Thursday, August 23, 2007

Paul Taylor Dance Company announces Boston program

The Paul Taylor Dance Company's Boston program has been announced. The program features two Boston premieres and two established Taylor favorites:

Troilus and Cressida (reduced) (Boston premiere)
Lines of Loss (Boston premiere)

The Company performs November 30 through December 2 at the Citi Shubert Theatre. By the way, the photo featured above is of Paul Taylor's Esplanade. If the photo has you thinking, "I could do that," you need to see the entire work...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Soprano Measha Brueggergosman announces program

Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman makes her Boston debut on November 10. She recently announced her accompanist, Roger Vignoles, and her program, which will feature works by Benjamin Britten, Ned Rorem, Schoenberg, Francois Poulenc and William Bolcom. You can find the entire program, and other details of her Celebrity Series recital, here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The amazing Hamelin

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin plays Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in this video from Japan. Ignore the video quality and prepare to be astonished.

Don't think you know Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2? Think Bugs Bunny.

You can hear Mr. Hamelin in the flesh on Saturday, January 26 at NEC's Jordan Hall. Tickets are available as part of a Celebrity Series of Boston subscription or, starting September 10, as individual tickets online or by calling (617) 482-6661.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

AileyCamp Boston 2007's Final Performance

Enough of my mug, that's not what you're here for...Let's take a look at some photos from last Thursday's AileyCamp Boston 2007 final performance, "rise, reach and soar."




Thanks to Brian Snyder for the fine photos.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blogging since the Roosevelt Administration

In celebration of this blog's birthday, I have dug into our archives for a shot of me approaching a monitor displaying a typepad login for the very first time. The photo below of yours truly dates from 1938, the year in which the Celebrity Series of Boston was founded, and the year this blog got underway. I thought you might get a kick out of my obvious trepidation at this new technological marvel. The blogosphere sure has changed a lot in the last 69 years.


Update: Now that I'm more alert I can tell you straight up that this blog turned two years old yesterday. Cue the balloons...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Music Sarah Vowell digs on Paper Cuts

Author, radio commentator, and the voice of Violet from The Incredibles, Sarah Vowell ponied up a personal playlist (Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Ben Webster, N.W.A., Rostropovich, Eddy Arnold...) for the July 25 edition of Living With Music, a feature on The New york Times' Paper Cuts blog. The comments on her list, which range from marriage proposals to wan disapproval, are also a fun read (unless I was just in an odd mood).

Ms. Vowell shows up at Cambridge's Sanders Theatre on February 8 with author David Rakoff. You won't be sorry.

Monday, August 13, 2007

György on György

And speaking of Kurtag: Alex Ross writes on his blog, The Rest is Noise, of György Kurtág's remembrances of his friend, the late György Ligeti. Follow all Ross' links, it's an interesting and touching story.

The New York concert Ross mentions in his post is the first tour stop before Boston for the Berlin Philharmonic. Kurtag's Stele, which he also mentions, is also featured on our program. You know, in case you were wondering...

Hello-o! Boston is getting The Berlin Philharmonic, too!

Back in July, conductor Simon Rattle talked with the Associated Press about his tenure with the Berlin Philharmonic. The interview was in large part to advance Rattle and the Philharmonic's impending tour of New York (November 13-18) and Boston (November 19). At least in theory. The article, inexplicably, mentions only the New York portion of the tour. Sigh.

This has nothing to do with any inferiority complex Boston may have in regard to Gotham City, and it has nothing to do with the New York Yankees (ok, so it may have something to do with the Yankees...) but we have the Berlin Philharmonic, too, with Ben Heppner and Thomas Quasthoff, to boot.

So there is something I have to do:


There, I feel better now.

Oh, yeah, here is a snippet of Sir Simon's AP interview from The Deseret Morning News:

"AP: How has the orchestra changed during five years under Simon Rattle?

Rattle: I think you should ask other people than me. ... I would say that the first five years, at least, are always a transition. You can hear that, and — if you are listening to recordings — you can hear the orchestra gradually change, around year eight, nine, 10 of Karajan. And in the first years he's still dealing with (predecessor Wilhelm) Furtwaengler and the Furtwaengler style. These things move very very slowly. It's not like tectonic plates, but it's up there."

Read the entire interview with Sir Simon Rattle.

Friday, August 10, 2007

George and Winston, Best Friends 4Ever

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring
a friend.... if you have one."

—George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there
is one."

—Winston Churchill, in response

Thx to JP-Prose-Writers Group for reminding me of this bit of fun...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Musician/artist interviews from North Carolina, lots of 'em!


I stumbled across a great treasure trove of interviews with classical and jazz musicians yesterday. It's well worth a look and a listen, and possibly even a bookmark. The show is called Preview! Um, clever name (I know, I'm one to talk). The station is WCPE 89.7 FM in Wake Forest, North Carolina, a 24-hour a day classical music juggernaut, that calls itself The Classical Station. WCPE is independent and listener supported, but not a National Public Radio station (!).

You'll find an extensive archive of interviews at the Preview! page, but I have boiled the list down to it's Celebrity Series essence. The following interview links are for artists appearing on the Celebrity Series of Boston this season. I have added convenient links to our site for each, of course:

All clips are in Real Audio format.

Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, May 13, 2007  (CS January 26)

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields cellist Stephen Orton, October 8, 2006  (CS, April 2)

Violinist Gil Shaham, February 1, 2004  (CS March 30)

Takács Quartet violinist Edward Dusinberre, March 14, 2004  (CS December 9)

An interview with Camerata Ireland pianist and conductor Barry Douglas was scheduled for yesterday, but has not yet appeared in the archive.

And these artists have all appeared on the Celebrity Series at some point in the past:

Violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson of the Pacifica String Quartet, April 22, 2007

Soprano Dawn Upshaw, October 8, 2006

Four interviews with violinist Joshua Bell:
September 3, 2006
October 16, 2006
February 15, 2004
June 13, 2001

Pianist André Watts, July 2, 2006

Tokyo String Quartet violist Kazuhide Isomura, April 23, 2006

Pianist, teacher, and conductor Leon Fleisher, November 13, 2005

Guitarist Sharon Isbin, September 11, 2005

Two interviews with pianist Stephen Hough:
April 17, 2005
July 27, 2003

Conductor Leonard Slatkin, March 6, 2005

Emerson String Quartet violist Lawrence Dutton, October 3, 2004

Cellist Matt Haimovitz, January 11, 2004

Saxophonist and bandleader Branford Marsalis, June 15, 2003

Guitarist Christopher Parkening, October 7, 2001

Choreographer Lynn Taylor-Corbett, April 15, 2001

Tuba player Chuck Daellenbach of The Canadian Brass, January 21, 2000

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hamelin in Gotham

Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin's International Keyboard Institute & Festival performance on Saturday was well attended. Just ask Steve Smith, who reviewed the performance for The New York Times:

"The line of patrons waiting to hear him in the Mannes Concert Hall on Saturday extended down a staircase, across the lobby and through a locker-lined hallway."

As for the music itself, there was this:

"Sonata in a State of Jazz,” composed by the French pianist Alexis Weissenberg in 1982, offered formidable Cubist allusions to popular forms. A tartly dissonant tango in three-quarter time was punctuated with glimmers of nostalgic melody; a spiky Charleston emphasized sharp-edged rhythms. Dense harmonies in a blues-inspired movement suggested a young Schoenberg brooding over the keys in an after-hours Harlem joint, while complex lines in the closing samba section swayed like a drunken mathematician."  Read all of Festival's King of Keys Kicks Off With Haydn.

Good writing and apparently fine piano playing. Does it make you wish you had been there? Well on January 26 Bostonians can hear Mr. Hamelin a little closer to home. His performance will not include the locker-lined hallway, but it will feature the same fine pianist.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

"Bluegrass band Cherryholmes tours highbrow venues"

This just in from Reuters/

"Festivals have long been the bread and butter of any bluegrass act's career, but
the band Cherryholmes is taking a novel approach by hitting the
performing-arts-center circuit."

You don't say. What brilliant, cutting-edge performing arts series would present a show like that?

Jere Cherryholmes, or "Dad" as he might be called in the Cherryholmes family, had this to say about the group's new venues:

". . . the setting at these newer shows is very different from that of
festivals, where people tend to mill around. Performing-arts audiences, on the
other hand, are seated and quiet."

OK, there is some truth in that statement, but Jere should come to one of our Chieftains performances. Quiet they ain't. Read all of Bluegrass band Cherryholmes tours highbrow venues.

So I recommend you come and hear Cherryholmes at Sanders Theatre on March 2. Twelve days later on March 14, The Chieftains play Symphony Hall. Should make for an interesting comparison, not to mention a foot-stomping March (pun intended).