Coventry Telegraph: Celebrating pioneers of minimalism

April 4, 2014

A celebration of minimalist music takes place in Coventry this month when the Basel Symphony Orchestra calls in on the city as part of their first UK tour.

The orchestra will be playing three works hailed as “minimalist masterpieces” at Warwick Arts Centre on April 23, 7.30pm.

Under the baton of their music director Dennis Russell Davies, they will be performing three 20th century works: John Adams’s Harmonielehre, a dream-inspired score for large orchestra; Arvo Pärt’s These Words, a meditation for string orchestra and percussion on human foibles and delusions; and the European premiere of Philip Glass’s Cello Concerto No2, featuring Matt Haimovitz, an Israeli-born cellist now based in the US and Canada.

The Coventry concert marks the start of a UK tour in which the orchestra will focus on pioneering minimalists. It reflects the passion of Davies, an American conductor and pianist who first encountered minimalist works in the early 1970s and has become a champion of living composers and modern music.

He says: “This repertoire area has been part of my musical life for over 40 years. Philip Glass and I were considered the young upstarts of our generation back then. Now we’re thought of as the senior citizens!”

Hans-Georg Hofmann, the orchestra’s artistic manager, says: “It’s special for us to play this repertoire with someone who is so closely associated with it. Audiences will be able to trace the development of minimalist music from the Harmonielehre of 1985 to Glass’s recent Second Cello Concerto.

“This is a fantastic project for us and is part of the great adventure in sound we’re enjoying with our music director. “

Davies, in turn, praises his players. “They can handle anything written over the past 120 years and, for instance, really hold the intensity demanded by Glass and Pärt.

“It’s time now to introduce the orchestra to a wider audience, which is why I’m so looking forward to our appearances in the UK. I believe a large audience will want to hear our minimalist programmes.”

Tickets on 024 7652 4524.

By: Patsy Fuller

Read at: Coventry Telegraph 

Gazzettenet.com: Headliners: Matt Haimovitz, Christopher O’Riley at UMass FAC: Local Vocal Chord Bowl at NHS

March 28, 2014

Mixing it up

Cello virtuoso (and former Valley resident) Matt Haimovitz has long been a critic of what he calls the artificial and outmoded boundaries that divide classical and popular music, and with the emergence of the iPod generation — a listening public that mixes Mozart with Lady Gaga — he’s serendipitously discovered an audience in synch with his doctrine. Taking its title from media-player terminology, “Shuffle.Play.Listen,” Haimovitz’s new two-disc collaboration with Christopher O’Riley — a classical pianist similarly inclined to genre-jumping — interweaves an arrangement of film composer Bernard Herrmann’s five-part suite for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” with related pieces by Igor Stravinsky, Argentine tango composer Ástor Piazzolla and Czech composers Bohuslav Martinu and Leoš Janáček (disc one), then delves further into the mosaical (disc two) with a series of arrangements of works by various outre rock artists (Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Cocteau Twins) to create “a wonderfully diverse musical experience performed by two incredibly complex artists” (All Things Strings).

On Monday Haimovitz and O’Riley bring their Shuffle.Play.Listen tour to the UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall for a 7:30 p.m. show. The first half of the concert is pre-arranged; the second half will be programmed from the stage to allow the players to share contexts and permit the music to flow seamlessly from one genre to the next.

$15, $30, $40 general; $10 Five College, GCC, STCC students and youth 17 and under. There is a pre-concert talk with NEPR afternoon classical music host Walter Carroll at 6:30 p.m. at the University Club. 545-251, fineartscenter.com

By: Dan DeNicola

Read at: Gazettenet.com

Cleveland Classical: Preview: Tuesday Musical to present A Far Cry with Matt Haimovitz on March 11

March 7, 2014

Cellist Matt Haimovitz will be the featured soloist with the Boston-based chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, on the Tuesday Musical Series at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron on March 11 at 7:30 pm.

Haimovitz, who made his debut at the age of 13 with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, and his first recording four years later with James Levine and the Chicago Symphony, first appeared on the Tuesday Musical series in 1991. A Far Cry, a self-conducted ensemble, was founded in 2007 by “The Criers,” a collective of 17 young professional musicians who intended to develop an innovative, rotating leadership both on and off stage.

The Akron concert will include two works by Luigi Boccherini, his Quintet in C, subtitled “Night Music on the Streets of Madrid,” and his Cello Concerto in C. Haimovitz will also be featured in the first performance of Luna Pearl Woolf’s arrangement of Bloch’s Prayer from Jewish Life, and the orchestra will complete the program with Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and Janáček’s Idyll. Continue reading

Matt Haimovitz

Kingston Whig-Standard: From Bach and Stravinsky to Arcade Fire

February 28, 2014

Like the selections he plays, cellist Matt Haimovitz likes to sometimes veer off the traditional path.

For example, around the turn of the century, Haimovitz embarked on his Bach Listening Room Tour, which saw him eschew concert halls and the like in favour of playing in jazz clubs and rock venues across the continent.

“I wanted to reach out to an audience that wasn’t coming to the concert hall,” Haimovitz said Wednesday over the phone from Tucson, Ariz., where he had been performing the night before. “I wanted to play music that was really important to me that wasn’t being presented in a concert hall.”

While the tour made sense to Haimovitz — he first thought of redefining what it meant to be a classical musician when he was doing his undergrad at Harvard University and noticed that no one his age was in the audience — it didn’t to others. Continue reading

South Florida Classical Review: Cellist Haimovitz a late addition to New World concert

January 15, 2014

This weekend’s New World Symphony concert just got an extra bit of added star power.

Cellist Matt Haimovitz will perform the cello part in Gyorgy Kurtág’s Double Concerto for Piano, Cello and Two Chamber Ensembles at the New World Symphony Saturday night.

“What an amazing piece the Kurtag is!” said Haimovitz. “I did not know the Double Concerto. It’s an ingenious and complex microtonal score with each soloist in charge of an ensemble within the orchestra.

“I would have agreed to play it in Siberia….but I’ll take Miami.”

The “Sounds of the Times” concert, which will be conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw, will also include Kurtág’s …quasi una fantasia…, Ligeti’s Double Concerto for Flute and Oboe, and Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin. Concert time is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at New World Center, Miami Beach. nws.edu

By: Lawrence A. Johnson

Read at: South Florida Classical Review

The Detroit News: Artists reimagine classical music for a contemporary audience

January 8, 2014

This weekend, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit presents a pair of noteworthy concerts with a couple of first-rate, and deliciously unconventional, musicians.

Christopher O’Riley, in addition to being an accomplished classical pianist, hosts “From the Top,” NPR’s popular radio showcase for young musicians (not currently heard in the Detroit market). Every week on the show, he plays a brief interlude going into the show’s station break. One day, having run through the gamut of Chopin preludes and Bach inventions, he decided to try something different. When he’d finished, the show’s announcer came on saying, “That was Christopher O’Riley, our host, playing ‘Karma Police’ by Radiohead.” Continue reading

Detroit Performs: Shuffle. Play. Listen. Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz with Chris Felcyn

January 8, 2014

Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz will be appearing in concerts sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of Detroit this weekend. On Thursday, Jan. 9 at 3 p.m. they’ll be guests of Chris Felcyn on The Well-Tempered Wireless program of WRCJ 90.9 FM. Tune in and find out which Jimmy Stewart co-star has become a big fan of their music. Continue reading

Musical Toronto: Tonight: Cellist Matt Haimovitz prefers to play it eclectic on stage and in the studio

November 5, 2013

Cellist Matt Haimovitz gets his kicks out of mixing it up, playing Arcade Fire at a pop-up concert one day, then restringing his instrument with gut strings to play period Beethoven the next. For tonight’s Toronto visit with the Ontario Philharmonic at Koerner Hall, he reaches into the heart of the repertoire with Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo. Continue reading

The New York Times: A Crushed Spirit, Healed by the Whispers of Angels

October 17, 2013
"Angel Heart" was conceived by Luna Pearl Woolf and  Lisa Delan.

“Angel Heart” was conceived by Luna Pearl Woolf and Lisa Delan.

“There.”

“Do you hear it?”
At the beginning, there is only the voice of Jeremy Irons. Then, the sound of strings: high, sparkling filaments of sound that dance around the narrator’s voice like dust particles catching the light.

There is a whispering of wings in the silence of the night.

They’re coming. With feathers as white as snow and faces as bright as the moonlight:

Angels.

“Angel Heart” is a tender and emotionally astute children’s story told in words and music. Last month it was released as an audiobook CD; on Monday it will be performed live at Zankel Hall with the actor Chris Noth as narrator. Continue reading

San Jose Mercury News: ‘Angel Heart’ star-studded adaptation comes to Cal Performances Oct. 6

October 7, 2013

Lullabies and bedtime stories are usually close to the top of the list of most treasured early childhood memories. Few things can comfort an infant or toddler into peaceful slumber as the voice of a parent or grandparent softly intoning “Rock-a-bye Baby” or “Brahms Lullaby.” Nowadays one can augment a child’s calming bedtime rituals by merely hitting the “play” button on a CD or MP3 player.

A trio of imaginative women combined their talents to create what might become a new children’s classic. Continue reading