Who would ever suppose an obscure one-movement piano concerto could produce this sort of triumph? Alexei Volodin simply and unexpectedly swept away his Sydney listeners at this concert to frenzied screams with his performance of the Medtner Piano Concerto No.1. Our audience came to hear The Planets no doubt, but many just as surely emerged, like me, a dazed convert to Medtner, as if taken over by pods in my sleep from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It was a stunning experience.
“The arts ignite the mind, they give you the possibility to dream and to hope." So said Arthur Mitchell, founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. The company made its official New York debut in 1971 in the rotunda of New York’s Guggenheim Museum. To celebrate the Guggenheim building's 60th and Dance Theatre of Harlem's 50th anniversaries, Works & Process, the performing arts series at the museum, presented a Rotunda Project that acknowledged Mitchell’s death in September, 2018 by including a restaging of his Tones II by former DTH principal ballerina Lorraine Graves with assistance from former principal ballerina Caroline Rocher.
Tony nominee and Emmy Award-winning singer and actress Liz Callaway hosted the evening, delighting the audience both with her presence and her acknowledgement that all of the evenings’ shows were written or co-written by women. Charming, unpretentious and funny, she launched into You Don’t Own Me, a 60s shout-out to women’s lib (although the movement didn’t hit its stride for another decade.)
Michael Miller's solo play "Transfiguration," winner of Best One-Man Drama at the 2018 United Solo Festival, will return to New York City on October 12th (7:30 pm) and 13th (2 pm) at the Metropolitan Playhouse as part of the 2019 New York International Fringe Festival. Gary Hilborn will repeat his award-winning performance, directed by Graydon Gund.
The raucous, kaleidoscopic intertextual mash-up of Beaumarchais, Mozart, Rossini, Strauss, and Peter Weiss is grand entertainment. It is so obsessively referential to other operas and plays that the nearly three hours of puns, parodies and lampoons might be wasted on anyone other than certified opera nerds. One might believe that William Hoffman and John Coragliano overdosed on Douglas Hofstadter’s reflection on self-reflection, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Michael Zemeckis’ Future franchise films, and von Hofmannsthal/Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
Vladimir Ashkenazy is a beloved figure in Sydney, one immediately realizes, as he dashes onstage in a signature white turtleneck to lead the Sydney Symphony at the Opera House concert hall. You'd never guess this compact Conductor Laureate, with his full shock of white hair and healthy build is 82 years old. Subtract twenty and you might be closer to the truth. A phalanx of teenage girls in striped school uniforms immediately starts screaming and doesn't let up. As the evening progresses, not entirely aware of when to burst into applause, they will several times bring the proceedings to a momentary halt born of green but great enthusiasm and delight. No musician, of course, genuinely minds that sort of excitement.
Organist Paul Jacobs, chair of Juilliard’s organ department, will perform a three-recital series in September 2019 featuring a program of works drawn from throughout the great French organ tradition. Mr. Jacobs stands out as among the organists of today for his interpretative intellect, virtuosity, and musicological learning. He opens the series performing on the Holtkamp organ in Juilliard’s Paul Hall on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 7:30pm. The series continues on the 1933 Aeolian-Skinner “Opus 891” at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 7:30pm, and concludes on St. Ignatius Loyola’s 1993 Mander Organ on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at 7:30pm.