Archives for September 2013

Artober Nashville Celebration Provides Wide Range of Experiences

Happily the calendar is turning once again to Artober Nashville. It is, to quote the folks at the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, “for every Nashvillian to experience the arts where they live, work and play and includes everything from visual and performing arts, to music, crafts, film, pop-ups, and more.” In its third year, Artober Nashville has grown […]

‘Muscle Shoals’ Among 15 Doctober Offerings at Belcourt Theatre

The Belcourt Theatre has a selection of 15 highly acclaimed documentaries for its annual Doctober event that begins Friday. With diverse topics that include hip-hop, mountain climbing, religious freedom, social activism and more, Doctober represents a thoughtful selection of provocative filmmaking. Highlights include the Sundance Film Festival hit CUTIE AND THE BOXER, a touching meditation on the […]

This Week’s ‘Voices of Nashville’ Premiere Launches TWTP Season

Tennessee Women’s Theater Project offers two firsts and an eighth for its 2013-14 season: the world premiere of a play commissioned by the company, followed by the regional premiere of the 2013 Tony® Award winner for Best Play and the Eighth Annual Women’s Work Festival of performing and visual arts works created by women. Their […]

Season Preview: Music City Baroque, rejoicing greatly

Music City Baroque has just announced its 2013-14 season, and good tidings abound in the ensemble’s lineup. Nashville’s premier period-instrument group will be bringing back its ever-popular “Messiah Sing-In” at Christ Church Cathedral. A new guest director will also make her debut. Allison Edberg, a highly regarded Baroque violinist, will lead Music City Baroque at […]

Season Preview: Alias, boldly going where no chamber group has gone before

Alias Chamber Ensemble has long been Nashville’s most daring classical ensemble. Now, the group is gearing up for its most audacious and ambitious season yet. During the 2013-14 season, the Grammy-nominated group, which plays everything from early music (on period instruments) to contemporary works (using electronics), will present world premieres by Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Caroline […]

Music Review: Cliburn medalist wows the crowd at McAfee Concert Hall

The well-coiffed one was in Nashville on Thursday night. I’m talking about pianist Sean Chen, who was in town to present Belmont University’s annual Woods Piano Concert Series at McAfee Concert Hall. A 24-year-old California native, Chen made news in June, when he became the first American pianist in 16 years to advance to the […]

Music Review: NSO devotes its latest CD to the music of Richard Danielpour

The Nashville Symphony has finally released its CD of composer Richard Danielpour’s music (Naxos), and my review is published in this week’s Nashville Scene. Music director Giancarlo Guerrero and his players recorded three of Danielpour’s works, the most ambitious of which is Darkness in the Ancient Valley, a symphony in five movements that sets the […]

Film review: ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2” Pretty Tasty

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was a hit in 2009 and rightfully so: its story, characterizations and animation were very entertaining. Now comes (surprise, surprise) the sequel, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. Yes, like most follow-ups this one’s not the fresh menu item its predecessor was, but it’s still pretty tasty. The […]

Pressure Cooker Winner ‘City of Light’ This Weekend at BRT

Get over to Boiler Room Theatre this weekend to see City of Light, the Franklin troupe’s 2012 Pressure Cooker Festival winner. The light opera with libretto by Michael McFaden and music by Sir Arthur Sullivan takes place in the Spiritualist village of Lily Dale, N.Y. at the turn of the 20th century. All the music is […]

Music Review: More gala glitz, this time from Al Jarreau

Versatility and excellence have been the hallmarks of vocalist Al Jarreau’s appeal and success since he broke out of the supper club/cabaret/nightclub underground and into the mainstream ranks during the mid-70s. Jarreau consistently demonstrated during an exhaustive, two-set show Sunday night at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center that an orchestral background neither threatens nor overwhelms his […]

Brahms leads off a fabulous week of free classical music in Nashville

Nashville’s classical music scene shifts into high gear this week, with great concerts taking place just about every day. All of these concerts, by the way, are free. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The most compelling reason to attend violist Kathryn Plummer and pianist Amy Dorfman’s concert is the chance to hear Brahms’ magnificent valedictory chamber piece, […]

Music Preview: Cliburn medalist Sean Chen will play at Belmont

Piano aficionados won’t want to miss pianist Sean Chen’s concert on Thursday night at Belmont University. In June, Chen won the crystal medal and a $20,000 prize at the 14th quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. Chen impressed judges and audience members alike with his award-winning rendition of Beethoven’s mighty “Hammerklavier” […]

Music Review: El Movimiento, bringing Latin jazz to the people

“Those are the rules – No cell phones. Please dance. That’s all.” It was the only introduction needed for Nashville’s only Latin jazz band, El Movimiento.  Taking the Nashville Jazz Workshop stage Saturday night to a full house, it was clear that no one would be on their cell phone during this performance anyway.  Founding […]

Dance Review: ‘Giselle’ floats again, thanks to Dance Theatre of Tennessee

The ghosts were out in force at Centennial Park this weekend. For its second annual Ballet in the Park, Dance Theatre of Tennessee is staging Giselle, the French ballet best known for its Wilis – spirits of young women who died before marriage – who haunt the stage with hopping arabesques during the second act. […]

Music Review: Fleming leads the NSO in a glittering gala

Soprano Renée Fleming headlined the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s gala concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Saturday night. Nashville was lucky to get her. Every orchestra in North America wants the people’s diva as its opening night act – Fleming is to the gala month of September what Santa Claus is to December – so […]

Despite a rainy cancellation, Ballet in the Park will go on

Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s artistic director Christopher Mohnani knew it was bound to happen. On Friday, rain forced Mohnani to cancel his company’s opening night performance of Giselle at Centennial Park. “We looked at the weather reports and there was every indication we’d have a thunderstorm at 8 o’clock, right in the middle of our […]

Was Beethoven’s metronome busted?

In his 1981 book Facing the Music, New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg wrote of a disturbing trend in classical music. After years of listening to the recordings of turn-of-the-20th-century conductors, instrumentalists and singers, Schonberg concluded that performance tempos had slowed down radically. “Musicians today are prevailingly slower (emphasis in the original) than they […]

TV/Film review: ‘Hollow Crown’ Packs All of Shakespeare’s Punch

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” Shakespeare has King Henry IV of England tell us toward the end of that usurper’s reign. That may be true, but “The Hollow Crown” quartet of films that begins tonight on PBS (NPT 8 p.m. in Nashville) with Richard II has no such worries. The sharply focused […]

Richard Feaster’s Abstract Paintings Among Best of the Year

In the fall, publications that cover visual arts ask their critics to take stock of the year gone by and pin down the best sights they’ve seen in the galleries, museums and pop-up spaces they’ve visited on their beats. I’m having this ongoing conversation with a handful of editors and colleagues, and it’s always awkward […]

Triple Axelrod: The Whole Backstage and Nothing But

“A lot of theaters have to use somebody else’s space to do anything,” says Richard Resler, a volunteer for the Whole Backstage Community Theatre in Guntersville, Alabama. He is standing in the renovated mainstage auditorium, looking around. “It’s amazing what having your own place does to your attitude. It kind of takes an element of fear out […]