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Arts Features

Bus driving guitarist looks back on career with many turns

Apr 30, 2018

Guitarist Lawrence Johnson recorded the complete works of early-nineteenth century composer Fernando Sor – using equipment that the guitarist got in a trade for a Volkswagen.  He recalls, "I found out this guy and this girl, they were married – and he decided he didn’t like her anymore and he left her and took her car. But he was also a recording nut, and so he had this Revox 77.  So I said: I got a car if you want it, but I need that Revox 77. So, I got it." 

"I really love Rochester. I love the simplicity. I love the sense of neighborhood. I love the fact that it's common to speak to people on the street even if you don't know them."

So says retired music teacher Teryle (pronounced “TARE-il”) Watson, who possesses a birds’ eye view of music programs across the spectrum.  

Trio creates harmony from tension

Apr 9, 2018

Among the old beautiful buildings that line East Avenue, you can find the Rochester Academy of Medicine – a place that has been a resource for the medical community for many years, as well as more recently a host for various community events, including “salon” piano trio concerts.  

The salon at 1441 East Avenue is a room that holds about a hundred people . It would be a big living room for most homes, but it’s a rather intimate space for a concert. That is something cellist Stefan Reuss has come to appreciate over the years:

Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist, Adam Guettel, calls it a show that is unabashedly romantic, full of strings, and passionate singing. Well, we have him to thank for all that. It’s the award-winning Broadway hit, “The Light in the Piazza.” In 2005, Guettel won two Tonys for his score for the musical. And now, he’s in Rochester, for the Eastman Opera Theatre’s performance of “The Light in the Piazza” happening this week at Kodak Hall. We recently caught up with Guettel, who also happens to be the grandson of famed American composer Richard Rodgers.

Bill Tiberio inspires students, fellow teachers

Mar 31, 2018

You may know Bill Tiberio as a saxophonist –  he has a band that plays around town. Or as a conductor – he leads the Music Educators Wind Ensemble and Music Educators Big Band based at the Eastman Community Music School. Or, as a teacher - he has inspired generations of music students as a teacher at Fairport High School for over 30 years.  

Tiberio grew up in Fairport, where he found himself drawn to music as a kid, playing clarinet in the school band. His early teachers left a strong an impression:

This week a group of Rochester teens will perform a version of Shakespeare’s "Macbeth". But, this is not your typical "Macbeth" played by your typical actors. Many of the young people involved in the play are also involved in the juvenile justice system. Their co-actors? Members of law enforcement, teachers, therapists and community advocates. It’s all run through a program called Shakespeare from the Streets out of Hillside’s Reinvesting in Youth program. On this edition of Need to Know, we learn how the program is used as an intervention for at-risk teens.

www.kodak.com/kodakcenter/shows

William Shatner, the actor who has been involved in a number of projects on stage, screen and TV, but perhaps best known for his role as Captain Kirk on Star Trek is coming to Rochester.

On April 5th, he will be at the Kodak Center, formerly known as Theater on the Ridge.

WXXI’s Randy Gorbman got to chat with him recently about his iconic TV character as well as his other projects.

Cambridge University Press

When most of us think of Michelangelo, we likely think of the artist who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or the sculptor of that other masterpiece, the David.  But the Renaissance man was also an architect, engineer and a prolific poet. And he had a biting, Tuscan humor. 

Art historian William Wallace has been studying Michelangelo for forty years and he continues to be fascinated by the man and the artist. Wallace will present two public lectures in Rochester this week.

www.stevedanyew.com

As the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school re-energizes the national gun violence debate, a local composer has turned to music to reflect on a tragedy that shook America to its core just over five years ago.

Eastman School of Music instructor Steve Danyew once attended Sandy Hook Elementary in  Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed by a mass shooter on December 14, 2012.

Danyew's piece "Into the Silent Land" blends elements of a funeral march and a lament.  Near the end, a poem is read over the music by a narrator.

J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester

The history of immigration in Rochester and its refugees is the theme of a theatrical piece that debuts tonight as part of the University of Rochester's International Theater Program. 

Australian-South African director, writer, and theater artist Talya Chalef co-created the piece with an ensemble of UR students.

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear Talya about her research in the city of Rochester's archives as she gathered material for the play called "We Don't Live on Mars Yet."

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