Thursday, April 24, 2008

Announcing the 2008-2009 season (on Friday, April 25)

OK, friends, even as our 2007-2008 season continues, we will announce our 2008-2009 season (I know, it's a lot to take in, but we feel you're up to it). Depending on where they live, renewing subscribers will receive their season brochures in the mail tomorrow (Friday) or in the next few days. We begin taking subscription orders this Friday, April 25, 2008, either in our offices (20 Park Plaza, Suite 1032, Boston, Mass. 02216) starting at 9am, or online starting at 12:01am on Friday April 25 ( You may also request a season brochure via e-mail on our web site.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tomsic reviewed by the Globe

Dubravka Tomsic's Friday evening recital was reviewed by David Perkins for Monday's Boston Globe:

"She has been back often, in recital and with the BSO, and her Jordan Hall concert in the Celebrity Series of Boston had the worshipful aura of a great operatic diva's return. She played generously, long and beautifully. And she was generously received."

Read all of A skillful touch, albeit relaxed

Why is me a monster?


From McSweeney's

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tomsic encores

Here are Dubravka Tomsic's encores from last night's Jordan Hall recital:

Scarlatti, Sonata in G Major

Chopin, Waltz in C# minor

Villa-Lobos, "Le Polichinelle"

Bach-Siloti, Prelude in B minor

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Silly video, but Tomsic is her usual fantastic self

The music is Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op. 27, No. 2, the third movement of the famous Moonlight Sonata. Dubravka Tomsic is the pianist. This is completely silly and amateur (and maybe funny, depending on your taste), but I include it here because of Tomsic's performance. She's just too good to pass up.

And she is coming to Jordan Hall tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Alisa Weilerstein plays Kodaly for the camera

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that Ms. Weilerstein will be playing a concert at Jordan Hall on Sunday, May 4. Nor do I have to tell you that she will be playing the Kodaly cello sonata, surely just as passionately as in the above video. No, I don't have to tell you, you have a sixth sense for passionate musicianship. This message is for those who are unaware.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Princeton Record Exchange lives

Barry Wiesfeld's Princeton Record Exchange is going strong despite the hard times in the "brick and mortar" record business. My theory: people love to browse and people love to hold it in their hands, then walk out with it. The New York Times (no less) parts the curtains of this musty sub-culture:

"'A lot of people who come here are obsessed,' said Mr. Weisfeld, a resolutely
low-tech guy wearing an incongruous orange Yahoo! cap. 'I’ll give you an
example. One year, we got a very bizarre collection, world music, international
music, whatever you call it, very unusual stuff. We let our customers know, and
we sold 500 of the 1,000 in three days. They’re not people looking for Michael
Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ or something by Billy Joel.'"

Of course, Mr. Weisfeld does have a web site, the man's not crazy.

Read "Serious Dinosaur" Thriving in Download Age, in The New York Times

Tiempo Libre's Latin party


Tiempo Libre made their Celebrity Series debut Saturday night at Berklee Performance Center. The music was fiery, the band was tight and professional in the best sense, in short, the band lived up to its billing (IMHO).

I can't pretend to understand the ins, outs and complexities of timba or son, the groups primary tributaries, (but I pledge to study . . . loudly . . . in the car . . . with the windows down) but the music was sprinkled with references that spoke to a very broad spectrum of influences - and a very wide-ranging music collection. Saxophonist Eduardo Quintana in particular illustrated my point with solos convincingly referencing bebop, modal and Latin jazz - this was not simply wailing away with feeling, though there was plenty of feeling.

Not that we needed any proof, but Tiempo Libre proves that people in Miami Beach have more fun (more of the time) than people in Boston. You wouldn't argue the point if you were there.

Hub Review backlog

Tom Garvey has been reviewing a fair number of our performances, lately, and I am behind in taking note. So here, without any blather, are some links to Mr. Garvey's Celebrity Series reviews:

The Beaux Arts Trio

Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Academy of St Martin in the Fields warm up

Alfred Brendel

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What Marcia Siegel thought of Minus One


I almost forgot to share Marcia Siegel's review of Minus One and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. I think the oversight has something to do with basking in the glow of something that seemed to provoke an almost unanimous positive reaction in audience, staff, board - anyone that witnessed a performance of it. We are proud to have presented this show; and I can now say "we" comfortably because nearly everyone associated with our organization seems to have weighed in.

Maybe I'm not looking for some kind of validation from Marcia or any reviewer for this engagement the way I might have for other previous engagements. I know it was good. But that doesn't make Marcia's comments (or Thea Singer's or anyone else's) less relevant. Here is her take on Kyr, the segment of Minus One danced to “Ehad Mi Yodea,” the piece whose recording by Tractor's Revenge I have finally found after considerable searching:

"I think the dance to an Israeli counting
song, “Ehad Mi Yodea,” is Naharin’s masterwork of choreographic design
and physical surrender. Twenty men and women in identical black suits
and white shirts occupy a circle of chairs. The music is ferocious,
propulsive. In unison, the dancers rear back, crash to the floor, stomp
onto the chairs, adding an explosive gesture every time the recorded
male chorus inserts a new line. The effect is stunning. On the last
verses they tear off their clothes piece by piece and throw them into
the center. It’s like some feverish ritual offering or purification.

So here, a little late, is where you can find Marcia Siegel's review of Minus One.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jose Canseco Composes Opera About Steroids


Who says there are no second acts? Read about La Anabolica.

Globe reviews Beaux Arts' last

David Weininger reviewed the Beaux Arts Trio's final Boston performance for Tuesday's Globe. A taste:

"There's nothing like going out on top. The Beaux Arts Trio is on its
farewell tour, having spent 53 years redefining the art of the piano
trio. Its final Boston appearance, at Jordan Hall on Friday night,
didn't look like an easy victory lap. They came bearing new music by
Gyorgy Kurtag and Schubert's two late piano trios, in B-flat (D. 898)
and E-flat (D. 929)."

Read all of An old master, playing with youthful joy

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Beaux Arts Trio encores

The following encores were played at the final Boston performance by the Beaux Arts Trio at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall on April 4, 2008:

Shostakovich, Scherzo from Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, opus 76

Haydn, Last movement from Piano Trio, Hob. 15, no. 32

Dvorak, Andante from Piano Trio No.4, "Dumky"

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Odd little artifact

It looks odd, like a bit of programmers code or something, but it's a summary of the Beaux Arts Trio's performance history with the Celebrity Series of Boston. Just felt like sharing.

Beaux Arts Trio of New York 1/31/1971
Beaux Arts Trio 10/16/1988
Beaux Arts Trio 11/3/1989
Beaux Arts Trio 2/15/1991
Beaux Arts Trio 10/3/1993
Beaux Arts Trio 12/12/1993
Beaux Arts Trio 5/1/1994               
Beaux Arts Trio 10/21/1994    
Beaux Arts Trio 10/20/1996    
Beaux Arts Trio 3/31/1996
Beaux Arts Trio 2/22/1998
Beaux Arts Trio 4/11/1999
Beaux Arts Trio 10/12/2000
Beaux Arts Trio 3/18/2000
Beaux Arts Trio 3/16/2002
Beaux Arts Trio 3/20/2004
Beaux Arts Trio 4/2/2005

Oh, yes, they will be in Boston on the Celebrity Series for the last time tonight at 8:00pm.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gil Shaham Globe review

Today's Globe features a delightful review by Jeremy Eichler of a delightful recital by violinist Gil Shaham. The review begins with this description of one of the many reasons why the Celebrity Series rules, er, is a welcome feature on Boston's cultural landscape (ahem):

"One of the pleasures of the CelebritySeries season is the occasional chance to hear top-tier soloists in the
intimate and acoustically welcoming setting of Jordan Hall. Sunday's
recital by violinist Gil Shaham sold out weeks ahead of time."

Read all of Dashing across the violin literature, sunny all the way.