Alan Cumming in Hudson

Alan Cumming in Hudson
Stunning talent, a likable personality and lots of embarrassing but hilarious personal anecdotes were packed into Alan Cumming’s cabaret show Sunday night at Club Helsinki in Hudson (12/2/12).          Though he’s gone on to triumph in television and film, it was a Broadway role — the emcee in “Cabaret” — that made Cumming famous.  He offered one selection from that show, “Mein Herr.”  Otherwise,...
read more

Cage and Gould in virtual dialogue

Cage and Gould in virtual dialogue
It sounds like a late-night parlor game:  pick two artistic geniuses of the 20th century that you’d like to hear share a conversation in the great beyond. Michael Century had no trouble coming up with a dynamic combination:  experimental composer John Cage and classical pianist Glenn Gould.  He’s paired them up in an unusual concert happening Saturday night at EMPAC and presented by the iEar series. Actually “happening”...
read more

Milton Glaser’s timely images & insights

Milton Glaser’s timely images & insights
It’s time again to ♥ NY.  That wasn’t the case a week or so ago when I interviewed Milton Glaser.  It was just because two shows of his works were coming to Albany…. Designer Milton Glaser is the man who made the heart symbol into a verb, with the I ♥ NY logo. But over the course of his 50 years as a designer, he’s created many other images that have permeated our culture. Simultaneous exhibits...
read more

Three nights in Saratoga with YNS and the Philly

Three nights in Saratoga with YNS and the Philly
Saratoga Performing Arts Center Wednesday, August 8, 2012 The promise is being fulfilled.  Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has got the goods and a new era is truly at hand for the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was more than two years ago that the French Canadian conductor, now 37, was named music director of the orchestra, a post that he’ll finally and officially assume in October.  What a coup for SPAC to present him on...
read more

Glimmerglass 2012 season wrap up

Glimmerglass 2012 season wrap up
General director Francesca Zambello brought together the strongest season at Glimmerglass in my 11 years of covering the company.  Let’s hope her three-year tenure, which began last summer, gets renewed.  Who knows, maybe she’s still just getting started! Here’s a collection of my reviews. Verdi:  Aida Glimmerglass Festival, July 7, 2012 Probably never in its 25-year history has the Alice Busch Opera...
read more

Pauline Oliveros 80th birthday celebration (concert review)

Pauline Oliveros 80th birthday celebration (concert review)
Is there any career that gives better birthday celebrations than being a composer? Pauline Oliveros turns 80 later this month and RPI, where she teaches, pulled out all the stops on Thursday night (5/10/12) at EMPAC in Troy. There was music and speeches, cake and champagne, plus party favors (a newly issued DVD). The vaunted acoustics of the EMPAC concert hall were even spiffed up for the occasion. A computer-aided loudspeaker...
read more

Emerson String Quartet plays Thomas Ades’ “The Four Quarters” (concert review)

Emerson String Quartet plays Thomas Ades’ “The Four Quarters” (concert review)
As part of its 29th appearance in the Union College Concert Series in Schenectady on Sunday afternoon (4/1/12), the Emerson String Quartet brought a recent work by the acclaimed British composer Thomas Ades. “The Four Quarters” was written in 2010 for the Emerson and commissioned by Carnegie Hall, during Ades’ tenure as its composer in residence. Get used to Ades’ name, if you don’t already know it.  Next fall,...
read more

Cris Alexander (1920-2012), the original Chip in “On the Town”

Cris Alexander (1920-2012), the original Chip in “On the Town”
Alexander in 2009 (Luanne M. Ferris / Times Union) Cris Alexander, a Broadway actor and portrait photographer, died on March 7 in Saratoga Springs, where he lived full-time since 1991.  His death at age 92 came just two weeks after that of Shaun O’Brien, the New York City Ballet character dancer and Alexander’s companion of 61 years. Alexander starred in the 1944 premiere of “On the Town,” creating...
read more

Fred Hersch, more than dreaming

Fred Hersch, more than dreaming
Fred Hersch isn’t a meditation guru. He’s a composer and jazz pianist.  But he does know something about that elusive goal of living in the moment. “If you think too far ahead you drop the ball. This is why tennis and jazz are very similar,” he says, in the documentary “The Lives of Fred Hersch.”  He continues, “you have to play what is in front of you and what appears, and react to it.” On Friday night he’ll...
read more

Cello music by Jorge Martin new on CD, “Before Night Falls” heads to Miami

Cello music by Jorge Martin new on CD, “Before Night Falls” heads to Miami
Close Encounters with Music, the chamber series in the Berkshires, is in the midst of its 20th anniversary season and has six more concerts between now and the early summer. The line-up of programs is typically thoughtful and varied with a healthy sampling of mainstream classics from the Romantic era performed by the ensemble members, plus a guest appearance by the fine young Dedaelus Quartet on May 19. There are also several...
read more

« Previous Entries