“Circles Around Berio”

It’s a terrifically busy week at Penn. In addition to the Marilyn Nonken recital on Wednesday, Jan. 27 that begins the series of three “Eighty-Eight Lately” programs of contemporary piano music, there is a big array of events around this coming Sunday’s Curtis Institute performance of the Berio Sinfonia, led by Ludovic Morlot. Jamuna Samuel has organized talks and concerts that will look at Berio from many different points on the curve, so to speak. Click here for a detailed listing. The events include two talks by Christoph Neidhöfer; Tom Kraines playing the cello Sequenza, with Jim Sykes offering commentary; and a panel (in which I will participate) before a concert of Berio’s chamber music at Curtis on Saturday night.

Wednesday Morning Miscellany

Here are some random events and a few other items.

Ensemble 20/21, the Curtis Institute’s new music ensemble, does an all-Stucky program this coming Friday, March 1. Concert at 8 pm, interview with the composer at 7:30.

New York Virtuoso Singers has another concert packed with premieres, including works by: Richard Wernick, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Mark Adamo, Richard Danielpour, Augusta Read Thomas, Thea Musgrave, Joseph Schwantner, William Bolcom, Roger Davidson, David Felder and Joan Tower. Merkin Concert Hall in NYC, Sunday, March 3 at 3 pm.

– Matthew Greenbaum’s Amphibian series returns with a program by the Temple University Percussion ensemble, with Cyndie Berthézène, soprano. Works by
Augusta Reade Thomas, James Tenney, and Andrew Taylor along with a showing of Maya Deren’s classic experimental film Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) and a new piece by Matthew himself for video animation and electronic sound. The HIART Gallery 227 W29 St. in NYC,  March 7 at 8pm.

– Soprano Stacey Mastrian will offer a program of 20th century Italian music at the University of Pennsylvania on March 13 at 8 pm. The big piece will be Luigi Nono’s La fabbrica illuminata for soprano and four-channel electronic sound; the program will also include the Berio Sequenza for voice and works by Dallapiccola and others.

– My current Lenten reading is The Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery, a fairly early book by Henri Nouwen. This is reminiscent of Thomas Merton‘s journals, a mix of narrative about life in the monastery combined with deeper, heartfelt reflections on what Nouwen confronted during his months living there. You gotta love a book where one of the chapter titles is “Nixon and St. Bernard” (Nouwen is writing at the time of Watergate).

Here is a list of 500 movies you can see online, legally (so far as I know), and for free.

Chilly Monday Miscellany

– Sharon Browning is eloquent on Tucson and wild geese.

– WHYY offers an archive of their telecasts of Curtis student performances here. (Hey folks, how about some new music on these programs?)

– the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s blog previews the upcoming performance by the Matthias Pintscher leading the Curtis Chamber Orchestra, this Wednesday, January 26.