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 


BBC Music Magazine: Review of Philip Glass Cello Concerto No. 2 ‘Naqoyqatsi”

December 12, 2013

This Concerto grew from music Glass composed in 2001 for Naqoyqatsi, his third collaboration with the innovative documentary director, Godfrey Reggio. Glass had completed his first Cello Concerto (dedicated to, and premiered by, Julian Lloyd Webber) shortly before, but it was not until a decade later that he decided to turn the film score into a ‘proper’ concerto. I’m familiar with the first films in the trilogy, Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi but haven’t seen Naqoyqatsiapparently its images were largely digitally created. And Glass wanted to composer ‘a very acoustic piece that could be played by a real orchestra’. Continue reading


Gramophone Magazine: Glass’s Naqoyqatsi score reworked as a cello concerto

December 12, 2013

Replete with images of war, death, conflict and pain, Naqoyqatsi is arguably the darkest and most disturbing depiction of ‘life out of balance’ in Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi film trilogy. Glass’s music remains for the most part detached from the film’s disturbing images, however, acting in the composer’s words more ‘as a doorway into the film’. Continue reading

Toronto Star: Cincinnati Symphony’s excellent take on Philip Glass’s Cello Concerto No. 2: album review

May 6, 2013

Matt Haimovitz & Cincinnati Symphony

Philip Glass, Cello Concerto No. 2 (Orange Mountain)

3.5/4 stars

Boston Globe: Matt Haimovitz ranges far and wide

May 11, 2012

“There’s something meditative . . . about the solo program and the way it evolves. It’s a kind of personal exhibition,” said Matt Haimovitz, who plays Gardner Museum Thursday

It has been an eventful few months for cellist Matt Haimovitz. He began the year touring with pianist Christopher O’Riley in support of the duo’s recent CD, “Shuffle.Play.Listen,” whose tracklist ranges from Janacek and Stravinsky to arrangements of Blonde Redhead and Cocteau Twins. In March he gave the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Continue reading

William C White: My Week with Philip

April 4, 2012

It’s not so often that Cincinnati, OH feels like the center of the musical world, and it’s even rarer that I get to work with several of my musical idols on a single project.  But every once in a while, the stars align, and this past week Continue reading Haimovitz, CSO sing in haunting Glass concerto

April 1, 2012

Composer Philip Glass featured the cello in his soundtrack to the Godfrey Reggio film “Naqoyqatsi,” he said, because “we think of the cello as the instrument closest to the human voice.”

On Friday night, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and cellist Matt Haimovitz performed the world premiere of Glass’ Cello Concerto No. 2, “Naqoyqatsi,” a CSO commission based on his film score. On the podium was Dennis Russell Davies, a frequent Glass collaborator.

Haunting and deeply beautiful, Continue reading

ConcertoNet: Glass Premiere Powerfully Moving

March 31, 2012

Cincinnati Music Hall
03/30/2012 –  & March 31*, 2012
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 in A Major
Philip Glass: Cello Concerto No. 2, “Naqoyqatsi” (world premiere)

Matt Haimovitz (cello)
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies (guest conductor)

Composer Philip Glass is one of three creative directors guiding the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during the 2011-12 season, its first without a music director since former music director Paavo Järvi stepped down in May, 2011. As such, Glass programmed the CSO’s five-concert “Boundless Series” and has spent two residencies in the city. His second residency, the last week in March, also marked the world premiere of his Cello Concerto No. 2, “Naqoyqatsi,” Continue reading Meet the cellist: From Bach to Hendrix Haimovitz took Bach to the bars, now he premieres Glass concert with CSO

March 29, 2012

Cellist Matt Haimovitz performs the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto No. 2, “Naqoyqatsi,” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra this weekend / Provided; Steph Mackinnon

As a cellist, Matt Haimovitz’s classical artistry is well known, ever since he made his debut in 1984 at age 13 with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. But in 2000, Haimovitz took what was then viewed as a bold new path. Continue reading

Soapbox Cincinnati: Haimovitz premieres new Glass concerto with CSO

March 27, 2012

When renowned cellist Matt Haimovitz was 17, he hadn’t played a note written in the 20th century, he recalls. “I grew up in a very traditional classical music home.”

So this weekend, when the Julliard-trained California native premieres a Philip Glass cello concerto, he’ll continue on his genre-bending path to keep classical music “living, breathing” and Continue reading