Longy School of Music of Bard College’s year-long centennial celebration gets some love this Valentine’s weekend as both of their acclaimed orchestras, the Longy Conservatory Orchestra (LCO) and Sistema Side by Side Orchestra (SSBSO) perform a special Valentine’s concert, “From Longy with Love,” at First Church Cambridge. The neighboring NuBar restaurant in the Sheraton Commander Hotel will offer a three-course pre-concert dinner for Longy concert patrons. For more information visit: http://longy.edu/about/events/ .
The LCO under the direction of Sean Wang will perform Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, Op. 38 “Spring.” In 1840, Schumann was largely known for his works for piano and voice. With the encouragement of his future wife, Clara Wieck, Schumann began work on this first symphony. In a note to Schumann, Wieck wrote, “Your imagination and your spirit are too great for the weak piano.” Completed in just over a month, the symphony was inspired, according to the composer’s notes, by his Liebesfrühling (spring of love) with his soon-to-be wife.
The LCO will also perform “Step Up!” by Jeremy Van Buskirk, Longy composition faculty, and Oscar Navarro’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2.
The New England Philharmonic (NEP) under the direction of Richard Pittman will present “Miracles and Rhapsodies” on February 27 at 8 p.m. at the Tsai Performance Center. The concert features two Boston premieres from Bernie Hoffer ‘MacNeil Lehrer Variations’ and Brian Robison’s ‘In Search of the Miraculous.’ The evening will also include Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 43 featuring pianist Randall Hodgkinson and Roy Harris’ Symphony no. 3.
Tickets for the NEP’s “Miracles and Rhapsodies” on February 27, 2016, at 8 p.m. at the Tsai Performance Center are available at www.NEPhilharmonic.org.
About the New England Philharmonic: Now performing its 39th season, the New England Philharmonic (NEP), under the direction of Richard Pittman, is internationally renowned for its daring programming encompassing both contemporary and traditional works. The volunteer orchestra has earned nine ASCAP awards for Adventurous Programming and was included in The Arts Fuse’s top 10 list of notable classical music performances of 2015. The orchestra’s illustrious past includes the installation of three landmark programs. The NEP became the first orchestra of its size to support a Composer-in-Residence (1985), introduce a Call for Scores Program (1985), and establish a Young Artist Competition (1994), legacies that endure today.
Longy Conservatory Orchestra presents the early works of Beethoven featuring Edicson Ruiz, principal bass of the Berlin Philharmonic and graduate of Venezuela’s El Sistema
Under Jorge Soto’s direction, the LCO will explore the early works of Beethoven’s career. Special guest artist Edicson Ruiz, principal bass of the Berlin Philharmonic and graduate of Venezuela’s El Sistema, will join the LCO.
Beethoven: “Coriolan Overture”
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
Beethoven: Bass Concerto (featuring Edicson Ruiz)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
Chorus pro Musica (CpM), under the direction of Jamie Kirsch, continue the 2015-16 season at 8 p.m. on March 12 at Sanders Theatre with a program entitled, ‘Journeys’ featuring the world premiere of Andy Vores’ Spencer the Rover.
Mendelssohn: Richte mich, Gott, Op. 78, No. 2
Britten: Ballad of Little Musgrave
Part: Nunc dimittis
Betinis: From Behind the Caravan
Vores: Spencer the Rover
Taylor: That Lonesome Road, arr. Simon Carrington
Guillaume: Twa Tanbou
For more information, visit: www.choruspromusica.org
On March 14 Longy will celebrate 100 years as a leader in progressive music education in grand style at the third annual Sistema Side by Side Celebration, under the baton of Jorge Soto and featuring the Boston Cello Quartet.
The celebration will showcase Longy’s social mission to prepare students to make a difference in the world, featuring the Sistema Side by Side Orchestra. The orchestra pairs students from aged 7 to 15 from El Sistema-inspired programs throughout Massachusetts with Longy’s Conservatory Orchestra musicians in rehearsals and performances with nationally renowned conductors and guest artists.
The program launched publicly in grand style in March of 2014 with an open rehearsal of the orchestra under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel, Grammy Award-winning music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. Since then, the orchestra has worked with members of the Simón Bolívar String Quartet, Opera Legend Frederica von Stade and given an enthusiastically received performance for Maestro José Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema.
The evening will include the presentation of the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society. The award was authorized by the Bernstein family and established by Longy in 2000 and has celebrated great artists such as Gustavo Dudamel, Eileen Farrell, Marilyn Horne, Leonard Slatkin, Mark Morris, Leon Botstein, Frederica von Stade and Gunther Schuller.
A celebratory dinner will follow the concert. Tickets to the event are available at www.longy.edu/gala. Proceeds from the gala will support Longy’s ongoing work as a leader in the El Sistema-inspired movement in the U.S. and scholarships and teaching assistantships for Longy Conservatory students
The Boston Flower & Garden Show will return to the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on Wednesday, March 16 through Sunday, March 20, 2016 with the theme “Nurtured by Nature”. The care we put into our gardens comes back to us a thousand-fold. Well-designed landscapes rejuvenate by offering places to connect with nature and each other. Floral arrangements, houseplants and containers enliven and refresh our living spaces.
Emmanuel Music is thrilled to present a reconstruction of the Bach St Mark Passion. This will be an Emmanuel Music first, and quite possibly a Boston premiere in this version.
Bach is known to have written five passion settings: 1) St John – 1722, 2) St Matthew – 1726, 3) St Luke (lost), 4) possible single choir setting of St Matthew & 5) St Mark1731. The St Mark may be considered by and large as lost. While we have the libretto by Picander, we have no music for the recitatives, some arias and the turba choruses. Our reconstruction is largely a parody pastiche. Bach’s working and domestic conditions would have prevented him from composing a totally new passion setting for Good Friday of 1731. The works origins reside mainly in the Trauerode, BWV 198 – a funeral cantata from 1727.
Armed with Picander’s libretto, the Trauerode, three other reconstructions and the sage guidance of the pre-eminent Bach scholar Christoph Wolff, we have created our own pastiche. While we can never truly hear what Bach performed on Good Friday in 1731, it is our hope that our reconstruction will help make Bach’s third setting of the Passion story a living experience as a stylistically unified work.
A pre-concert conversation with Bach scholar Christoph Wolf will take place at 6:45 p.m.
Jesus Mark McSweeney
Evengelist Jason McStoots
Kendra Colton and Susan Consoli, soprano
Pamela Dellal, Margaret Lias, & Deborah Rentz-Moore, alto
Charles Blandy & Frank Kelley, tenor
David Tinervia, bass
Emmanuel Music will continue its exploration of the works of Felix Mendelssohn, (the man who revived public interest in Bach pretty much all by himself), and Hugo Wolf, known for his musical wit and humor. The series will feature the Arneis Quartet and the Lydian String Quartet, veteran Emmanuel Music singers William Hite and Kendra Colton performing the entire glorious Italienisches Liederbuch, and others from the Emmanuel Music ensemble.
This third concert of the 4 concert series includes:
Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch
Kendra Colton, soprano
William Hite, tenor
Kayo Iwama, piano
BACH The Contest between Phoebus and Pan, BWV201
Momus Susan Consoli, soprano
Mercury Krista River, alto
Midas Frank Kelley, tenor
Timolus Matthew Anderson, tenor
Phoebus Dana Whiteside, baritone
Pan David Kravitz, baritone
WEILL The Seven Deadly Sins
Anna Lynn Torgove, alto
Frank Kelley, tenor
Matthew Anderson, tenor
Dana Whiteside, baritone
David Kravitz, baritone
The final concert of Bach Reimagined features Bach’s own take on the eternal “pop music versus ‘learned’ music” debate, in his secular cantata, The Contest between Phoebus and Pan. Kurt Weill’s acrid commentary on greed and alienation, The Seven Deadly Sins, shows how the composer acknowledged his debt to Bach and then ran with it. Chorales in praise of money and a baroque parody aria rub up against foxtrots and cabaret numbers in this delicious ‘sung ballet’ score.
Emmanuel Music’s presentation of Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins will be sung in an English translation by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman. Urbanity Dance, a fresh, contemporary dance company, is a complementary partner with which to present this remarkable fusion of music, dance, and theater. Betsi Graves, director of Urbanity Dance, will direct this semi-staged performance.
Betsi Graves, founder and director of Urbanity Dance, will choreograph thisballet chanté on raised platforms cleverly positioned throughout Emmanuel Church. Constructed by Massachusetts College of Art and Design faculty member Theodore Southwick, these platforms will create a reverse “theater-in-the-round” to increase the performing area and allow for a more intimate atmosphere with a larger audience.
Mr. Southwick’s inspiration for the Gothic woodwork design of each platform originated in Kurt Weill’s writings from 1933, around the time of his flight from Nazi Germany to the United States. He blends a square shape with Gothic cutouts together with Art Deco radio designs of the 1930s. The marriage of these two very different styles symbolizes the duality of Anna I, the practical, common-sense character, and Anna II, the emotional, artistic beauty, in Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, as well as the ‘learned’ versus popular music debate raised in Bach’s The Contest between Phoebus and Pan. The Deco radio design portrays the popular music, whereas the Gothic architecture, in which the sound will reverberate, embodies traditional, learned music.
The stage direction will also incorporate bold lighting, which will transform the Church, rendering it virtually unrecognizable. Spotlights will play with perspective and draw the audience’s eyes at differing times to the space, then to the dancers, and then to the musicians, for a truly theatrical experience. The choreography itself will amplify the music and act as a lens to magnify the characters. Though the scenery and costumes will be minimalistic, and the dancers fully-staged, the cast of singers will be semi-staged—provocatively incorporated into the action around the dancers to match this complex and edgy morality tale.
This performance is rightfully paired with Bach’s witty cantata, The Contest between Phoebus and Pan, Bach’s own take on the eternal popular versus ‘learned’ music debate. During his time, Bach’s music was considered (by some) to be too complex and overly ornamented. In short, Bach’s music suffered from an “excess of art.” In The Contest between Phoebus and Pan, Bach wittily elaborates, in the form of a singing contest, on the artistic criteria for high and low styles of music. So, while Bach’s work is a commentary on popular versus ‘learned’ music, Weill seamlessly finds the balance, combining compositional elements as broad-ranging as a chorale tune and Baroque parody aria with a 1930’s foxtrot, the “popular” music of the time when Weill composed The Seven Deadly Sins.
©Ryan Turner & Jude Bedel
The pre-concert talk by Ryan Turner and Betsi Graves will discuss in detail the elements of the production and how they relate to the piece and the dancers, as well as Bach’s influence on Kurt Weill.
The New England Philharmonic (NEP) under the direction of Richard Pittman presents ‘From the Heavens to the Seas’ featuring the world premiere of an NEP commission from David Rakowski – (NEP’s Composer in Residence) Symphony no. 6 and the Boston premiere of David Hertzberg’s ‘Spectre of the Spheres’, winner of NEP’s 30th Annual Call for Scores. All performances are held at Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston Ma 02215.
David Hertzberg Spectre of the Spheres
30th Annual Call for Scores Winner (Boston premiere)
Alban Berg Violin Concerto (To the Memory of an Angel)
Danielle Maddon, soloist
Jean Sibelius The Oceanides
David Rakowski Symphony no. 6 (world premiere, NEP commission)
For more information, visit www.NEPhilharmonic.org