Voice of the Arts
It's another kind of March Madness for the River City Brass, directed by James Gourlay. He invites listeners to vote for their favorite marches to be featured on the band's March 24 - April 5 concerts at 8 locations, and talks about the various forms of marches.
Steinway Society guest Matthew Bengtson champions the works of Szymanowski and Scriabin on his recordings and in his Pittsburgh recital. A CMU guest faculty member last fall, Bengtson has wide-ranging musical interests and is serious about such outside interests. He plays high-level chess, holds a degree in computer science from Harvard, and his golf handicap is 2.
Eric Burns' first play receives its world premiere Feb 3-19 at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Burns is a veteran TV journalist who began his career at WQED in 1971. He looks back on his work as a journalist at NBC and Fox, and what might have been at PBS. A high school majorette serves as the inspiration for the play, "Mid-Strut," which won Burns the 2010 Eudora Welty Emerging Playwrights' Award.
Former editor of Carnegie Magazine Robert Gangewere has written the first history of a cultural conglomeration that has served millions and inspired the likes of Andy Warhol, August Wilson, and David McCullough. (U. of Pgh Press, 289 pages)
A preview of Three Decembers, the opera by Jake Heggie (composer of Dead Man Walking), based on Terrance McNally's Christmas Letters. Lisa Ann Goldsmith directs with Mary Gould as American musical stage icon and absentee mother Madeline Mitchell, and Erica Olden and Daniel Teadt as her grown children, Bea and Charlie. Andres Cladera conducts an 11-piece orchestra.
Former Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster Andres Cardenes gives his only local recital of the year at Chatham University at 2:00 pm on Oct. 22 to benefit the Oakland Girls Choir, of which his daughter, Isabel, is a member. He talks about the choir, building a recital program, his recording projects, students at CMU, and more.
For July 22 & 23, the theme is "In the Wake." Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble Artistic Director Kevin Noe has solicited photographs of deceased loved ones to use in the staging of this concert, whose music, lighting, and sound design will evoke the complex and sometimes incongruous emotions surrounding the loss of someone special.
Artistic Director and Conductor Kevin Noe talks about the theme of Week 2, "Sappho's Sparrows," which encompasses Joseph Schwantner's "Sparrows" as well as "Psappha" by Xenakis, "Thrafsmata" by MacMillan, and "King of the Sun" by Stephen Hartke.
Geoffrey Hitch, director of "Gift to America," talks about the play that literally illuminates Maxo Vanka's celebrated murals at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale that blend religious and political themes. Performances May 4th-7th will benefit the restoration and lighting of the work of the "Diego Rivera of Pittsburgh," as musician and artist David Byrne has called him.
CMU's Marianne Weems directs The Alice Project at the Chosky Theater through April 23rd. She's best known as Artistic Director of Brooklyn's world-renowned performance and media company, The Builders Association. Her works combine media, text, sound, architecture and stage performance and have been staged at major venues in London, Rome, Melbourne and Singapore.