Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Barbara Cook in Vanity Fair


Broadway and cabaret star Barbara Cook did an interview with Vanity Fair's Patrick Monahan back in November. Here's a snippet:

"Is there a standard you feel differently about singing now than when you first heard it?

“I’ve Got You Under My Skin”—I’ve heard that, of course, all my life. Then a few years ago, I heard Katharine McPhee [of American Idol and Smash]
do that on television, and I thought, You know, I think I can do
something with that. So I took my ideas to Lee [Musiker, Ms. Cook’s
musical director and pianist] and we worked it out together." Read the full interview.

Barbara Cook and John Pizzarelli return to the Celebrity Series and Symphony Hall on April 6. Good seats are still available! Get your tickets.


Complete season is now on sale at www.celebrityseries.org - take a look!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Musings on Van Cliburn, by Walter Pierce

Musings on Van Cliburn

He was a phenomenon. He was a larger
than life personality. He was a genuine American hero. He was a gifted pianist
who brought world attention to American classical music. He was the
quintessential Southern gentleman -- a tall Texan who conquered the hearts of
the Soviet and American public when both nations stared at each other grimly
across a political divide.

He was the first musician to receive a
New York ticker tape parade when he returned to the US following his winning
the prestigious International Tchaikowsky Competition in Moscow in 1958.

And yet, many musicians and critics felt
he never lived to fulfill the potential that lay before him.

He was a gracious, giving personality
who easily won the hearts of everyone he met.

He had his quirks: he hated being early for
his own concerts, preferring to arrive a few minutes past concert time, doff
his coat, stride on stage, sit down at the piano and begin playing the National
Anthem. When everyone resumed their seats, he began the concert.

I recall being invited with my mentor,
Aaron Richmond, by Van Ciburn's then American concert manager, William Judd of
Columbia Artists, to his apartment to hear a young pianist they had signed with
the hopes that we might book him in recital. This was in the period just before
he left for the Moscow competition. Little did I know what would follow in the
next few months.

Within a year or so, we were presenting
Van Cliburn in recital in Boston to an adoring public which filled every seat
in Symphony Hall with an overflow on the stage, while hundreds of would-be
ticket buyers were turned away.

I feel blessed indeed to have had the
opportunity to share in presenting Van Cliburn in recital in Boston on over a
dozen occasions.

Au revoir, Van -- we loved you dearly.


Walter Pierce was Executive Director of Celebrity Series of Boston from 1965 to 1996. The Celebrity Series presented Van Cliburn 8 times under his leadership.