhattan. The lineup features Wessell Anderson on alto saxophone; Eric Lewis on piano; Kengo Nakamura on bass; and Joe Farnsworth on drums. Robert Rucker and Orlando Q. Rodriguez sit in on percussion on selected tracks.

You can hear selected cuts from Live at The House of Tribes plus video footage of the group in performance by visiting the Blue Note web site.

Marsalis will bring a completely different ensemble to his Bank of America Celebrity Series concert at Sanders Theatre on October 30: Dan Nimmer, piano; Carlos Henriquez, bass; Ali Jackson, drums; Walter Blanding, reeds; and Jennifer Sanon, vocals.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New Wine, New Bottles...

The Celebrity Series is undergoing an office renovation and expansion. The photo above is a look at our new lobby, which, when completed, will feature a walk-up ticket window for individual ticket purchases (left side of photo) beside the reception desk (right side of photo). Our Boston address remains the same: 20 Park Plaza, Suite 1032. Come visit us in our expanding home!

Individual tickets for the entire 2005-2006 season go on sale Sunday, September 11 at 9:00 am via CelebrityCharge (617) 482-6661
or (walk-up window ticket sales start September 12)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pianist Schiff Announces October 7 Program

Schiffweb_1Pianist András Schiff has announced a program of Haydn and Beethoven for his October 7 recital at NEC's Jordan Hall, the first of four solo piano recitals in the 2005-2006 Celebrity Series season.


Haydn, Capriccio in G Major, “Acht Sauschneider müssen sein” Hob. XVII:1
Beethoven, Sonata No. 62 in E-flat Major
Haydn, Variations in F minor, Hob. XVII:6
Beethoven, Sonata in C Major, Opus 53 “Waldstein”

Individual (read: non-subscription) tickets for the recital go on sale Sunday, September 11 at 9:00 a.m. via CelebrityCharge (617) 482-6661 or at

While you're waiting for Mr. Schiff's recital date you can read this Schiller Institute interview with the pianist (reprinted from Fidelio Magazine).

Monday, August 15, 2005

Guthrie Still has a Place in Heart for Enduring 'Alice's Restaurant'

Aliceslpcoverweb "It was 40 years ago that 18-year-old Arlo Guthrie had his little adventure with a Thanksgiving dinner, a pile of garbage and a backwoods police officer named Obie..." Read the July 22 article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Arlo Guthrie's 40th Anniversary Massacree Tour makes a stop November 16, 2005 at Symphony Hall for the Celebrity Series .

"Its Catching - Worms, germs and Christmas"

Hires_ds_photo_by_hugh_hamrick Author/humorist David Sedaris' latest essay in The New Yorker - "Its Catching - Worms, germs and Christmas" - can be found here.

David Sedaris returns to the Celebrity Series May 3, 2006 at Symphony Hall.

"A Whole World of Dance in a Single Evening"

The Mark Morris Dance Group is set to perform Morris' classic L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival Aug 18-20.

Handelweb_3 The evening-length work, set to George Frideric Handel's music (libretto by John Milton and Charles Jennens), was created during the Group's three-year residency at Brussels’s Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie.

Mark Morris' L'Allegro is, according to critic and blogger Terry Teachout, no less than "a whole world of dance in a single evening."

There's a photo book of L'Allegro, too.

Mark Morris Dance Group, along with Craig Smith and the musicians and chorus of Emmanuel Music, will give three performances of L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato January 20-22 at The Wang Theatre as part of the 2005-2006 Dance Series, co-presented by Bank of America Celebrity Series and The Wang Center for the Performing Arts.

"He Doesn't Believe in Hope Anymore (So He Says)"

Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim sits down with Phil Miller of The Herald [Glasgow] for a frank discussion (new link from All About Jewish Theatre) of his Arab-Israeli orchestra project - The West-Eastern Divan, his late best friend Edward Said, and his late wife, cellist Jacqueline Du Pré.

Daniel Barenboim's essay on Edward Said - 'He Will Always be My Hero,' - originally in August by The Independent [London], can now be found here on John Tyrrell's blog along with a few other tidbits on Barenboim.

Daniel Barenboim is conductor and pianist on February 10, 2006 at Symphony Hall when the Staatskapelle Berlin brings an all-Mozart program to the Celebrity Series.

UPDATE: This post has been updated with replacement links for articles from the now defunct (may it rest in peace).

András Schiff to play first performance of newly discovered Bach aria

Opera News reports that András Schiff is scheduled to play harpsichord for the first performance of a recently discovered Bach aria at Germany's Weimar Festival with soprano Juliane Banse. Link
András Schiff will give a Celebrity Series recital at Boston's Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory on October 7, 2005.

Novelist Alexander McCall Smith talks with India's national newspaper about friendship, language and buying shoes

Scottish novelist Alexander McCall Smith in India's National Newspaper, The Hindu:

Alexandermccallsmith"One of the reasons I enjoy reading Indian poets is the beautiful English that is used. English is still used in a beautiful, elegant way, whereas in this country it's been debased." Read the article

Alexander McCall Smith makes his Celebrity Series debut at John Hancock Hall on April 20.

Yo-Yo Ma announces September 25 recital program

The renowned cellist is set to perform the following of J.S. Bach's Suites for Unaccompanied Cello:

No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009
No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011
and No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012.

The concert will be followed by the Celebrity Series Gala Celebration, The Opening Night, to benefit the Celebrity Series' award-winning education and community service activities.