Thursday, July 22, 2010

AileyCamp Boston to perform at site of 1968 Ailey performance


Celebrity Series of Boston is pleased to announce that AileyCamp Boston's 2010 final performance will take place in the John Hancock Hall At Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley Street (corner of Berkeley & Stuart), in Boston's Back Bay on August 5. The then Boston University Celebrity Series first presented
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in John Hancock Hall in 1968 (the start of a relationship that continues today) and now
this beautiful theatre will be the venue for our final performance!


Thank you to the staff at John Hancock Hall, Back Bay Events Center and Tillinger’s for their generous assistance.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Haochen Zhang plays J.S. Bach BWV 848 (video)

Pianist Haochen Zhang plays Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C-sharp major, BWV 848 at the 4th China International Piano Competition in 2007. Zhang went on to win a gold medal at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Compeition. Zhang makes his Boston (and Celebrity Series of Boston) debut on December 3 at NEC's Jordan Hall in Boston.

Zhang's interview with BBC Music Magazine

Interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer

Zhang's Wikipedia page

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Australian conductor Sir Charles Mackerras (1925-2010)

Sir Charles Mackerras

Conductor Sir Charles Mackerras has died in London of cancer at age 84. Mackerras, known for, among many achievements, as a champion of Leos Janacek and other Czech composers and an authority on the music of Mozart. Sir Charles, a native of Schenectady, New York who was raised in Australia, had many associations with English orchestras and opera companies, including conducting stints with Sadler’s Wells, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the
Sydney Symphony, the Welsh National Opera, the Scottish Chamber
and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mackerras' lone appearance on the Celebrity Series came as conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra at Symphony Hall in November 1983. The program featured violin soloist Gidon Kremer and flute soloist William Bennett in a program of Rossini, Beethoven (Violin Concerto, Op. 61, D Major), Mozart (Flute Concerto No. 2, D Major) and Haydn. Richard Buell, reviewing for The Boston Globe, wrote of the concert, "Sir Charles Mackerras elicited spruce, alive, revealingly detailed performances of Rossini's L'Italiana in Algieri and Haydn's [Symphony No. 103, (Drum Roll)]."

New York Times (ArtsBeat)

The Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian

The Age

The Guardian (UK)

The Telegraph (UK)

BBC News


Tribute to Sir Charles Mackerras (video)


New York Times (Allan Kozinn)

Washington Post (Ann Midgette)

San Francisco Chronicle (Joshua Kosman)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One man's Brahms ...

"The classical
composer par excellence of the present day, who free from any
provincialism of expression or national dialect... writes for the whole
world and for all time - a giant, lofty and unapproachable - Johannes
- Edward Elgar, 1886

"I have played over the music of that scoundrel Brahms. What a
giftless bastard!"

- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1886

"The real Brahms is nothing more than a sentimental voluptuary...
He is the most wanton of composers... Only his wantonness is not
vicious; it is that of a great baby... rather tiresomely addicted to
dressing himself up as Handel or Beethoven and making a prolonged and
intolerable noise."

- George Bernard Shaw, 1893

"Brahms is just like Tennyson, an extraordinary musician, with
the brains of a third rate village policeman."

- George Bernard Shaw, 1893

"Take Brahms: the product of the misty landscapes of north
Germany, his works are full of groping, dreaminess and introspection.
Mist gives a sense of infinity; it may be only two feet deep but equally
it may cover the world, there is no knowing."

- Yehudi Menuhin

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Summertime," Ella Fitzgerald in Berlin

First of all, it's obviously summer. But this performance is worth posting, in my opinion, because it is a particularly heartfelt, vulnerable performance by the great Ella Fitzgerald. I know I was surprised by the depth of it. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Musicians carve instruments out of ice ...


Norwegian violinist Nils Oekland tests his
ice instrument

I'm posting this for obvious reasons. I had heard about Gielo, Norway's IceMusic Festival before, but I have never needed to hear about it the way I do today. The instruments are made of ice and the musicians play them in an wonderfully icey cold environment. What's not to love?

Musicians carve instruments out of ice (article in the Telegraph, UK)

The IceMusic Festival web site