Everything That Rises: Our Kind of Spirituals, No. 50: Matt Haimovitz, “The Star-Spangled Banner”

September 14, 2014

Two hundred years ago – September 14, 2014 — Francis Scott Key composed “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” the song we now know as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Eighty-three years ago, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was declared the national anthem.

Forty-five years ago, Jimi Hendrix played “The Star-Spangled Banner” with a Stratocaster and a wall of Marshall amplifiers during the Festival of Peace & Music near Woodstock, New York.

Twelve years ago, the cellist Matt Haimovitz played “The Star-Spangled Banner” – Jimi Hendrix’s version – live at CBGB.  The story is told in Reinventing Bach. Haimovitz studied with Yo-Yo Ma, enrolled at Harvard, and then dropped out of college and the classical-music recital circuit at once. The gig at CBGB – in October 2002 – was just one gig in a tour of nightclubs, cafes and restaurants in support of a self-financed CD. He played three of Bach’s cello suites, a recent piece by a living composer, and a four-string acoustic reduction of the Hendrix anthem from Woodstock — rendering feedback, string bends, dive-bomb runs, and discordura, and interpolating a few bars of “Taps.”  TheWall Street Journal‘s critic griped that he couldn’t hear the cello over the clinking bottles.

Three years ago, Haimovitz played the Hendrixian “Star-Spangled Banner” at Zuccotti Park during Occupy Wall Street.

O say, can you hear …

By: Paul Elie

Read at: Everything That Rises

 

Norwalk Citizen: From Bach to the Beatles, cellist set to blur boundaries at Silvermine

April 10, 2013

In this cyber age, it is relatively easy to see all manner of recorded classical music performances online, from virtuosos fronting world-class orchestras to small ensembles filling intimate spaces. Rising stars Continue reading

NPR: From Schubert To Hendrix: Guest DJ Matt Haimovitz

November 15, 2012

Listen here:

These days it’s not unusual to find classical musicians performing in unlikely venues — pubs, clubs and out-of-the-way places. But long before this trend took hold there was Matt Haimovitz. Continue reading

Dotted Line: Flea, Carnegie Hall cellist to preform at Art Center

October 26, 2012

Flea, the famed (and sometimes pants-less) bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, will share the stage at Art Center College of Design with some interesting company: a Carnegie Hall cellist Continue reading

Joplin Globe: Playing as he goes: Cellist picks songs on the fly

October 26, 2012

OPLIN, Mo. — The tones of a cello are the closest to a human voice as any instrument created. Matt Haimovitz is regarded as being able to create a variety of voice-like tones, including the voices of Arcade Fire’s Regine Chassagne and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Continue reading

The Arizona Republic: Classical cellist Matt Haimovitz at MIM in Phoenix: Talking ‘Beyond Bach,’ CBGB and Jimi Hendrix

August 9, 2012

Cellist Matt Haimovitz made his stage debut at 13 as a soloist with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. At 17, he made his first recording with James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

But Haimovitz, now 41, went through what he calls a renaissance after college, expanding the scope of his work to include more contemporary classical composers while taking the classical canon from the concert hall to venues as unorthodox as New York punk club CBGB. Continue reading

Cincinnati.com: 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

Montreal Gazette: Jamming with the classical

November 20, 2010

One of the most original and compelling jazz albums in recent memory was created by a classical cellist who often plays in rock clubs. As Matt Haimovitz’s world has stretched from the elegant Carnegie Hall to the punky CBGB club, it’s altogether fitting that his new album is titled Continue reading

JewishLedger.com: Q & A with Matt Haimovitz – Cellist’s repertoire spans Bach to Hendrix

April 22, 2010

Israeli-born cellist Matt Haimovitz — an  acclaimed virtuoso whose eclectic repertoire spans Bach to Bartók to Jimi Hendrix — will grace the stages of two local venues in May, performing benefit concerts for Rachel’s Table and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Continue reading

The Kansas City Star: ‘It’s a String Thing’ benefit concert

March 15, 2010

Cellist Matt Haimovitz, 39, gained international fame by age 13. A  few years later, he was making classical recordings and performing at  Carnegie Hall.

This afternoon, he will perform a concert here  with some close colleagues to benefit the Kansas City String Quartet  Program, which for 17 years has nurtured local young musicians seeking excellence in classical music.

And if anyone knows how tough and competitive that quest can be, it is Continue reading