Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Galina Vishnevskaya (1926-2012)

Vishnevskaya with husband, cellist Mistislav Rostropovich

Russian soprano and political dissident Galina Vishnevskaya died yesterday in Moscow.

Ms. Vishnevskaya appeared twice on the Celebrity Series, in her first American recital in 1960 and  again in 1961. Boston Globe critic Kevin Kelly reviewed her second Celebrity Series performance, "Galina Vishnevskaya ... is the kind of singer who ruffles the cool detachment of a supposedly objective critic. I would have voted for her before she opened her mouth."

New York Times

The Telegraph

Opera News

The Guardian

BBC News

Vishnevskaya sings Tchaikovsky, "Why are the Roses so Pale?" w Rostropovich, piano (video)


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck dies at 91



Pioneering jazz composer and pianist Dave Brubeck has died of heart failure at the age of 91.

Brubeck was presented 11 times by Celebrity Series of Boston between 1971 and 1984, including appearances with his quartet and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, with his son, Darius and baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.

San Francisco Chronicle

Chicago Tribune

New York Daily News

BBC News

USA Today

Dave Brubeck Quartet playing In Your Own Sweet Wa (video)

Dave Brubeck Quartet playing These Foolish Things (video)

Dave Brubeck Quartet playing Take Five (video)


Monday, December 3, 2012

Mummenschanz with the muppets and in Boston

Watch the uniquely delightful Swiss performance group Mummenschanz perform on the Muppet Show in 1976. Mummenschanz will celebrate 40 years of innovative non-verbal theatre (with toilet paper, giant blobs of felt, and squishable masks) in Boston from December 5-9th at Citi Shubert Theatre. Presented by your friendly neighborhood Celebrity Series.


Emerson String Quartet reviewed by Boston Globe

Read Jeremy Eichler's review of Sunday afternoon's Celebrity Series concert by the Emerson String Quartet (login req'd), the ensemble's last in Boston with David Finckel in the cello chair.

Friday, November 30, 2012

David Finckel's Long Goodbye

Cellist David Finckel makes his last appearance in Boston with the Emerson String Quartet this Sunday. He has been doing some thinking as he makes other "final" appreances on his tour. Here is a sample:

"What am I really leaving? Is it three incredible colleagues, who have inspired, educated and supported me for three decades? Certainly yes, but what about that little roadside stand off the Taconic Parkway where every fall, on my way to South Mountain Concerts in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, I have bought tomatoes?"

Read all of The Long Goodbye

Friday, October 19, 2012

Clarinetist Anthony McGill demonstrates creating an embouchure & first note

Metropolitan Opera principal clarinetist Anthony McGill demonstrates creating an embouchure & first note. McGill performs a sold out Celebrity Series concert with the Pacifica Quartet at Pickman Hall at the Longy School of Music of Bard College on October 24. This video is part of series of shorts from MusicInReach.com.


Chick Corea & Gary Burton talk about "Hot House" project (video)

Chick Corea and Gary Burton's "Hot House" comes to Celebrity Series and Symphony Hall this Sunday at 5pm.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pianist Daniil Trifonov's Celebrity Series recital streamed live!


The much anticipated Boston debut performance by pianist Daniil Trifonov at Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music at Bard College in Cambridge is sold out, but you can watch it live. The recital will be simulcast on ConcertWindow in HD with no commercials tonight at 8pm. Click on the link below and follow instructions on the page:

Trifonov video broadcast

Tonight's performance marks the launch of the Debut Series, a series of 5 performances by the next generation of the world's outstanding artists, presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tickets for all performances on sale September 10!

Tickets for the over 45 events in the 2012-13 Celebrity Series season go on sale this Monday, September 10 at 9am!

Tickets for David Sedaris, Renee Fleming, London Philharmonic, Bobby McFerrin, Barbara Cook, Chick Corea, Savion Glover, Terry Gross, Evgeny Kissin, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Midori and many more available! Some performances have sold out on subscription so don't delay!

Check out our web site for complete listings:


Extended box office hours 9am to 5pm
Regular box office hours 10am to 4pm

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company: tickets now on sale


Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
October 19 & 20
Friday, 7:30pm
Saturday, 8pm
Citi Shubert Theatre


“… one of the ten best choreographers in the world.”

– The New York Times

North Star (1978)

Choreography: Lar Lubovitch

Music: Philip Glass, “North Star”

Little Rhapsodies (2007)

Choreography: Lar Lubovitch

Music: Robert Schumann, “Symphonic Etudes,” Opus 13

Crisis Variations (2011)

Choreography: Lar Lubovitch

Music: Yevgeniy Sharlat (“Crisis Variations” is a
suite for five players based on Franz Liszt’s “Transcendental Etudes”
for piano)

The Legend of Ten (2010)

Choreography: Lar Lubovitch

Music: Johannes Brahms, “Quintet for Piano and Strings in F Minor, Opus 34,” Movements I & IV

Presented by Celebrity Series of Boston.

Buy Tickets

Tickets now on sale: Frank Rich and Fran Lebowitz, Oct 10, Sanders Theatre


A State of the Union Conversation:

An Evening with Frank Rich & Fran Lebowitz

Wed., October 10, 8pm
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Two of our foremost cultural and political observers engage in a live,
onstage conversation around current themes of the presidential election
that will be just weeks away – discussing what is at stake and much

Author, journalist and social observer, Fran Lebowitz is the subject of the HBO documentary, Public Speaking,
directed by Martin Scorsese. Former Chief Drama Critic and Op-Ed
columnist for The New York Times, Frank Rich is currently
Writer-at-Large for New York magazine.

Tickets are on sale now for this performance: Buy Tickets.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Too late to subscribe to Celebrity Series? Are you kidding?

Someone recently asked if it is too late to subscribe to the Celebrity Series for the 2012-13 season. Nothing could be further from the truth. Call it subscribing or call it getting good seats at a great price, if you buy 3 events or more before August 10 you can get an especially good value: the perfect blend of quality seats to great performances and great savings - THE SWEET SPOT!

Sweet Spot Pricing is available until August 10, 2012, so order today!
It only takes 3 events to get great seats at great savings and get great value!

Choose from 60 great performances! Visit Celebrityseries.org to purchase your seats.

You must order tickets to a minimum of 3 events to get Sweet Spot Pricing. Sweet Spot tickets will be assigned in sections 2-3 based on availability. Child tickets do not count toward 3 event total. Tickets sales to the general public for single events begin September 10.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fran Lebowitz on Jane Austen

Author and social critic Fran Lebowitz on how Jane Austen is misunderstood and famous for all the wrong reasons. Lebowitz will appear on the Celebrity Series with columnist Frank Rich at Sanders Theatre on October 10: www.celebrityseries.org.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Frank Rich on Negative Campaigning: Nuke 'em

LBJ "Daisy" ad clip from 1964

New York Magazine's Writer-at-Large, Frank Rich, hurls another molotov of political commentary this week, taking a look at negative campaigning in the upcoming presidential election and its recent predecessors: Frank Rich. Read Nuke 'Em.

Frank Rich appears with Fran Lebowitz on Wednesday, October 10 at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Terry Gross interviews Jack Black

Terry Gross

Terry Gross interviews actor Jack Black on NPR's Fresh Air. Black tells Terry about his latest film, Bernie, his band Tenacious D and his obsession with vocalist Bobby McFerrin. Listen to the interview here.

Terry Gross returns to the Celebrity Series on Friday, May 10, 2013 at Sanders Theatre. Subscription tickets are on sale now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Walter Pierce on Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Walter Pierce

People recall times when they were fortunate to attend events that became cherished memories and of near folk-legend status. Such were the lieder recitals of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the German baritone, for cognoscenti who flocked to his concerts filling venues like Symphony Hall to capacity. In the years that Fischer-Dieskau performed in the Celebrity Series, his partner of choice was the distinguished pianist Jorg Demus; together they thrilled audiences with recitals of works by Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, Brahms and others.

Much has been written about his towering genius and contributions to the craft, but I was especially taken by the quotation in the New York Times of a review by the British music critic John Amis: "Providence gives to some singers a beautiful voice, to some musical artistry... but to Fischer-Dieskau Providence has given both. The result is a miracle, and that is about all there is to be said about it... Having used a few superlatives and describing the program, there is nothing else to do but write 'finis,' go home, and thank one's stars for having the good luck to be present."

I, too, feel lucky to have been present.

Walter Pierce

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012)


The great German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau has died at age 86. He performed a total of 6 Celebrity Series recitals between 1962 and 1978. Greatly admired and loved by legions of fans, he enjoyed an unusually long singing career. Richard Cattani, reviewing Fischer-Dieskau's 1968 Symphony Hall recital for The Christian Science Monitor, wrote, "If Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau were to give only one more concert, it would be worth crossing a continent or an ocean to hear him."

New York Times

The Guardian

The Washington Post

The Baltimore Sun (TIm Smith's Clef Notes)

The Telegraph

BBC News


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ailey in the news and at Citi Wang this weekend

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater begins its 5 performance run at Citi Performing Arts Center tonight at 7:30pm. Media coverage of the company's 42nd Celebrity Series appearance has been copious. Here are a few samples:

Robert Battle looks within to lead Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Boston Globe)

Alvin Ailey troupe wants to bring everyone to their feet (Boston Herald)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Leaping to an opportunity (Metro Boston)

Tickets are available at www.celebrityseries.org.

Welcome back Ailey!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Celebrity Series 12-13 Season Subscription Sales to Begin April 13

Celebrity Series of Boston subscriptions for the 2012-13 season will go on sale Friday, April 13.

Subscriptions will be available online at www.celebrityseries.org starting at 9am.

Subscribers may also request a season brochure by emailing: info@celebrityseries.org.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Circa's CIRCA "A Hypnotic Night of Small Miracles" (login)

Boston Globe critic Don Aucoin reviewed Circa's CIRCA at the Paramount Theatre (it runs through Sunday, part of your friendly neighborhood Celebrity Series), writing "it’s impossible not to admire the rigorous artistry of “Circa,’’ with its fusion of acrobatics, gymnastics, and performance art." Read the complete review here. (you might need to login)

This is one of those shows that even video has a hard time capturing, but check out a brief video of the show:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Globe review of Finckel, Han, Setzer concert

Jeffrey Gantz reviewed Sunday's recital by cellist David Finckel, pianist Wu Han and violinist Phillip Setzer for today's Boston Globe. Read review here (login required).

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tonight's Goat Rodeo cinecast

We are very nearly sold out for tonight's two Celebrity Series Goat Rodeo Sessions performances at The House of Blues Boston. However, there are definitely tickets remaining for tonight's live cinecast. Take your pick, but don't wait!

Yo-Yo Ma talks about the cinecast of tonight's Celebrity Series performance

L to R: Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan

Tonight's two Celebrity Series performances by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Stuart Duncan and Chris Thile, at The House of Blues are being cinecast live and recorded for later broadcast on PBS. Yo-Yo Ma talks with MSN Entertainment about performing live and live for cinecast, plus the genesis of The Goat Rodeo Sessions. Yo-Yo Ma's 'Goat Rodeo': Ready for Their Close-Up.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Globe: de la Salle shows "perfect touch"

Matthew Guerierii's review in today's Boston Globe said of Lise de la Salle's Celebrity Series debut recital on Saturday evening:

"... in Lise de la Salle’s excellent Celebrity Series concert on Saturday-the French pianist’s Boston recital debut-the focus of energy was the point of contact between finger and key. The effect was both vintage, foregrounding a clavichord-like primacy of touch, and modern: clarity as an illusion of objectivity."

Read all of the review (login required)

Roby Lakatos reviewed in Boston Globe

Jeffrey Gantz' reviewed Hungarian Gypsy violinist Roby Lakatos' Friday night concert at Sanders Theatre for today's Boston Globe. The concert, brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Celebrity Series, was the Roby Lakatos Ensemble's Boston debut.

Read Jeffrey Gantz's review.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Tweet This?" panel discussion January 30

This just in from colleague Adam Roberts of Arts in America (ok, I added the bird):

"Tweet This?"
At select theatres and concert halls around the country you can now tweet from your seat as Carmen belts out an aria or Macbeth sees a dagger before him. Join us for an interactive community forum exploring the question of whether social media should have a seat at our performances or if it should exit stage left. Featuring a lively panel, audience Q&A (in-person and via skype), and a performance of the event's tweets by the Twitter Theatre Troupe.

Monday, January 30, 7:30pm

Admission is free but seating is limited. RSVP at http://kwiksurveys.com/?u=TweetThis .

Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Host: Adam Roberts

Julie Hennrikus (StageSource)
Robin Abrahams (Boston Globe's "Miss Conduct")
Matt Heck (Boston Symphony Orchestra)
Nick Peterson (Central Square Theater)
Art Hennessey (The Mirror Up to Nature)

Join us in-person or call in via skype (id: artsinamerica) to participate in the conversation. The forum will be recorded and broadcast on Livestream.

Arts in America is an arts media company moving the needle forward on how America makes, produces, consumes, and talks about the arts.

Adam Roberts
Founder/Executive Producer
Arts in America

twitter: @artsinamerica
skype: artsinamerica

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2011)

Gustav Leonhardt

The renowned Dutch harpsichordist, organist and conductor Gustav Leonhardt has died at 83. A pioneer of period instrument performance, Leonhardt performed four harpsichord recitals on the Celebrity Series from 1978 to 1990. Reviewing for The Boston Globe in 1980, Richard Dyer said of one Celebrity Series Leonhardt recital, "... one listened not through the music to what it used to be, but to it for what it is."

New York Times obituary

The Telegraph (UK)

NPR (blog)

Radio Netherlands

Baltimore Sun



Friday, January 13, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baritone Thomas Quasthoff cancels tour, retires

Celebrity Series of Boston
Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director

Announces Cancellation of Thomas Quasthoff and
Michael Schade performance at Jordan Hall

Quasthoff to Retire

(Boston)  Celebrity Series President and Executive Director, Gary Dunning announced today that the Thomas Quasthoff and Michael Schade recital has been cancelled due to Mr. Quasthoff’s retirement. The performance was scheduled for Friday, March 23. The performance will not be rescheduled or substituted.

Ticket holders will be notified of options to donate or exchange tickets or to request a refund and are requested to retain their tickets until they receive notification. Patrons may call Celebrity Series of Boston at (617) 482-2595.

Said Mr. Quasthoff in a statement released by his management, “After almost 40 years, I have decided to retire from concert life. My health no longer allows me to live up to the high standard that I have always set for my art and myself. I owe a lot to this wonderful profession and leave without a trace of bitterness. On the contrary, I am looking forward to the new challenges that will now enter my life. I would like to thank all my fellow musicians and colleagues, with whom I stood together on stage, all the organizers, and my audience for their loyalty.”

Gary Dunning, Celebrity Series President and Executive Director, says “We understand and respect Mr. Quasthoff’s decision.  He’s had an impressive musical career full of artistic integrity and quality performances and recordings.  Each of his previous three Celebrity Series performances have been met with delight and praise.  We only have admiration for his artistry and personal character.”


About Celebrity Series of Boston
The Celebrity Series of Boston is New England’s leading presenter of music, dance and the performing arts from around the world. Now in its 73rd season, the Celebrity Series brings performances by instrumental and vocal soloists, orchestras and chamber ensembles, dance companies, jazz, folk and ethnic artists and ensembles to Boston’s major concert halls. Through the Arts, Education and Community Program, the Celebrity Series reaches thousands of youngsters annually with opportunities to experience and participate in the performing arts through concerts, workshops and the award-winning AileyCamp Boston, an intensive six-week summer dance program for Boston middle school students. For more information on Celebrity Series of Boston, call (617) 482-2595 or visit us online at www.celebrityseries.org.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Two more reviews of Vijay Iyer / Miguel Zenon performance

I have shared the Globe's review of the Celebrity Series' December 9 Vijay Iyer/Miguel Zenon concert on this blog, but I would be remiss if I didn't also share two reviews from other publications. JazzTimes Magazine and India New England both covered the concert and both reviews are worth a look:


India New England