Friday, January 30, 2009

Christian Tetzlaff in the Globe


Christian Tetzlaff

The Globe's David Weininger interviewed violinist Christian Tetzlaff for today's edition. Tetzlaff, you'll remember, is half of tomorrow night's duo (Leif Ove Andsnes is the other half) concert at Jordan Hall. Here's a snippet of Weininger's column:

"'Intelligent,' 'rigorous,' 'serious-minded' are common descriptions
of his playing, and his interpretations of such 20th-century
heavyweights as Schoenberg, Berg, and Ligeti have drawn wide acclaim.

But don't call him an intellectual.

he says over the phone from Madrid when that label is proposed. 'You
picked the meanest and the worst word. I think I don't deserve that.'
He's laughing, but also quite serious that to him it conveys something
dry and soulless - certainly no compliment. In fact, to hear him talk
about his own artistry, he sounds like nothing so much as an
old-fashioned romantic.

Read all of He has beauty on the mind.

The pothole chart

Maybe it will lead us to trying Byzantine alternate routes around The Hub, but I'm more inclined to think it's just an interactive way to vent. I can appreciate both the effort required and attentiveness to our needs this entails on the part of It's kind of cute, actually, especially the relatively few potholes accounted for in Belmont, dollar for dollar the Greater Boston pothole kings. Check out the map of potholes in greater Boston.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Globe on The Romeros Guitar Quartet

The Romeros Guitar Quartet played Friday evening at Jordan Hall before a packed house. Ethan Gilsdorf reviewed for today's Boston Globe: Virtuosity Across Generations.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pepe Romero backstage and quote


Pepe Romero (foreground) and Celin Romero warm up prior to the second half of The Romeros Guitar Quartet performance at Jordan Hall on January 24, 2009. Alan McLellan of WGBH radio looks on (WGBH radio recorded the concert for future broadcast).

"Every note has the right to live a happy life."
-Pepe Romero

A nice little quote from Pepe Romero's master class at New England Conservatory on Friday, January 23, 2009.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Blind Boys of Alabama sing and chat (video)

Some singing and interviews with The Blind Boys of Alabama from Avon, Colorado. The Blind Boys of Alabama meet up with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Boston's Symphony Hall on March 27 for a program called "Down By the Riverside." The concert is co-presented by the Celebrity Series Series of Boston (yours truly) and World Music.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stefanie Lubkowski receives special commendation

I do enjoy plugging the good deeds and accomplishments of our own staff at the Celebrity Series of Boston when I can. In this case the good deed(s) took place before the party in question was a member of La Familia Celebrity Series. Stefanie Lubkowski, our Publicity and Communications Manager, was recently given a special commendation by the Boston Society of Film Critics for her work as the Friends of Film Coordinator for her previous employer, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Congratulations, Stefanie!

Philharmonia Quartett Berlin performance cancelled

Due to the illness of one of the Quartett's members, the Philharmonia Quartett Berlin performance scheduled for Friday, January 23 at Jordan Hall, has been cancelled.

Ticket holders will be contacted by mail as to options to donating, exchanging or returning tickets for refund. The options available depend on the method of purchase.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago on tour, a travelogue

This video footage is from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago on tour in Portugal, Ireland and Los Angeles. The well-traveled company visits Boston and the Celebrity Series February 6-8.

Here are 2 more from the same set:

The Night James Brown Saved Boston - check it out

The Night James Brown Saved Boston, part I

Not sure if this is in the original form, yet it looks like the whole thing is here – 8 PARTS. 

This documentary should be required viewing for everyone who has lived in Boston long enough to consider themselves more than a visitor. Regardless of whether James Brown's music moves you or what you think his place in musical history is, when one considers his actions on April 5, 1968 (not to mention thereafter in D.C., etc.), it seems to me that the city should honor him in some way. Bostonians need to know what Brown did for our city. He wasn't the only player in the events of that night, but he took a huge risk that he did not have to take.

Maybe a statue on Comm. Ave.?

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

Part V:

Part VI:

Part VII:

Part VIII:

There were some other key players that night, including WGBH and the late Boston City Councilman Thomas Atkins.

Photo of supersize snowman/woman

Check him/her out. That's a big snowperson:

My guess is that thing's going to be around for a long time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Silk Road Ensemble & Yo-Yo Ma announce program for Symphony Hall performances


Both performances are at Symphony Hall. Buying both programs will save you $$. Check out the deal and get tickets here. Seriously, don't wait, this is head-shakingly cool music.

Sunday, March 8, 3pm

Wandering Winds, (improvisation)
Mountains are Far Away, Kayhan Kalhor, Arr. Ljova
Sacred Cloud Music, Zhao Jiping
Saidi Swing, Shane Shanhan
Arabian Waltz, Rabih Abou-Khalil

Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain, Angel Lamb

Paths of Parables, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky

Ascending Bird, Persian Traditional, Arr. Siamak Aghaei

Monday, March 9, 8pm

Ritmos Anchinos, Gabriela Lena Frank

Sulvasustra, Evan Ziporyn

Turceasca, Sapo Perapaskero

Arr. by Osvaldo Golijov / Ljova

Layla and Majnun, Uzeyir Hajibeyov

Arr. Jonathan Gandelsman

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Columnist and jazz writer Nat Hentoff dropped by Village Voice


Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff, the Village Voice columnist who wrote on civil liberties, politics and jazz for the paper has been let go by the paper he has written for since 1958.

Nat Hentoff's last Village Voice column

Village Voice lays off Nat Hentoff and 2 others (New York Times)

For fans of Hentoff's work, keep in mind that he does have other irons in the fire, including a book, At the Jazz Band Ball: 60 Years on the Jazz Scene, expected next year, and his regular column for Jazz Times Magazine

I'm coming to this story late, my apologies.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Congratulations, Jim Rice!


Congrats to Red Sox outfielder and NESN commentator Jim Rice on his election to Cooperstown!

The best world-renowned string quartet you don't know . . .


Philharmonia Quartett Berlin

You have undoubtedly heard these musicians before,
though not in the way you might expect. They are not to be confused with the
Philharmonia Quartet, the English ensemble that called it quits in 1952, and if
chamber music fans cannot recall their presence on the scene despite 20 years
of performing together it may be because they all have very busy musical lives

The Philharmonia Quartett Berlin was founded in 1984 by the principal
concertmaster and string section leaders of the Berlin Philharmonic (yes, THAT
Berlin Philharmonic). The four members of the quartet - Daniel Stabrawa,
violin; Christian Stadelmann, violin; Neithard Resa, viola; and Jan
Diesselhorst, cello - have a musical pedigree that would be the envy of any
chamber group.

If you don't mind brilliance, give a listen to this remarkable quartet January 23 at NEC's Jordan Hall.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Brad Mehldau documentary

This is part I of a German documentary on pianist Brad Mehldau filmed while he was on tour in Germany and New York. The bassist is Larry Grenadier and the drummer is Jorge Rossy. The clip above is a club performance of Radiohead's Exit Music (for a film). Much of the trio music in these clips ended up as part of Mehldau's multi-CD Art of the Trio sessions.

The documentary continues in the links below:

Part II (solo piano Nick Drake's River Man and short interview in restaurant)

Part III (interview continued and Mehldau's The Bard, discussion of John Coltrane)

Part IV (Elegies) "you're playing it [music] in time through time that's why there is nothing like seeing a live performance")

Part V (another elegy, then All the Things You Are in New York with trio during the Art of the Trio sessions)

Part VI (more from The Village Vanguard and interview with Mehldau and the other trio members)

Part VII (more from The Village Vanguard and end credits)

Brad Mehldau makes his Celebrity Series debut on February 13 in a concert at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and pianist Bengt Forsberg (3 people but not a trio). Follow the link or call 617-482-6661 Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can it be true? iTunes DRM copy protection is gonzo?

Apparently, the dreaded DRM (digital rights management) software that keeps iTunes files from being copied or moved between computers is being phased out. Oh yeah, some of the prices are coming down, too. Read Apple cuts copy protection and prices on iTunes.


Ailey company climbs ever higher in celebration


The dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The dance world hasn't seen the likes of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 50th Anniversary Season in some time - if ever. The company began the festivities in March by announcing that they had reached their ambitious $50 million endowment goal and had been named the United States Cultural Ambassador to the World by Congress. The touring and events have continued unabated ever since: a global tour of 50+ cities; an August 9 block party at New York's City Center that drew 30,000 people; a special commemorative golden lighting of The Empire State Building on December 3; a gala featuring Honorary Chair Oprah Winfrey and a successful City Center engagement in December/January; not to mention a commemorative Ailey Barbie doll (in case you hadn't heard) and other commemorative merchandise.

In an article for Playbill Magazine, Artistic Director Judith Jamison did not mince words:

"We want to bring dance to everyone," Jamison says. "We hope to move
your spirit. We want to tear out your heart and give it back to you and
leave you walking out of the theater floating fifty feet off the
ground. If we accomplish that, we will have done our job."

That description might leave some local ordinances violated, but we've never heard complaints before...

Read Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Golden Year.

By the way: April 28-May 3, Opera House, be there.